Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Reader Requests 2011 - Post 4

On a switch from our recent posts, our new reader request deals with emotions in pregnancy. Check out what our reader said:

"I would like to talk about emotional well being during pregnancy. I am currently under a lot of stress and can't seem to find a release so I take it out on pretty much everyone. Probably not a good thing. And I happen to really love my husband and don't want to make him more stressed than he already is. How can I try to avoid unloading all my emotions on him? Is there any thing I can do to get that stress out that doesn't involve exercise and can make me less nauseous too?"

Let's help her out...

How do you deal with the emotions that come with being pregnant?

What outlets have you found helpful when you're feeling stressed or overwhelmed?

How do you keep up a healthy relationship with your husband while you are pregnant?

Thank you for your continued input!
Check out the question below as well on funding college education and put in your two cents. ;)


Meagan said...

How to deal with emotions? For me, it leads into question #2: I found an outlet. I got into crafting when I was pregnant and for other women I'm sure they have other things. I explained to my husband that I needed time to "recharge my batteries" every day and he was very supportive, particularly because he knew it would help me emotionally. Make a list of activities you enjoy so you have something to pull from automatically when you're feeling stressed. My husband and I also brainstormed ideas together about what would help me cope with my emotions (helps with question #3 on relationship building). I also talked a lot with other women... that helped me realize that most, if not all, pregnant women experience crazy emotions and it wasn't just me.

My biggest recommendation(s) for maintaining a healthy relationship?
1) Communicate. I told my husband I just needed to talk through my emotions sometimes without him offering a solution, just listening. If you need something from him, ask! If the little things (like not taking out the trash) get on your nerves more easily, ASK! If you need a massage or snuggle time or a date, ASK! It sounds like marriage advice, but I think it important to remind ourselves again of this principle during pregnancy.
2) Be willing to apologize! I apologized countless times during my pregnancy for flying off the handle and being too sensitive to things my husband did (or didn't) do. He understood for himself that this wasn't necessarily me and that it wouldn't be me forever. My dad also bought my husband a book on pregnancy from a guy's perspective, so my husband knew what to expect and became more and more understanding as the pregnancy progressed.
3) Take (additional) interest in something your husband enjoys. This can help your relationship for a couple of reasons: 1) It takes your mind off of you and the stress you feel! I found myself focusing on, well, myself a lot. Taking a renewed interest in my husband's activities helped me get outside myself. The pregnancy is all about you and sometimes I got wrapped up in that. 2) It makes your husband feel important. During pregnancy we forget about that very important peripheral person: the dad. I started playing Lego Star Wars on the xbox with my husband. And I hate xbox, but making him feel important is more important than my dislike of xbox. I also tried to ask him more questions about himself and about the other activities he enjoys (like biking, since I couldn't actually participate in that during pregnancy).

This is super long-winded and I'm no expert, but hopefully this helps!

Anonymous said...


Molly said...

I always think I need to not be mean, but my hubby seems to rub me the wrong way no matter what. I love him so much. I don't mean to flip out on him, but its the hormones. I guess give your self a break, a side effect of pregnancy is irritatability, if your hubby knows that then when you are irritated maybe he can be more understanding. After all, I'm sure he wants the baby too.

Rebecca said...

For me I had to remind myself that being pregnant was not an excuse for me to get irritated with someone. Yes pregnancy messes with our emotions but we are still in control of what we say and how we react with others. Of course there were times where I would slip up and overreact over something ridiculous but I always made sure to apologize in those cases.

To maintain a healthy relationship with my husband I just was very open with him and as said before I always would apologize when I was out of line. Also, I think pregnancy can be a hard time for husbands because so much focus is on us so taking time out and focusing on our husband's needs is important...and also by doing this will also take your mind off all the stressful and overwhelming things going on in your life. A win-win situation. :)

Outlets for stress besides exercising would be listening to music. I had a 30 minute commute home from work when I was pregnant and listening to music during that commute really helped me de-stress. Watching comedic movies and tv shows were also good too...especially when I was feeling sick.

Laura said...

I like the comments that have already been shared. :)

A few things that help me...

I try to make sure my husband and I get regular dates, just the two of us. Having a baby changes the whole dynamic of the family, whether it's the first or not. Having some one-on-one time with my husband helps to momentarily forget all the stress that comes with being pregnant and everything that it changes in our lives. Like Meagan said, it helps a lot to remember that your husband is still #1, both for him and for you. :)

Another thing I try to do is find a way to vent my emotions somewhere other than to (or at!) my husband. I have a close friend that I can talk to or email often to get things off my mind. If it's too personal or too whiny to share, I'll write it in a journal. There are even times when I'm feeling particularly nasty that I'll write everything--Everything--down that I'm super worked up about on regular notebook paper, then shred it and throw it away. I think it's good to get those emotions out as a way to deal with them, but sometimes we really don't need to keep a hold of it, you know?

I'm pregnant now with my third, and something I've really had to work on this time is staying nice to my other kids, too, not just my husband. When I'm feeling too touchy or easily upset with my kids, I try to stop whatever I'm doing and just play for a minute. I have also found it helpful to just sit and watch them play for a while and remind myself of all the nice, cute things they are doing. Sometimes we need to just take a minute to remember that life is still good. :)

I'm glad this question came up. I think I needed some new ideas.

Alyssa Harper said...

Okay, so my first pregnancy was easy...beyond easy. Reading this topic, I would have thought, "What? Pregnancy never made me emotionally weird..."

But now I'm pregnant with my second. And I just had my first emotional breakdown last night...I'm talking the A-Bomb of all meltdowns. I had an extremely stressful day that day and bawled for (really) no reason (something about being a terrible wife and mother...I was a little depressed) for about an hour before going to bed and then had a freakin' panic attack where my body was all shaky for about 20 minutes, solid. My husband was frantically asking stuff like, "What's wrong?! What's wrong?!" And I'd answer with super helpful stuff like, "I don't know! I just feel panicky!" When everything was said and done, my head hurt, like it had been flushed with hormones. Weird. Never felt that before. Some parts of being pregnant stink.

The only thing that got me through it was my husband, holding me close and rubbing my back, saying, "It's okay, breathe deeply. Deeply," and stuff. It's vitally important that you tell your husband what you're feeling. He's never been pregnant and never will be. He has no way of knowing how frustrating it is for you to have wall-to-wall mood swings and then feel gut-guilty for days after having them, when it's really not your fault. Make sure you never cross that line of picking things out about HIM to complain about. He's in for this pregnancy ride, just like you are. But just tell him what you're thinking and feeling. Because I don't know about you, ladies, but bottling it up never works out for me. Usually ends up in a bigger explosion later on. These are building-up pregnancy hormones, we're dealing with.

Your husband not the touchy-feely-talky type? Tell him it's cheaper than paying for therapy. :)

And when the meltdown is all over, don't forget to lavish on how much you love him and appreciate him for being there for you. Because really, girls. He's an honest-to-goodness angel in my life.

Casey and Michele Clegg said...

Everyone pretty much talked about how I delt with it too. I am scared to death to get pregnant again. Even though I communicated, ate right, did water aerobics ALL the time. I went to my doctor and got a safe antiaxiety pill. that I only took when life got too much. I also had to send my husband out to warn our sweet neighbors that I had issues...