June 27, 2013
Overwrought: Navigating The Hormonal Highway of Motherhood
Are these photos blurry? I can't tell because my parental pupils are sleepy and everything looks fuzzy to me. Even my legs. Oh wait, they ARE fuzzy since I haven't time to shave them this week.
That's the thing about parenting — you will be tired and busy and have only sporadic moments to yourself for approximately twenty years. Only then will your life regain some sort of steady direction. But, by that time you'll be hitting menopause and your new found direction will soon go out the window.
But it's okay because it's all worth it. The fatigue, the worry, the self-doubt, the sacrifice, the loss of identity. Wait, where was I going with this? Oh yes, parenting is a trip worth taking.
This trip is fueled by joy, love and laughter and caffeine and let us not forget, hormones. Hormones can cause us mamas to feel OVERWROUGHT at times.
The lack of sleep doesn't help. The less sleep I get, the more emotional I become. It's rather comical, according to my husband.
Pregnancy hormones are astounding. They cause us to furiously fluff our nests in preparation of our little ones. And cause us to blow things out of proportion. Like the morning my husband and I were driving into work together. Half way there I realized I had forgotten my lunch. I burst into tears. "What will I eat?" I blubbered. "The baby needs nutrition!! I'm the worst mother already!" I sobbed. My husband exploded into laughter. Very helpful. And regretful, as my sadness quickly turned to vengeance. A word to the wise, expectant men should never laugh at their pregnant wives or they will regret it.
My friend's husband sure did. When his wife, who was feeling self-conscious about the weight she had gained during her second pregnancy, bent over to pick up something off the kitchen floor, her husband chuckled. He wasn't laughing moments later when his irate wife proceeded to smash the row of taco shells he had lined up along the counter for his lunch. She pounded them with her fists until they were mere shards. Those poor empty taco shells never stood a chance.
Thankfully once baby arrives, those hormones **usually begin to settle. Just in time for the sleep deprivation to kick in.
One night I was up late feeding the baby and watching some silly movie. I started laughing hard. And then, for no apparent reason, started crying even harder. I was exhausted and overwrought.
I cried because I was happy.
I cried because stitches were not part of my birth plan.
I cried because breastfeeding was hard.
I cried because I felt incredibly grateful.
I cried because I was afraid something would happen to my baby during the night.
I cried because I felt so much love I didn't know what to do with it.
I cried because...just because.
Those first few months as a new parent are quite a ride, but we make it through.
Now I occasionally cry happy tears when one of my children achieves something amazing, or heart hurting tears when they don't. But for the most part, Kleenex isn't required on a regular basis.
How was your ride along the pre and postpartum hormone highway? Any stories to share?
*That photo of me holding Avery in the hospital makes me howl. I look like I was just clubbed over the head with a bat.
**I'm referring to the run of the mill and temporary highs and lows, not to Postpartum Depression which should be discussed with your doctor as soon as possible.
Disclosure: I am a Fisher-Price Mom and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.