Pregnancy is roughly 40 weeks of hormonal cocktails that have a woman reeling faster than any alcohol-based cocktails she had prior to being “with child.” Since I’m currently one of these lucky ladies, I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing 5 very common emotional states thus far – emotions that I was never warned about. Since I’m only in my second trimester, there may be more emotional states to come, but for now, and for your reading pleasure and information, I present to you: The 5 Emotional States of Pregnancy.
Number 1: Joy-Induced Weepiness. It strikes without warning: there you are, minding your business just making a smoothie and “Isn’t She Lovely?” by Stevie Wonder comes on the radio and you burst into tears. It is the Most. Beautiful. Song. Ever. (psst… it’s not). But today, right now, while you’re standing in the middle of your kitchen attempting to make something healthy to eat and you’re out of vegetables so you decide to mix frozen peaches with milk in a blender, Stevie has hit a nerve and by-golly, he’s hit it good. You start to imagine your husband, teary-eyed and smiling, holding your new daughter* just after she’s born and you’re ready to melt into a lump of goo, right there on the linoleum. It’s just so joyous! You start to imagine your parents, first time grandparents, staring lovingly at your new bundle-of-joy, their first grandchild, while Stevie belts it out: “I can’t believe what God has done; Through us he’s given life to one…” And you think you’d better hit the “frappe” button on the blender to drown out the music, because if not, you may need medical assistance.
Number 2: Worry-Induced Weepiness. This emotional state, very much like #1, also strikes without warning. But, unlike #1, it is most likely to strike at the most convenient time of day: late night. Also, unlike #1 it is extraordinarily unpleasant and can usually only be resolved by falling asleep, eating ice cream, or eating ice cream and then falling asleep. The slightest cramp, the smallest headache, the littlest lightheadedness and suddenly you think, there’s something wrong with me or the baby. Dear Lord Almighty I need an ambulance! Since it’s usually late at night when this strikes, the poking-husband-while-he-sleeps-routine ensues:
“Honey…. (poke, poke)… honey?”
With muffled snorts, husband responds, “What?”
“Um. There’s this tiny little twingie feeling just above my left hip and I’m a little concerned.”
“Do you think I should call the doctor/midwife?”
“Hmm… I don’t know. I’ve never felt this twingie feeling before.”
“Ok, well, you’re probably right. It’s probably nothing.”
“I’ll just go get some ice cream.”
So, you start to convince yourself that everything will be O.K. and just to make sure, you go get the ice cream. You feel sad eating ice cream alone in the dark kitchen, so you go to the living room, turn on the TV, and there’s a commercial for Johnson & Johnson baby soap, or something akin to that, and you fall into the weepy world of pregnancy. You feel helpless and worried and all alone… you sob and worry about the baby and whether or not you’ll be a good mother and what kind of baby soap is best and what is that twingie feeling anyway, dammit?!… and the next thing you know it’s 4 AM and you’re on the couch being awakened by two dachshunds that need to pee. The twingie pain is gone and you’re too tired to care. And you also need to pee.
Number 3: Mama-Bear Obstinacy. This emotional state hits when someone has dared question your choices or suggest something other than what you have set your mind to do. If you want to give birth while riding a gazelle and strumming a ukulele – by GOD that’s what you’re going to do! And, if you are riding that gazelle and strumming the uke through a meadow and you decide to name your child Meadow (whether it’s a girl or boy, by the way), God help the soul that merely hints at suggesting anything otherwise. Afterall, you’ve done a lot of research and you’ve just about driven yourself to the edge of insanity with information about the best way to give birth, and you are at that point where you know your shit and you are Superwoman. Roar.
Number 4: Murderous Rage. You get cut off in traffic, the credit card company is giving you a hard time, the cable guy didn’t show up during the 27-hour time slot, your dogs ate your favorite hand lotion, the semi-adult kid next door had yet another late night party (on a Tuesday!?!), and once again your husband has left dishes in the sink (when CLEARLY the dishwasher is empty) and finally, it is just too much – you are pushed too far and you lunge headfirst into the Murderous Rage state where you want to scream obscenities you haven’t used since college at everyone and flail a mace wildly in public. Afterall, don’t they KNOW you’re pregnant?!! There is really no way to cure or ease this emotional state, and it’s best that everyone simply stay out of your effing way until it passes, or until you hear another sappy song about babies and/or love and/or parenthood.
Number 5: Rainbow-Unicorn-Fairy-Peacefulness. The rarest and most fleeting of the emotions, this happy-go-lucky state is when you perceive all is right with the world. There are no weird twingie pains, your husband is being goopy-sweet, a family member has called without pregnancy advice, you just ate a fluffernutter sandwich, the sun is shining just right, the dogs are happily prancing around the deck chasing bumblebees, and all is well with the universe. You feel peaceful, almost zen, and suddenly want to do yoga.
“I will be a good, no, excellent mother…”
And then, after 5 minutes of bliss, something triggers emotion #1, 2, 3, or 4 and you’re feeling like your regular pregnant self again!
*We do not yet know the gender of our child, in case you just got really excited for a minute there. Sorry for inducing your excited state.
Also, thanks so much to Allie over at Hyperbole and a Half for the artwork that most accurately depicts my emotional states.