Yes you read that title correctly, today we will be discussing those nasty pregnancy hormones. I'm not talking about the hormones that cause Morning sickness or headaches, I am talking about those hormones that turn you into a monster, and the next a blubbering mess. I'll tell you how they've affected me, my tips for dealing with them and recognising them, and how you can keep your relationship strong even though you may not be feeling strong.
What to look out for?
For some pregnant women, they experience fluctuations in hormones that affect moods, right from when they first discover they are pregnant. For me typically my moods begin to change in late second trimester and last right up until i give birth. These particular hormones can affect everyone differently, and the severity of mood swings or emotions are felt differently for everyone. I know for myself both pregnancies have been different, and both pregnancies i have felt extreme emotions. In my first pregnancy, i experienced one emotion but very strongly over and over again, and in particular i found myself crying over the smallest of inconveniences. If i couldn't achieve something i really wanted to, or if i really wanted to eat something but when i finally ate it, it didn't taste how i wanted, i would cry. It was so embarrassing and its one of those parts of pregnancy you really wish was a myth, but it actually isn't. In my current pregnancy, unfortunately for my husband, i have been experiencing severe mood swings, and instead of being sad that things aren't working the way i need or want them to, i am experiencing irritation. Everything is irritating me, and i feel so angry and frustrated by it that i end up needing to have a good cry every now and then to feel some kind of relief from the built up frustration. It can make dealing with everyday things really stressful and annoying. That's hormones, and that's pretty much what you have to deal with everyday.
A good way to identify if you're experiencing these types of hormones, is to ask other people around you. Hopefully they are respectful in their responses, but its good to try and remain level headed. Sometimes hearing it from other people helps you to realise you aren't being your usual self. For me i can tell when i'm having one of those hormonal days, as everyone around me tells me that i'm cranky or not being myself. This is usually when i try to reflect on my actions and the way i'm speaking to people. It's very hard to recognise when i'm acting emotional without being told by people around me.
Ways to deal with hormones
There isn't a great deal of ways to be able to deal with your emotions, but i have a few little tricks that help me on those days where my emotions are a bit too much to handle.
Breathing: A good way to ease some of the tension and frustration or sadness you might be feeling is to spend some quiet moments breathing slowly. For me having a moment to just breathe quietly helps to calm down and to switch my brain off of fast mode.
Walking: Going for a walk can sometimes give you a chance to focus on something else or let go whatever it is that is bothering you. Walking also gives me a chance to breathe and have some time to myself which helps me to think about things at my own pace.
Talking it out: Sometimes getting everything out helps a lot. A good rant can really get out that frustration before it explodes and gets too much. Talking to my mum always helps me because i know she will listen and let me rant when i need it. Bottling your emotions makes everything worse, so letting it out can always give you decent relief.
Do something you enjoy: If you like to read, or watch a tv show that makes you smile, take a bath, whatever brings you joy, do it. Having some time to yourself, doing something that makes you happy, helps deal with being upset or angry. For me, i love to read and it helps to take my mind off what was upsetting me.
They're small and simple tricks but they can make a big difference when you are feeling low or stressed.
Keeping your relationship strong
As you've probably read before in some of my other blogs, i'm quite big on talking and communicating with your partner, and this particular issue is the same. When you're having low, stressed and hormonal days, its important to let your partner know how you are feeling. Or if you recognise it to begin with, give them a heads up. For example if i know i'm just feeling edgy and upset, i will usually say something to my husband along the lines of "I'm a bit cranky today, and i apologise in advance, just letting you know." And that usually gives him an idea of where i'm at and how i may behave but not necessarily on purpose. If i am feeling overwhelmed i typically need to sit down and talk to my husband about it. It just helps me to identify with what is affecting me, and helps us to work through it together. My husband is so supportive of me, and whatever i am going through so communication is a really important things for us. He will also help me to feel better by just reassuring me that things are fine and i just need a moment to catch my breath. Its always good to warn your partner when you find out you are pregnant some of the changes that you will more than likely go through, especially hormones. Letting your partner know what will happen can get them ready for those days, and then they can help you get through your emotions, which is super helpful and makes you feel less alone and isolated.
All in all, hormones suck! But you don't have to go through it alone, and you don't have to just let it bottle up until you explode. Always take time for yourself, and if you need to talk it out, talk it out. But most of all, always know that when you are having those days during pregnancy, it's not your fault, and it's perfectly okay to feel overwhelmed and a little stressed. Like i always say, pregnancy is hard, but there are ways to make it easier!