While carrying a baby is absolutely amazing, it's pretty common knowledge that pregnancy can be an emotional roller coaster. This wild ride can leave you more exhausted than a trek up Mount Everest or with enough energy to stop a freight train.
There are seven distinct emotional stages of pregnancy: Elated, Sick, Tired, Glowing, Baby Crazy, Uncomfortable and Get this baby out of me!
Let’s start from the top and work our way through this emotional wellspring that is pregnancy.
You have taken a pregnancy test and are now waiting on tenterhooks to see whether or not a positive result emerges from the stick you just had to pee on. Let’s be real, waiting is the hardest part. You go from being scared out of your mind to being so happy your smile might just break your jaw. Once you see that positive result you are positively filled with joy. A baby! There is a baby growing in my belly, I am making a human!
Whether you have been pregnant before or not the positive test result sends wonderful tingles of excitement throughout your body. As daunting as parenthood is or may seem, making a baby is undoubtedly really exciting. At this stage in your developing pregnancy, nothing can get you down.
You'll never forget the excitement you felt when you first found out you were pregnant
You are now at the beginning of the roller coaster that is pregnancy. It is similar to the butterflies that flit around your stomach while waiting in line for the newest, fastest and most wicked roller coaster in town. Daunting, exciting, nerve wracking and amazing are all the feelings rushing around you right now.
Settle in to this new feeling and prepare yourself as you inch towards the car at the front of the coaster, because that is where you will sit. At the very front where closing your eyes will not shield you from all the emotions that will rage through your body during this process.
The elation begins to wane once you are fully strapped in the coaster and are inching your way ever so slowly towards the first downhill plummet. Every thought is about how not to toss those cookies the baby demanded that you eat five seconds ago.
Welcome my friends to the “morning sickness” part of pregnancy. Now some of you may be the lucky ones who have no symptoms of growing a human. Others will feel it mildly and some will be debilitated by this so called “morning sickness.” Please, don’t let the name fool you morning sickness can occur at any time at any place with little provocation.
At this point on our emotional rollercoaster all you can feel is sick. Everything makes you feel nauseous and the foods you once loved are now your arch enemies. I have been through this process twice, neither time has the emotional state of perpetual sickness not joined me for my pregnancies. It is likened to having the flu, you are tired constantly and you don’t want to eat or go out.
You frequently have to run to the bathroom--because, well no one really knows and the smallest things can set you off.
If it's not your sense of smell making you sick, then you're just sick for the sake of being sick
For instance, let’s say that you loved chocolate cake before you got pregnant (because seriously, who doesn’t like chocolate cake) and now you got a whiff of cake at the mall and you are now sprinting for the nearest trash can. Incredibly embarrassing and since being sick is your constant companion in body and mind it is safe to say that this is an emotional state.
Fear not my fellow baby incubators, this doesn’t last long. There is no set length of time you must suffer though it (if you are one of the unlucky ones). It could be weeks, months or even most of your pregnancy. Our roller coaster is just beginning. we are inches away from the first drop off. Hold on tight the next bit is a doozy or maybe just drowsy.
Please note that if you are constantly throwing up and can’t keep anything down CALL YOUR DOCTOR. Staying healthy and hydrated is extremely important in the process of growing a human, if in doubt call your doctor.
You are plunging towards the Earth on this freight train of a roller coaster. Sick to your stomach and exhausted with the swift change of altitude while at the same time being exhilarated, because you are growing a baby! This whole making a baby business is a long tiring process that is frankly a miracle and really exciting.
With all these physical and emotional changes comes the side effect of being tired. Exhausted, drained and weary all you can think about is sleeping. Walking to the bathroom can be the hardest thing you have ever done sometimes. Tired, is your new state of being. Everything is tiring when before baby it was easy breezy. Waking up for work is especially hard, even if you got a full 8 hours of sleep.
I honestly think this is your body’s way of prepping you for all-nighters once the baby is born.
You are banking up some serious snooze time right about now, even at the most inopportune moments your body will demand sleep. I remember with my second pregnancy being so tired that I would lay my head down in my cubicle and take a nap on my lunch break. I was tired all the time. My eyes would cross and go bleary if I stayed in one place for too long, so I had frequent breaks to get moving again.
It is hard to imagine being sleepy on a roller coaster, but there is always that lull once you have descended and are rising up again that you get a bit tired. This is that point in your pregnancy, you are rising up after the fall. Your body is prepping for what is to come, sleepless nights and putting all the pieces together to make a tiny human.
This emotional roller coaster (or train wreck, it depends on who you ask) is just about half over. You have gone through a couple of turns and loops and you are exhilarated! At this point you are really excited about being pregnant. These happy radiant feelings shine through and everyone can see how beautifully pregnant you are.
All that sleep has made you glow with all those wonderful pregnancy hormones. Even if you feel miserable some days and not pretty, you are beautiful. I felt terribly unattractive during both of my pregnancies but I look back at photos and I see a stunning woman. At this amazing stage in our emotions we literally radiate, everyone can see you are more beautiful than ever.
Even if people don’t know about your pregnancy they will likely comment on how lovely you are.
Take this time to remember that you are a beautiful woman. Cherish the sleep that will become increasingly more elusive in the days to come and pamper yourself. You might even want to consider taking some head shots because you will look amazing. If you are starting to swell and maybe have gained some weight, it doesn’t matter you are beautifully pregnant. Celebrate that, get some photos done and relish in this emotional state.
As we move through the twists and turns of this roller coaster you can get a bit delirious. This always happens on long roller coasters, after so many ups and downs you have no idea when it will end, where you are in the process or what is up next. Thankfully, you are front row center for everything which makes you acutely aware you are entering the next portion of the ride.
3 Baby Crazy
There is no denying you are having a baby at this point. Every thought you have is obsessed with the fact that your tiny human is coming out. This stage of pregnancy induced delirium on our emotion coaster is normal and can happen at any time, driving everyone around us batty.
This is when you hear about women going to the store and buying everything baby related. It really doesn’t matter if you have done this before, you will still be all about baby at this point. If it isn’t shopping for baby stuff, you are researching every step of your pregnancy or maybe you are designing the nursery. You can be many forms of baby crazy and sometimes all at once.
We will slowly watch our less interested and not so close friends drift away at this point.
They simply cannot take all the baby stuff. You will soon discover who your true friends are. They are the ones that will go with you shopping, even if you just went yesterday. Or they will listen while you regale them with your ideas of what you will do as a mommy or how you want to paint the room. Keep these friends close because they will commiserate with you later and you will love having someone to talk to other than your significant other.
I personally loved this stage of pregnancy. Everything was about the baby. I even dragged my poor daughter in with me and she got baby crazy too. The thing about this stage of our coaster is that the unwitting will catch this like a fever and there will be no stopping you. You are wound up so tightly at this point that you almost don’t notice when the next stage of our coaster assaults your emotions.
After all the excitement and seemingly endless twists and turns it slowly creeps upon you that suddenly you are supremely uncomfortable. As with all roller coasters, the end is always really difficult to muster through. While you are excited that you are reaching your destination, there is a lingering sadness that you are in fact almost done and your body is starting to yell at you for the constant attacks it has been receiving from this coaster.
Most likely you are heavy with child at this point. While you were shopping and designing and going a little bit nuts your baby was growing. While still a tiny human your body is doing it’s very best to accommodate this little person. Your hips are spreading to make room, your inside bits are shifting and you probably have to pee ALL THE TIME.
You don't fit comfortably into your maternity wear or any other place for that matter
While this is all completely normal, it doesn’t change the fact that you are uncomfortable. Sleep is becoming more elusive as you struggle to get comfortable in what was once your refuge. This is where you will remember your sleepy days and wonder where they went to. Your body was preparing you for sleepless nights by charging up your batteries this is where you start to use that stored sleep.
I personally think that this helps prepare for not sleeping through the night with an infant. To this day I cannot comfortably sleep through the night and my baby is sleeping soundly at 10 months. When he is older I am hoping my body will let me sleep more when I am secure in knowing he doesn’t need me as much (excuse me while I cry a little over that).
1 GET THIS BABY OUT OF ME
Here we are my friends, we are nearing the end. We can see the gates where we will end our journey of carrying a little baby in our bellies. The problem is, this stage doesn’t end soon enough. We are torn between wanting to ride the coaster longer and wanting desperately to get off the ride. We are now in our next stage of this emotion coaster, GET THIS BABY OUT OF ME!
You are tired and waddling to the bathroom every five minutes. Your stomach is the size of a walnut, but you want to eat everything. Which in turn makes you want to throw it all back up and you are enormously pregnant.
This is the point where I looked forward to my weekly visits to the OB/GYN. I wanted them to tell me the baby was about to fall out so it would all be over. There is a constant dichotomy between wanting to stay pregnant for the baby and wanting to not be pregnant all at the same time. These warring emotions are your constant companions until it is “D Day” aka delivery day.
Even if your due date is only a week away this thought will cross your mind
You can see the finish line but you just can’t touch it yet. This part may remind you of coming into the gate of the roller coaster where you get off, but you have to wait for some unknown reason before disembarking. You can see where you will exit but the attendants just won’t let you. The best advice I can give is, it will all be over before you know it.
You may want to evict the baby but they will come when they are ready or the doctor deems that they have to come out. Try to enjoy this last peace before the storm of babyhood when they just will not stop growing.
Congratulations mommas and poppas, you made it through the ride. The coaster is over and you have a wonderful baby for all your hard work and determination to make it through the roughest coaster of your life. While this may seem like the end and you might be mourning having that little baby swimming in your belly, your constant companion, don’t worry this really is just the beginning.