Parenting · Personal · Pregnancy

Pregnancy Hormones: Diary of an Unhinged Fatty

onedoesnotsimplyI’m almost 25 weeks gone now and the last few days have brought a new development in my pregnancy.

I’ve turned into an emotional wreck.

Okay, so anyone who knows me well enough will know that I’m not exactly the most…stable person at the best of times, but this is like some whole new level of emotional turbulence. Let me give you an example: yesterday, Husband and I were standing at the queue in Waitrose and there was a man, probably in his late seventies or early eighties, in front of us waiting to be served. The contents of his basket were a single serve apple crumble and a Radio Times. Upon seeing the loneliest collection of items ever, I proceeded to burst into tears in the middle of the supermarket. The thought of this poor old man, sitting alone with only the TV for company, eating his apple crumble made my heart hurt. I felt terrible for crying, though I’m pretty sure he didn’t see my woeful sobbing, but I just couldn’t help it.

It’s not just sadness that gets me, either. I’ve written before about how people’s lack of manners gets to me, especially when driving, but that seems to have escalated now too. I gave way to three people in a row the other day, two of whom failed to thank me, and I felt so cross about their ignorance that I could feel my pulse in my fingers. I sat in my car thinking (amongst plenty of words beginning with ‘f’ and ‘c’ that I won’t write here…) that I genuinely hoped every single one of those people tripped on their seatbelt on the way out of their cars and knocked their front teeth out. I was SEETHING.

As I said, I’m not exactly a measured person at the best of times – I’m a bit of a match-head (can I blame my ginger genes for that? They do say redheads are more fiery and my Dad is as red and fiery as they come!) and do tend to react before I properly absorb a situation, but it’s like that side of my personality had been amplified by a thousand times.  I keep thinking of that quote from Fight Club…”I am Jack’s raging bile duct”

I’m fairly sure it’s the pregnancy hormones doing it to me, and they aren’t going away any time soon – I’ve got 13 weeks left of being a human incubator, so I’m guessing there’s going to be plenty more tears and rage between now and the end of February.

If anyone has any tips with how I can ride this roller-coaster without losing my mind completely, I’d be really grateful for the advice. And do me a favour, don’t suggest “The Little Book of Calm”; my love of Black Books has rendered me terrified of tiny tomes.

Family · Health · Personal

Slave to my Hormones

PMTEver since I was about 9 years old, I’ve been a slave to my hormones. Every month I’d get that feeling of irrationality creeping in and making me react in ways that were far less reasonable than I would normally be. Sometimes, I’d know it was happening; like an out of body experience, I’d watch myself being aggressive and over-sensitive. Other times, I’d know fully well that I was acting differently and I didn’t care. I suffered physically too and I was diagnosed with PCOS at the age of about 14, which accounted for the pain and other issues that I suffered.

When I was 16, I went on the pill. I had a boyfriend and it was a no-brainer, serving as protection and helping to regulate things that had been so irregular in the past. Trouble was, it gave me hideous migraines, so I started having a Depo injection, which was far from perfect and I put on a ton of weight.

Over the years, I’ve tried every type of contraception there is, and after Sausage was born, I had an implant fitted. It wasn’t immediately perfect but after the first three months, everything stopped. And I mean everything. I didn’t feel the monthly struggle with irrationality and although towards the end I got a bit of pain at a certain time of the month, it worked. Trouble is, implants don’t last forever and I had it removed a couple of months ago. I didn’t have it replaced because we may decide to try for another child and I don’t want to either wait another 3 years or potentially have to have another surgical procedure to have it removed. So, I’m going contraceptive-commando at the moment, which is fine, except that I can feel the hormones creeping up on me again.

Poor Husband, I can fully admit that I’m not a picnic to live with. I can be over-sensitive at the best of times, but when you chuck raging hormones into the mix…well, he must have a halo hidden somewhere in his desk drawer! I’m like a stroppy teenager when I get going.

BUT.

I’ve decided to take a stand.

I’m not going to be a slave to my hormones any more. I’m taking control and employing a level of self-awareness to overcome my irrationality. I’m not saying that I’m going to be successful 100% of the time, but I’m an adult with a brain and I refuse to allow myself to act and feel badly when there’s something I can do about it. Whenever I feel myself starting to slip into that place where I snap, over-react and generally escalate every conversation to a point of confrontation and aggression, I’m setting an internal bell to ring to remind me to reel myself in.

I’m not trying to betray the sisterhood. There’s no denying that being bloated and in pain, with the added injection of crazy-making hormones can make you feel lousy and PMT is a genuine medical condition with real symptoms. And, do you know what? Sometime’s it’s NOT PMT, sometimes the person you’re snapping at just is a douchebag, regardless of where you are in your cycle! But I’ve allowed my mood swings to rule my life for too long and I have to try to take control for my own sanity and the sake of those who have to live with me.

So, sistaz, how do you cope with the monthly black cloud? I’m guessing copious amounts of crisps and chocolate aren’t a cure otherwise I’d be an angel every month. What do you do when PMT rears its ugly head?

(ON a slightly different note, do you know how hard is was to find a PMT-related illustration for this post that wasn’t MASSIVELY patronising/sexist/offensive? What the frick, dudes of the world? What the frick?)