Hi. I am 35 weeks with #5, and find myself increasingly, unusually irritable and anxious. Not about the birth itself - which is somewhat a relief - but the reality of parenting five kids as nearly a single parent. Everything my four current children do is annoying me. Things that usually would generate at worst a wry smile - for example, the 3yo spilling his 1" of milk AGAIN at breakfast this morning; or the two oldest getting in a fairly typical fight while getting dressed before school this AM; or the fact that my oldest is the prototype for the slowest person on earth no matter what we do or say to prod him along; or the fact that neither of the 3yo seems to be remotely close to being potty trained for poop ... etc. Every little thing just irritates me. I am so short-tempered it's almost scary. Not in the sense that I would strike a child (NO! I wouldn't!) but just muttering things to myself under my breath constantly and making verbal digs at my largely AWOL husband (who constantly travels for work, or is obsessed about it when he isn't traveling).
I do not remember feeling this level of anxiety or irritability with my first two kids. With the twins, they were an emergency delivery 8 weeks early, so I never got to this point in the pregnancy. Is this normal?! Will it pass? Will I feel anything besides cranky and irritable before this baby comes? When is that 'nesting' energy surge coming?? (I really, really need it. Part of the anxiety is how little has been done to prepare for baby's arrival - and not just in terms of baby gear setup/etc., but things like summer plans for the other four, preschool options for the twins for the fall, etc. I feel anxious just typing that out.)
Am I going to be depressed after the baby is born, or will there be some joy in this for me?? To be honest, this was not exactly planned ... and I find myself feeling remorse that I let it happen (sure, it takes two, I get that; and I don't want to even say the word "regret" out loud, but that's truly how I feel right this moment). Please, tell me that will not persist forever??
Does the exhaustion ever pass?? I know I was slightly anemic at 28 weeks, but I can't tolerate the iron supps. I do what I can on diet, but I don't love meat all that much. Anyone have other ideas on that? I've also had two pretty significant viral illnesses since mid-Dec, and I know that's a factor here, too. Still getting over the second. And then had a death in extended family.
Sheesh, just writing all that down - it's no wonder I feel sluggish and overwhelmed.
Thanks for reading this far.
Now the venting part:
I think that some help from my DH would be great, but that's so incredibly unlikely to happen that it's useless. I got so worked up before the holidays along the same topic - he was not helping at all, and was in fact doing things detramental to being a part of the family - until I finally just accepted that he was not going to ever do anything to help, and did it all myself instead. Sure, I was still mad (I am still irritated about that, too, but it's better with some time and perspective - he doesn't put as much emphasis on making sure that the kids' Christmas is great; he thinks less effort would be fine, etc.), but it got done and we had a fantastic holiday anyway...
Yes, I have tried to talk with him about these feelings. But even though he acknowledges my feelings, he doesn't change his behaviors. He still wants to spend his few non-working hours each week doing activities with his work colleagues, not me and not our kids. It's almost not worth the fight.
I also think that some bright sunshine and exercise would help me, but every time I try, I end up with contractions ... sigh. Soon enough (two more weeks) and I won't be deterred by that, but having had preemies before, I think I'll just wait two more weeks to re-start walking plan...I'm also sure that I could improve my diet and sleep hygiene. Who can't, right?
Okay, somewhat better after "dumping" this out on the keyboard. Thanks so much for reading this far. I feel so overwhelmed, and the regret part is just making me really sad/angry at myself. I need to find a way to turn this ship around, and quickly!!