Is this normal? Irritable, anxious, feeling regretful, and a vent... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 9 Old 02-04-2013, 07:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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!!

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#2 of 9 Old 02-04-2013, 08:46 AM
 
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hug.gif I'm so sorry you are going through a such a hectic time and pregnancy hormones are just making it worse. I know I have had times during this pregnancy (twins) where I get very irritated with DD (3) and then feel bad that I'm not being my normal patient self. I try to give myself a break though because sometimes I'm just too tired to deal, but I do have a DH who can scoop her up and do stuff with her so I can get a break and that helps a lot! As for nesting, I feel like I've been nesting on and off this whole pregnancy, but my first one I didn't get that intense nesting urge until the day I went into labor. I'm sorry you are having some regret and remorse about your unplanned pregnancy. I think you will have joy in your child, but I do understand a big feeling down about it. I really am excited about my twins, but I am still feeling occasionally cheated and regretful that I'm going to have two newborns at once instead of one, that I'm going to have 3 kids now instead of our planned for 2, etc. I think the joy will outweigh everything else, but having my plans turned upside-down was and still is upsetting!

Some advice that may or may not help you, take what might work for you:

1. Get outside for sure, if walking is making for too many worrisome contractions, then just sit outside or take a drive if that is possible or even just open up all the drapes/blinds in the house and sit in a nice sunny room. I know I often feel the need to just get out of the house and even an errand to pick up milk and bread makes me feel better!

2. Get some help with your kids, you sound like you desperately need a break! If DH isn't able/willing to help, then call in some favors from friends/family. Even if DH/friend/family can only take a kid or two off your hands, that would probably help quite a bit.

3. Give your DH some specific tasks to complete. You are 35 weeks pregnant with 4 kids, he needs to pitch in more. If he isn't figuring out stuff to do himself, give him a list. You shouldn't have to, but I'd rather see some load off your shoulders. And if you give him tasks to complete (with a end date if it isn't stuff to do immediately), then he can do them when he wants so you don't have to be the "bad guy" telling him he can't spend time with his friends (though I am very annoyed for you that he is spending way too much time with his friends and shortchanging his family!)

4. Diet: do something small, pick at least one food that is good for your body that you like and eat it once a day. For iron, if you don't like meat much, what about beans or leafy green veggies? And when you eat your iron-rich foods, eat with Vitamin C (supplement or citrus or whatever) so you will absorb it better. And I'd try to boost your protein too, that helps me feel better when pregnant for sure.

5. Make a list of all you need/want to get done before and after the baby. This is very helpful for me anyway for relieving anxiety about it. Then I try to come up with a plan for when to get things done (and again, whatever you can offload onto DH, do it!)

6. When you are up for it, have another talk with DH. Wait until you are ready for it though, sounds like you aren't now. He needs to step it up in a big way! I would tell him your feelings and then lay out what you need from him. Spending X amount of time a week with you and the family. Talking on specific responsibilities. Giving you a few hours out once or twice a month. He is not being fair to you and your kids that's for sure!

Katie trekkie.gif - Married to Mike 06/02/01, Mom to Sydney Anne born 11/21/09 and Alice Maeryn & Oliver Thomas born 04/24/13  hug.gif 

 

 

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#3 of 9 Old 02-05-2013, 07:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Katie - thanks for the response. I guess a lot of people read this thread but only one response -- does that mean I am really crazy?! ha!

 

I took some of your advice yesterday, including making a list (or actually three lists, but who's counting?) I also did some research on potentially adding some more child care help before and/or after baby is born. We had already thought of some help AFTER, but may add an extra set of hands now and then before baby comes.

 

Things are a little better today. DH is actually in town until Weds morning this week so we did a couple of small things last night that helped my anxiety level. If we can get a few more small things done today, then a few more over the weekend, I can see a light at the end of the tunnel, kind of. I also got in a few subtle comments regarding his choices on the weekend, etc. Not a big confrontation, but fairly direct (e.g., not passive-aggressive), and he seemed to get my point. Let's hope so!

 

I think that I am also somewhat exhausted from being sick x2 and then just not sleeping well for two straight weeks. Trying to catch up little by little. Sleep really does change one's outlook. Mom was right -- things DO look different in the morning. And there are "days like these."

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read and respond to my post. Clearly I was losing it a little, and it means so much to have support, even if it is over the internet ;)

 

And good luck with those twins - the first six months can be a marathon, but honestly, it is such a joy and privilege to raise/rear twins. As I often say, "there's nothing in this world like having a twin." Our twins are such a hoot - yours will be, too. If you possibly can arrange any nighttime help early on, I highly/strongly recommend it. Even if a night or two a week, just so you can rest. I attribute successful breastfeeding of twins (with two older kids!!) to having had nighttime help as I recovered from an emergency c-section and tried to learn how to nurse two at once, etc. Honestly, it was easier and more enjoyable than having had two 17 months apart (that was our first two) - which meant two totally different sets of needs, and (at the time) no help in sight. Oh, last thing -- some doctors/nurses/others will tell you it's impossible to breastfeed twins exclusively - that's hogwash :) I not only fed my twins, but another baby as well via donated breast milk -- that's THREE. It can be done, but does require some help with something or some things.

 

If you ever want to "talk" about anything related to having twins, PM me, please!!! I will tell you the good/bad/ugly/awesome parts :)

 

Have a great Tuesday!!

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#4 of 9 Old 02-05-2013, 08:27 AM
 
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Ha, probably people just weren't sure what to say either that or we are both crazy smile.gif I'm glad my advice and support might have helped a bit, I hear you on sleep, it is my best friend and the thing I fear the most losing with newborns!

Thanks for the advice on twins, I do plan to BF exclusively and so far all care providers have been very positive about BFing twins. That's awesome that you were able to donate BM on top of feeding twins smile.gif For help, I have my Mom ready to come help as much as possible and she is good nighttime help too, so I think I will be ok. DH will help with his paternity leave at the beginning and as he can once he's back to work too and my 3-year-old DD will be going to daycare part-time which will be good for me and for her as she is a little social butterfly smile.gif I will probably take you up on your PM offer sometime, I hope you don't regret it.

Katie trekkie.gif - Married to Mike 06/02/01, Mom to Sydney Anne born 11/21/09 and Alice Maeryn & Oliver Thomas born 04/24/13  hug.gif 

 

 

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#5 of 9 Old 02-05-2013, 08:35 AM
 
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I've been very sensitive and grumpy this time around too.

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#6 of 9 Old 02-05-2013, 06:36 PM
 
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I am glad you talked to your DH and made your point. He should pitch in. I also have to be very specific with my DH who also works long hours. Sounds like you approached it well.

 

And NO you are NOT crazy! I have been very irritable this pregnancy. This is #3 for me and having 2 kids at home is hard enough, I can't imagine 4 (although maybe someday, who knows!). I have been short on patience. With #2 I know I was very cranky at the end, I was very big, tired, and hot (August) and wanted everyone to just leave me alone. I hope you get the help and support you need mama, take care of yourself, this too will pass. It's a hard stage when they are all so little.


Granola-ey, crunchy, marathoning, natural living Christian mamatreehugger.gif down south with DHguitar.gif and DD1 (6)dust.gif, DD2 (2)energy.gif, and DD3 babygirl.gif.    homebirth.jpgwinner.jpgcd.giffemalesling.GIFgoorganic.jpghomeschool.gif
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#7 of 9 Old 02-05-2013, 08:45 PM
 
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Vachi73 , I am so glad the support is helping you. I just wrote a post, on one of my better days, trying to convince myself that stress during pregnancy isnt so bad for the baby, b/c its hard enough keeping myself together¬ blame myself for my feelings! And feelings change SO much depending on diet, sleep, our partners, everything&everyone. Its hard doing so much, i feel i do &this is my first baby on the way. I wonder will there ever be enough me-time, &how that will evolve. How can i stay calm all the time?? How do we all survive this motherhood journey? I couldnt do it without other women &mothers, thats all i know. Its just not the same with my partner, its so hard emotionally when we are so different him &me, the way we communicate. I have developed.a habit of reading psycology articles to explain things. But in the moment, spilling cups &all the stuff that children do, i think i must be headed for never ending chaos..how can i turn it around? Very good question that i think about all the time, at least we are trying i say, we want to make.things better at least?
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#8 of 9 Old 02-05-2013, 09:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Quinalla View Post

hug.gif I'm so sorry you are going through a such a hectic time and pregnancy hormones are just making it worse. I know I have had times during this pregnancy (twins) where I get very irritated with DD (3) and then feel bad that I'm not being my normal patient self. I try to give myself a break though because sometimes I'm just too tired to deal, but I do have a DH who can scoop her up and do stuff with her so I can get a break and that helps a lot! As for nesting, I feel like I've been nesting on and off this whole pregnancy, but my first one I didn't get that intense nesting urge until the day I went into labor. I'm sorry you are having some regret and remorse about your unplanned pregnancy. I think you will have joy in your child, but I do understand a big feeling down about it. I really am excited about my twins, but I am still feeling occasionally cheated and regretful that I'm going to have two newborns at once instead of one, that I'm going to have 3 kids now instead of our planned for 2, etc. I think the joy will outweigh everything else, but having my plans turned upside-down was and still is upsetting!

Some advice that may or may not help you, take what might work for you:

1. Get outside for sure, if walking is making for too many worrisome contractions, then just sit outside or take a drive if that is possible or even just open up all the drapes/blinds in the house and sit in a nice sunny room. I know I often feel the need to just get out of the house and even an errand to pick up milk and bread makes me feel better!

2. Get some help with your kids, you sound like you desperately need a break! If DH isn't able/willing to help, then call in some favors from friends/family. Even if DH/friend/family can only take a kid or two off your hands, that would probably help quite a bit.

3. Give your DH some specific tasks to complete. You are 35 weeks pregnant with 4 kids, he needs to pitch in more. If he isn't figuring out stuff to do himself, give him a list. You shouldn't have to, but I'd rather see some load off your shoulders. And if you give him tasks to complete (with a end date if it isn't stuff to do immediately), then he can do them when he wants so you don't have to be the "bad guy" telling him he can't spend time with his friends (though I am very annoyed for you that he is spending way too much time with his friends and shortchanging his family!)

4. Diet: do something small, pick at least one food that is good for your body that you like and eat it once a day. For iron, if you don't like meat much, what about beans or leafy green veggies? And when you eat your iron-rich foods, eat with Vitamin C (supplement or citrus or whatever) so you will absorb it better. And I'd try to boost your protein too, that helps me feel better when pregnant for sure.

5. Make a list of all you need/want to get done before and after the baby. This is very helpful for me anyway for relieving anxiety about it. Then I try to come up with a plan for when to get things done (and again, whatever you can offload onto DH, do it!)

6. When you are up for it, have another talk with DH. Wait until you are ready for it though, sounds like you aren't now. He needs to step it up in a big way! I would tell him your feelings and then lay out what you need from him. Spending X amount of time a week with you and the family. Talking on specific responsibilities. Giving you a few hours out once or twice a month. He is not being fair to you and your kids that's for sure!

 

These are all the things that I would have recommended, but wouldn't have said so well. So...

 

yeahthat.gif

 

I've been extra irritable this pregnancy. It's my third, and sometimes, my two... drive me up a wall! Especially last night, on our way to taking DF to work, the kids rode with. DS fell asleep almost immediately (It was getting close to bedtime.), but the *entire* 30 minute drive to the store, DD talked. The *entire* time we were at the store, DD talked. And the *entire* 45 minute ride back home, DD talked. hammer.gif I already had a headache, so I kept saying things like, "DD, I know you're excited for (camping, new baby to be born, our first outdoor party coming up in summer, etc.) but *please* think about it in your head." or "DD, it's past bedtime, you should try and go to sleep. I'll wake you up when we get home." and she'd say, "Okay." but two seconds later, it'd be "Mommy, and if the baby gets..." or "When the baby is born..." or "At the party, I'm going to..." etc, etc, etc. I love her to pieces,I really, really do. But sometimes, I want quiet. redface.gif


sleeping.gifMama to DD dust.gif(12.2005), DS1 sleepytime.gif (01.2009), DS2 babyboy.gif (04.28.2013) with DH heartbeat.gif04.10.13!!heartbeat.gif namaste.gif

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#9 of 9 Old 02-06-2013, 06:01 AM
 
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I'm only expecting number two but I can SO relate. If you're crazy, I'm joining the club wink1.gif ! My DD is 22 months, I'm only 15 weeks along but maaaaaaaan, my patience is starting to wear thin! Yesterday I became a blubbering mess when DD had a tantrum (I wasn't letting her watch ANOTHER sesame street). Seriously, my two year old has a moderate tantrum and I'm doubting myself as a mother and feeling like I'll never do a good job with two kids. I'm still exhausted and the house is driving me crazy. I feel like I need to purge it from top to bottom and I'm getting anxious about it already. Pregnancy really messes with you and not having much help with a big family would make it do much tougher! I'm glad to hear you have some help lined up. I would absolutely reccomend getting some help now so that you can complete your nesting and feel more ready for baby. For me that's a big part of the anxiety and anytime I accomplish something around the house, I feel better.
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