The dark side of pregnancy is anger.
It can take many forms – from blinding, red hot rage to brooding, bitter resentment – but one thing is fairly certain (at least in my book): it's generally irrational. Or, at least, the extent of it is irrational.
And, of course, not every pregnant women experiences it. But I do. Early in my first trimester, I wrote, "I’m angry. Angry, angry, angry, all the time." The anger went away as the pregnancy progressed, but now that I'm in week 31, it's back. As it turns out, I'm a bit of a textbook case - at least according to this article, which states, "Most find that moodiness flares up at around 6 to 10 weeks, eases up in the second trimester, and then reappears as their pregnancy winds to a close."
That's me. Except that the word "moodiness" is euphemistic in my situation. The anger is a beast, and the beast is me. I wake up with it, go to sleep with it, live with it, fight with it, hate it.
I am sure hormones are to blame. I know this sounds weird, or like I'm rationalizing, which I probably am - but I think the hormones bring out a misguided maternal instinct. The anger "serves" to protect the fetus (except it's too crazy, so it doesn't. It's like using a snow plow to clean up a fallen ice cube). Stand too close to me? I get mad. Lurk behind me? I get mad. Threaten my baby's well-being in any way (and this can range from cutting me off in traffic to knocking too loudly on the door (yes, UPS man, I'm talking to you)) – I get mad.
Also, I create fictional scenarios and get mad about them. "No, we don't have your Nexium, and we won't have any until next week," I imagined the pharmacy clerk telling me this morning.
"But can't you just give me a few? Otherwise, I'll get sick," I imagined myself responding.
"You're saying I have to go without?"
"Isn't there something you can do?"
"Can't you call it in to a different pharmacy?"
"Oh. Well, I guess." (Clerk lazily looks out window, chewing gum and sucking up her excess saliva.)
"WELL, WHY DIDN'T YOU JUST SAY THAT IN THE FIRST PLACE? WHAT IS YOUR *#@$& PROBLEM!!!" I bang my fist on the counter, knock over some point-of-purchase energy packs.
(What really happened, of course, is I that I requested my medicine and was given it. But by then, I was seething with rage.)
I know I'm not the only one. Someone once told me that she got into a fistfight with a taxi driver when she was pregnant. And, naturally, I've Googled "pregnancy" and "anger" - and I've read what comes up. So I know there are lots of pregnant women out there who are mad at the world, just like me.
Photos from iStock
This post was originally published in January 2011.
Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.