Confessions of a 40 year-old pregnant mother of two

21 weeks—I’ve been moody, cranky, hormonal, impatient, and pretty much impossible to be around. Especially if you are my mom or my husband. I figured the two anchors in my life are the only two human beings who can possibly put up with my crap and still love me. Right? I don’t know how they’ve survived so far. I think I’m directing my anger towards them because I’m scared.

What am I thinking having another child? How am I going to do this? Am I going to survive? All these questions have plagued me this past month. I’ve experienced as many mood swings as we have temperature changes here in Houston. One day we had freezing rain, with a high of 32 and three days later (literally), it was 72 and sunny. As grateful and blessed as I am to be pregnant, I can’t deny the dark feelings I’ve had lately.

I’ve been yelling at my kids more than usual, losing my patience, and having to hear things from my 3 year-old like: “God doesn’t like it when you yell, mami.” Poor lil man. Then I apologize and a few hours later, do it all over again!

This pregnancy has been more challenging than my previous two. Not just because of the unbearable nausea and exhaustion of the first trimester, but also because of the emotional roller coaster I feel I’ve been riding. Here are some things that have helped me cope with the madness:

1. Vent to a person that I can trust, without feeling judged or without them wanting to “fix” me.

2. Eat ham and cheese sandwiches. (It’s really good, nitrate-free, low-salt ham, and gluten-free bread. And the cheese… it’s mozzarella, and I need it!)

3. Be outdoors, close to nature, with nothing but blue skies above and green grass below (picture). I wish I could say exercise, which is what I need to do. But I haven’t done it. So the next best thing is chasing the kids while they bike around the neighborhood, take them to the park on long walks, and stay as active as possible. After doing 4 triathlons in the past 2 years, I’ve completely stopped training, and exercising. I really feel I need to do more, and it’s not too late, so I hereby declare that before little S is born, I will hit the gym.

4. Watch “House of Cards”. It’s a little dark and convoluted, but it takes my mind off things and I love Kevin Spacey.

5. Pray. The less I pray, the more lost I feel. And it’s a proven fact in my life. So I need to remind myself when I hit a rough spot, that I am not alone. I pray for God’s grace and peace. I feel his hand reaching for me and I hold on as tight as I can. What else can I do? I know he knows my past, present and future. Only he can guide me. The other night, after having a break-down and feeling like I wanted to shave my head, and run away… I didn’t know what else to do. I sat on the bathroom floor and cried.  I looked up and saw “My Daily Catholic Bible”, hidden underneath baby wipes and brushes. I got it last year.  You read 20 minutes a day and in a year, you’ve read the whole thing! I reached for it and opened it to this: “You have been told, O mortal, what is good, and what the Lord requires of you: Only do justice and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God.” -Micah 5:8

Easy enough. Now I just have to do that.  Pregnancy is such a miracle. Such an opportunity to repair, heal, grow, and make space for all that God wants to give us. I am open. Listening. Ready. And hoping these hormones settle down!

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