I'm a Pregnant Jerk -- Are You?

Jenny Benjamin
15

volcanoWhen you're pregnant, you may suddenly find that strangers are opening doors for you, offering to let you cut in line at the bathroom or grocery store, giving you their seat on the bus. Hey, my feeling is that you should enjoy it while you can because you've got a little baby right there in your belly and you damn well deserve it! But when it comes to your personal relationships, you've got to be careful not to take advantage of their good intentions, and you shouldn't make too many excuses for bad behavior. There's only so much abuse one husband or partner can take, right?

I say this with my head bowed low in shame, because in the last couple of weeks, the pregnancy hormones have started to get the best of me, and this formerly sweet, loving, docile human being has become a bit of a cranky biotch. And it's like I can't help it!

Unfortunately, my poor sweet husband is forced to bear the brunt of it, the most innocent comment or suggestion from him often eliciting an out-of-left-field response from me. I used to be such a nice wife, a fair and reasonable communicator ... now, I'm like the nagging shrew I swore I'd never be. Case in point: Last night, my husband comes home from the Dodger game, and after I eagerly and pleasantly ask him to tell me how his night was, suddenly, a switch flips and the next thing you know, I'm obsessing about how we have to start getting the nursery ready already, how we need to get organized, how I can't fall asleep now because he woke me up, and can he please stop coughing. Yes, I'm hating me too.

Or, there was last week when, during a totally benign conversation about the parking at the hospital where I'm delivering, I suddenly snap, "Well, I'll let you figure out how the parking works there since I'll probably be too busy being in labor with your two children!" I mean, did that really come out of my mouth? It was like a poorly-scripted, totally cliched movie moment -- I might as well have been wearing a "Bun in the Oven" T-shirt and curlers in my hair. My husband though, ever the trooper, just laughed and asked, "Did you really just say that?"

And now, thanks to the 6-pounds worth of twins I'm carrying in my belly, it's tough to get up off the couch, to grab that thing I dropped on the floor, to get my cellphone from my purse, to walk to the kitchen. So, of course, my husband has become my butler, hearing, "Hey, while you're up, can you refill my water bottle?" or "I'm so sorry, but can you pick that up for me because bending down is sooooo hard?" or "Oh wait, before you do that, would you mind putting the remote over here by me, and adjusting this blanket here and, oh, since my feet are on your lap there, do you want to rub them for me?"

All that being said, I feel pretty horribly when I have these cranky moments because it's not my normal personality, and it's certainly not my husband's fault. I mean, I hate to blame it on the pregnancy but ... yeah, it's the pregnancy.  I think that when your hormones are raging and you aren't sleeping all that well and you're uncomfortable and anxious and overwhelmed about the babies on the way, you kind of can't help snipping and snapping sometimes. There are moments when my brain is literally going, "Nooooooooo," in slow motion, just as "Hell-oooo, some help, please?" is coming out of my mouth. 

But what you can control is how you treat your partner during saner moments, even if it hits you five seconds after that biting comment escaped your lips. I've tried my best to reassure him, preemptively, that when I do get cranky for no apparent reason, that it's not his fault, that it isn't personal, and to try not to take it that way.  I've even told him, point-blank, he has permission to tune me out when I'm being unreasonable, or to just call me out on the B.S. More important, I make a point of telling him over and over again how appreciative I am of him, what a wonderful support he is for me, what an incredible father he's going to be. And I apologize and apologize and apologize all the time. The good news is that I'm very much aware when I'm not acting right, and am able to quickly recover and acknowledge, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean that, I'm a total jerk." I think he gets it and I think he forgives me ... at least, I hope so.

Have you found that you've been more bitchy during certain times in your pregnancy?

Image via torgo_bob/Flickr

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