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Oh, The Nerves!

I look happy, and I am, but oh, the NERVES!

This pregnancy, my nerves have been on edge.  Pretty much since I found out I was pregnant.  It does change at times, some days I am better than others.  But there are days when I just feel like my nerves are totally frayed.  I drop things, any loud or sudden noises make me jump or yell, children’s behavior grates at me, I don’t want to be touched….

It’s not that fun.  But, unfortunately, it is normal.  I’ve talked to many friends who noted that they, too, felt their nerves were especially on edge during pregnancy.  It’s one of the lovely side effects of all those extra hormones!

It leads to some pretty…amusing stories.  And there are ways to cope.  Keep reading to find out how!

The nerves, for me, are worse now as I’m nesting even more.  (I’ve made four pots of stock, marinated three strip steaks, cooked and froze two roasts, soaked three types of beans which will get cooked soon, various quick breads, and so on…finally!  Plus I am washing all the stuff in my house, including changing the sheets on all the beds.  And cleaning.  Oh yes.)

I’m so busy that everything bothers me.  But the following tips have helped me to manage my nerves better:

1) Know that this is happening — I acknowledge that it is me and my nerves are on edge, so that I can keep that in mind if anything happens that bothers me.  When I know I’m feeling especially “off” I’m less likely to fly off the handle and say/do something I shouldn’t to those around me.  I also am more careful when doing things that could be dangerous, like using a knife or pouring hot liquids, because I am more likely to slip or spill!

2) Take breaks when needed – Sometimes I have to step away for awhile because I’m frustrated or flustered.  Better to sit down and get away from the situation for a little while than melt down and cry over something stupid.

3) Keep stress to a minimum — I can’t always control this, but I have decided not to make a bunch of plans outside the house for now.  If it fits in our routine to go somewhere, great.  But I’m not pushing myself to do too much.  I also have used the TV for the kids a lot more than I usually do (typically I don’t turn it on at all during the day, but more recently it’s been on, um, a lot…).

4) Strive for patience – It’s not going to help anyone if I let my nerves get in the way and I scream at my children and stress them out too.  So I try really, extra hard to be patient and talk to them gently.  I do have to ask them not to do things that might, at other times, not bother me so much (like, it drives me crazy right now when they make loud noises for no reason, or wave toys in my face, or try to climb on me — not sit, climb).  But I make a real effort to at least treat them gently.

5) Embrace the crazy — If I feel like I need to get up and cook 8 meals…then I do (assuming I have the ingredients on hand).  I figure there’s a reason I want to do this now, and so I take advantage of the energy!

6) Remember it’s temporary — I know that within a few weeks after my baby is born, I will not feel this way anymore.  My shattered nerves and other crazy, hormone-induced behaviors and feelings will go away and I will (finally) feel like myself again.  I’m so looking forward to that!

How do you deal with the pregnancy nerves?

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