GaGA! Growing and Getting Awesome… the Official Loving the Pregnant You Blog

Surrendering to pregnancy hormones (and how it can be empowering)

pregnancy hormonesA few months into my first pregnancy, I woke up in a mood: a mood induced by pregnancy hormones. Wow, here it was. I felt totally out of control of my emotions. I was irritated and disappointed and no amount of rationalizing in my head or trying to distract myself could change it. I was stuck. I didn’t feel like myself and didn’t want anyone to realize that I had become that “crazy pregnant lady.” I so didn’t want to be her, but there I was feeling crazy and out of sorts. I had no idea what I was going to do.

The first time it happened, I did my best to stamp it down and to hide it. I fought myself all day long, hoping the pregnancy hormones would go away. I hated myself and how I felt and how I was being that day. I nearly snapped my husband’s head off that night. It was miserable.

I talked with my coach the next day, when I was feeling decidedly more like myself. Even though I was feeling better, I was so disappointed with myself and what I had experienced the previous day. I was beating myself up pretty good.

It wouldn’t be the last visit from pregnancy hormones!

Knowing that hormonal days were bound to show up again and knowing that I didn’t want a repeat of what I had just been through, my coach and I worked on different perspectives or approaches I could try. We brainstormed some possibilities: I could cancel all appointments on those days, in essence calling in sick. I could continue to do my best to mask it. I could keep it together for most people and just let my husband experience the wrath. As we were generating ideas, I didn’t immediately see a “feel good” path.

Gradually, I began to see that I could actually surrender to the pregnancy hormones. I could let the hormones win, choose not to fight them. Fighting them wasn’t fun. It did not serve me to be in a battle all day long. What if I just gave up at the beginning of the day and said, “Okay hormones you win!”? I got excited about this.

Surrendering to pregnancy hormones

“What would that look like?” my coach asked. It would look like me freely admitting to others that I saw or spoke with on “those” days that I was having a hormonal day. It was letting others know that I wasn’t sure how I’d react to things that day. I might cancel some commitments if I wasn’t in the emotional place to enjoy them. But, it was doing this without feeling guilty or wrong about it. It was bringing some humor to the experience. It was saying “Uncle” to my own chemical makeup.

When we get anxiously engaged in wishing that something is not the way that it actually is, then we keep our focus on what we don’t want. We get more evidence that things are not the way we want them to be. It’s the difference between focusing on making a hormonal day go away and focusing on how to surrender to a hormonal day. I’ll also share that it was helpful for me to surrender when I needed to buy bigger pants and when people made (what I saw as) annoying comments to me.

A need to surrender may show up in a different area for you. Perhaps surrendering to the anxiety of going into an unpredictable delivery process will be important to you or accepting the fact that you’re going to be pregnant on your birthday and need to alter your typical celebration. You are not in control of all that is happening. Yet, you can be in control of how you respond.

This is not to say that this idea of surrendering allowed me to completely rid myself of any moments of annoyance, disappointment, or resistance. There certainly were still plenty of those! And, I know, the times that I was able to surrender were transformative.

And for you?

In what circumstances would it serve you to surrender?

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