Hormonal outbursts

Picture this: You’re seven months pregnant, your back hurts, the dog has the hot water bottle in his bed because he’s old and lame and you feel sorry for him, and for some reason your husband is deaf to your hints that a massage would be really nice right now.

So you opt for the next best thing: A hot shower, with the shower head pointed right at that miserable sore spot you just can’t get relief for. You turn on the water, give it a minute to warm up, hop in, and… Ahhhh, that is the best. Feeling. Ever. Until two seconds later when the hot water suddenly turns icy…

…And you realise that evil pixies have emptied your hot water cylinder and now there’s nothing left but cold or, at best, lukewarm water, and as you burst into tears and pound on the shower wall wailing, “WHY, GOD, WHY?!” your husband comes in to casually report that oh, yeah, he gave the dog a bath earlier and sorry, there’s not much hot water left.

The obvious solution to this problem is to get dressed, pack a bag, and check yourself into a luxury hotel where you can use all the hot water you want (and probably get an in-room massage). But then when the time comes to pay the bill, you’d probably burst into tears again when you realise how expensive luxuries necessities like permanently hot showers and massages on demand are.

Because the real problem here isn’t the hot water or lack thereof. It’s pregnancy hormones.

Science tells us that during pregnancy, your body is flooded with approximately seventeen squillion bazillion hormones that make you cry at the drop of a hat or become unreasonably enraged at just about everything, including the supermarket being out of stock of your favourite ice cream or no longer being able to squeeze your swollen ankles into those shoes that fit perfectly last week.

Things which normally cause you to shrug and think, “Well, that’s annoying” suddenly induce red-eyed blubbering incoherent rants. Traffic. A spill on your shirt. A bird pooping on your windshield. Someone else eating the last chocolate almond and putting the empty box back. All of these things are real reasons I have cried pregnancy hormone-induced tears.

“Don’t worry, once the baby is born, the hormones will settle down and your emotions will go back to normal… Eventually,” a friend soothed me.

If not, I suppose there’s always a hot shower to hide the tears…

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BUMP & baby is New Zealand’s only magazine for pregnancy and early babyhood. Our team of mums and mums-to-be understand what it’s like to be pregnant in this connected age, and that’s why BUMP & Baby online is geared toward what pregnant women and new mums really want to know.

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