Irritability of Pregnancy

A few years ago a friend of ours was “accidentally” knocked up (one of those “accidents” where they stopped using birth control during normal child-bearing years and then were surprised when they got pregnant).  My friend is normally pretty mellow and fun but during pregnancy she was… well… to use G-rated terms, a bit prickley and not entirely pleasant to be around.  I determined that if I were ever to be lucky enough to get into a similar “accident” I would bite my tongue and keep a positive attitude.

Well, as is so often the case in life, here I am now eating my words.  Today has been a major day of what I term Irritability of Pregnancy.  It actually started last night.  This may be hard to believe, but I was actually irritated in my sleep.  I had annoying dreams – gargh! and I woke up every 2 hours to pee – so irritating! – and lay awake from time to time thinking dire yet irritated thoughts about what would happen if Mr. Nishkanu had an accident while I am away in my remote, isolated region or what if I go into premature labor now, etc. – grrrr!!!!   It is amazing how it is possible to talk yourself into depression and panic and still be irritated about it.

Well, I could talk myself pretty easily out of the depression and panic (following the motto, there will be plenty of time to be depressed about [whatever dire scenario I am imagining] if it actually comes to pass) but the irritation, my dears, is a constant.  I woke up in the morning super annoyed.  Spent the morning working, completely irritated by what I was doing and then aggravating the irritation with every further item crossed from the todo list.  By lunch I couldn’t even stand to be around myself, I was just a prickley and now somewhat pudgey pile of total annoyance  (though, thankfully, I did manage to avoid any irritated outbursts at others).

Before I get flamed for being an ingrateful infertile who doesn’t appreciate pregnancy I want to point out that Irritability of Pregnancy is not situational.  It wasn’t caused by anything that is happening to me, it is not due to reflection on any joys or terrors of pregnancy, it is purely a hormonal screw-up with my emotions.  It is exactly as much under my conscious control as Irritability of Lupron (and sometimes reaches the same heights).  And saying to myself “everything is actually fine!  there’s nothing to be irritated about!” is about as helpful as telling a Lupron monster “it’s just your meds.”

Anyway, should you, my dear reader, ever find yourself in my hyperannoyed shoes, there are a few small things that I am finding helpful.

1) Try not to take it out on your poor sweetie who is only trying to help.

2)  Cut back on stressors that are making the irritability worse.  It is OK to give yourself some slack until you feel better.

3) Eating might help, in my case low blood sugar makes the irritability worse and eating something (even, dare I say it, sweets), can help it get a bit better.

4) Wait and you will feel better.  Easier said than done, I know.



  1. Funny, I had my first notable brush with IOP just last night. At least I still had my sense of humor riding along, as it let me observe the ridiculousness of irratibility. When I called the vacuum cleaner a fucking cocksucker, it set me off into a giggling fit. Now if only my five-year-old hadn’t been in range…

    Thanks for writing about it. Isn’t it funny how another’s words can sometimes help you organize your own thoughts?

    • Krish said

      I normally don’t post comments anywhere, but I had to on this one. I’ve been so irritable lately I annoy myself. The comment about the vaccuum being a cocksucker was the only thing I have genuinely laughed at in a couple days. THANK YOU!!!!

  2. onepinkline said

    That was exactly my day today. Pregnancy induced annoyance. I was even annoyed that I had the audacity to be annoyed. Sheesh. Hopefully tomorrow will be better…

    • nishkanu said

      Ah, I felt so much better on the day after I wrote that post. Hope your mood starts to look up soon too!

  3. Liz said

    And it’s so funny becuase you feel like others are annoying or irritating you on purpose, and to me, they are! It’s like, can’t you people leave me alone? You don’t have to deal with all these hormones and then try to have to deal with you!
    Ps. The vacuum cleaner story was pretty funny. Sounds like something I might say in a crazed fit of anger.

  4. AK said

    So far, I’ve managed not to lash out at anyone, but my GOD if I don’t want to. As I’m typing this I’m annoyed at the volume of the water in the fish tank and my legs and underarm are itching!

    I can’t handle this!

  5. Anna said

    Oh my goodness, thank you for writing this! I am feeling exactly like this right now and so guilty about it. Laughing at it and getting some perspective definitely helps.

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