The Anticipated Pregnancy Mental Breakdown.


The much anticipated mental breakdown that pregnant ladies sometimes attest to has been experienced in the Sprague household. Last Night.

I'm a planner. Always. I pro-con list it up and read all the books to get the most accurate information. I reason the more I plan, the better I'll respond to crisis. Right? Maybe. But I think lately it's made me almost too aware. 

Sort of like-if you told me that marriage was going to be this hard and described all the struggles we would get to go through in detail(and we're only near 2 years into it!) well, my wedding day would definitely have still happened (Have you seen my husband? Gaw-geous. ) but would have had a more serious tone to it. Its like going to war (the struggles-not the whole marriage) knowing your going to win, but still realizing there will be battles to face and there will be wounds. It's worth it. Oh goodness its worth it, but there's no denying it'll make you a little nervous and sweaty to think about it. 

I'm discovering that baby raising is the same thing. This is going to be hard. It almost seems better to go in blinded just to avoid the cardiac arrest before the little squirmy babe even makes her entrance. Maybe some differ from my opinion, but I think there's almost too much information out there. Knowing that there's 5 gazillion ways of doing it (breastfeeding, child raising, diapering, general parenting), and every book screams that it's contents offer the best options-well its incredibly overwhelming.

This is where this post gets awkward. If you're a guy (other then Ben, because hey-you've already listened to the dialogue version of this post), you may just want to go ahead and skip this one. K? Thanks.

Well, last night, after reading a nice book intended to be light-hearted about breastfeeding ( which it was,  one of the stories even joked about being the "Hunchboob of Notre Dam" in reference to only nursing from one side. That's funny.) I kind-of-sort-of lost it. 

This is basically how I feel the job description of being a mom would go:

Seeking:  Full Time (and by that we mean your entire life)  Stay-At-Home (Depends on individual) Care-Taker Position

Wanting to work from home in a sometimes fulfilling environment? Then we have the job for you! Be a part of the next generation in raising a child and shaping the very identity they have. Teach them about all important life moments and experience one of the most (if not most) fulfilling life experiences you have yet to have! You will visibly be able to see the fruits of your labor for years to come! In fact, your work has an incredibly high probably to last even longer than you! 

Duties will sometimes include:

  • Your body being completely altered for all of time. (Reactions may vary)
  • More pain that you've ever experienced in your entire life (May occur during: Pregnancy, Labor, Breastfeeding, postpartum living, and other events during the course of this position)
  • If choosing and able to Breastfeed: Providing every nutrient for a child day in and day out for the first several months of their life (in some cases, may cause issues such as cracking nipples, pain, bleeding, feeling like you constantly are feeding a child, feeling drained, exhaustion and the occasional mental breakdown)
  • If formula feeding: Providing every nutrient for your child day in and day out, and having to continually prepare bottles and do dishwasher loads. Being concerned that your child may be missing something from not breastfeeding. Feeling judged due (depending on group of peers) to this choice and paying very large amounts to cover food costs for your child.
  • Changing fecal matter several times daily 
  • Change in sleeping habits from full nights rest to 2-3 (or shorter) hour shifts of sleep for the first weeks or months (depending on which style of feeding you choose is best) of child raising.
  • Hormonal imbalance during and after pregnancy
  • An occasional sensation that you aren't doing enough, and that your child maybe lacking in food, nutrients, interactions crucial for their development and other things you suspect they need, but don't even know what they are-which will occasionally be affirmed by insensitive outsiders who comment on nearly every choice you make for your child.
  • A Fast paced environment! The minute you figure things out-the entire game changes as your child reaches a new stage of development!
  • An occasional sense of isolation or lonliness, or boredom which will be followed with guilt for said emotions.
  • No monetary compensation. 
  • No guaranteed outside world affirmation
  • The most difficult work you will ever have undertaken.
And while I probably will experience at least a handful of these, and other mothers do all the time-We keep doing it. Probably because of the other job stuff that moms tell me happen:

  • A deep satisfaction at seeing your child progress in life and achieve different milestones (timing may vary)
  • Delight over the child's personality as they continue to grow.
  • A joy unspeakable at the smiles, giggles, and overall interactions you'll have with your child. These are often said to "Make it worth it."
  • A sense of identity as a family unit with your spouse as you raise a little person together
  • An addition to the family to celebrate and invite into your culture, and home. Who will refine you, and shape you, and teach you more about yourself and God than you ever knew. 
  • A baby who will delight in time spent with you.
  • A midget sized version of yourself and your husband which will be refining and funny.
  • A bond that is both chemical, physical and spiritual. 
  • A sense of accomplishment and pride at progressing through all the trials listed above. 
  • At the end of your life, one of the decisions you treasure the most
I'm sure there's even more.

I think when I imagine a little toddler sized version of this baby, or the grown up version of all our someday kids, I get excited. Yet I'd be lying if I didn't say the idea of motherhood sometimes terrifies me. I like babies.  a lot. And I think I'm going to enjoy this season of life, and I'm looking forward to all the unanticipated joys i don't even know about. It's the next two years of life (and then repeated as we have more children, Lord willing) that are a bit scary. 

And when mothers, who are trying to prepare future mothers start telling me their stories, it can sometimes be alarming. Especially when the mom is in the trenches of it all. They'll share their hardships, then say: "But oh its soooo worth it!!!" I know it is. But all I can remember is the bleeding nip stories and the saggy bags under their eyes. Or the joking "It's pure chaos for those first few years, you just have to make it through those first few years-Oh wait! then they become teenagers-harty har har!"

I almost want to just hang out with 50, and 60 year old friends I know and love who have passed child raising and now are in the reminiscent stages. They glow. They let me go in with the giddy excitement. And then, if its not so awesome-then remind me that in 40 years I'll be all smiley and giddy like them. They tell me "It's so rewarding! It's so worth it! You'll do just fine. If it something doesn't work, its okay-they'll turn out just fine. Oh, You should be so excited! Praise the Lord!!!!!" Oh sweet, sweet women. I love you.

Needless to say, the conversation last night ended with a pretty awesome monologue by Ben. He ended it with "Brittany, its 11:20-you're tired-its time for bed and you're not allowed to read any more parenting books." 

Lucky for all you future parents, you will not have to fear. Parents will always be ready to share their experiences and more than a thousand books will tell you how to raise your children. I think as far as I go, however, I'm going with a pretty non-judging-you're doing whats best for your kid just like I am mine, approach when it comes to diapering, feeding, and the whole nine yards. I probably wont be able to give you the latest new book on parenting because I've been banned from reading them. My husband knows me well.

You probably picture a fuzzy haired, very scared brittany finishing up this post. I'm not. I actually was chuckling to myself for a good part of it. (because I think I'm funny.)  I'm doing pretty good. Really good. Ben unruffles my feathers like scissors to a chia pet. And God does an even better job of reminding me that the whole shaping of a person's character and keeping a body healthy is kind of his gig. So, I'm actually sitting nice and easy. God can handle it.  

We're excited. and in 8-10 weeks, the downpour of gushy blog posts about how perfect our baby is will begin. Then you'll get to roll your eyes at how I proclaim that our baby is prettier than every other baby and how perfect her little toes and feets and nose are. I may even explode the internet with such love proclamations and pictures.  

This weekend we get to go home. Which means I get to hang out with the one person who makes me feel like I can change the world like no other:My momma. I already can hear her gushing over raising a baby girl and telling me what I need to hear: "yeah, sure its hard-but oh its so much fun!" I'm actually getting that weird gushy feeling now where I feel the need to squeeze something. Like a puppy. She does that to me. 

It's ideas like that-that this little girl might feel the same way that I do about my mom that make me thrilled to meet her. To know that I get to be such a source of encouragement and affirmation and to know that I might hold the deep significance in her life that my mom holds in mine. To know that our talks about Jesus and about how sure I am of God might keep her faith strong in rough times like my talks with my mom did for me. Well. by golly thats enough to make me want to pop a few more out. (Ha, i probably should wait till I deliver this one first.) Overall. I'd say good things are about to happen.

Thanks for reading, I'm done now. Woo, this woman can talk.



  1. Yes GOD is definitively in control - we are so proud of you!!!

  2. God is definitely in control - Proud of you Prima!!!

  3. Brittany- I loved this post. It has been a while since I read your blog, and I had to catch up. Your most recent baby bump picture is adorable. I can not wait to meet your new addition! August will be here in now time and in the same breath it will take forever. Soon you wont be able to remember life with out children, I believe as it should. I believe God gave us families to help us become what he wants us to be. I know your going to do great! You will know what to do and when to do it. And, He will supply the answers in some form or another when you doubt.
    See you soon!