The Rage.

I have a question for all those pregnant (or once pregnant) ladies out there. (Hell, even if you’re a guy and you know someone pregnant and can help out, feel free to.) Is it normal to experience fits of rage? Because that is what has been happening to me. If you need an example, I’ll give you the most recent.

Yesterday I took the subway into Manhattan to have lunch with some friends and try and shop for maternity clothing (which did not happen because I started to feel really sick, sicker than I have yet). So, I took the L Train home. There were two guys sitting in a space made for three people, their legs were spread out like certain guys do on the subway. (A seat-hogging tactic I have always hated, even before getting pregnant.) I moved toward the space. I lifted my hand as if to say, “Can I please sit?” They barely moved. So I squeezed my ass into the spot. (I might not look pregnant, but I feel like I am.) The guy on my right refused to budge. And he was huge, a massive hulk of a bloated man. He wore one of those puffy winter coats with writing and logos all over it. The kid on my left was with two friends, which I did not know until we pulled out of Union Square and they began to speak to one another. One of his friends sat across from him, the other sat next to him on the other side of the subway bar that separates one section from another. (It’s a good thing there was that bar separating them, otherwise, everyone would have thought they were homosexuals.)

“Dude,” He began loud enough for me to hear. “This one time, this lady asked to sit down and I was like ‘maybe if you lost a few pounds in the ass you’d fit here.’ And she said, ‘why don’t you move your legs together a little bit?’ And I was like, ‘Bitch, yo, my dick is too big, yo.’”

He friend, the guy right to the left of me, the guy who refused to push his legs together so I could sit my fat ass down, laughed. And that’s when it happened, Internet. That’s when my head and body filled with pure, unfiltered rage, the kind of rage that takes place when you’re a soccer mom and another soccer mom cuts you off on the beltway, spilling your latte. All the while the gun your husband brought you for your birthday sits readily available in the Escalade’s glove box.

The whole leg thing would have made me mad in the past but I never would have said anything and the anger wouldn’t have lasted, it certainly wouldn’t have turned into rage. And even yesterday I fought the urge to actually speak but I did come close, so very close. Sentences filled my head, horrible x-rated, hateful sentences. I wanted to kick this kid in the face, the groin, punch him in his testicles making it impossible for him to one day breed other idiot offspring of his own. I was SO MAD.

This happens a lot but only when I’m out of the house dealing with thoughtless people. And then sometimes I just get mad at the big guy at the gym for telling me he needs to “work in” while I’m on a machine. (Can’t these people wait a few minutes? Jesus crap.)

I am worried that I might act on one of these moments and that can’t happen. I’m carrying a little dude now. I can’t be going around picking fights with men and thugs on a train. But I think about it a lot. And it’s usually with men, not women. Even if I don’t ever act on it, are these chemical fits affecting the baby?

Is this even normal?


  1. You’re in turmoil right now. What you’re feeling is perfectly natural. The men you describe are aggressive, territorial boors who are openly challenging the world. This type of behavior is offensive at best and at worst capable of eliciting complete rage.

    You’re already in a position of feeling alienated. Your body is suddenly foreign to you. The last thing you need is for everyday life to make you feel powerless or violated, and your sensitivity to your personal boundaries is intensely heightened.

    I think it’s a curious coincidence that you feel this way about men and you also feel confident that your baby is a boy.

    If coming into the city today to see me is too much of a chore, I can always come out to Brooklyn, or we can catch up next time I’m in town. I don’t want to contribute to your frustration!


  2. My fits of rage were more focused on my family. Sounds bad, but they drove me to the brink of insanity. My daughter especially drove me nuts because she was not being a “team player” for mommy. I never took anything out on either one, but there were times that I just had to walk away and take a few deep breaths. I don’t think chemically this is bad for your child, unless you are letting your blood pressure get out of control. Mine turned out just fine. He is the easiest baby to take care of. It’s almost like nothing really bothers him unless he is really hungry or over tired.

    My last pregnancy, I had terrible morning sickness all day. It was really bad for me in the early evening. I was vomiting everyday and unable to eat. Anyway, my OB gave me a vitamin called Premesis. It contains B6, Folic acid, and calcium. It took about 2 weeks for the full effect, but I found them to take the edge off the morning sickness. Hang in there. You will forget all the horrible things when that little baby gets here!


  3. Wow! I am really out of it. I put your name on the comment I left. I guess that is what happens when you are on 3 hours of sleep.


  4. I definitely had fits of rage or extreme anger when I was pregnant. I think it was the worst during the mid-first to mid-second trimester. It was focused on my boyfriend, my co-workers, the city, etc. I remember that several times I just locked myself up in a room and watched movies.

    It’s hard because on the one hand you are experiencing “one of the happiest periods of your life” (or so my boyfriend would always say to me) and yet you feel crappy or tired or annoyed or fat and always, always hungry. And then added to the stress of not trying to stress out and the stress of trying to feel happy is the stress of reading a report saying that yes, stress does affect the health of your baby!! If you didn’t need yet another reason to worry…

    But in the end, for me at least, despite all of my emotions going haywire, despite screaming a few times at the top of my lungs, despite feeling occasionally miserable, my daughter is totally healthy and happy.

    I think the worst thing you can do is let stuff build up inside, which is probably worse in the long run than a momentary burst of rage. And it helps realizing that all women go through this, that you’re not alone.

    Anyway, here’s something related:


  5. One of the best things about being pregnant is all the crap you can blame on it and people just say OHHH that explains it! It is a great thing and use it to your advantage.

    My family suffers PPD severely. My somewhat non traditional doctor suggested I take mass amounts of Omega 3 6 9 and fish oil, flax seed etc. I swear I never suffered anything like depression, just opposite. It may have been running on happy hormones anyway but that is the stuff your baby’s brain is made of so you want to make sure you have enough. The theory is your baby takes yours and then the synapses don’t fire like they should.

    Ok There is some unsolicited advice sorry.



  6. y’all, I liked advice. I want to hear/read stories. As long as you tell me I can’t eat something I want to eat, I’m fine. :]

    Lowy, funny, I linked to that exact article on another Web site just days ago. Must be something in the air.

    Meg, are you saying I should start taking those? I take a prenatal now, but I just take whatever the doctor tells Tobyjoe I need and the he buys for me. :]


  7. Michele,

    Their was recently a study suggesting maternal stress is good for your baby as well as one saying it is bad! So take your pick.

    I would take them because 1) Your body can not produce these fatty acids so if your lacking in your diet its bad. Some food which contains high amounts are restricted in pregnancy. The baby will take what it needs leaving you short. I feel foggy or memory is going I up them and feel fine again.2) They can’t hurt you or mini bean. 3) they make your hair thick and shiny and your nails long. 4) You will never be constipated.

    I rest my case. BUT this is just my opinion to be taken or left with absolutely no hard feelings.



  8. Pregnant or not, you would have had every right to punch them in their face.

    I’m honestly amazed that you didn’t.


  9. I would be careful about taking extra supplements – definitely check with your doctor first. I think in general we Americans tend to be vitamin-crazy, when it is much better to examine your diet and try to fix what your are eating, instead of just resorting to a pill. There is also the danger of over-supplementing – too much can hurt you & the baby as much as too little. The most important things the prenatal can give you are folic acid and iron. The rest is good but you should eat as well as possible. You can get omega 3 from things like salmon, which you can eat twice a week, and walnuts and spinach.


  10. Have you thought about pre-natal yoga? I did yoga for both pregnancies and found that my quality of life improved immensely when ever I found time to go. I am notorious for getting stressed out and taking it out on innocent family members….Check it out, it could help.


  11. Oh ho ho…. I don’t need to be pregnant and I feel the rage for you.

    You’re so right though, you’re carrying a little dude and need to be careful about the fights you pick. I would have been so tempted to smash their faces… and I’m one of those polite Canadian types! ;)


  12. Dude, that wasn’t pregnancy making you feel rage, it was good human sense. Assholes like that can make ordinary (nonpregnant) life in this city a challenge. Sadly, there’s nothing to be done about it. I wouldn’t recommend any response at all, no matter how much you might want to give one and no matter how much it’s warranted. You’re dealing with people who’ve already made a very public display of unconcern with behavioral norms. Defying your expectations is the point. Whose to say it wouldn’t persist in their reaction to a tongue-lashing? Not worth it. Really.

    Hope you feel better soon.


  13. Hope you had a nice weekend and are feeling better. I definitely felt the rage in the early months of my first pregnancy. Similar feelings rose in the begining of my 2nd pregnancy, but I recognized it & was able to talk myself down better. My 1st pregnancy corresponded w/a huge backlog at work. We were ‘asked’ to do 8 hours a week of ‘business required overtime.’ I have no idea if my response was appropriate, but I went c-r-a-z-y. I was practically Norma Rae standing on my desk holding a sign. I mouthed off to supervisors, complained to anyone who would listen, etc. As my pregnancy went along my feelings definitely smoothed out and I calmed down. Hormones do crazy stuff to you. As much as I’d like to be in control of my body & mind at all times, sometimes I have to admit we’re influenced by our biology.

    Unfortunately, I can’t offer any advice on the feeling sick. I never had anything more than a little queasiness in the beginning & that always happened when it had been a few hours since my last meal. When you’re feeling better I’d like to recommend Edy’s Dreamery Tiramisu ice cream, if they still make it. I enjoyed great quantities of it during my first pregnancy, but it was hard to find the 2nd time around. I almost cried in the grocery store when I couldn’t find it. Incidently, everyone I know who was very ill during pregnancy had girls. There have to be women who have been sick when carrying a boy, but I’ve never talked to one.


  14. Thanks for the thoughtful comment, pghgirl. Yeah, it’s funny, I have gotten three emails saying the sicker you are, the better chance you’re having a girl. And then someone wrote yesterday and said, “You know, if you’re sick during your pregnancy, you’re having a boy.”


    I felt better yesterday finally. I do hope that’s here to stay. I am in my 15th week now. Well into the 2nd Trimester. cross your fingers. :]


  15. I am in my second trimester of my first pregnancy. I was doing great until I started letting the little things all bottle up inside. One night after numerous attempts by my boyfriend to talk with me… I just blew a gasket. I experienced an uncontrollable rage that I could not talk myself out of… No matter what I did I couldn’t calm down… I was so mad after a call I received from my boyfriends mother that I smashed my telephone next I was on the phone with my boyfriend telling him he is no longer welcome at home. When he showed up to talk to me I didn’t want to even hear him talk. I was just so angry. Now I must mention that I have never been like this in my relationship ever… Before pregnancy we had some problems with communication but I had never even been in a fight of any kind with my boyfriend. By the end of him trying to talk to me he made a comment that set me over the edge on how I have to stop using pregnancy for an excuse I told him to ‘Bleep’ off and I pushed him… I have never regreted something more in my life… He has now moved out of my house and told me that at the moment he doesn’t know if he can ever forgive me. He is willing to go to councelling but not even concider being with me because of what I did. He also said he wants to be there for me and the baby but thats it… Relationship over…

    In my opinion I don’t know what happened in my situation. I am going to try my best to get help from my doctor, midwife and a councellor. But my advice is don’t let any thing build up no matter how small.


  16. i’m 18.5 weeks pregnant and this is happening to me all the time. and i’m usually one of those “never gets mad” people…normally, i have tons of patience (sometimes too much) and it takes a LOT to make me angry. not since i got knocked up! i’m really hoping that this phase of pregnancy will pass soon and i’ll move on to that fabled “glowing” stage….but the rages and tears show no signs of abating…the only thing that seems to help is lots and lots of exercise (enough so that the endorphins kick in).

    i also live in NYC, and also take the L train regularly…and all i can say about those guys is, i think you would have been 100% justified in telling them to f**k off. i get it about not provoking confrontation with strangers in new york–you never know–but that behavior is beyond unacceptable. kudos for you for breathing deep and being calm…because as far as i’m concerned you would have been well within your rights to chew them out.

    next time, try telling ’em you’re pregnant, that real men respect pregnant women, and how would they feel if someone talked that way to their own mother. they’ll probably still act like a**holes in the moment, but maybe they’ll think about it…and *maybe* they’ll bite their tongue in the future.


  17. I am 13 weeks pregnant and I went seriously insane today. I have never done this kind of thing before and if you knew me, you wouldn’t even think it was possible.
    It all happened so fast. I was in a great mood, going to the mall to eat the only thing I could get down (sushi avocado and cucumber rolls), and my husband and I parked in one of those spots reserved for pregnant woman or parents with kids. I was excited to be able to finally park in them. Although I do not look pregnant yet, I am more exhausted than anytime in my life, so I didn’t think twice about feeling guilty about parking there. A man saw us getting out of the car, he was about 6 feet in front of us and he yelled some comment about how we should park in the right spot, I don’t even know what he said, and I barely remember what happened to me next. But as my husband says, I ran to the door and opened it and screamed “I’M PREGNANT YOU PIECE OF SH*T”, and he looked me up and down and laughed and said some other stuff that I don’t remember and, he had quite a pot belly, and I said something like “maybe you should park in the pregnant spot becaus eyou are so fu**ing fat that you can pull it off”, then he almost looked at us to start a fight and my husband had to pull me away, I wasn;t scared at all and kept calling hi ma “fat piece of sh*t” really loud in the store….ironically we were in a store called “Dick’s” at the time… he said a comment about how I need to walk more and i just exploded and went off, I don’t even remember the words that came out of my mouth, but they were vile. Afterward, my husband just looked at me and said “what the hell is going on???” and then it hit me what actually happened, it took me a minute or so to come back to reality and then I started to cry…and cry…and cry and cry for hours. I don’t even know what the hell I was crying about, if I was so mad at him or embarrassed that I treated someone that way, even if he was a total douche bag. My eyes are still a bit swollen but I have to say, I am blaming that one on the pregnancy because I cannot even understand what came over me.


  18. I just went NUTS at my boyfriend, and I have absolutely NO idea where it came from…or where it went!
    I’m nearly 7 weeks gone, and this is my first. I’ve got the usual…tired, queasy, feeling like pants. But today, something snapped. I’d been at work all day, I was tired, he was clingy and in my way. When I got home he asked about my day – I went into a work rant (like I usually do, like I’m sure everyone does), and he misundersood. He thought I was talking about my life WITH HIM being a pile of shite, when I was actually talking about WORK being a pile of shite (I’m not quite sure how he got the two confused actually!). I can’t even remember what he said that set me off, but I remember storming out of the room in tears and slamming the door shut behind me. He went out (he was going out to meet a friend anyway) and I picked up the nearest thing to hand…an old wine bottle used as a candlestick…and THREW it against the door he’d just shut with ALL my might. And I screamed! I screamed and screamed and raged and cried and screamed some more until my head ached. Weirdly enough, I was instantly calm again after that. A little shakey, but fine. There is now a massive hole in my door… oops!
    SO weird tho! I rang a friend straight away who just laughed and said “Yep! Hormones!”. She says THIS is the bit they don’t tell you about in the books. Oh no! In the books it’s “might be feeling a bit tired or moody”, not “you’re so completely shattered you’ve not got the energy to get out of bed and then you’re so angry you break things and take it out on the father-to-be”. I’m gonna write a blog about what it’s REALLY like to be pregnant. Not all cuteness and ribbons like they make out!
    (Glad I’m not the only one tho!) ;) xx


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