The Pregnant Recluse: Third Trimester Antisocial Tendencies

38 weeks and 4 days. Last week, I had to check myself out of social media because I was simply overwhelmed, overstimulated, and oversensitive to everything on my apps – particularly Facebook and Instagram. Though the majority of my pregnancy has left me feeling somewhat antisocial, these last few weeks I literally have no desire to socialize, and am happiest when left to my own devices, in my house, wearing a big billowy garment with no underthings, free to bake, or watch Law & Order: SVU for a shameful number of hours on end.

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I’m normally a really social person. I love going out, connecting with friends, engaging in activities, chatting with strangers (okay, not all strangers)… but something has shifted and I literally just want to curl up in my bear den (how I imagine my house), shut the curtains, and shut out the world.

For a while I felt really guilty about this, like I was maybe just responding to my own insecurities about growing as big as a house (hello, goodbye Instagram) or just having weird FOMO that I reacted to by wanting to ignore everyone else’s fun on Facebook. I can’t seem to return calls from even some of my closes friends (hi guys, sorry if you’re reading this – thanks for understanding) and I just don’t get it – why am I hiding away from life?

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So since I shut off my apps about six days ago, I’ve been meditating more, practicing conscious relaxation, letting myself bake, clean, nest, and snuggle on the couch, and I’ve realized something: Much like a wild animal who chooses solitude during the later stages of gestation, I’m securing my nest for the birth of my child. The outside world is dangerous, and I am so very vulnerable at this time. Aside from my little walks, in the safety of my neighborhood, and necessary excursions, like visits to the midwife, I am happiest just hunkering down and creating a space where I can REST.

Have you ever seen a cat or dog who is about to go into labor? They tend to pace, seem a bit restless, but then when the time draws near for their litter to come, they disappear entirely. Maybe you’ll find them beneath the house, in the back of a closet, or curled up somewhere dark, remote, and safe.

That’s what I’m doing. I’m dragging metaphorical blankets to a dark corner beneath an imaginary house, where I can lay down and birth this baby without anyone bothering me. And I’m okay with that.

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To all my pregnant friends – if you find yourself feeling reclusive, antisocial, or like a feral cat who wants to hiss and snarl at anyone who gets to close… don’t sweat it. You’re doing great, just the way you are. Let the world know that you’re taking a hiatus, and come back when you’re ready. Everyone and everything can get by without you – except the little love who has everything they need within you.

signature AMelia

18 Responses

  1. Avatar for Amelia Andrea says:

    I’m right at 36 weeks pregnant and feel exactly the same. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Avatar for Amelia Kelly says:

    Thank you for this article! I am 35 weeks and want to socialize less and less but am usually a very social person. I feel like my husband (who always wants to hang or attend his constant family events) doesn’t understand. Thanks for making me feel normal and not like a crazy recluse! Let the solace of solitude and nesting continue….

    • Avatar for Amelia Julie says:

      Omg, I get this too….my husband insists on people at the house one night a week and we get invited to things just about every weekend that I don’t have the energy to broach. I really do love my friends, but i need me time right now and have been declining a lot of things. Im hoping Ill still have friends when this is over and that they understand….

  3. Avatar for Amelia Jackie Cruz says:

    I am so happy to have read this. I felt like the net of people around me were a bit judgemental about my reclusive tendencies around this time. I am approaching my 31 week mark of pregnancy, and I have been finding so much comfort with being home cleaning, nesting and preparing for our little one to join us. I will admit that my profession is a very social one and when it was time for my time off I completely would unplug from it. Just to help keep my balance :). But I will admit the transition to full time “time off” was a strange adjustment only for the reason that I was told otherwise. Thank you for sharing…this article helped me realize it’s ok to feel how I am feeling.

  4. Avatar for Amelia Ness says:

    This has made me feel normal!!! Thank you 🙂 xxx

  5. Avatar for Amelia Bettina says:

    Thanks for writing this!! Really made me feel much better about the guilt I feel about being so reclusive during my pregnancy. It is totally the opposite of my personality but I am learning to be okay with it.

  6. Avatar for Amelia Katie says:

    THANK YOU for writing everything I am feeling. Thank you for making me feel like I have permission to check out. I want to keep my phone on “do not disturb” and just zone out at home and I’m so relieved to know I’m not wrong for wanting this!

  7. Avatar for Amelia Nicole says:

    Amelia. Thank you for this article! Im only at 28 weeks and already have no desire to go anywhere or especially socialize. I just want to stay home and relax and nest which is frustrating my husband but now reading all these comments I’m guessing this way more common than I thought. Thank you for relieving so much guilt I felt!

  8. Avatar for Amelia Sam says:

    Oh my goodness this was exactly what I needed to hear. A day shy of 35 weeks I have realized I am becoming quite the recluse and I could not understand why. I have loved being alone and after reading this I feel like I’m not alone in feeling this way. Thank you 💙

  9. Avatar for Amelia Beka says:

    I am a skip-hop away from 38 weeks and normally I have my antisocial tendencies, but never ever towards family…however yesterday my boyfriend’s grandma (whom I ADORE) came over and spent the entire day with us at our house and it was so, so draining. I finally feel okay now that I’ve been home all day and haven’t really talked to anyone…but at the same time I find myself feeling extremely guilty and like a grouchy old lady. Thank you for publishing this article because now I don’t feel so alone, and maybe even a little less guilty

    • Avatar for Amelia Amelia says:

      I feel you Beka! I think It’s wired into us biologically to hibernate when it’s close to go time. Be gentle with yourself sister and welcome to mamahood!

  10. Avatar for Amelia Jill Scott says:

    I can so relate. I’m 35 weeks and if everyone could just forget my number and my address for the next month or two I’ll be a happy lady.
    Nothing fits, I cant breathe, I’m tired. I dont want anyone around but my husband and kids. I already deleted social media accounts a year or so ago so I can attest to those being gone being a breathe of fresh air- pregnant or not.

    • Avatar for Amelia Koreya says:

      Currently 34 weeks and this describes to EXACTLY to the letter how I’ve been feeling lately. I don’t really feel like anyone that isn’t pregnant understands this right now. I have a five-year-old little girl and my husband and they’re the only people I want to give my time and attention to right now. It literally boils my blood to hear from anybody at this point because I just want to focus on my upcoming C-section and getting used to the fact that I’m going to have two kids now. I don’t feel like explaining or rationalizing, I literally just want to be left to my own devices. Thank you so much for writing this article. I plan on showing it to my husband so he can understand how I feel without having to watch me cry. I don’t want to keep him from his family, but right now I’m just not into socializing.

      • Avatar for Amelia Amelia says:

        Hey Koreya, I feel you girl! I hope you get to spend the next few weeks going inward and focusing on your family. Sending you lots of love babe!

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