Today I want to talk about depression in pregnancy. It’s not a topic that’s lighthearted or funny in anyway, in a nutshell it’s totally shit and I suspect a lot more women that admit suffer with it. I think people feel ashamed to admit it. I felt ashamed to admit it, I feel like a total failure to my gender that I am not running around being some kind of pregnant super woman and spreading joy to the world whilst I grow this little miracle inside me.
But I’m not superwoman, in no way, shape or form. Quite often I feel alone, irrational and miserable, over sensitive, kind of negative and grumpy as hell. I want to enjoy this stage in life. And in lots of ways I am, but some days I’m plagued by this misery that has a grip on me. And suddenly I care what people think, I can hear people whispering “typical, she spends months feeling miserable because she can’t get pregnant and then now she’s pregnant she’s even more miserable. Some people are never happy!” Of course they’re not, but that’s how it feels.
I am happy! I’m beyond grateful that I finally got pregnant, and I’m super excited, but I’m also doubting myself, my marriage, my looks, the very core of who I am. Constant illness and always feeling tired will naturally lead to feeling low but throw in massive changes to my body and hormones and I don’t know whether I’m coming or going!
I’m trying to be positive to pick myself up. I have this cupboard in our spare room that I’m slowly collecting baby bits and bobs in and whenever I look in it I feel so excited, and overwhelmed with happiness that it finally happened! It feels like I’ve waited so long and now we’re finally going to be parents!
Sometimes I don’t feel low at all, and I am able to really enjoy my pregnancy, this week for example, I have genuinely felt a little bit glowing, happy, hopeful for the future, at peace with myself and my unborn child, full of energy and capable of anything! I spend untold hours daydreaming about what sort of mum I’ll be, how my husband will interact with his son, what he will look like. But when my energy has run out I feel tired and anxious and fed up again and then comes the panic about all the things that could go wrong, how will I cope? Where will our money come from when I finish work? It all leads to feeling inadequate and a bit hopeless.
People love to tell me stories of their own pregnancies, things like “I did body pump classes until I was 36 weeks” “I rode my bike to work until 26 weeks” and other such things that make me feel inadequate, at 18 weeks, I’m still walking two hours a day during my commute to work, but I also get puffed out putting my shoes on!
I am lucky enough to be surrounded by several people close to me who are expecting babies within weeks (some within days) of my due date and we are able to be honest with each other about our various feelings. It is beyond comforting to have them to compare gross symptoms and warts and all feelings with and to hear friends who have been through it tell me how much they didn’t enjoy pregnancy, or how worried they were.
The bottom line is that growing a tiny human is a miracle, it’s a beautiful and exciting time but it’s also full of anxiety, crazy feelings, ups and downs and gross bodily functions and not knowing how you might feel next. I had no idea how different I would feel and how isolated I would feel from my friends. I can’t explain it in any other way then to say I just feel different to other people at the moment and that’s because I am, thousand of women have babies every day so I know I’m not special, but right now, it’s my turn, for the first time, everything I’m feeling I’m feeling for the first time…and that IS special!
We should not be ashamed to admit when pregnancy is a struggle or that we feel less than ecstatic to be feeling sick every minute of every day. We should support each other through this crazy time in life.
Pregnant ladies of the world, please don’t ever feel ashamed to admit that pregnancy not all roses or that you are struggling with some parts. Take each day as it comes and listen to what your body and mind are telling you. If you want to sit at home under a blanket and binge watch tv all day, do it, if it makes you feel better to hibernate and internet shop, do that, and please know that you are not alone, there’s 100s of us feeling the same.
Time is flying by so quickly So I’m going to enjoy as much of this magical, crazy time in my life as I can and not beat myself up about feeling low, I’m going to try and embrace that feeling depressed sometimes is part of who I am and I know that it will pass…