I’ve not written a proper post on my pregnancy for a little while now. I’ve been pretty busy with Christmas, H and his schooling and generally being pregnant. But as the title suggests – “Prenatal depression and mood swings” — there has been a lot going on internally.
Hard to open up to people
Now I am days away from my due date I’ve taken the time to look back and have noticed that my mental health really has taken quite a turn. I’m not talking about a few days of feeling fed up but the last five weeks or so of generally feeling, well, not good.
Now, it might surprise people to hear this as I am notoriously good at being able to hide my feelings and emotions. I don’t do this deliberately though. I don’t do it because I want to deceive people or don’t trust people. It’s just that I still struggle – hugely in fact – with opening up to people and talking about me, my feelings and/or struggles. It’s something I think will always be a struggle.
I’m not coping perfectly!
Being pregnant has, to some extent made this worse. The thought of people knowing I am not coping perfectly and enjoying every second of pregnancy is pretty scary.
What if they all start talking about me behind my back about how I shouldn’t be having another baby? Saying I’m selfish and not ready?
This is so terrifying for me, not being perfect, not being liked….
But I am well aware, deep down, that I should not give a flying whatsit what others think! I do know that, but when all you’re used to is your mind thinking negatively and dragging you down, it is pretty difficult to remember.
Fear of being judged
Mood swings in pregnancy are renowned for being all over the place and erratic. Most of the time people laugh it all off. But mood swings are definitely something I struggle with and are definitely no laughing matter.
From crying, to screaming, to being the funniest person in the room, to the loneliness and depression. It’s bloody hard and completely and utterly exhausting! I can go through all of these in just one morning. It makes me feel like a completely pathetic weirdo and adds to the feelings that I can’t speak to anyone through fear of being judged!
Of course I have spoken to a consultant midwife but this doesn’t make the feeling go away. As usual I have been let down by the mental health service – again. The team who are supposed to be there for me throughout this pregnancy have been in touch once! Shocking really that at a time of such huge change mentally and physically and generally being quite vulnerable, they are not present?! I believe that this contributes to my feelings of not wanting to speak up and ask for help. The professionals don’t care, so what’s the point?!
This pregnancy was planned and we are all beyond excited to meet the new addition to our family. However, that doesn’t switch off the feelings of depression and anxiety. Thoughts that I am being selfish bringing another child into the world…. I am an unfit mother….
It really is soul-destroying at times. It’s such a sad, lonely, dark place to be.
A daily battle
I am fighting a battle every single day, whether people realise it or not. I am doing it for my unborn baby but also for my family. My gorgeous little boy and husband.
I know that once my baby is born and I can attend my therapy sessions and take my medication, things should settle down a little more and my mental health will be under ‘control’ a little more. But I felt it was important to acknowledge that appearances aren’t always what they seem. A pregnant woman might be super excited about meeting her baby but struggling and even hating her actual pregnancy. She might be lonely and even depressed, but this doesn’t make her a bad person or mother.
Despite being the world’s worst (and now sounding like a hypocrite), it really is so important to talk to someone if you are having feelings of loneliness, periods of depression or anxiety – even if you’ve never experienced them before. I speak to my husband a lot who is so supportive, I honestly don’t know what I would do without him sometimes. But for you it could be another trusted family member or friend.
I have listed a few people/organisations that could help you if you don’t want to or can’t speak to anyone close to you.
This will probably be my last post for a little while: as I mentioned at the beginning, I am due any day now and really want to take the time out to focus on my baby, my family and me. I will of course keep you all updated and can’t wait to share him with you all.
Take care of yourselves and others.
Lots of love,
Amy and bump xxx
Reproduced with permission, originally posted on amysboarderlineworld