These weeks of my pregnancy have been hard. Hard for me. Hard for my family.
It’s difficult to explain and it’s difficult to deal with.
I have read many stories of women with depression. I have a friend who counsels women with depression. And I have heard heart-wrenching stories by friends who are going through depression.
So I feel safe to say that I don’t have “that level of depression”.
What I have does not even compare to the harrowing struggles I have heard.
I know what I have is linked to my pregnancy. I know my body is undergoing all kinds of chemical and hormonal changes and imbalances.
I know I definitely do not experience the full impact of the hormonal illness.
Whatever it is, I have tasted the reality of it, and I am both shocked and shaken.
It’s like I have something evil inside of me. An evil version of me. It knows everything about me. It knows which buttons to push. It knows exactly what to say to make me cry. It brings everything that is good inside me, down.
Some days I am so down, that I am literally paralysed. Paralysed with an overwhelming cocktail of sadness, self-loathing, confusion, uncertainty, insecurity. It’s suffocating and relentless.
At first, I thought I could over come it with positive thinking. Rational thought. Being optimistic. Using the power of the mind. Or simply distracting my mind with something else.
Then I thought, all I had to do was surround myself with happiness. Arrange time with my family. My friends. My favourite places. My favourite music, foods, flowers, chocolates, long strolls at sunset, a manicure, a new dress, some pampering.
That was my surprise: That whatever I did or whatever thought – NOTHING CHANGED IT. NOTHING MADE IT GO AWAY.
Some days, something will trigger it. Someone will say something. Or I will see something.
It might be the tiniest, most insignificant thing – yet it would instantly make me feel unreasonably upset, guilty, sad, or scared.
Someone might mention that my child was a bit small and I would feel guilty that I wasn’t a very good mother. I might see a picture of a gorgeous model and suddenly feel upset that I wasn’t more beautiful. Or I might read the news of a burglary and feel completely terrified that someone was going to break into our house that night.
And these feelings will grow and grow AND GROW until it’s so intense, I’m utterly consumed and I can’t function normally.
Thankfully, all this comes and goes. I might get it for 3 days, then things will be fine for a week. Then it’ll hit for 4 days, and then settle down again.
I’ve learnt how to ride my own depression, knowing fully that these crazy spells will disappear after my pregnancy. I can see the end. I just keep going, one step at a time.
Click here to see the whole story of Making Baby 3.