How I Felt with Antepartum Depression

I guess I better just cut to the chase.

I’m expecting baby #3! The due date is in August, and we’re going to find out the gender in less than two weeks. Most people tell me we’re having another girl, but I really think we’re having a boy this time.

While most of my mamahood posts are tips, I occasionally like to write my feelings. It’s really rare that I sit down and write exactly what I’m feeling, but I find that when I do it means so much more than just a bunch of tips.

The following is something I wrote a few months ago when I was in the thick of the first trimester. It was a night when I just broke down to my husband about everything that I felt was going wrong in my life. And it all had to do with the pregnancy. I wasn’t diagnosed with antepartum depression, but I have a feeling that I was experiencing it during the first trimester. Maybe it wasn’t as bad as some women get, but I still know that something was terribly wrong for several weeks.

Fortunately, my loving husband knew exactly what I needed that night: journal therapy. He knows I love to write, and he knew that if I were to sit down and just write out all my feelings, I would start to feel so much better.

Pregnancy is supposed to be a time full of joy and happiness, but it's not like that for every soon-to-be mama. Antepartum depression is real and should be addressed if you think you might have it.© Monkey Business – stock.adobe.com

It worked (at least for a little while). And now I’m sharing it with you. I don’t know if it could be helpful for anyone, but it can be relatable if you are going through (or have gone through) something similar.

A Love that Causes Discomfort

I don’t deserve this much love.

When I look in the mirror, all I see is a plain, frumpy young woman. Well into my 20s, you’d expect a clear face, but recently there are pimples and blemishes that I never had to deal with as a teenager. I was one of the “lucky” ones.

I haven’t made it out of my PJs today and it’s 3 pm.

Most of the day I can’t stand the smell of chicken, the thought of eating anything with eggs makes me wanna hurl, and when night comes all I want to do is stuff my face with Mexican food and plenty of salsa and sour cream. Which, if you know me, doesn’t make sense. Mexican food has never been a favorite of mine.

My carefully developed habit of waking up at 5:15 every morning has gone by the wayside, along with my motivation to keep up with my blog. Now I get to bed by 11:30 at the earliest and sleep in as long as humanly possible. I have 3 alarms, and I ignore every one of them, even the one that’s supposed to wake up anyone under any circumstance.

I finally jump out of bed when my 3 year old comes into my room asking me if I can make breakfast.

Bright and early. At 9:15. The other morning it was 10:35.

I’m never great about keeping up with all the housework, but don’t even ask me about it today. It’s been glaring at me, and I just don’t have the energy to push myself to do anything more than the dishes.

The constant feeling of nausea/food aversions/maddening hunger/cravings is exhausting. I can’t keep up with how my body feels most of the time.

So I sit. I relax. I don’t do much of anything because I fear that if I do I might find myself over the toilet seat or in the fridge eating everything all at once.

My dreams are out of this world. I wake up every day remembering my dream from the night before very vividly, but unable to even describe much of it to my husband. People I’ve never seen, places I’ve never been to, things I’ve never done. Just last month, I couldn’t remember the last time I remembered even a few seconds of one of my dreams. It was probably during my last pregnancy.

I do my best to play with my daughters, my loves, my bundles of joy, despite how I feel each day. They, too, were once in my body, 4 years ago and 2 ½ years ago, causing so many of these crazy feelings and bodily changes I’m feeling yet again.

Except baby #3 is different.

I feel much more fear for the future, pain in my body, and sadness for my children. I don’t want to feel this way, but I can’t help it.

I guess it’s what my own mother probably went through. And her mother. And my mother-in-law. And her mother. It must be a motherly thing to be concerned for our families when we don’t even have the energy to care for ourselves some days.

Baby #3 will be different because it will already have two sisters waiting to love on it, play with it, and smile at it.

And I know baby #3 might not love me and the rest of us right away, but I know that its love for me, its father, and its sisters will develop over time. It will be impossible to escape.

It’s almost suffocating, thinking about all the extra love another baby will bring to our close-knit family.

I might not feel like I deserve this love now, but it will come with time. And I’ll welcome it with warm, out-stretched arms.

It’s been more than two months since I wrote this, and, fortunately, I feel so much better. I actually wake up even earlier than I did before I was pregnant and I have energy to exercise, declutter, play with my girls, and much more.

If you are experiencing symptoms of antepartum depression (depression while you are pregnant), please let someone know. Your spouse, a doctor, your mom. You shouldn’t try to go through it alone.

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Charlee

I'm a mom of 3 on a journey to feed my family nourishing foods. Personally, I believe that you can feed your family healthy, delicious meals without spending a fortune or slaving away in the kitchen.

Comments

  1. This is perfect! I’m so glad that you took the time to write down your thoughts. This will be a huge help to many women, I’ve no doubt. Motherhood can seem so isolating. We have a sense that other mamas can relate to the roller coaster that we’re on, but it’s not until someone has the presence of mind to vocalize that familiar story that we can take a breath and relax. The truth is so good! Thanks for honestly sharing your story.
    Janeen recently posted…How does Redbox work? 5 ways to save big on moviesMy Profile

    • It’s so true. We can’t relate unless we actually talk about what we’ve been through! Thanks, so much, Janeen, for reading!

  2. Chelsea says:

    Char! I may not live close but I’m only a phone call away! I’m glad you got through this and your words are so descriptive that I felt your sadness. I love you!

    • I know, Chels! I’m just not great expressing myself, especially on the phone, but I know you would’ve been there for me. Love you, too!

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