Depression during Pregnancy Puts a Kibosh on Weekend Fun

We put a lot of effort into getting pregnant.  Trying to conceive with PCOS is no picnic… it took us a year of trying, and that’s with the knowledge of having fertility issues already.  As soon as we started trying, I went back on Metformin.  When that wasn’t working, I took four rounds of Clomid.  So, yeah.  Getting pregnant was most definitely something that we wanted to do.

With that in mind, I never really even considered depression during pregnancy.  I mean, yeah, I knew that depression during pregnancy was something that effected one in ten women.  I knew that women who didn’t get help with depression during pregnancy were more likely to experience postpartum depression.  I had a decent enough amount of textbook knowledge to be aware of the subject and to recognize it in other pregnant women that I’d talked to online… and to suggest that they get help.

After a teary Saturday and looking back at my anxiety, it started to dawn on me.

This is not normal.

For a while now, I’ve been worrying.  I’ve been worrying about being “good enough” when it comes to being Norton’s mom.  I’ve had a hard time taking Norton out places on my own.  That one fail fall at the library didn’t help.  It just made me more worried that I couldn’t do it right.  I was terrified to take Norton to the hospital… not because I was worried that something was really wrong with him, but because I was worried that the hospital staff would declare that his injury was a result of my being an awful parent and they were calling the Ministry (or CPS) because of it.  Strong Start was a great big ball of suck… and that was because of my own worry that I wasn’t being a good mom.  If I’d been able to push back the anxiety just a bit, I’d have recognized Norton’s normal toddler behavior as just that: normal.

I know that I’m a natural introvert.  I chalked my anxiety up to just me being a natural introvert who continuously gets more introverted with age.  I still should have realized then that it was going too far.  Spending hours crying over difficulty at an activity with my toddler wasn’t normal.  Being convinced that I was a terrible mother because of it wasn’t right.

Saturday was when everything just came to a head.

I get up earlier than everyone else in my house.  I grew up in a family of early risers, and I really never got out of that habit.  For me, it’s natural to wake up around 6 o’clock in the morning.  Then I have an hour of peace to myself before everyone starts getting up and moving.  On Saturdays, since no one has to be ushered out the door, I go back to bed for some snuggles with the husband and to wake him up when I decide that… well, I want him up and with me for some adult conversation.  I started out Saturday morning really happy.  I was going to make banana oatmeal pancakes now that I’d found the recipe online once more.  I just needed the husband to go out and grab a fruit tray and some turkey bacon at the grocery store.  It was going to be a brilliant day to top off the brilliant week that Norton and I had managed to have (thanks to the toddler play challenges that I’ve been taking part in).  And the husband was going to start coming home on time again instead of going in late and staying late, so that last two hours of crabby Norton would only be one hour of cranky Norton.

Somehow, all the husband got out of that cheerful stream of morning happiness was that I was struggling with Norton.

And it became suggestions of what I could do better.

In less than five minutes, my happiness had turned to feelings of failure.  I rolled over when I started to cry.  I told the husband to skip going to the store; I was just going to make basic pancakes for breakfast.  I rushed upstairs to start cooking before he heard me sob.

He thought that I’d left because I was angry at him for something, and he didn’t know what.

The rest of the day was spent with a wonderful mixture of my crying, my apologizing, and my feeling like if I just tried harder, things would be better.  I must not have been trying hard enough, otherwise things wouldn’t be so hard.  When he took me back home so that I wouldn’t go shopping all blotchy faced from tears, he thought he was doing me a favor.  I thought he was abandoning me because I was an embarrassment to him, because I wasn’t good enough, because I wasn’t trying hard enough.

While I was alone in the house, I was scrubbing the downstairs bathroom and listening to the same miserable song over and over again on iTunes, with occasional sobs.  That was when it occurred to me: this isn’t normal.  This isn’t right.

This is depression during pregnancy.  This is excessive anxiety during pregnancy.

It’s something that I have to discuss with my OB/Gyn at my next appointment.  I can’t make an appointment to discuss it with my family doctor in between because my family doctor is a bit draconian when it comes to medication during pregnancy.  He is extremely firm about “nothing but Tylenol,” including the medication that keeps me from being stuck in bed with debilitating migraines.  So, yeah.  I’ll have to wait another week and a half to talk to my OB/Gyn about it, but at least he’s a resource that will actually help me.

I knew that depression during pregnancy effected one in ten women.  I just never, ever dreamed that I would be part of that ten percent.  Coming to that realization was not easy.

But it’ll be okay.  I’ll be okay.

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.

Comments

  1. “This is not normal.” Not normal, but definitely not unusual. Pregnancy has made my anxiety and depression worse. Knowing you and I are not alone helps a little. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. I was painfully crazy during my first trimester with Peyton. Scary even. I would pick fights with Todd and walk out and leave and go for a walk and hide somewhere and ignore my phone and sob. I ignored it, it got better until after I had Peyton. Then I couldn’t ignore it anymore and got help.

  3. I probably had the same problem, but never did anything about it. I was so miserable with my second pregnancy, and I should have spoken up, especially knowing that the women in my family are prone to depression.
    I hope your OB/GYN will help you out. And you really don’t need to wait until your next appt if you feel it’s too long. Just call.
    Good luck!

    • Unfortunately, I think I’ll have to (it’s next week). My doctor is out of the country. I hope you eventually got straight!

  4. I’m so sorry you are going through this and I’m glad you are going to see the doctor next week. And know that you have a whole (online) support system that you can yell at, sob to and just otherwise let it all out. You are a great mom and you are doing an amazing job!

  5. Oh no! I hope you get to see your doctor soon and come up with a way to manage the rollercoaster of emotions. It is certainly so hard- the tiredness mixed in with the cocktail of hormones raging in the body.
    In the meantime, while you are waiting for the doctor’s appointment you might want to look into EFT- it helps release built up anxieties. It’s worked for me a couple of times. xxxo

    • EFT? What’s that? When I hear about it, I think “electronic funds transfer.” (I worked way too much retail through school.)

Trackbacks

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