Its yet another early morning of waking up full of anxiousness, and the kicking and twirling in my stomach courtesy of my lovely fetus Eriane. Today I felt very depressive. There I admitted it. I felt this tremendous weight on my shoulders and soul. The mind boggling thing is that I have zero idea why. Granted, I have a lot going on….but when don’t I? I must also admit that I have been avoiding the moment of facing the issues about my depression, because I am unsure how it will be taken….and how to rid myself of it? I mean people are just starting to believe in post partum depression, so for others to understand pre-natal and/or antenatal depression (before birth) is a bit much.
So often, others who don’t normally experience ongoing severe depression cannot understand why there isn’t a reason for the sadness. It often pains me to answer, “I don’t know” when someone picks up that I am feeling blue. I have said this before, and I will repeat myself; depression HURTS! Like my head hurts, my body feels out of wack, I can barely concentrate despite the normal pregnancy inconvenience. My smile though genuine takes a lot of energy to use. My appetite and sleep does not exist, and to top it off…I am currently a human punching bag. And chile, let me tell you Eriane Gabrielle Elizabeth has got a jab on her like her daddy.
I rarely like to communicate, and I am fixated with “Mom guilt,” but that’s a blog for another day. I overall feel moody, weary, and lack energy. And yet, like the Sunflower previously discussed, I am able to turn my head to the light for a second or two; before I close all the blinds and hide under the covers. I believe that despite all of these symptoms, I most despise my irritability with my two year old. Now before I go on….Erilyn is a handful. She is very curious, inquisitive, demanding, and stubborn like most Taurus’. So to say she tests my gangsta daily is an understatement. I still get up, feed her, take her to school, and I head to work. On a good day, I can whip up a nutritious and delicious meal, but it is imperative that I get a mental and physical nap. Today, my mother suggested that now would be the time to take maternity leave. I was on the fence because I am still able to function both at home and at work…..its just a struggle. And I have mouths to feed so I only want to utilize my time off for actual delivery and post partum. I wondered to myself…”How did she know I was feeling like I was going to explode?” “How did she know that I felt like I was drowning in depression with no water?” I simply responded….Not yet, let me work just a little while longer.
I can remember during my pregnancy with Erilyn. That was literally the hardest thing I have ever done. I remember that the mood swings would come and go, and that I rarely smiled. I had no one to touch my stomach and feel the baby kick, and I felt totally isolated. I also remember things getting really bad during my third trimester. Now this seems to be a pattern. Maybe its the increase in hormones; coupled by the irregular brain chemistry due to bipolar. Or maybe just maybe, I am scared….afraid because the baby is becoming real. There is very little to no research about mentally ill pregnant women and their constant struggles. Whether its healthy to breastfeed and/or take medication while pregnancy. What to do when your normal coping mechanism don’t work? How do you communicate to your partner how you feel and what you need for them; when you have no idea what that request looks like?
This time around my circumstances are totally different. I have support from my husband and father. I am excited about carrying my husband’s legacy, and I overall feel in control of this pregnancy as it was not a surprise. There is no hate being spewed in my directions to “get rid of it.” Instead, I am greeted with, “you are glowing and are carrying the baby well.” “How are you doing it all?” and my favorite, “This baby is a total blessing for you and your family. So, as you can see; my lingering depression irritability, and anxiety are frustrating. To top it off, I feel as if I have no one to confide in who actually understands what it means to be mentally ill and expecting. I have looked for support groups to no avail, and I am terrified that if this continues to go on not being dealt; with that some horrible things will be repeated. For one, I have not been able to wean myself off of my anti-anxiety medication because the feeling is too much to handle. This this medication is going straight to our baby. This leads me to my next fear which is that Eriane will have to withdraw from my medications when she is born; hence a stay in the NICU. I am unsure if I can handle all of this pressure on top of my daily struggles. Despite the negative things, I feel more in control over my actions. I am not self-medicating. I feel comfortable enough to let somebody….hell anybody know when I cannot take it anymore. Though I am comfortable, its frightening when I think about my three week hospitalization aka “preggo lady suicide watch.” That time period was miserable, and I’d rather not go down that path; however, I will do whatever it takes for the betterment of my baby girls.
I one day would like to research this issue and document days such as this in my next self-help book. Know that writing this post had made me feel vulnerable and a tad embarrassed; however, I know that discussing sensitive topics such as this is necessary for helping others and thus helping myself. I reckon that I can really meditate and pray on this subject. Continue to utilize and find new coping skills and activities. I am truly unsure. What I do know is that I have ventured into a real dark place before….and this aint it. But I want to be proactive. I have an entire family counting on me and my balance with mental health. When one joins their soul with another….in marriage everything affects the other. Despite the sacrifice I am ever so excited for my little Eriane to get here…healthy and happy. I truly hopes she gets my husbands soft and kind eyes and warm smile……The day she is born will be a lovely day.
In closing, My toddler can sense when something is wrong and asks “Are you otay mummy?” She usually has this strong look of concern, and her voice is so innocent. I hate lying to my daughter, but I secretly wipe my tears and say proudly, “Mummies okay….don’t you worry.” Because that’s what mummies do!
* Tries to sleep again after just one more swig of Lavender tea*