I would describe myself as a genuinely happy person – I mean, as happy as any Scorpio could be. HA.
That is until my second trimester of pregnancy. Around weeks 15, 16, and 17 I started to get a case of the baby blues. And they oh boy, did they hit me.
I didn’t want to admit to anyone that I was feeling this way. I was embarrassed. And Frustrated. I was…
- Sad and crying All. The. Time. at events that I otherwise would have been able to shake off
- Apathetic with a loss of interest in things that usually would have made me jump out of bed
- Sleeping more than normal
- Lethargic having lost a lot of the energy I gained back in weeks 13 and 14
Mostly, I felt very disconnected from my friends and family. Especially the ones who didn’t have kids or weren’t pregnant. I could feel myself getting further from them and our old lives. It left me feeling anxious and guilty. Guilty for wondering if I made the right decision to get pregnant in the first place. Oh god, is it okay to even say that out loud?!
My husband was traveling for most of the month and even though we talked, texted, and he checked-in all the time, I felt alone. Not only that, he could tell something was up with me and was beyond supportive, understanding, and though he felt helpless, did all he could to make sure I was comfortable.
While it’s perfectly reasonable
to get down from time to time, depression can bring on feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and apathy that can last for days, weeks, or even months that can affect all aspects of your life. Feelings I was pretty unfamiliar with for long bouts of time, and they left me rattled and frustrated. I found it nearly impossible to cope with these symptoms since my job depends on me being lively, energetic and maintaining the persona I’ve created for myself. And also, wasn’t the second trimester supposed to be “the honeymoon phase” of pregnancy?!
My doctor explained that hormonal shifts in pregnancy bring anxiety, stress, and sometimes minor depression. She reassured me a lot of her patients and women feel the same way, about 1 in 10 women have depression during pregnancy, and really, that statistic could be even higher because, like me, so many people are reluctant to admit it.
I was relieved to hear her say she was confident my feelings would pass.
But if these feelings were so common why was no one talking about them?!
I finally got the courage to ask one of my girlfriends who just had a baby if she ever felt how I was feeling.
That’s some good advice.
I sent a few other texts, made a few phone calls and asked the same question to a few other of the new mamas in my life. They ALL answered, “haha, oh my god, yes!”
I immediately felt better I wasn’t alone.
I also remembered my advice I gave myself in my first trimester: Acknowledge and accept my feelings as a regular part of this process. And then let them go. Read more about that here. I used my Five Minute Journal to sort through my thoughts and organize what I wanted to accomplish for the day ahead. I started to take each day as it came and before I knew it, my baby blues came and went in about three weeks.
If you’re experiencing anxiety, stress, or depression in your pregnancy (shit, in your life regardless of who you are) TALK to someone, looking back, I wish I didn’t keep my feelings bottled up. It only made it worse! Tell your healthcare provider and seek the help you may need. It can be as easy as one conversation, or in-depth as strategic treatment plan or medication.
The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale is one resource to help you evaluate your feelings. If you score a 10 or higher, reach out to your healthcare provider, and feel confident that you’re doing the right thing for you, your body and your baby.
Like everything else in life, it WILL pass…but only with the proper decision making.