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For part 1, read this.
I sank low in the beginning of this pregnancy. There was the sickness. The gall bladder (although it’s still unsure that was the true issue. Whatever it was, I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy). The constant dealings with the emotional highs and lows of a growing toddler, pushing her limits. The painful exhaustion.
As the number of weeks of pregnancy edged up, I felt less and less like I was holding on to sanity.
Have you ever listened to yourself speak and hated everything you said? I knew I was annoying my husband on purpose. I knew I was saying things I would regret. I knew I was lashing out at Libbie when the real problem was me. But I couldn’t make it stop.
I thought if I wanted hard enough to not go back on the meds for the sake of the baby, I could do it. (Despite advice from my beloved general practitioner in Nashville, who told me I could go off anti-depressants when Libbie graduated from high school.)
It wasn’t until I couldn’t even stand to be around myself that I had to give up and give in. I hate to even use that terminology–“give in.” Perhaps what I should say is, it took until about 22 weeks of pregnancy for me to realize I should stop being such a bull-headed crazy lady and accept the medical help I needed.
Thankfully, the risk factors for the medicine I am on are very small and almost entirely ensconced in the first trimester. There is a small issue that the baby might go through withdrawal, since the medicine is not passed through breastmilk, but if Libbie went through it I certainly didn’t notice anything. I am on a very low dose, and I don’t imagine it will be much of a problem.
Recently I read It Sucked and Then I Cried, Dooce‘s book about her first pregnancy and the beginning of her baby’s life, through which she suffered great depression and ended up in a mental institution.
Despite our obvious political and religious differences, I laughed through a lot of the book. I was relieved someone else hates being pregnant. And I became overwhelmed by the thought of where I could spiral to. I am not willing to give up these years of my babies’ lives to the Monster because I am too prideful to take a stupid pill. I thoroughly enjoyed Libbie’s babyhood, and I intend to do the same with this baby, although I know it will be immensely different (with two kids and not working outside the home).
If you ever want to talk to anyone candidly about depression—or motherhood—or anything, please get in touch with me. I am truthful to a fault, probably, but no one needs to struggle through these things alone.