A Postpartum Look at Antepartum Depression

**If you’ve ended up here through searching for info about antepartum depression, and you need someone to talk to. PLEASE EMAIL ME. (allisonzapata at gmail dot com)

A little over a year ago, just shy of eight weeks pregnant, I shared with you my struggle with antepartum depression and anxiety. Up until then, I wasn’t even aware that what I was battling had a name. All I knew was that I felt completely out of control, like I would lose my mind at any second, if I hadn’t already. In what was supposed to be one of the happiest times in my life, I felt a darkness inside of me that shook me to my pregnant core.

To make matters worse, I was terrified to share what I was going through with anyone. Even those closest to me; especially those closest to me. There is something so terribly shameful about feeling such deep sadness and desperation about something so wonderful, something so planned.

Really though, even more than my health, I was so worried about being judged (story of my life). After all, I was judging myself enough as it was.

And I knew what people would say, anyway.

“You are so selfish. Do you know how many people would kill to be in your shoes? Pregnant with a second child! Get over yourself and stop being so fucking dramatic.”

And I did know. The rational part of me knew exactly how fortunate I was. But, drowned out by the insanity I was feeling, the rational part could do nothing to cork the craziness that was slowly bubbling up inside of me.

So, with no where else to go but down, I took a leap of faith and decided to spill my crazy  everything, with everyone. And, much to my dismay, not one single person judged me. At least not to my face. I received love, acceptance, and so many nods of understanding. It seemed I was not the only one holed up in that dark place.

Still, as proud as I am of myself today for having the balls to open up, looking back at what I shared that day saddens me.  Not only over the place I was in, but also because I was far from honest about just how bad things really were. I peppered my confession with jokes, and promises that no one need worry about me. Because, I wasn’t that bad.

But, I wasn’t only that bad, I was much worse.

I spent most of my days hysterical, and…

(I know I am going to get shit for this, but I promised myself I’d be real here today, so here goes.)

… praying for another miscarriage.

I know.

But, at that moment, even that seemed better than what I was feeling.

Anything did.

Those quiet and horrible pleas of desperation only made me feel like more of a monster, spiraling me deeper into the despair that I was drowning in. How could I pray for the loss of something so precious, something so many people would give up everything to have…something I wanted so badly? I loved being a mom. And, having miscarried twins a few years prior, I knew just how devastating it was. Even still, in my not-me state of mind, I felt that pain would be more tolerable than what I was feeling.

Only a monster would have those feelings.

My house and personal life, mirroring my mind, were in complete chaos. I struggled to function, to parent the beautiful son I already had, and to be a loving wife. Or any kind of wife at all, for that matter.

Each day, I went through the motions, like a zombie. I resorted to spoiling my son with too much ice cream and way too many toys. Because I was failing him in the stuff that really mattered, overcompensation became a way of life.

Most of those nine months, if I wasn’t sobbing hysterically, I was unimaginably quiet. And, if you know me at all, you know I’m normally unimaginably not quiet. Anytime I wasn’t tending to my sweet two year old, I was locked away in my room, panicking.

On top of the depression, there were angry outbursts, usually directed towards my husband, simply because he was there. Today, I cringe, remembering the time I screamed in his face, as loud as I could, “I wish you were dead!” Telling him all the things I felt towards myself.

I stared in the mirror often, not recognizing the puffy-eyed image reflected back at me.

What is wrong with you? Why are you so fucked up?

Over and over and over again.

I mean, I was depressed in my first pregnancy, so I knew things might be rough, but this time around the beast had grown much larger and so much scarier. It was unrelenting and determined to win.

Sometimes, in hindsight, I suspect I bordered on mild psychosis.

Scared for myself, my unborn son, and the one I already had, I finally made the right decision and sought professional help.

With antidepressants, and someone telling me that what I was feeling was way more common than I thought (it even had a science-y name!), the beast became manageable….at least somewhat. I still struggled, to be sure, but at least I knew why. Talking myself down off that insane ledge I was balancing on became just a little bit easier.

Several hours after my son was born, the light came flooding in.

It was like a switch had been flipped.

Click.

Just like that.

Whatever had taken over my mind had gotten bored, and quickly decided to give it back to me.

I looked at my little boy and I knew. Every single bad thought, angry outburst, panic attack, all the times I hated being alive…it was all worth it.

Really that instantaneous, I was me again.

I let out the biggest breath, exhaling for what seemed like hours.

Even my husband noticed the black cloud had moved on, and that I was back.

I snuggled my sweet, sleepy miracle, amazed at how I could feel such a connection with him, having felt none when he was inside me.

Something I’m still trying to forgive myself for.

Over a year has passed, and here I sit next to my beautiful Leo; nine months old this very day.

I feel like he’s always been a part of our family, and cannot imagine a world without him and his brother in it.

The road to now was a long, dark, and lonely one, but I made it to the end.

My boys, oh my sweet boys…they are the best things I have ever done.

When people ask me if I want another child, I shake my head and laugh.

Oh, I don’t think I have it in me to handle more than two!

But, the truth is, the two I have now can’t handle it. They need me, all of me. I can’t risk inviting that beast back into my life. It just wouldn’t be fair to them.

My oldest is now almost four, and as happy as anyone I’ve ever met. But, there’s no doubt, I’ll always wonder if I damaged him in some way, during those nine months that I was so damaged.

Eventually, I know I’ll have to let go of this guilt. Because, really, what other choice do I have? But, I’m not yet to a place where I’m ready to do that.

One day, though.

My name is Allison and I struggled with antepartum depression, and I refuse to be secretive or ashamed about it any longer. Because, even if I get a million dirty comments, if one person reads this and feels less alone, every shake of the head and what the fuck is wrong with you is worth it.

If you or someone you know is going through this, I beg of you to be open and honest about it. Do not feel ashamed, because you are not alone. You are not a bad person. Not even a little bit.

Asking for help, though terrifying, was the best move I made. It scares the shit out of me to think how much worse off I could have been, had I not thrown up my hands and cried uncle.

It saddens me that if you type in “antepartum depression” into a search engine, very few resources come up. Perhaps, if more people would talk about it, this wouldn’t be the case.

Above all else, if you are going through this, know that you are not a monster.

It’s the asshole hormones that are.

 

The Day The Light Turned On.

76 thoughts on “A Postpartum Look at Antepartum Depression

  1. First of all, brava for not being silent. Silence gives depression power. By being vocal you are actively helping remove the stigma assorted with depression of all flavors.

    I always struggle with depression, but I think my worst bout was when I got divorced from the girls’ dad. While it was the right decision and a good move for us, those first few months I was NOT the best mother. They were 2 and 3 and I didn’t have the energy for life. It took me a good 8 months to get my emotions sorted out, diagnosed, medicated. So far, they seem no worse for the wear, but sometimes I look at pictures and am a little sad that I wasn’t more “present” even though I was with them all day every day.

    But don’t think for one second that you’re alone in this. And don’t think that you are a bad mother. And don’t think that if anyone judges you that I won’t go kick their ass to next Sunday. xoxox

    • When I think of you (in a non-creepy way), I always think of how lucky your kids are to have you. I think you are on of the most awesome people I know. Can’t wait for the SLUMBER PARTY! Need to plan a date and let the others know! xo

  2. So proud of you for sharing this. My 2nd pregnancy was miserable for a completely different set of reasons (i.e., marriage falling apart right smack in the middle of it), but I had a lot of the same feelings – overcompensating with my oldest, overcome with anxiety and panic, crying all the time, etc.

    And yes, I still worry about the damage I put my now-5 year-old through. Hell, I still worry about what damage I did to Lucy while she was still in utero. Will she be an anxious kid because of what she was exposed to in the womb? It’s stupid, but this is the kind of crap I worry about.

    That Mommy Guilt, man. It’s as much of an asshole as the hormones.

  3. Children are remarkable in their resiliency and forgiveness. At least, I tell myself that daily (hourly?). Good on you for not being silent. Your boys are lucky to have you as a mama.

  4. Hormones are so awful. For what it’s worth, I don’t think anything you were feeling was monstrous. Feelings aren’t wrong, only actions. And you are so brave for writing this post.

  5. I didn’t experience AD until my third pregnancy. By the time I was 6 months pregnant, though, it was so awful. I went back on my meds. I had to. I was drowning.

    With my fourth pregnancy, I didn’t even think about NOT taking the medication. And I breezed through the pregnancy, easily, and in a lovely haze of hip pain and acid reflux. Regular stuff. Regular stuff is SO GOOD after such awful stuff.

    I’m glad you shared this. Because so many women feel so awful about it, and it’s not uncommon.

  6. Oh my gosh, Allison. Sometimes I feel like we are soulmates. Just last night, I told my husband, remind me that I absolutely cannot do this again. I’ve been treated for depression and anxiety for over 10 years – but the guilt added on to that while pregnant is unbearable. Once my despair and shame over not doing anything but sleeping for the first 12 weeks passed, I got the gift of violent mood swings. I can go from 0 to completely worthless in 60 seconds. And you are not the only one to think life would be so much easier if that (planned-for, wished-for) baby did not come at all. Thanks so much for sharing your struggle – at the perfect time to make me feel not alone. Rest assured, I am getting help (I always do) – but it is still hard.

    • The mood swings are the worst. Completely out of control feeling….and then the guilt. SUCKS! So happy for you and it’s all so worth it in the end. Glad we all have a safe place to talk about the shitty parts of it all. LOVE YOU! xo

  7. Dude…What the hell is wrong with you?!

    I found at LEAST 2 other lines where you could have inserted an asterisk. 😉 Seriously, thanks for posting this on behalf of all of those you’ve given strength to, through your honesty. Glad someone can keep it real. *fist pump*

  8. Battling depression while pregnant is bastard cousin of the black sheep of the family PPD. It seems to be even less talked about and that is a shame.

    I struggled after my 1st pregnancy, a rather tough one, with what I now know was PPD. When I got pregnant with my 2nd one I felt so alone, so angry, so scared of my own thoughts. Hell, I even resorted to the bible that is google to see if there was such a thing as pregnany induced depression. Sadly, I sank so much deeper after the birth of my son that I know for certain that I cannot attempt anymore kidlets.

    Thanks for sharing this.

  9. I have to echo the others and say bravo to you for speaking out. The more we keep depression and other mental illnesses in the dark, the more we perpetuate the shame and the pain of the disease. Mental illness is a part of our lives just as physical illness is. We wouldn’t be ashamed to admit we have diabetes, or a heart condition, or hypothyroidism, but we’re nervous to admit that we have dysthymia, depression, anxiety, and bipolar II. My point is, every time we speak out about our own mental illness we shed light on the darkness. You have taken your light and shared it with others and that’s a pretty damn good thing to do, my friend.

    *Fist bump*

  10. Thank you for posting this. My baby is 6 months old and I never even knew this was a *thing* before I read your post. However, I now realize that what I went through in my own pregnancy, albeit not as serverly as yours, was this antepartum depression. I was a miserable wreck, panicked all the time, wishing I wasn’t pregnant, being extremely harsh with my food and exercise. I knew I felt not me, for lack of a better term, but I didn’t realize until I had the baby just how bad I was. Thanks for giving it a name.

    • I’m so sorry you went through it, too. It really is so hard to explain unless you’ve been there. And the feeling when you have the baby. Sweet, sweet relief. Thanks for sharing your story with me…makes me feel more normal 🙂 xo

  11. I hope it isnt weird that a Guy reads your Blog and finds it very informative. This one will help me understand if my wife goes through it, As we are going through the phases of in-vitro soon. Now I know of the hormone beast that may come a knocking. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Wow. Why have I not found your blog until this week? This is the second post I’ve read that touched my heart. It’s amazing that you have opened up and been so honest about what you were experiencing, I can promise you that it will help someone out there who may not have the strength to speak out until they read this. Bravo for that.

    On a personal level, this unfortunately was a shared experience. To a lesser extent with my first-born, who has just turned 14. My anxiety and depression were through the roof. I didn’t know what it was – I spoke to a counselor who said it was “normal” (can you believe it?) and I feared that I would be the worst mother on the planet. That and debilitating morning sickness almost sent me over the edge. After the baby was born, I felt better, but not like myself at all and after (the same) therapist telling me that the depression that set in after I stopped breastfeeding at eight months was not depression, again I felt like some sort of crazy person. I finally (thank God) got treated and went on to recover, albeit never fully. Hormones and I are not the best of friends and never have been, but pregnancy, post-partum and then quitting breastfeeding were the undoing of me. I spent the next two years terrified of every feeling that bad again – I felt the same guilt you describe – INTENSE guilt for all the ways I thought I could not be a good mother and how I really didn’t want to be a mother – it was all hormones. Even fourteen years ago, there was no literature readily available, no-one ever talked about it and I was certainly judged by family members and had a husband who found it very, very difficult to understand it or support me.

    I finally took the leap of faith and got pregnant again. Within about seven weeks, the depression was severe and the OB/GYN that was treating me, immediately put me onto anti-depressants, which probably saved my sanity. I ended up with an incredibly challenging pregnancy, bedrest for 17 weeks, no family living in the USA and the stress of trying to take care of my three year old daughter when on bedrest. It was altogether a nightmare and I cried so many nights at the failure I felt at doing the thing that “should” come most naturally to a woman. So I really related to your guilt – it was incapacitating. I wish I’d had blogging back then and all the wonderful support groups that are out there and mostly the HONESTY – like yours that will enable women to feel supported and loved, not judged or ridiculed at times like these. If only I’d known what it was and that it happens, it would have made it more bearable.

    The stress of that pregnancy took it’s toll on me and my entire family. I had switched OB/GYN’s in the middle of it and the doctors that took over my high risk pregnancy were strangely less supportive than the man doctor I had initially. When the severe feelings that you described above returned at nine months post-partum, a serious case of post-partum set in, which took many many months to recover from. Again, hormones can just be crazy-making for some of us and I’m one of them.

    My 2 children are now 10 and 14 and are fairly well adjusted human beings and I love them more than life. Like you, I still think back on some of those terrible times and feel that they, and I, were cheated of what should be a beautiful time. I see other women glow in their pregnancies and sail through motherhood and I feel twinges of regret and envy at times. However, looking at my two beauiful children, I know that I was blessed to have got help, even if the resources weren’t out there at the time.

    This is why what you wrote is such a blessing. And you are so brave to have written it. Because there are so many of us, out there, many lurking in the shadows like we did, wondering what is wrong with them and judging themselves far more harshly than anyone else would probably do. You’ve brought it into the light. Both in yourself and for others. Thank you from my heart for that.

    Tricia : )

    • WOW. Like, what else do you do after a medical profession says it’s normal? What the fuck. That’s awful. So glad you got through it!!!

      I’m so happy you found my blog, too. Because I found you! And you are delightful!!

      Thanks for sharing here.

      XOXOXO

  13. Oh those hormones are brutal.

    I was completely miserable during both of my pregnancies. My mother even remarked one time that I had tried so hard to get pregnant why couldn’t I just be happy. Good question. With Bud the anxiety ramped up throughout the pregnancy to where at the end I was an insane mess (I tried to get up off the table after my spinal had been given to me). I ended up having to go on Zoloft for about six months after he was born until all of the crazy was out of my system. One day I just woke up and realized I didn’t need it anymore. The sun was shining brighter and the sky was bluer and my baby was perfect.

    I think it is brave and wonderful that you are speaking out. I hope anyone that reads and has these feelings will feel more comfortable asking for help now that they know they aren’t alone.

  14. I have been reading your blog a lot lately and have really enjoyed it. Thank you for your honesty. I have struggled with bi polar disorder and a miscarriage that went very very badly and I get that shame you feel about bringing up hard subjects or admitting that you are not fine. It can be so hard, good for you for choosing to be very honest here. I’m so happy to know things turned out well for you and your family. =)

    • Thank you very, very much!! I think if we all just talk about these things…and say FUCK THE SHAME! We will find that so many people are or have been in the same shitty boat!!!

      Hope all is well and happy with you now.

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!! xoxoxo

  15. “Every silver lining’s got a touch of grey”. I have not birthed any babies, but at some point during both of my adoptions I get Fah-reeked out. With my son I got debilitating depression, turned my day’s into nights, stopped going to work, ate ALL THE THINGS,it was awful. Two years later I experienced a failed adoption the final month of my Master’s program…those were good times.The only people who seemed to be able to relate to my pain were those who had miscarried. Thankfully, a year after that, my daughter’s adoption was a quickie…like, found out about her on a Sunday and was holding her on a Tuesday (in Houston by the way).

    I survived all of those situations because of the internet people…you know, the ones that live inside the internet. Chat groups and message boards. “Normal” people didn’t keep the same hours as I did. I could say ANYTHING to the internet people.

    I appreciate your candor and your ability to expose yourself*. Thanks for sharing your story and for asking for help when you needed it.

    • A failed adoption IS a miscarriage. Same same feelings!! I’m so sorry you went through that! 🙁

      And I would DIE without all you wonderful people who live in my computer.

      Thanks for being there.

      LOVE TO YOU!

      xo

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  17. Hi!
    I am 7 weeks away from birthing my fourth. I had three previous uneventful pregnancies where I glowed like an earth mother and probably sweated patchouli.
    This one kicked my ass. I used to make ‘jokes’ about throwing myself down the stairs. I mean, they were jokes, I wasn’t quite at that place, but the fact that it crossed my mind…
    I resented being pregnant, I had no attachment to the child, my friends listened to me bitch about being miserable and one eventually told me, “Yes, but you Chose to get pregnant, it’s not as if it wasn’t planned” Obviously she didn’t get it. Of course I didn’t get it either. I have NEVER heard the term antepartum depression, and while I didn’t suffer to the same degree as you, I certainly have a sense of what you experienced.
    I don’t know if I can credit the book Momma Zen as the turn around, or just that the timing worked that way, but I eventually made peace with this little thing in me, and no longer feel that anger/resentment/desire to give it back/lack of connection/and at times disgust.
    I never found myself hiding it from people, because I couldn’t. Upon learning of pregnancy the inevitable “Oh Congratulations!” would come and I couldn’t fake the response, so I would roll my eyes and say ‘I don’t want it”
    Plenty of strange looks received, but you know what? Tough titties.

    This was an excellent post, well written, honest, and heartfelt. I would like to thank you for making me feel a little more normal. I am glad to hear that your storm cloud dissipated (and I love the name Leo)

    • Thank you!!

      I LOVE it that you had the balls to tell it like it was!! So refreshing and helpful to so many of us.

      Also, Tough titties? AHAHHAHAHAH! Awesome.

      Thanks again. xoxoxo

  18. Mine was not this bad either time, but I understand the feelings. And come to find out mine wasn’t depression at all. This is an amazing post and took so much strength.

  19. Awesome awesome post. I have OCD and anxiety and am off my meds while pregnant (currently on #2) and it is bad enough feeling like this and knowing WHY. I can’t imagine feeling it before knowing what it truly was and while pregnant to boot and not knowing why. Good for you for seeking the help you needed!

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  21. I’ve been depressed pretty much my whole life. I’ve had drugs and counselors in my face since I was 10ish. I even took a short trip, well two, to the locked part of the hospital.

    I was terrified that pregnancy and then the postpartum time period would completely unhinge me. I think it did a little the first time around.

    After Alexa was born I went on Zoloft because I was having anxiety attacks…but it make me headachey and head zappy feeling so I stopped taking it. It took me a long time to get over that part of my initial parenting experience.

    I’m so proud of you for talking about your depression and for sharing this with the whole world. It makes the rest of us not feel so crazy to know we’re not alone.

  22. You are so cool. You are cool anyway, but writing this just bumped you up like 10 cool points.

    I was depressed at one point too, and although it wasn’t exactly the same as yours, it was without a doubt the hardest thing I’ve ever been through in my life. Feeling like every single day is a struggle to breathe, while having to take care of a toddler, while drafting suicide notes every day in my head….nobody should have to feel that way.

    Good for you for getting the help you needed. And for me. Good for both of us. Good for anyone who has done it. There is no shame. You know what would have been a shame? For our little boys to have lost their mothers to suicide because of depression they were too ashamed to get treatment for.

    So, fuck yeah for us. FUCK YEAH.

  23. I had this. I never told anyone. Not even my husband. I had no insurance so never sought medical help. We were 12 hours away from all family and trying to sell our house at the same time I was pregnant with #2. I went into early labor at 6 months from the stress, and was on bedrest the last trimester, trying to sell our house, trying to take care of my toddler, trying not to fall COMPLETELY apart.
    Mine eased considerably after giving birth, but not completely. Then i found myself pregnant again 6 months later. Can I tell you just how Terrified i was? How many times i thought the same “wish i would miscarry” thoughts? Oh and the guilt, and the newborn, and the toddler, and the husband who worked an hour away, with our only car, and no friends, no family to help me at all?
    yeah, those were awesome times.
    i’m good now [5 years later] but it was a hell of a road, and one I never let anyone else see- except my kids unfortunately.
    I am daily amazed that they love me the way that they do. That they still smile and call out “Mommy!” with joy when they first see me in the mornings.
    It was years ago, but I’m crying as i write this there is still such a feeling of secret shame- I have still never told my family.
    How ridiculous is that? I guess because i honestly don’t think they would understand. Or would simply shrug it off as something in the past and over with so no longer important.
    So thank you for sharing. i needed that.
    Nice to know I wasn’t alone.

    • UGH. I am SO SORRY you had go through that alone in your head. So, so hard. I’m so happy you got through it! BRAVO!!!

      Glad we all have each other to talk to about it.

      LOVE TO YOU!

      xo

  24. Thanks for this, it made one more awful day a little bit easier to get through. I am 19 weeks along and have been severely depressed and anxious since I found out I was pregnant with my first. It’s an awful nightmare that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. What really stood out to me about your story is that you did get help and did go on an AD but it didn’t magically “cure” you. Every time I read a story about antepartum depression, it ends with “And then I decided to get help and go on a pill and everything got better.” But what do you do when you HAVE done all that stuff, and it’s still not better? You just hold on, I guess. So glad your story had a happy ending. I’m not holding out any hope that I will magically snap out of it when he’s born, because I had problems with anxiety and depression even before I was pregnant, but it’s nice to know it can happen.

    • Hi! So, I have been sitting here since I got your comment, searching my brain for something to tell you. Something to make you feel better! And it KILLS ME to know that you are feeling this right now, b/c I know EXACTLY how awful it is. When I was going through it, I could not fathom how on earth I would ever make it to the end. It didn’t seem possible. The days were so long, and never ending, and the months..ugh..the months.

      I want to tell you that I promise you will make it through, and that it will be OK, and that it is MORE WORTH IT THAN YOU COULD EVER IMAGINE. EVER. I wouldn’t have done it TWO TIMES if it weren’t. I’m sitting here typing this, with two little boys next to me watching cartoons and making my house SO MESSY! And I have goosebumps, because I never thought I’d be here. And the whole time I was pregnant with them, I wanted NOTHING to do with it. It just seemed way too hard. I FELT INSANE. And probably was.

      So, as much as I wish I could, I can’t tell you that the AD I took (zoloft) made me love pregnancy, or took away all the pain I was in, I can tell you that it helped tremendously. It helped me to recognize why I was feeling those horrible things, and it was easier for me to get a handle on them.

      I am sending you SO MUCH LOVE – SO SO MUCH! And support. And a reminder THAT YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!!!!

      PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE feel free to send me an email ANY TIME OF THE DAY OR NIGHT when you want to talk, or feel like you are going to lose it completely. My personal email is allisonzapata at gmail dot com.

      MEMORIZE IT. USE IT.

      Love and hugs to you…I can’t wait for you to have that baby and for us to talk about how happy you were that you went through this hell.

      xoxoxoxooxoxoxo

  25. Thank you for posting this. I am 28 weeks pregnant with my first child and the depression, anxiety, and sense of loneliness hit me like a ton of bricks about 2 weeks ago and I haven’t been able to shake it. I cry throughout the day and find it very difficult to open up. I did contact my doctor today and I am going to see a psychiatrist. I see a light at the end of the tunnel and I thank you for opening up to the world and making the rest of us not feel so alone during such a difficult time.

    • Hi bianca i admire your brave spirit. i kno i should talk to someone about my depression but i can never get enough courage because i fear wat others wud say.

  26. Um struglin from this type of depression. im 5 months prego and my partner is always telling me how worthless and pathetic i am. I feel totally alone and worthless i hate getting up daily its jus too much of a struggle and i really dnt kno wat i should do.

  27. I just cried the whole time while reading this and your last sentence made me laugh. I can relate to this and I’m only in my first trimester. I do talk about it to my friends and family but I make my crying fits comical to them so they don’t worry. I constantly think, what the hell is wrong with me, why aren’t I happy!! I’m hoping that this will let up by the second trimester, but if it doesn’t I promise I will go get professional help.

  28. Thank you for this honest and thoughtful post. I found it from searching for “antepartum depression.” I am 5 months into my first pregnancy. I’ve struggled with depression since I was 17 but the episode that coincided with this pregnancy has been worse than anything yet. I’ve had anxiety or panic attacks, which I’ve never had before. I’ve worried that I’ll never work again. I’ve alienated myself from so many friends. I’ve spent more time than I could ever imagine crying. I’ve definitely wished for a miscarriage, even though it’s a planned pregnancy. And I know I’ve scared my husband a lot. I live pretty far from most of my family and my closest friends, which has been a huge source of anxiety for me. Of course I stay in touch by phone and email, but there’s something about being physically away from what’s familiar that has started me crying many times.

    Right now I AM getting better. But the process is incredibly slow, with many days feeling as if I’m starting at the bottom again. And I’m doing it with the help of medication, a great psychiatrist, a patient husband, therapy, self-help books and podcasts and a lot of patience for myself. Not to mention trying to exercise, see friends…the list of things I try to turn to for solace and the types of help I’ve sought out goes on and on. And yet I still can be overcome by anxiety at any second. It’s very reassuring to read that you’ve made it through to the other side. It’s such a scary thing to imagine the unknown feelings that will come after the baby is born.

    It’s so unfortunate how little info there is out there for women who are struggling with this. Many women don’t have the resources I do. I don’t even have a child to deal with yet–I can imagine that with a second child it is so much worse. I’ve spent a lot of time on this forum: http://community.babycenter.com/groups/a1041035/blue_and_pregnant_the_antepartum_depression_group and found it helpful. I hope through sites like yours and forums like this, more people will recognize and validate women’s struggles with antepartum depression.

  29. Pingback: Seven Years…And Still Counting. | me and mine

  30. Pingback: The Beast Known As Antepartum Depression | me and mine

  31. It hasn’t gotten to this point for me. Yet. I have three weeks until my due date, and it’s just now beginning to take over (I think you understand irritable uterus and doctor-assigned rest?).

    Thank you for the hope that when she finally comes out, normalcy will be restored.

    But can I ever have a second one…

  32. Thank you for being so blunt and sharing your story. I am due to have my third any day now and I have put off getting help, I kept thinking I am going to get my shit(pardon the language) together and be just fine. I am so worried about how it will be once this baby comes out. I have been trying to share but I have had many people tell me that I am awful for feeling so negative when this is something so amazing and women struggle to get pregnant. I felt like I am only allowed to be happy and heaven forbid I need any help. I just want to run away to where people hear and understand what I am saying.

  33. Thank you so much for sharing this. I cannot imagine how hard it was for you to share with the world online let alone with your family and loved ones. I want you to know that reading this has made me feel a lot better about things, and helps me know that I am not alone in how I feel. It even gives me more hope (hope that I desperately needed) that once my baby (our third boy) is born there is a chance that I will be able to bond with him like I did with my other two and that there is a chance I can go back to being the wife mother and boss I was before. So know that if nothing else you have helped me, hate myself a little less and look for the future some.

  34. Thank you for sharing this. I am going though this now with my pregnancy and its hard. I am on meds for it but its still rough.I feel like my life is completely out of control, its hard to do anything. I have a 4 year old that I love so much and I hate that she is seeing me go through this.I try so hard to be myself but I’m not and I want it so bad. I feel like the meds were working then all of a sudden it feels like they stopped. I just want it to go away so I can be myself again, I miss being myself. I hope and pray that I will be myself again after my daughter is born. Your post has given me hope that I will get better and recover from this horrible depression and anxiety. I just want to love this baby that I feel so disconnected from. Your story has given me hope and helped me to not feel so alone.

  35. I wish I had seen this a week ago…I had vaguely heard of Antenatal depression, but no medical person had mentioned it to me as a possibility, even though I had history of depression in past. After 5-6 weeks of decline, the last 3 in strife with husband, I sort of dissociated and aborted. Two days later, everything lifted, like a light switch, as you said. And that was when I goggled antenatal psychosis (because it felt like I’d been psychotic for weeks) and found you. Unfortunately, unlike the other comments, I now have the grief of no baby – I didn’t know to get help, my husband didn’t know that my fixated thinking and inability to see a positive outcome was fixable – and antenatal appointments this early aren’t frequent or long enough for a midwife to catch it, even if I could have admitted what was going on in my head. I am horrified that it led to the conclusion it did, and my grief (for a long-awaited, must-wanted, late-in-life child) is only softened by the realisation that it was my brain chemistry and not my true desire that led to the loss of my baby. The first item I found in my search was a medical article about the increase of cortisol from the 2nd trimester, which works against serotonin, so it’s no wonder this happened. I just wish there was as much knowledge and publicity about this as about PPD/PND, because perhaps my outcome would have been different. Though you posted this years ago, it’s still relevant and vital that it’s find-able.

  36. I stumbled upon your post while looking up ways to help what I have. It brought me to tears. I hate when people say “I know what you’re going through. ” However I do know what you went through. I am going through it every day and I cried reading this so much because it felt like you were writing my life! (I’m currently 29 weeks.) My thoughts the way I feel how ashamed and alone I am. You got it all to a tee. everything you said just clicks with me. Like omg other people have felt this way too? I was diagnosed around 7 weeks or so and until my mother and husband forced me to seek help I thought I was just a bad and horrible person. Even though the doctor tells me I’m not alone and it’s kind of common I never believed her until I read your post. I always hate myself and think what the heck do I have to be depressed about?! Like you I hate myself and have thought several times of miscarrying. Also don’t take this the wrong way but I feel some relief reading that you felt no connection with your baby while in the womb. Because I don’t either I never have. (we wanted to get pregnant too) I am relieved though because you said it went away. It gives me hope. Thank you for writing this. It’s amazing.

  37. I am undergoing much of the same emotions you have described. It all started on early morning, Aug’25, 2014. I was 5 months into my pregnancy at the time. My husband and I had watched the film “What dreams may come”. The last sentence we discussed while the last time I was in sane mind was that my husband would post on his FB profile “Hope Christy finally has found his place of rest” (you know Robin Williams committed suicide just a few days prior to that). I don’t even know what I was dreaming about that night, but I woke up at 4:00 in the morning, with a feeling of stifling, frightening, desperate and most fearsome loneliness. It was as if the whole world had forsaken me. I tried not to wake up my husband, and went out to the balcony, to get a fresh burst of air, maybe. The condition worsened. I felt that I was going to get mad. I still cannot remember the dream, but ever since I have been terrified and obsessively compelled about death. The thoughts those cross my mind are “Whether you get to meet your loved ones in your afterlife?”, “Whether my beloved pets would be there too?” “What would I do once I am 60 and my kids have grown up and I retire?” “My hubby and I are not obviously going to die together, so what’s going to happen to the one who is left behind?” “Do I even have the strength to withstand the death of my loved ones?” “What will happen when I myself eventually die?” Even when I have taken Valium 5 mg the previous night, I wake up the next morning feeling desperately longing for the past. It becomes unbearable. I am terrified to go to sleep, because I feel it has got something to do with my dreams. Your post has been a real ray of hope. My father’s a doctor and he has already diagnosed that it is going to clear up after my pregnancy, but while in my irrational state of mind, all positive messages of hope lose their meaning, and I feel, “What if it continues to post-partum stage?” or simply that “My child is also going to be a mortal, why give him the pains of going through this life?” I do hope that he grows up one day to conclusively give us the answers to all my (mankind’s) unanswered questions.

    Believe me, your post has not even for a moment made any of us think that you were a monster, rather, we, the sufferers really know what the damaged brain and muddled up hormones can make you do. Thank you for sharing it!!

  38. Thank you so much for writing this. I am struggling with exactly the same thing right now and I feel like I am losing my mind. Just hearing that you got through it and it passed the minute your beautiful baby was born makes me feel better. Though I don’t know how I will get through the next 2 months…every day feels like a month, so it’s hard to imagine 2 real months of this anxiety and struggle. With your words in mind, though, I’ll keep fighting this and seeking treatment. Thank you!!

  39. I wish I had found this post earlier. My second pregnancy was HARD, I had some crazy sadness and mood swings that were by far way more severe than they should be. After I had my son I was A OK as if nothing had ever been wrong. I did not battle PPD I had absolutely no issues and was back to my bubbly self. So I wrote it off as me just being emotional. Well, this is my third pregnancy…I’m now 2 weeks away from my due date and honest to God some days I’ve felt as if my entire world was falling apart. Everyday iI say I hate being pregnant. I hate it I hate every single thing about it, I sometimes have hated waking up and every time anyone says anything positive about my pregnancy I cringe. It is an unbelievable feeling that I cannot stand. I feel terrible, I regognize this is not normal, I knowwhen my baby is out iI will be OK because it has happened before but I’ve almost had complete mental break downs because I wanted to NOT be pregnant. Then I sit here thinking what is wrong with you why or how could you say that!?! I love my other two sons with every itsy bitsy bit of my heart, I know I will this one as well, I know if I could just have him already I’d be fine and it feels like every day I’m still pregnant is draining the last bit of happiness from my life. Isn’t that terrible? So many people are so elated so happy over pregnancy and I sit here full heartedly pissed off daily to the point that if I hear awwww you have pregnancy glow one more time I’ll say no that’s a rosiness in my face from crying.

    Sorry for the long post. I’m almost done now and I know I’ll be fine soon but I’ve elected to get my tubes tied soon after labor as I could never deal with this again. But you made me feel better that I’m not just the crappiest person alive because this is the first time I’ve ever said any of this.

  40. Thank you for writing this. The part about praying for a miscarriage really hit home. I’ve prayed and wished and hoped for a miscarriage all through my three (planned) pregnancies. I’ve never been able to admit that to anyone.

    It’s the same with me: as soon as that baby is out the darkness leaves and I am back to being me. I’ve always thought I was alone in this. Thank you so much for sharing.

  41. 2016 and your post is still helping people! Thank you for your honesty and openness to express what you went through. This is happening to me during my first pregnancy. At first I thought it was because I was tired. Then I thought it was because I couldn’t sleep. But, now, after reading your experience, I understand that my dark cloud of despair is antepartum depression. I am trying to find help during these last two months of pregnancy and now I don’t feel so alone. Thanks.

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