Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Pregnancy and Depression.

A lingering, debilitating tummy bug, sensitivity to smells, a late period… I was in complete denial. I had a day of spotting and assumed that my period was scanty because I had been so sick – four weeks of the runs – on and off – for my entire family. My boss made a joke – ‘You’re not pregnant are you?’ I laughed ‘Don’t you have to have sex to get pregnant?’. I’d been too ill to contemplate sex, I couldn’t remember the last time. But I thought – ah well, let’s get a test and see.  Almost as an afterthought that evening – without saying a word to Steve, who was playing with Ruby, I went to the bathroom and pee’d on the stick. Instantly, two pink lines. If you had asked me what my reaction would have been a few minutes before I would have said ‘Joy! I love babies and although the timing is crap, I would be delighted to be pregnant again.’ So imagine my shock when I immediately burst into loud and unhappy sobs.

We had planned for a much, much later pregnancy – I had just started a new job – literally two weeks before conception. I was so ill – I had already taken three days off work. The day after I did the test I was hospitalized for dehydration, and booked off for another 3 days. Ruby had just started Nursery School and was still crying every day when I dropped her off. I was struggling to work and mother and feeling guilty about getting a job – which we desperately needed because we were struggling financially. Nights were horrendous – Ruby has never been a sleeper and she started getting snotty and coughing. Steve went off to Martinique for three weeks on business. I moved in with my mom – and spent a weekend with my in laws – which in retrospect was a mistake, it is very hard being sick and miserable in an unfamiliar home. I became severely depressed. ‘Depressed?’ you say! ‘Surely not!’ How could you be depressed when you have been blessed with the miracle of new life? What kind of mother are you? What kind of failure as a woman? Don’t you know how many people struggle to conceive and here you are fecund and fertile? Ingrate!

But there I was. There I am. I’m 8 weeks in. Morning sickness (what a joke – all fucking day sickness) is dogging every step. Each day is different, some days I dry heave a few times a day, some days I retch when I see people smoking or think about broccoli. Some days I have slight, completely manageable nausea. Some days I wish I was dead. Some days I wish the baby was. And as I write that, through tears, I realize that I don’t wish that. At all. I just really want to want this baby, and I don’t know how to do that. I don’t want to make the appointment with a midwife, I don’t want to have to make any decisions. I don’t want to have to admit that this is really real. I just wish I could feel not sick, not sore, not sad. 


  1. I am so, so sorry that you're having such a rough time. Things will get better.

  2. thanks marie... i know they will. i dont usually post on a personal level but i feel so crap right now!

  3. Bronwyn! I was in the same exact place. Well, I don't have a little Ruby running around already as this is my first baby, but totally was feeling that way. Then around the end of week 9 or 10, things lifted and I stopped having those dark thoughts. I'm almost at 12 weeks and am starting to get that 'burst of energy' that one of my friends suggested might happen to me. Had I read this post before becoming pregnant I likely would have felt badly for you but would have said to myself, 'that won't happen to me', stupidly assuming that I would have any control over the hormones that were/are flooding my body. Nothing like pregnancy to make you really appreciate the power of our bodies and hormones. Truly amazing, incredible and insande all at once. I'm happy you shared because it's a feeling I'm guessing many women get in the first few weeks or months and it does help to know others have experienced it, too. So now I can tell you congratulations! I am sure you must be feeling much better at this stage. I could relate to almost every word you wrote! So thank you very much.

  4. thanks blanche - and yes, thankfully am 100% over the depression. i think it had a lot to do with the fact that i am still recovering from my horrible last birth. people dont talk about this, they seem to want to sweep any negativity relating to pregnancy, birth and mothering under the carpet. i'm so glad you're feeling better too... blessings on the rest of your journey, you will never be the same!