21st August 2017
The untold truth: Prenatal depression
Three words: isolated, confused, ashamed!
Now I look back 18 months I wish someone had told me to stop feeling ashamed and talk about it!
I suffered from postnatal and prenatal depression but prenatal depression is the one that scared me the most. All I kept thinking was, why do I feel like this, your meant to feel depressed after the baby right?
18 weeks into the pregnancy and like many other mums, I’d had enough of feeling sick! But then I felt the baby move for the first time (that magical moment everyone talks about). It was far from magical, it was awful, it was upsetting, it made me feel sick. There was something moving inside my body, I wanted it out, I wanted it to stop!
Then the guilt started. Why did I feel like this, why didn’t I enjoy my baby moving, no one explained this before? I started to feel ashamed, pretend everything was ok, when really I was dreading the next time I was going to feel it.
How do you explain this to someone? You tried so hard to have a baby, you want this baby, but at the same time you want it gone, you can’t stand it any longer.
Every time my baby moved or I thought about my baby inside me I felt trapped! Obviously the more the pregnancy progressed the worse this got. Even now, thinking back to the time I was pregnant makes me shudder with fear.
I was scared of my baby.
I feel unconnected to her.
I felt sick at the thought of her.
I panicked every time she moved.
It got so bad that I would tell my husband that I wanted her gone, I wanted her out, I didn’t want her anymore (a horrid thought now I’ve met her, but the honest truth). He’d tell me it would be ok, but I knew he didn’t know what was happening to me.
One day I’d hit rock bottom, I would have done anything to get her out. In panic my family called the mental health crisis team and I was seen that day. I’ll be honest with you, if I hadn’t have got help that day, I don’t know what my situation would be right now.
All I wish is that people knew about this horrible illness. However much you wanted that child, however hard you tried to conceive, that all went out the window.
I worried that I was supposed to feel happy, I was supposed to enjoy being pregnant, after all, I wanted a child so badly.
Some of you may be reading this now, thinking what? That’s odd? But even if this resonates with just one person, I hope I’ve made them feel just that little bit more understood.
I believe this is more common than we realise, but some ladies choose, like me, to not step forward and ask for help.
Don’t feel ashamed, just remember the mind can conjure up the most horrible of thoughts if we let it, but you can get help. Talk about mental illness, you are not alone.