Fighting Antepartum Depression (Pregnancy Depression)
Antepartum Depression (pregnancy depression) is real. It is one of those occurrences that happens to be fairly common during pregnancy, yet no one really talks about it. It is guessed that anywhere from 12 to 23 percent of all pregnant women deal with this form of depression. The signs of Antepartum Depression mirror those of regular depression or Postpartum depression. However, it is hard to diagnose. With that being said, 12 percent sounds like an awfully low number.
What is crazy is that postpartum depression is nothing new to us now. As a society, we all have heard the term and know what it means. Postpartum usually occurs when a woman has given birth and her hormones are balancing back out. What about the increase and rise during pregnancy? The first trimester can be especially hard. Your hormones double daily. Nobody ever stopped to dig into the effects of that? So much goes into the creation of human beings. Mothers literally become the physical host to a parasite that will soon begin its journey in the outside world. Dealing can feel unreal sometimes.
Antepartum Depression is no joke!
- Persistent sadness
- Difficulty concentration
- Lack of interest in life and/or things your once enjoyed.
Things that can cause it:
- Lack of support/ social isolation
- Previous pregnancy loss
- A history of trauma
Antepartum depression becomes a serious issue when the mother begins to neglect herself and/or the life of her unborn. This depression can limit you from bonding with your developing baby. In turn the baby can be impacted not only in the fetal stage but the early development phases of its life outside of the womb. A bad case untreated can do a lot of damage.
It finally dawned on me today that I am having a rough time with Antepartum depression. On some days, it is so bad that I cannot put my feelings into words. On bad days, I keep to myself as much as possible. This makes me feel horrible because I have a loving and willing partner that wants to help me but honestly doesn’t know what to do… I don’t even know what to do outside of laying in the bed and crying (on the really bad days). My experiences with pregnancy naturally were not the most positive. This is my third and final one. The depression has gotten so bad that I am ready to speak to my midwife about tying my tubes regardless of the fact that everything in my spirit is screaming: ICE COLD! DON’T DO IT!
To be honest, the demise of my first pregnancy still haunts me. At a mere 23-years-old, I suffered a miscarriage. I lost my dream baby. Not only did I lose my baby but I lost the baby’s father within a month of each other. To make it even worse, I didn’t tell anyone in my family that I was pregnant. I learned growing up that my family is not the most supportive. Not to mention, I carried shame with losing that baby. I can definitely say that that one event in my life broke me all the way down. I recovered alone. I never spoke on my feelings and seeing a therapist just wasn’t in the cards for me. I never really dealt with that pain. I just suppressed it. I became another person. I began to drink heavily and in some instances, I threw myself away.
Depression for me is nothing new. I suffered from depression way before I lost my first baby. After my second pregnancy produced a healthy baby girl in 2013, I began to look back at my life in search of one answer: Where did the depression come from? As painful as it was, I dug even deeper. At this point, I had a little one that was part of me. I didn’t want her to grow up with memories of me battling depression or even worse: battling it herself. Since I have soul searched and began to work at my happiness and healing, depression hasn’t been a huge issue..
Then comes baby Kala…
I finally got my son and he is active, healthy, and seemingly happy… However, the hormones are taking a toll. I cannot deal on some days. I have not neglected my unborn but the anxiety is an issue almost daily. I find more comfort in staying at home. I do not like to be out anymore and I really do not have many friends that I deal with (My choice). When I was pregnant with my daughter, I purged my social circle. I cleared out a lot of questionable and stagnant energy that I was not sure of or didn’t need in my life anymore. With my son, I let go of two of my best friends that I was down with for years for a major reason: They didn’t believe in themselves. They played “weak”, cried wolf, and wanted to talk about their sorrows almost daily. I couldn’t imaging hold on to those friendships now dealing with Antepartum Depression.
Life doesn’t feel the same. I am growing through a transitional period. You can even call this a baptism of fire. It is a lonely process. It is even harder going through this while hosting new life inside of my womb. Once my baby is here happy and healthy, depression will not be something that is on my mind. The hardest part for me personally is making it to the delivery room. I do not fear postpartum or any other form of depression. For me, children bring happiness. It is an indescribable feeling of love and contentment that only being a mother can give you. That is the cure to the emotional ups and downs that I am feeling. My prince will be here in less than 3 months. I am ready.