Saturday, April 26, 2008

25 weeks, 1 day - I confess.

I forgot to mention that I posted a little slide show at the top of the Belly Gallery page (link on sidebar) that shows the grows of the belly from when you could see the bump up to the present. It's kinda cool.

Not much to report this week. The heartburn needed a little extra TLC to keep it under control, I walked ONCE and my uterus squoze up so tight I got out of breath and had to stop - it stays contracted the whole time and by the time I get back I just ACHE. No fun. Have to get some exercise, though. I'm wondering if the recumbent bike might be a better option and may try that out this weekend and see. I also wonder if something stretchy and soothing like some yoga might calm the contractions overall. I have many Braxton Hicks contractions throughout the day each day. The days I walk, I can literally have them every 5 minutes the rest of the day until I lie down at bedtime. The contractions themselves don't hurt, it's just that like any muscle, my uterine and abdominal muscles get sore from all the work. I will ask Dr. Howey about it when I go for my next check-up. If things get worse, I'll call and ask her before that.

I have another thing to ask her about, although asking her about it won't do much good, really, because I know the options already and I know what I choose of those options. I'm pretty sure. No, about 100% sure, that I have and have had for most of this pregnancy what is called prenatal depression. It's embarrassing and weird to say it here, where people will read it, but I need to just say it and admit to myself that it's real, whether I want it to be or not. I thought I'd feel better emotionally once I felt better physically but the cycles I'm dealing with (of being depressed and then being okay for awhile) have continued, and I know now that while being sick did definitely make me feel down, there's more to it than that. The good news, I know, is that I will be okay, maybe not immediately after I deliver, but at least within 6 months. I pray it doesn't get worse before it gets better, though.

Now that I know and am in touch with the fact that I AM, in fact, struggling with depression, I imagine I can deal with all of these feelings I've been having a little bit better - I can exercise more, try to get enough sleep, try to get things accomplished systematically despite the inertia the depression causes, (because a sense of accomplishment can help to lift me out of it for a time, I've noticed), and I can try to make myself talk or write about it more and quit beating myself up over it. No one wants to think of a woman blessed with a happy, healthy child growing inside her feeling sad. We want her to glow and be delirious with joy. No one wants that more than the pregnant woman herself, and for me, it's so shameful to admit I feel anything else. I feel ungrateful and like a spoiled baby, drooping and dragging when I "should" feel the opposite. The fact is though, I feel down. A lot. And it's hard, and I don't feel like myself, and I want out of it in the worst way. I wouldn't choose to feel this way - that I'm worthless and alone, that people no longer like me or care about me, that everyone, even God, is rolling his/her eyes at me and wishing I'd just get over it already. That I don't deserve my family or this baby and that they will be taken away from me, or should be, if I don't fix myself and stop being a lazy, selfish, useless brat.

The option a doctor will offer me is meds. I'm not really interested in doing that unless I become a danger to myself or anyone else, which I am a looooooooooooooong way from. I'm just blue, and unmotivated, and I want to sleep all the time, and I have a tough time interacting with other people because I can't TELL them how I feel - they wouldn't understand or wouldn't want to hear it or would make light of it. Little things wear me out, and many of the things I normally look forward to seem like huge major undertakings - insurmountable. Many days I don't want to leave the house because I know that just being out in public and managing Bean (who is well-behaved and full of fun and brightness) will wear me out. I feel worst for her, in all of this, because what must she think of this woman she lives with? This mother who used to love to play and sing and dance and laugh with her but who now can barely manage a smile some days?

The good days come though, and I feel such relief on those days - like my old self is back. I miss that old self so much. I miss her creativity and hope and craziness (the good kind of craziness). I hope she comes back to be Peanut's Mama. And Bean's. I hope she comes back to laugh with Al. I do love my family - they are the best things to ever happen from me, and this includes Peanut.

I do feel better getting this out. I'm sorry to have to confess it to those who read here. And embarrassed. But writing it out and facing it myself help me understand it better and honestly, I have to understand it and know it's somehow okay and normal in order to keep it from dragging me farther down.

(I did read about prenatal depression via several online sources before coming to this conclusion, and I do know that about 70% of pregnant women deal with some level of depression during pregnancy, so I am aware that this IS normal. And that it will end. And that is good news, to me, although it makes me sad for the rest of the 70% of women.)


Alice said...

I love you, Megan. Thank you for being honest. You're a wonderful Mama. Feel happier soon. *hugs*

Mari said...

Don't be embarrassed. It's a hormonal thing and you are not responsible for it. Just acknowledging it is good and knowing that it will pass has to help. Just be sure that if it isn't better after Peanut is born, you have to see the Dr about it. Why? Cause we all love you!

Nicola said...

*hugs* Megan, as you said, and as Mari said, it will pass, and in the mean time you know we're all here for you. x

Jenn said...

You know (I HOPE you know) that I both love and like you. I know I haven't been much of a friend lately - absent a lot and things. I DO think of you often (every single day!) though. I'm kind of the opposite of you, I am LESS depressed when I'm pregnant! It's funny (yet not funny at all), the things that hormones can do to a person. I'm glad that in the midst of it all you have good days and you are able to recognize the depression for what it is. *hugs* to you, my sweetest friend.

Melissa said...

I am SO glad you wrote about this because just yesterday I was wondering if there was such a thing because I've totally felt it many times in the last 36 weeks! And then, of course, the guilt that comes along with it. Ugh. I guess the reality is that we get to the same place because of different factors, and eventually those factors lessen or go away completely...but the fact is that we are there. I (and you) just always have to remember that there are people that love me (and you) and are praying for me (and you), and would help me(and you) if they could. I will continue to pray for you, and will continue to live vicariously through your writing because I can't be this honest on my own. :o)
Hope tomorrow is a Crazy Megan day!

linds said...

Good for you for being honest, even when it can be hard. I love the belly slideshow you made, that is very cool!

Jemma said...

Aw honey well done for being honest! Nothing to beashamed of at all and well done you for recognising it and working on it. Extra big hugs your way, hang on in there and loo forward to those lovely snuggly hugs with your gorgeous little boy-to-be :D

Leigh said...

There is nothing to be embarrassed or guilty or ashamed of. You are so strong and brave to admit this not only to yourself, but to everyone here. (((hugs)))

Beth said...

Please don't be embarrassed. What you are feeling is normal and natural. It will pass after the baby is born. In the meantime, I will be praying for you.

In fact, I think about you a lot these sons new favorite song is "Found a Peanut" and every time we are in the car, he requests it. I would say we hear it at least 7 times a day!


Lerin said...

Well, you KNOW I can relate to these feelings. Your honesty, your ability to open yourself up and talk about this for the world to see is extraordinary. Love you.

Missy said...

Thanks so much for sharing. I've found this "sadness" thing to be so weird. I'm just 8 weeks and I'd prefer to just hide out and sleep all day. Arrgghh, it's annoying. But I'm thankful I'm not alone, it does make it easier to bear. Blessings.

Michelle said...

I also deal with "light" depression and one of the reason I started a blog was on advice of a friend. It helps to talk about things that are on your mind. It has done wonders, so keep talking. We all listen, don't judge and love reading about you.

One thing that I think about is something I heard. When I am at my lowest, I think about this and it "focuses" me.

Imagine that you could put all your worries in a bag and go on retreat. You bring your bag of problems and set it on a table with everyone elses. For the next few days you listen to others problems and you share your own. At the end of that retreat, I assure you, you will gladly go to that table, pick up your own bag and gratefully go home with a smile on your face.

Maybe it's age, but I think about that, the crosses people bear. And knowing God never gave me anything I couldn't handle with his help.

twithhoney said...

I think these 'blues' may be responsible for your missing something.

We all want to enjoy being pregnant and then having a new born but it doesn't always work out that way. I loved being pregnant but spent months crying to Honey because I was afraid I would never love my baby.
I despised having an infant.

Hormones can be your best friend and then they mix up a bit and turn into your worst nightmare. But it makes the greatest excuse, "Don't blame me, it's the hormones!" :)

varenia said...

i linked to your post to check out the belly gallery, as i'm about 4 months along with my fourth baby. wow! this post could have been me writing. with my first two babes pregnancies i was on cloud nine, but my last baby i suffered from a lot of prenatal depression, and didn't even really realize it until almost the end. now i'm pregnant again and am spotting the symptoms and feelings much sooner. i hope this topic will take more notice in the medical field and the press, postpartum has received so much (well deserved) attention, but i've rarely heard about prenatal depression, and was startled to read your stats about 70 percent of women possibly feeling this way, although it makes complete sense. it helps a lot just to know i'm not the only one, and that someone else was brave enough to bring it out into the open. thank you so much :) big hugs

Pam said...

How refreshingly honest. I can totally relate, and I am not even pregnant.

Anonymous said...

Makes me feel better. I am 12 weeks now (I commented a while back that I miscarried twins about the same time that you found out about Peanut. I am obviously preg again, due in November.).

Morning sickness has gotten the best of me, and I have wondered these past couple of months if I am in a little depression (too) because I feel so badly, want to sleep all the time, and I have no desire for anything.

I know "this too shall pass..." but enough already! I am ready for this phase to be over.

Amanda said...

You know, your feelings could also be due to a vitamin deficiency. I think when you're low on Vitamin B, you will feel quite blue and have a hard time shaking it. You may have your OB draw some blood, and if that's the case, they can give you a quick boost by injection and help you stay stable with a supplement.

My Lil Family