23 May 2019

I hated being pregnant!

You've just found out you're having a baby that you kind of planned and you're excited, but you're also depressed. Yes, it happens, it's not a switch that gets flipped off just because you're having a baby. 

Pregnancy is so physically and mentally taxing on a woman. Some women love being pregnant, and it really is an amazing time, but for some of us it's also the most anxiety provoking, fear enhancing, flatlining, empty, time of our lives. At least it was for me anyway.

I wanted a baby, but I didn't want to be pregnant, I didn't want to give up my old life, and I felt trapped and all consumed. Don't eat this, don't drink that, have you had your five a day? 
Turns out only 8 weeks into my pregnancy I was crippled with migraines that lasted months, by 16 weeks I was on crutches with SPD and by 25 weeks I was completely wheelchair bound. (I also developed preeclampsia and when Ciara was born she was rushed to NICU with neonatal antidepressant withdrawal and I got an infection, but we're not here to talk about that) My point is, for me, pregnancy wasn't the best time of my life it was one of the worst. 

Of course, I adore my daughter and she wouldn't be here had I not endured those awful 9 months, but it irks me that I still feel the need to justify how much I love her whenever I discuss hating pregnancy. During that time, every person I spoke to reminded me that I should feel joy, and how worth it would be when the baby was here. All that did though, was make me feel worthless. Racked with guilt and unable to leave the house due to being on bed rest, my depression spiralled. Even my GP who is usually great with my anxiety told me to 'get it together' You're going to be a mum soon and it'll be harder then. Well, thanks a fuck load hun!

At one point during that pregnancy I considered throwing myself down the stairs so I would hopefully die, I had hoped for the baby surviving and living a happy life with her dad who adored her already, but he wasn't pregnant was he? I'm not saying I felt a detachment, I didn't, not really, but I felt petrified, guilty and useless. I didn't feel like me, and I felt as though I was being judged by every single person I spoke to. Even my family at times, because let's face it they probably found it hard and scary too, seeing me so unhappy during what is supposed to be one of the happiest times of your life.

Hormones are funny things aren't they, but depression in pregnancy isn't something we're warned about. It's not overly common but it is more common than people realise, and I've found since reaching out to other mums, that the reason we don't talk about it as much is that we feel we'll be wrongly judged. As if not worthy of the baby growing inside you, because you don't love every second of his or her growth.
A friend of mine @freckles_and_dreams who was raped years before she fell pregnant suffered awful PTSD and flashbacks during her pregnancy, and there was very little if no support in place for her mental health prenatally when she really needed it.
She still loves her children too. We're not terrible mothers just because we didn't enjoy everything about our pregnancies. 

Of course, I wish I had loved it like I see of so many other women but that just wasn't the case for me. It's taken me three years to answer the question when asked if I want another baby: yes, is the answer. But to say I'm not terrified of again hating almost every minute of it would be a lie. It's the reason I've waited this long, and I still don't believe the support is there for mothers who suffer prenatally. We're still in fear that if we tell you we hate being pregnant you'll assume we're going to be awful mothers. 

Women who are depressed when they fall pregnant don't miraculously become undepressed at time of conception and to assume otherwise is naive. Support is necessary, but as with all mental health issues, the funding for such support is so lacking. If you or someone you know is struggling with their pregnancy please don't assume the worst of them, they need reassurance and encouragement, not judgement and if that's you, then reach out to someone you trust! Make friends online, add me if you like I'm not an expert, but I won't judge you.
As it turns out, I may have hated pregnancy but being a mum is my favourite thing in the whole world.

Written by Steph



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