10 May 2015

Depression & Anxiety in Pregnancy 2: Reaching Rock Bottom

*This is the 2nd in my series of posts on my experience of Depression & Anxiety in Pregnancy. You may want to read part one first*

On the outside, hardly anyone knew what was going on inside my head whilst I was pregnant. I'd been with my OH for 10 years at this point, the baby was wanted and planned for and my pregnancy announcement came as no surprise to anyone. But I wasn't happy in myself. Yes, I was happy to be pregnant, but I was so unhappy with the task ahead of me and all I could see was ways to fail. 

There seemed to be so much pressure to be so happy about being pregnant but that made it worse. I put on a lot of weight, I struggled to adapt to this. I felt very unattractive. I was in pain a lot of the time, nauseous or retching for most of the 9 months. And I felt so ungrateful because I was lucky to be pregnant I kept reminding myself.
At 17 weeks
Things came to a head at 16weeks after a stressful work trip which exacerbated my unrelenting nausea. I was exhausted, nervous, off my anti-depressants and mid-genetic counselling referral. So I had a meltdown and mildly self-harmed. Not my finest moment. I was devastated by my behaviour and sobbed on my GP who kindly signed me off for 2 weeks. No one outside of my husband and one close friend knew what was going on. 

I am so grateful to that friend for keeping an eye on me for those two weeks and to my OH for encouraging me to rest and relax on my time off work. I was so exhausted but the more I stressed about "failing" and not dealing with pregnancy like "other mums" the worse I felt. I cried lots over my two weeks off sick, blaming myself, feeling like a useless mum, worrying about the future. But the time to rest did help and i did begin to feel better.

There wasn't a magic trick to this, it just took a bit of time and clearing hurdles like my 20 week scan, being signed off from needing epilepsy medication and not needing anti-depressants. Summer also started to arrive, I learned that I had to look after myself more and that it was okay to be scared and worried and to also let other people look after me.

That was one part of pregnancy I also found tricky - accepting help. I am very very bad at asking for and accepting help. As per every toddler's mantra I like to do things "BY. MY. SELF.!" but when you're paralysed by retching every sodding morning and evening, you need someone else to make you palatable food and generally look after you. I found this inexplicably hard to deal with and it made me very panicky as I absolutely hate relying on people because of my paranoia that they will just up and leave me.

Despite all the constant inner battles, I carried on carrying on and things calmed down a little. I still felt very nervous and panicky at the slightest thing, but I also began to feel more positive about baby arriving, even if I couldn't bring myself to buy anything....

Want to know what happens next? Read part three....

When the Dust Settles

Best of Worst


  1. this is so brave of you to share, its hard to show you're suffering mentally when you're pregnant as everyone expects you to bloom. I was so low, it was horrible. the weight gain & pain took away a lot of my excitement. I'm so sad now that I didn't enjoy it more being my last.

    1. I think you just muddle through really don't you. You want to feel better but it's so hard but you're just riding it out until baby is here. If there's a next time then I'll have better coping strategies :) I'm sorry that you didn't enjoy your last pregnancy too :( *hugs*

  2. My partner suffered with anti-natal depression, it was so hard for her (and to see) when most people are really happy and glowing she was hating herself and everything around her and just wanted to shut herself away, she has a post later this week on her suffering incidentally on our blog.

    As a sufferer of depression myself I understood but couldn't help much sadly.

    For that reason this week we are running a mental health awareness link on the blog I'd love for you to link this (and post one) up, the more we share the more others will (hopefully) feel confident to seek help or speak up.

    1. Hi Ashley, I think it is so hard for partners to support pregnant women, let alone with depression, my heart goes out to you and your other half. I think your linky is a great idea! Well done!

  3. I can really sympathise with you. Pregnancy, babies etc bring huge changes that we weren't necessarily expecting and we are often thrown by our own reactions. I've so been in these shoes. Great post

    1. Thank you, in a weird way, it's good to know I wasn't alone in my experiences. x

  4. I still can't imagine how you managed with being pregnant and all these worries. The symptoms of pregnancy can be so awful and then anxiety as well. I think asking for help is harder than people think. It does make you feel weak but actually doing it is so strong. So glad you had a fab husband and friend to support you through! Thanks for linking up with #bestandworst and come back if you can xxx

  5. I was on the verge of PND after my 1st pregnancy, I didn't really recognise it at the time, only that I was anxious, teary and resentful, it took alot for me to get out of the rut and kept alot of things close to my chest, battling demons can be very hard so well done you for getting through it. Thanks for linking up with the first best and worst, hope to see you next week.

    Helen - #bestandworst