14 May 2015

Depression & Anxiety in Pregnancy 4: Heading For the Finish Line

This is the final part in my series on Depression + Anxiety in pregnancy. You might like to read part one, two and three before this one!

Once in the 3rd tri and close to finishing work, the anxiety lessened a little. I no longer had to battle public transport worrying that I would throw up on someone or pee myself. I could sleep and eat whenever I wanted. However, I was still a hormonal fed up monster thanks to unrelenting nausea, heartburn and braxton hicks from 18 weeks.When people told me I'd probably go two weeks overdue, I wanted to both kill them and cry my eyes out.... 

At 32 weeks (and well over 13 stone!)
Although the depression had lifted pretty much, I had a wobble when I finished work. I should have been thrilled - I could rest, fart, read and enjoy time on my own - but something wasn't right, I felt useless! I'd had a job since I left uni 10 years earlier, and worked through summers and school before that. Now I was work-less but not unemployed. I had a baby, but I wasn't a mummy - yet. I felt in limbo and it scared me. Our identities are so caught up in what we `do` - work or parenting or playing. But I wasn't really doing any of that yet and I felt weird and un-busy. 

It sounds crazy written down - but that's the point really - here was another part of pregnancy I wasn't ready for and the hormone soup in my head played havoc with it. As a first time mum, I found the waiting-for-baby to come quite isolating. I didn't have any mummy friends yet - everyone was at work pretty much - and I didn't have the energy to drag my fat ass to the city for a 40 minute coffee. I didn't have anyone to talk to really.

I know this is where the NCT group thing is supposed to help but I didn't want to spend the money. And I just didn't feel like i'd connect with other mummies to be, because I thought I wasn't good enough.  I was very lucky though to be under the care of Streatham Valley midwives because they ran a 6 week ante-natal classes course as part of our treatment and I did meet some new mummy friends that way. However as I was due first....yup you guessed it....none of them were on mat leave yet. So I was confused, lonely and scared on top of all the 3rd trimester chaos.

After a couple of weeks of this, nesting kicked in and distracted me from my worries. But then at 37+ something....things began to happen. My birth story is best left to another post but even as things were kicking off in earnest, I was still in denial about being in labour. I refused to pack my bag (I know, I know, it should have been done already), insisting everything was going to stop, that this wasn't it, I was fine (whilst on my hands and knees). 

It wasn't until I threw the phone across the room when talking to my midwife that she insisted we come in to hospital "otherwise you'll be delivering this baby at home".  So er, I arrived at the hospital at 9cm. After a "fun" cab journey through south London at 3am. But that's a story for another post.....

So by the end of my pregnancy, I wasn't in too bad a place - but I got there with an awful lot of help and support.  I would have been in a much worse state without it - and it set me up for a better than expected start once Baby45 arrived. I hope this series of posts has been interesting to read and that if you've had low mood or AND in pregnancy, it's made you feel better - you're not the only one. 

Enjoyed this post? Don't forget to check out parts one, two and three also....
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12 comments:

  1. So happy to hear that you were feeling better towards the end of your pregnancy - it's an emotional rollercoaster isn't it!

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    1. Thank you :) Yes it was, I was so relieved to be rid of my physical symptoms which really didn't help my mood. Thanks for commenting :) x

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  2. Another very candid post in your series; I'm sure your honesty will be useful to others. Pregnancy has this pink and fluffy image but in reality it can be very scary - especially first time round. x #PoCoLo

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    1. Thank you, really hope it will be. It's been really cathartic writing it all down x

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  3. It is tough loosing that identity of a job and not feeling you have a new identity. Friends with babies help massively with helping us gain that new identity but it can take time to find them too. Our identity and sense of self is such a profound thing as it feels strange when it had to adjust. #PoCoLo

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    1. I think that's definitely it - the identity side of things is so complicated and takes awhile to adjust to. x

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  4. What a journey! Glad by the end things had improved. I think the denial bit helped with labour!! Well done you. Can we have a birth story now? xx #pocolo

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    1. Haha! Yes, I've been resisting doing my birth story but I think I'll blog it, if only for amusement factor - it involves watching American Pie the reunion! x

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  5. Pregnancy is hard, no doubt about it. I cannot imagine trying to navigate all the hormones and body changes while suffering with depression. How brave you are!

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    1. Thank you, I really wanted to be a mum, so it was worth it :)

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  6. This has been a great series, really brave and honest, thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you and thank you for all your support x

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