This is a follow up from my previous blog post Why I Quit so probably explains a few things and today on the blog i'm going into more detail about prenatal depression and how I've been suffering with it for the past 3 months.
I have one of these personalities that tends to always remember the 'good stuff' which is why I'm struggling to remember whether I suffered from prenatal depression when I was pregnant with Jasmine which I have been told I did but I don't think it's half as severe as it is this time round. I literally spent 3 months of my life mooching around, unmotivated, tired with a lack of interest for every day life and social engagements.
I didn't realize the term 'prenatal depression' existed until quite recently as post natal depression is more commonly talked about and personally feel is taken more serious than prenatal depression.
"It is only within the last twenty years that prenatal (antenatal) depression has been associated with pregnancy. Prior to this, postnatal depression was the only ‘depression’ linked to pregnancy. Women who seek help for prenatal (antenatal) depression are often told that it is ‘just your hormones’. This is patronising and offers very little help to the sufferer."
Prenatal depression has been my most predominant pregnancy symptoms second time round (alongside waves of nausea) and I'm sharing my experience on the blog for any other pregnant mamas who are going through this because it can be an extremely lonely time and one where you feel increasingly guilty especially when you're meant to have a surge of happiness and excitement at the prospect of birthing a new life.
The main symptoms of prenatal depression are:
- Inability to concentrate.
- Difficulty remembering.
- Feeling emotionally numb.
- Extreme irritability.
- Sleeping too much or not enough, or restless sleep.
- Extreme or unending fatigue.
- Desire to over eat, or not eat at all.
- Weight loss/gain unrelated to pregnancy.
For me personally, feeling emotional numb, irritable, having extreme fatigue and weight loss are what have plagued me and I would rather take having my head down the toilet being sick every day over prenatal depression.
I have been feeling incredibly guilty as a normal day for me would be waking up as late as possible (and yes that did mean putting Peppa Pig on the laptop for Jasmine in the cot whilst I tried to muster some energy to get out of bed) often having days where meals would be skipped, the TV would be on 24/7 for Jasmine and I wouldn't leave the house or see anyone. At times I felt absolutely crazy. The midwife offered no support when asked how I was feeling instead just telling me 'it's just hormones' and I didn't even realize I could be suffering from prenatal depression.
I do think second pregnancies are slightly different in many aspects and I've had friends of two, three + children share the same thoughts.
First time pregnancies you can spend your time dreaming about the nursery design on Pinterest, you download the app on your phone and constantly read up on whether your baby is the size of a grape, melon or other piece of fruit! Ask me what stage my baby is at and I couldn't tell you - I've got a toddler to run around after and don't have time for that!
I also feel being pregnant for the first time bonds couples closer together, the man generally is protective over his pregnant partner and it's a bit like the honeymoon period again, you fall into a different type of love, take last holidays (babymoons) before two become three and you just spend all the time dreaming about what parenthood is going to be like. (The hubby even said to me the other day that he's sorry he doesn't have as much patience with me with this pregnancy because his capacity is being stretched by looking after Jasmine!)
Second time round you know exactly what parenthood looks like and it's definitely not sugar coated like it is first time round. It's reality and you know that sleepless nights are going to hit harder than ever (especially with two under 2) and that it's going to be carnage getting out the house (you can tell i'm overwhelmed!!!) I welcome any comments from parents with two or more children, especially those who have had two under 2 like I totally need your helpful tips and advice!)
It's been a horrible three months of inactivity and just not being my usual happy self but my body is growing a human and I just have to accept that this is part of the parcel of being pregnant. I don't really have any advice for others who go through this (as I don't feel I've successfully gone through it myself) all I do know is you can only take each day as it comes, talk to your partner as much as you can and if you already have children let their little happy faces get you through each day. Gosh if it wasn't for seeing Jasmines happy face each morning I wouldn't even rise out of bed. I am blessed beyond measure and hopefully in my up coming blogs I can share happier pregnancy times with you all!
Love Fi Fi xoxo
Here's a throw back picture to my little ray of light on her modelling shoot for Tyne Tees Models :)