When Pregnancy is not the Happiest Time of Your Life
Ever since you were a little girl, you dreamed of the day you would be pregnant. You would stuff a basket ball under your shirt and examine your profile in the mirror, smiling and imagining how wonderful it will be to carry life inside you. You have always admired the raw beauty of a pregnant woman. She glistens (and it's not just sweat) and her curves are poetic. Now, finally, it is your turn.
You are pregnant. Yay! It doesn't take long to realize pregnancy is not what it's cracked up to be. From the get-go you are sick. But "morning sickness" is the least of your worries. No - what troubles you is crippling darkness. What's worse is that you are alone in it. No one understands the depth of your sadness. Your husband thinks you are being dramatic. Your mother demeans it by saying, "Oh, it's not THAT bad." Your friends try to relate when they tell you they were totally shaken up when Ikea was sold out of the "sundvik" crib and they had to settle for "gulliver" - HUGE set back for them.
You aren't the person you used to be. You are a less capable, less intelligent and less interesting person than you once were. Your spouse cares for you as if you are an infant, unable to do anything for yourself. You go to work. Come home just to lay on the couch long enough for it to be socially acceptable to go to bed. Go to sleep. Wake up and do it all over again. The thought of putting together a grocery list (let alone a meal plan) is a feat that your pregnancy brain can't begin to comprehend. You fear that these feelings will never go away - that you've changed and it's not just the pregnancy. The hormones tell you lies: You will never be a good mother. You are a bad wife. You are incapable of doing simple tasks and aren't fit to have a baby.
It doesn't seem fair that the greatest and biggest accomplishment of your life should leave you feeling so crippled and lonely and in tears most of the time. Oh the tears. The sobs. It's not just a good romantic comedy or slicing an onion (as if you've cooked recently) that sets you off. No, the sobs are triggered when you tried to hang some shelves that should have taken an hour, but took two full days instead because you can't think straight. Your sobs start after your husband pointed out that you haven't done laundry in 3 months. Your sobs are triggered by absolutely nothing at all. There you are. Laying on the nursery floor, struggling to breath through your tears, for no damn reason at all (which, just makes you cry harder).
Dear, sweet mama-to-be. You are not alone. That small alien attaching itself to your uterus has released its minions (hormones) into your body and are taking over. While every insecurity you are feeling is a straight up lie from those mother-fudgers (hormones), the darkness may be depression. It is not you, dear mother. It is the hormones. Please talk to your doctor. I'll tell you that I did not talk to my doctor and it is the biggest regret of my pregnancies. Maybe I was ashamed, maybe I didn't know how to express my anguish, maybe I just didn't think it was "bad enough" to bring up. In hind site, I KNOW it was bad enough. While I have no idea what their remedy will be, I know that it is not healthy to think you are alone in it. If you start sharing it with friends and even strangers, you will find that many women struggled with this darkness during their pregnancies. It's not fair that the most beautiful and miraculous thing ever can bring you so much darkness, but know that other mamas (like myself) have been there and come out the other end stronger and better and have a beautiful baby to show for it.
If you are pregnant and feel lonely or depressed or know someone who is, I hope I can encourage you. You are not alone. How you feel today is not how you will feel as soon as that baby shoots out from your lady bits. Know this darkness will end, but in the mean time, it's okay to cry. You are strong and mighty and will be an amazing mother.