But I don’t want to start this pledge by talking about the past. I want to talk about what I’m going through right now. I want to look at depression through these new eyes; these eyes waiting to see my baby. I’ve never heard anyone use the term prepartum depression, never read any articles, or watched any Tom Cruise crashing Oprah Winfrey shows about it. I’ve done a little research and what I can find out is that it is possible that the hormonal changes during pregnancy can be as devastating mentally as those after pregnancy. That if you experience depression during pregnancy you are more likely to develop postpartum depression. If you are prone to depression you are more likely to become depressed during pregnancy. Basically, it is entirely possible to be up that proverbial stinky creek – and that is what it feels like at times.
However, as I’ve already said, I’ve experienced seasons of depression and this feels nothing like it. I sincerely believe these bouts of misery and paranoia are more hormone induced than anything else because sometimes they come on like a hot flash (which I’m also getting now, thank you estrogen) but go away as quickly. Other times I won’t sleep for weeks because every time I lay down at night I can’t stop picturing in horrible detail all the ways my baby could get hurt. This isn’t regular first time mom jitters so please don’t try to shrink me. . .
What makes it all the harder to pull myself out of these slumps is how closely they affect my daughter. When you have depression you know that your emotions affect your loved ones – but my daughter is INSIDE me. No one is ever going to be this close to me. I know she is safe in her little cocoon but I feel guilty that she has to share this with me. I feel guilty that I can’t just celebrate her but that I cry and can’t get out of bed because of fear.
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