Last week I was blindsided with a bout of depression. It started Monday and seemed to get worse as the week wore on. In the throes of it all, I felt utterly helpless and out of control as I truly had no idea why it was happening and could not seem to find my way out of it. Days seemed to begin well and fine. Though I certainly wasn’t ambling through the AM with perk, my mornings weren’t so melancholy. But as I made my way through the day I seemed to settle into some sort of heavyhearted fog, and any challenge or problem that arose, no matter the insignificance, left me fighting back tears and desperate to hide under the allegorical rock. By the time I would get in my car to head home, I’d be mostly miserable, occasionally balling, and unpleasantly pensive. Poor Pete surely thought that Monday was a fluke, until Tuesday and Wednesday followed with the same woeful wife bumbling around the house in the evenings with the most pitiful sad face and not a happy thing to say. The unexplainable sadness subsisted through Saturday with more than one tearful fit, snotting into the pillow case, sobbing pathetically about nothing. It was an ugly mess.
Thankfully, come Sunday, it began to subside, and today, though there’s still a puff of dark cloud lingering, the bout appears to be ending. Now, with more of a clear head, I am trying my darndest to understand why. It would be easy to simply blame the pregnancy hormones and move on, but this is supposed to be the “honeymoon” phase. All should be peachy keen in preggoland and all the websites, books, other mothers and more have been preaching the perks of the second trimester, with not a peep about depression. Aha. Therein lies what I believe to be the root of the problem. All the pregnancy hype you hear about this trimester would lead one to believe that she should feel like a superstar right now. Not just any superstar, but a beautiful baby making superstar with great hair and skin and tons of energy and pride. So when I look in the mirror and see a face riddled with the ridiculous hormone induced acne of an adolecent, when I fight to fit into the few remaining things in my closet that feel even remotely comfortable, when I plod heavy legged through a 3 mile run that was once a light workout, when I have to ask for help every time I need anything over 20 lbs moved or lifted, forgive me if I don’t feel like I’m kicking ass and taking names. I truly believe that this abstraction from what’s “normal” is the culprit, or at the very least the instigator, of my unhappiness. So. F you pregnancy norms.
There’s more. Up until Saturday, I had yet to feel her. Honestly, even now, I can’t be sure that what I think might be movement isn’t actually gas or simply imagined. I’ve been patient. Especially since learning at our last appointment that I have an anterior placenta. This basically means that my placenta has settled between my baby and my belly. Because of this, I am less likely to feel her early punches and kicks. I accepted this, albeit disappointedly. But on top of all else I was bummed about, not reaching this milestone became a bit much to bear. I know she’s there. I’ve seen her, I’ve heard her heartbeat, my belly is ever growing. Now I want more. Perhaps I’m being needy and selfish, or perhaps there’s some paranoia to it, but I so desperately want to have this new connection with her, to get daily reminders of just how real she is, to share that moment with Pete when he first can lay his hand on my belly and feel her too, I want this more than anything else in life right now and so not having it pains me to the core. It’s INSANE! All this hugely powerful emotion over a baby not yet born. I’ve said it before. I can’t even begin to fathom what it will be like when she actually comes into this world. Deep breath.
Saturday, during our three hour Lowe’s debacle, I hit a blood sugar low, complete with shakes and sweat. Of course, had we planned to be out that long I would have brought a snack. It was then that I think I first felt her. Clearly she was equally pissed about the lack of food. She’s her mother’s daughter already. There was some fluttering which I’m almost certain was baby action. On Monday we head back to the doc and I’ll be able to once again hear her heartbeat. Hopefully too, before long, she’ll be big enough to kick and jab so hard that no placenta will stand in her way. Be strong little lovely, show mommy how tough you are!
PS On Friday, deep in the heart of depression, I read this blog post about Grace on Simple Mom. It helped a lot. “Take care of yourself, mama.” Damn straight.