As anyone who really knows me knows, I’m not really one to talk about “My Feelings.” Hell, typing that simple word there, the one any 3-year-old sings about, makes me squeamish. I’d prefer that I don’t have them at all, truth be told, let alone mentioning to people–some complete strangers no less–that I might have feelings other than “happy,” “sad,” “sleepy,” or “I want a fucking cheeseburger.” Potentially a side of “I need a damn nap” as well somewhere in there.

So when I struggle with something, I tend to downplay it. I don’t often get into the nitty-gritty of what’s goin’ on to even my best friends, I don’t have long and detailed discussions with Daver about whatever issues there may be floating around in my head, and I certainly don’t want to admit it to myself. It’s like I somehow imagine that if I don’t talk about it, it doesn’t exist. Besides, who wants to listen to someone whine about their life?

This was how I got through months and months of living in a weepy, postpartum depression world after Alex was born (and never went to sleep again) before seeking treatment. And after I started my Vitamin W (Wellbutrin), I was seriously pissed at myself for not admitting my problem sooner. I gained nothing by staying silent, and the person who paid the highest price was me.

Before Alex was born, however, I struggled mightily with something even less talked about than postpartum depression: PRE-partum depression.

I spent most of the months I was pregnant with Alex after struggling to get pregnant with him in the first place, completely and utterly miserable. I worried and I fretted about each and every twinge, each and everyTHING I could think of. Most of those 9 long months were spent with me sitting on the couch feeling downright despondent, disturbed, depressed; certain that I wouldn’t get my happy ending after all. That my feelings of panic and dread were something MORE than a symptom of depression in my addled brain.

So when I got pregnant this time, I stayed on my Vitamin W until I was rudely informed by one of the OB’s in my practice that I’d be seeing the HIGH RISK OB if I continued on it. Not-so-shockingly, I decided to rough it out on my own until I couldn’t any longer.

Most of this time, I’ve been okay. Truthfully okay.

It wasn’t until Daver had a bit of a nervous breakdown at the end of August that I realized how thinly the string holding me together had become. It’s been a really, really hard year for me. No, that’s not quite true, let me rephrase that: it’s been a year that’s tested me. It’s been non-stop: my dad’s heart attack, my post-partum depression, Steph’s death, the two miscarriages, then this pregnancy that I never accepted would make it, then Dave’s breakdown.

I guess I only have so much to give anyone, and it’s all been taken. And I’m left sitting here and struggling, much like I did with Alex. I absolutely have my hackles raised, I’m going to see how long I can tough it out with this wee one still inside before I consider going back on my meds.

I’m thrilled by this baby, so very thrilled. I love my life, I love my husband (most of the time), and I’m tickled constantly (literally AND figuratively) by my two children. And I was so afraid to mention how I’ve been struggling BECAUSE I know that someone will misinterpret what I’m saying and twist it around to remind me of how lucky I really am.

Which is something that I already know: I have most everything in the world I’ve ever wanted. How many people do you know that honestly feel that way?

And I went back and forth with talking about this here. It’s a public forum, and while I don’t often worry about what I would say–people who I haven’t exactly peed roses about here may not understand WHY I feel like I do about them, but I tell The Truth According to Aunt Becky and I stick by it–I know this isn’t the same type of posts you normally get from me. Which will piss some people off.

But I’m telling The Truth because someone has to. Since those women went nuts and killed their kids, there’s been a huge push to get the word out about PPD (postpartum depression), which is good. People SHOULD know about it.

Pre-partum depression is rarely discussed, tho. Women don’t talk about it openly, lest they be branded as “ungrateful” or my personal favorite “unfit to be a mother.” Instead, those who suffer from pre-partum depression suffer alone and in silence about it. Because if you don’t talk about it, it doesn’t exist, right?

Don’t believe me? Do a google search for the term “prepartum depression.” Most of what comes up are other blog posts about it. It’s out there, it’s just swept under the rug.

So this is me, your Aunt Becky, telling you, that this exists. And it hurts. And it’s hard. And I’m struggling right now. I’ll make it through, of course I will, it’s what I do, but for now, for right now, I’m hurting.

And now I’m encouraging you, my faithful readers, to share YOUR Truth without hiding from it. The Truth can be ugly; it can be not-fun to admit; but sharing it is a Very Good Thing. Besides the uncle pervy’s out there who find my site looking for “cheeseburger crotch” and “excess skin balls,” I’m damn certain that someone will find this post, someone also struggling during what is supposed to be the happiest time of your life.

And to you, I tell you definitively that you are not alone.

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

84 Responses to Pre-Partum Depression

  • Kate says:

    Thank you so much for that post. Very well said.

  • JJ says:

    Oh this brings me to tears…thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this.
    I can’t put into words how grateful I am for where I am in my life-but the fear that grips me about this little boy growing in me sometimes paralyzes me. I want to be happy and carefree, but worry grips me so hard sometimes it hurts.
    Thank you for telling me today that I am not alone. I truly needed to read that.

  • Sarah says:

    It absolutely SHOCKS ME sometimes, how much you and I are alike.. from the way we deal with nitty gritty pain, to how annoyed we were when we both finally got some help.

    The idea, that someone would have the audacity to tell you “how lucky you are” makes me want to slap that someone. So if anyone does, feel free to refer them to my email. :)

    There is nothing “lucky” about stewing in a vicious cycle of depression, and having to go back and forth about which is better for your baby – your depression chemistry or an anti-depressant. And which one of those makes you a worse mommy in your head.

    I know you didn’t post this to get sunshine blown up your booty, but your honesty is deeply appreciated, probably by a quite a few ladies who may not have the emotional strength to say thank you right now, so for them, Thank You, Aunt Becky!

  • Susan says:

    So beautifully and succinctly said, as always. So sorry you’re hurting but so proud of you for being able to say so. Hang in…please?

  • BB says:

    Wow Becky! Thank you for this post. Now that I can look back on my last pregnancy with a clear mind, I know that I not only had some post partum depression, but also pre-partum depression. When I was in the midst of it, I didn’t understand what was going on with me. Once I figured it out on my own (no thanks to any of the specialists I saw), I decided to figure out how to treat it naturally. I was still nursing, and I didn’t want to take any prescriptions. I know that you are a nurse, and you come from a family of doctors, but my experience with the medical world has not been a good one. It took some trial and error, but I found a great nutritional plan that helped me get back to my true self. I don’t know about you, but I felt so much shame when I realized what was really going on, that I didn’t want to admit it to anyone, including my husband. There is such a stigma associated with depression, and it is a shame, because so many people try to deal with it on their own. Though I dealt with my anxiety and depression through homeopathy and nutritional supplementation instead of traditional medicine, I still needed the help of others to find a plan that worked for me. Everyone dealing with this needs someone to go to for help, and I think it is great that you are open enough to talk about it.
    (And just a tip for you until you can go back to using yours meds, eat foods high in lecithin. Lecithin was one of the things that helped me the most)

  • Sarah says:

    uh… annoyed we were With Ourselves For Waiting So Long. :) I get all worked up and skip entire sentences.

    Thank you for me, too. :)

  • Ms. Moon says:

    Okay. I am certainly not prepartum and unless you consider nineteen years postpartum to be still postpartum, I am not postpartum.
    BUT, I am certainly going through depression and I know exactly what you mean. I, too, have “everything.” Truly. And I have had a year that tested me. And I am depressed and it’s so hard to admit because hell, yes, I am lucky. Somehow this only makes it worse because it give me one more thing to beat myself up about.
    I am going to get through this and so will you.
    I suggest that you go see “someone” before you try going back on the meds. Talking to a real live professional can help a great deal. I know it’s wicked hard, but it can be life-saving.
    Hang in there, babe. And remember- when the mother helps herself, she is helping her entire family. You are the heart and soul of the entire operation and must be kept healthy and well.

  • Good for you for sharing! As you can see, there is no one here judging you (at least not yet, maybe there’ll be a troll later).

    I am pretty open about my troubles and depression on my blog, though not so much in real life (only 2 people are really close to me). I find it helps immensely to write about my feelings. If nothing else, it helps me to understand ME, know what I mean?

    I hope that your little joys will outweigh your big hurts, and I’m sorry you’re going through this pain. You are not alone.

  • stacey k says:

    Aunt Becky you amaze me sometimes…..
    And I like you don’t like to “share” my feeling….i’m of the opinion they are MINE…and ALL MINE…

    It sounds like this past year has been a real challenge and now being pregnant on top of it all can definitely send you into a spiral.

    I will share my truth since you have done for us…..
    Truth is….I was just getting over my miscarriage of 6 years ago…and finally okay with the idea that me and my 2nd husband would not have children of our own. I was excited about the idea of grandkids to spoil (my older ones are 18 and 14 now) I was finally okay with the idea that my 14year old wanted to live w/ his father….and I was excited of the idea that my oldest boy was off to college and T and I would have the house to ourselves. And THEN…….up pops the two pink lines…..I spent the next 25 weeks a worried mess (we lost our last at 25 weeks)….wondering how I was going to be able to “start over” with a new baby…and how weird it would be to have kids 18,14 and a newborn….and then to find it was agirl on top of it all…..i have NO IDEA how to raise a girl!!!
    Now I’m 35 weeks along…truth is….I still feel this way…but am getting comfortable with the idea that this happened for a reason.

  • melanie says:

    boy can I relate, I dont have depression issues, but rather anxiety issues, and they certainly can put a wrench in an otherwise lovely life. Of course anxiety can be a real pain in arse when you are preggo, because all you think about is any number of the things that can go wrong, its exhausting to worry like that. I always went off my meds during pregnancy, however, my doctors told me that I didnt necessarily have to, so maybe there are some drugs that are safer than others? I dont know but it might be worth checking into. At any rate, I hope you will be able to find something that helps in the mean time…..

  • charmedgirl says:

    lordy…YES.
    i’ve never heard the term before, but jesus god, i knew i was really, REALLY fucking depressed during my surprise-spontaneous-after IF/IVF-pregnancy. and you know what sucks alot? when you spend your entire pregnancy in a horrible state of depression (thinking about how the HELL you’re going to handle everything from guilt to alot of kids + newborn) and then, well, and then the kid dies on you.
    the prepartum depression is the only thing i’ve NOT been able to reconcile. doubt i ever will.
    thanks for writing this.

  • Jenn says:

    I have a close friend who was dealing with this (she just had her baby in August) and I know how real it can be. I personally have never experienced it (though I was depressed while I was pregnant, it started waaay before that) but after seeing someone I care about go through it I can attest to its “realness” as well. It’s scary that women are almost forbidden from being anything but 100% thrilled whenever they are pregnant. Being depressed while pregnant (or while having a newborn – however cute and healthy it may be) is not something that should leave people looking at you and saying, “Wow, you’re an ungrateful bitch.” People should be stepping up and saying, “It’s okay, I’m here for you, you aren’t alone.” I’m glad that you wrote this… even though I am not pregnant it is pretty much how I feel about my life and my depression. I have everything I ever wanted and feeling crappy doesn’t make sense. But that’s what depression is – an illogical and overwhelming sense of fear, sadness, hopelessness. I would hope that there isn’t anyone judging you. AND I’m here for you if you need me, I love you! xoxo

  • I suffered from the pre but luckily not the post, and I just suffer from depression in general. Thank you for writing about it, and how hard it must be for you to go off your meds. People who don’t have it, don’t get it. My niece once said about my sister, “what does SHE have to be depressed about?”. It’s not like you get to make a choice about it, it just is. My heart goes out to you, sweetie.

  • depression of any kind is a errible experience and very misunderstood. People blame you for your feelings that are caused by chemical reasons not under your conrrol. Do they blame you for cancer. People tend to understand and accept physical diseases and not mental and emotional diseases which are just as bad. I have been in a state of depression forever. it gets good and sometimes better but never goes away. I feel for you. hang in.

  • Em says:

    Ah honey, hugs to you. I never realized there was a “name” for what I was feeling. The anxiety, the worry, the sheer feeling of stupidity that I exposed myself to God by giving him a reason to say “happy? not so fast.”

    Keep dumping the weight on our shoulders. I hope that can help.

    Now I’m off to Google “foods that contain Lecithin.” Maybe I’ll get lucky and red wine will be one of them. Thanks BB!

    Em

  • electriclady says:

    Oh yeah. As you know, I was the queen of prepartum depression. I’m so glad you shared this…and I am so sorry you are hurting, honey. I hope you find a way out.

  • kbrients says:

    I totally get it. Hormones are a raging… and just because you are pregnant does not mean that every moment is a happy one. I get it!

    I was a total crying mess with my first one…

    And then after as well.

    Good for you for bringing it up!

  • baseballmom says:

    (((auntie becky))) I was the same way…especially feeling like all I did was worry during my pregnancy when I should have been happy. I feel the same way now, and I usually can hold it together and suck it up, and be the tough one when I feel like falling apart. Sometimes I catch myself feeling sorry for myself, and I feel overwhelmed by things that have gone on the past year (my dad dying, my grandpa dying, my kids getting sick, losing my job, trying to pay bills, cleaning up after the slobby males in this disastrous house) and I just tell myself to quit it, when really I want to break down and have a good cry. It sucks.

  • Kristine says:

    I also suffered from prepartum depression. I wish now that I had gotten help at that point instead of letting it manifest itself further in my soul.

  • Daddy Files says:

    Great post. Well…it’s not great that you’re suffering from pre-partum depression, but it’s great that you’re open about it.

    Honestly, I wish I read something like this when my wife was pregnant. You are saying things that directly apply to her. It’s a little freaky actually. I just chalked it up to “pregnancy hormones” but she also had two miscarriages and was convinced — I’m talking ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN — that she would lose the baby.

    And if that worry did subside, she’d fill the worry void with thoughts of financial crisis, the nursery not being ready, the emergence of stretch marks…you name it, she worried about. And the real shame of it is she wasn’t able to enjoy her pregnancy to the fullest extent. That PPD carried over until after Will’s birth but like you, she still waited too long. Now she has help and the difference is night and day.

    So thank you for putting yourself out there because I never knew how important these issues are, but they’re extremely important.

  • guilty noodles says:

    Thank you for your post. I have a history of chronic depression and having it during pregnancy was no exception for me. I’m sorry you’re going through this. It’s rough when you feel like this at all, especially when your you feel like your body doesn’t belong to you.

    Yes, you have everything you want, but it doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to feel the way you do. Depression is DEPRESSION and it sucks and I feel your pain.

    I’m sending happy thoughts your way. Remember, take care of yourself. You or your family doesn’t benefit at all if you don’t put yourself first.

  • Suzie Q says:

    Dearest Aunt Becky,

    I’m sorry you are struggling. I struggle with depression myself. Just do the best you can with everything and don’t be afraid to ask for help! All of us out here reading and enjoying your blog/life/humor are behind you! You are not alone!!!!

  • Maria says:

    I’m glad you’re speaking up. And I hope that you get to feeling better.

    I have been on and off this pregnancy. Mostly it’s financial stuff. It eats at me. Today I haven’t seen my husband in a week and I’m unraveling a little, but I know I’ll bounce back in the other direction soon. REALLY soon I hope.

    It’s hard to talk about feelings. It’s hard because words like “bitching” and “whining” are usually used despite the fact that we NEED to share we NEED help and we NEED support and the only way to get those things is to open up.

    So, yes, thank you. And we can has some fucking wine nao? Thx.

  • heather says:

    I *hear* you. You know what sucks? I spent years thinking I was alone in my own pregnancy woes, then I branch out, open my experiences, and find a whole world of other people just like me. If there are so many of us here, why aren’t we represented in real life better? Because NO ONE wants to talk about it. But you know what I think? I think times are changing. Thanks to people like you.

    Hope you can feel the love from your people, Becky.

  • Heather P. says:

    OH dearie! My pregnancy with Paddycake was a fucking rollercoaster of emotions.
    For starters I had the hyperemesis gravadarium, and I was mad as hell at my husband and his parents.
    Gawd it was awful! Thank the Lord that my ob put me on Effexor.
    Hang in there honey! I pray for you every night.

  • {{{Hugs}}}

    Depression is very real. It’s important that you are openly talking about it.

  • Amanda says:

    So, yeah, I think you may want to talk to your OB about your AD. I did a quick pubmed search and it seems rather inconclusive as to whether or not AD causes any problems. So, there may be a way to treat your depression and be pregnant at the same time! (Email me if you want the articles I downloaded) Anyhow, I feel for you. It’s hard to have depression (any time) and be shot down for it (i.e. what do you have to be depressed over?). I’ll beat down anyone who says that to you, if you like.

  • mumma boo says:

    Kudos to you for getting it out in the open. What you’ve been through in the past year and what you’re going through now is very real. You’ve helped alot of people today just by having the guts to say that you’re hurting and the reasons why. Hang in there! {{{hugs}}}

  • Brooke says:

    I am very proud of you for posting honestly what you are feeling. Especially considering that there isn’t much out there on pre-pardom depression. You are a good woman, Charlie Brown. Wait, I mean Aunt Becky. Wish I could give you a big squeeze.

  • honeywine says:

    Sometimes all you can do is let others hold your hand, and you know we’re all holding yours (in spirit at least).

  • Collette says:

    Oh boy have I been there. I don’t know that I would classify my feelings as a form of depression but I was scared. We lived in a tiny apartment, had no money, and I was in school when we found out about C. We were barely making it with one and couldn’t imagine how we would make it with two. I would lay in bed at night and cry. It was terrible. It is amazing to look back and realize how far we have come but those months, knowing I was bringing a life into this world that would be completely dependent on me for everything scared the living crap out of me.

    I know this must have been a very hard post for you to write and I commend you for that. You are helping other women with your honesty and that is wonderful.

  • Hugs, hun. I understand. I went into a pretty dark case of post-partum depression after my first son was born and it really screwed up a lot of things in my marriage because I just didn’t understand what was wrong with me, and because I didn’t, because I thought I was suppose to be so out of my mind happy because I had a new healthy baby and a husband who loved me, I didn’t know who to talk to or what to talk to them about. Then I had a miscarriage and I was wrecked for a long time. When I got pregnant with our youngest, I talked to my OB about being on some form of medicine during my pregnancy. She wanted me to hold off, but, um, then I started crying a lot! I got put on some low-level meds and the pregnancy, both during and post, was so vastly different.

    I’m glad you talked about this here…

  • trish says:

    Wow. Very powerful post. I think there’s way too many things that don’t get talked about…for whatever reason. I’m sure this post will help many many people (including perhaps myself someday…).

  • Anjali says:

    Hugs to you. And thank you for educating me. I have never heard of pre-partum depression, though looking back, I think I may have experienced a minor version of it (pre-baby blues perhaps?).

    Oh, and yea for the little girl!

  • magpie says:

    I’m sorry honey. Really sorry.

    I have resigned myself to a lifetime on vitamin Z…which I went off when I was pregnant…only to return to directly after the birth. Because I just knew I needed it.

    Your awareness will stand you in good stead.

  • Lynanne says:

    Ditto on the kudos. Although I’ve never had pre-partum depression, the postpartum depression has kicked my ass. The more people that blog about it without stigma, the better our lives of all women will be. F the Tom Cruise’s of the world.

  • Erica says:

    Amen..I have had my share of the postpartum with both pregnancies.The depression after a m/c and the depression during the pregnancies. Its not easy.Its hard to admit you need the help.Their are some meds safe through pregnancy as long as its a low dose.So if you feel like you still need something I would talk to the Dr.I am glad that you are able to do that it was very difficult for me to admit my feelings to my Dr.but oh my what a relief those little pills are.Take care

  • Thank you so much for sharing this with us. It was beautifully written and so true. A lot of women do suffer from prepartum depression and postpartum depression is a real issue today and it needs to be better understood. NOONE should be ashamed to seek help. I have struggled with anorexia and depression since I was a teenager and have absolutely no control of when I will start feeling down for no reason. It has nothing to do with whether I like my life, but it is usually brought about by stress. So I understand what you are saying when you say that you know about all the things you should be happy about, but you are still feeling a little less-than great.

    Don’t worry about what people expect you to write about on this blog, by the way. It’s your fucking blog and you can blog about whatever you fucking damn well please! I’ll fuck those fuckers up if they give you any shit. I am not pregnant and have lots of pent up rage so I will go ninja on their ass and TAKE THEM DOWN.

    So there! (You give me the names of the “douche bags” (like how I got that in there?) that give you any shit and I will take care of it honey.)

    SMOOCHES!

  • Linda says:

    Excellent post. The fact that depression in ANY form is not “feeling sorry for yourself” but is in fact a chemical imbalance needs to be shouted from the rooftops.

    My partner has PTSD after breaking his freaking neck. He’s healed and relatively healthy but there are days that are a real struggle for him.

  • c. says:

    I’ve only experienced depression of the post-partum (and post deadbaby) kind. A beautiful post, Becky. And I’m sorry you have to feel this way. XO.

  • wishing4one says:

    this is why i love ya aunt becky, you make us laugh and cry sometimes too. thank you for sharing this and i am so super sorry you are feeling this way. those of us struggling to even get pregnant suffer with depression, for sure- i am going to try to think up a name for it now….sending you pyramid hugs and thinking of you…xoxoxox

  • Lola says:

    Listen, honey, a lot of mommies buy into the bliss myth. They never will admit just how bad it can be. They don’t tell the truth until years later about how they really felt. It helps no one. The brutal honesty is what is sometimes needed. That’s what I needed.

    I was NOT a happy pregnant lady. I was so full of fear after having a miscarriage that I didn’t even want to be pregnant. Hard to admit, but true. Too many expectations good and bad for me. I didn’t want to hear loverly baby stories or have people throw me baby showers. In fact, I looked around at infants and cried.

    Then when my son was born after a very difficult birth and the nurse wanted me to nurse him, I wanted no part of it. In fact, I can honestly say that I didn’t even like my son until he hit four months.

    Sure, I loved him, but I did not like him much as he cried for four to eight hours a day with colic. He was like an alien to me. I never wanted to hurt him and never had bad thoughts, but all I wanted to do was run as far away as I could.

    I’ve always told my story, and people react how they react. It’s real, it’s honest, and that’s the only way to get past it. Well, honesty, red wine and a little weed got me through! You can do it with your vitamin if you need to. Whatever it takes, my dear.

  • STE says:

    Thanks for posting this, Becky. I wish I had heard more about it when I was pregnant.

    I haven’t been able to read through all your comments yet, but I’m assuming you have considered other “vitamins” that are safe during pregnancy? Like zol.oft and, I think, pro.zac. My dear friend took plenty of Z during both her pregnancies and her children are geniuses. Not that I’m biased, but they are perfectly healthy and smart, to boot. My doctors have also told me that the z is safe (I try not to suggest something just because a friend did it…).

    I know, though, that sometimes you need to use what you know works. I’m glad that you are working to take care of yourself, Becky. You really are an amazing person and a wonderful friend.

  • Calliope says:

    I think the hardest part for me thus far is being a person who is treated for depression pre pregnancy and then not being able to lean on any drugs during pregnancy. I still ping around with super anxiety and fear and I totally worry that I will crash once the baby is born. My trick is to just try & get as distracted as possible.
    loves you.

  • Natalie says:

    Wait, they told you you’d have to see a high-risk OB if you stayed on Wellbutrin? I didn’t think Wellbutrin was so dissimilar to SSRIs. (I saw a midwife all the way through my pregnancy, and I was on an SSRI the entire time.)

    I don’t know pre-partum depression, but I do know depression, and it’s an aweful thing.

  • SCY says:

    Kudos to you for “owning up” Aunt Becky… Kudos!!

    Hope you feel better soon!
    xxx

  • Jenn says:

    Oh Aunt Becky,

    I hear you! I have so been there. and as cliche as it sounds, it DOES get better. Have you though about trying to find an OB/GYN that has some psych background or even vice-versa. I know they exist, there is one locally that I swear that if I ever have anymore children I’m headed to her (Psych with OB/GYN experience) Try that, they might be more sympathetic to your plight rather than the blanket scare tactics of “rudely informed by one of the OB’s in my practice that I’d be seeing the HIGH RISK OB if I continued on it.” That’s not always the case anymore. Big HUGS to you my friend.

  • Amy says:

    Hey there,
    I can’t help you on the pre pd but I am glad you put it out there! Hang in there my friend, it’s a tough road I am sure but I know you can get thru it! Much love and peace, A

  • Sara says:

    I think I had this with my first pregnancy. But I can’t say for sure. I do know that Post PD is a nasty nasty bitch, so I’m sure it’s little sister Pre PD is just as much so.

    Thinking about you often, and hope it gets even just a teeny bit better.

    Lots of love!

  • Kristen says:

    Thank you for writing this Becky. You know that I know too. I am sending you my hugs and prayers, and big listening ears if you want them.

  • Thanks for this Aunt Becky.

    Hope this next year is a better one for you…

  • jerseygirl89 says:

    Thank you for talking about this. I went through this with my first pregnancy – not that I ever talked about it. Or really admitted it. Good for you.

  • Jane says:

    Oh HELL yes. Pre-partum, post-partum, and whatever it’s called when your kid is 20 months old. And the ‘best’ advice was from my mother in law, who just told me that I needed to volunteer more. Because volunteerism cures depression, ya know? Mmm hmm.

  • mandy says:

    It is hard to do this. To present anything other than a shiny, happy mother-would make me vulnerable to critisism that I never want to be exposed to. The most sensitive kind, critisism of my fitness to care for my own children, etc., etc. That sounds all kind of rambly, I know. I have a tot on my lap and can’t type well with one hand. I had to comment though, because this is ME.
    I know, it is so many of us, sadly. The problem is the fear of judgement. Why can’t they just be HAPPY? I can hear even my husband saying something like that to me.

    Anyway, pre, post and presently affected-over here!

    I hope you feel better soon. I know there has got to be SOMETHING that you can take while preg, zoloft? Ask. They will help you. You have taken the first leap, right here girlie. (smooch)

  • Marinka says:

    You are amazing and brave to share this. Thank you. I had some form of post partum depression that was never officially diagnosed, but it affected me profoundly. You’re right–women are not encouraged to talk about it, we’re supposed to “get over it” and think that it’s not real. I’m thinking of you.

  • lindz says:

    Aunt Becky

    you are Not alone either!
    I’m proud of you for having the guts to speak up and out, about how you feel.

    You’ll be alright woman,
    we’re all here behind you.

  • Edward says:

    Becky, I m sorry y ou are struggling. I want to say I hear you and I have been there many many times. As you know I have birthed 6 children and not only do I live with depression daily but it comes right along and intensifies in pregnancy and post pregnancy.

    Look the risks are minimal to now with some of the anti-depressants. Your mental health is not worth the rist at all. Your baby has the best chance if you are doing your best. If that means meds, then so be it. They say zoloft is one of the safest. I personally would not stay off meds.

    I tried to wean off my meds before each child except the last two ….because I had to learn the hard way….my mental health and ability to function and care for others hinges on me being able to function. Just think about it…go talk to that high risk ob if you have to…what do you have to lose? Maybe an extra few appts during this pregnancy, baby and you being watched a little more carefully….you feeling better?

    Dont white knuckle it or suck it up if you dont have to.

  • Kristin says:

    I didn’t read through all the comments, but I am sure you know you aren’t alone. I got diagnosed with depression when my oldest was 3 months old. He’s 4.5 now. I am sure I had the depression long before that but having a baby made it so much worse. There are meds that you can take that are perfectly safe during pregnancy. With my last 2 pregnancies I was on Effoxor. They will just take you off it the last 2-3 weeks before you deliever just to be safe. I had no problems whatsoever taking it. Please discuss this with your doctor. There are options and you shouldn’t be this way. It’s not good for you or the baby. The positives are way out weighed by the risks. Hang in there. Keep talking about it. I’ve learned that. It’s really hard for me to talk about it without feeling “crazy” but it really does help. Email me if you want to talk. I’ve certainly BTDT

  • Candid Engineer says:

    There is a lingering social stigma with this kind of thing. I am glad for you and for your readers that you’ve shared your experience. I, for one, have generalized anxiety disorder, and that’s even before attempting procreation. God only knows what it will become when I have kids to worry about. Anyhow, I recently started on some anti-anxiety meds and am so thankful for their help in getting me back to normal. As with you, I’m sorry I didn’t reach out for help sooner, but that’s okay. Better late than never.

  • another Becky says:

    i suffered from PPD after weaning my first baby, effexor helped a little. With my second baby,I suffered from pre PD, but this was probably due to my husband being in Iraq the majority of my pregnancy. After the birth of my second baby, I noticed the signs right away. Wellbutrin saved me. I am “me” again. I am still nursing too! Dr says its fine. Hey, its better for me to be healthy and happy in order for my family to be too! I found it hard to believe, but no woman in my family said they knew what I was going through. I not so sure, but I just wasnt ashamed and I talked about it. It does not make you a bad mom. Its beyond our control. From one Becky to another, thanks so much for this post.

  • Anjali says:

    Late on this (again), but I have so been there. There is nothing more truly exhausting than having a toddler, being pregnant, and having a husband that shows up at home every 12th day or so.

    Big hugs.

  • excavator says:

    That’s what has attracted me to your blog, is that you tell the Truth.

    I’m sorry that the Truth is that you are hurting right now.

    It’s also the truth that it sucks to have someone say there is something wrong with your feelings. You either feel them or you don’t. Right or wrong is irrelevant.

    I hope you feel better soon.

  • kt says:

    i found this post because i googled pre partum depression, and the first 5 pages of results were comically unhelpful.
    I’m 12 weeks pregnant with my second child and haven’t had two consecutive days without soulcrushing misery. It wasn’t like this last time (or if it was, I attributed it to new mom anxiety, or that I quit smoking when I found out I was pregnant, etc., but it was in no way this severe).
    I spent 3 days last week, 2 of which I had to spend at work, crying actually nonstop. I can feel these giant mood swings coming a mile away and I thought it was just my cross to bear in this pregnancy – hey, I never threw up, so I should count my blessings?
    I am exhausted, more exhausted because of this Depression, and it’s a prophecy that starts to fulfill itself because I’m too tired to get anything done and then I feel worse.
    As I start to really analyze my feelings, I realize it’s kept me from even being as excited as I could be about this new baby. It is real. I’m glad to see there are women who recognize that it is real.
    I picked up a prescription for Zoloft from my OB and have been holding it in my hand trying to decide if I should fill it. I don’t want to feel selfish – like I’m sacrificing my child in some way because I can’t handle my mood swings.
    I did find an article on melancholia that actually said there are more adverse effects of depression on infants than there are with Zoloft.
    I think I’m gonna take it.
    Anyway, thanks for writing this. Thank you for sharing.

  • Matilda Mitchell says:

    Anxiety and depression is one hell of a nasty disease. even if you have everything but if you have clinical depression, you are still nothing.`'”

  • Jennifer Simson says:

    Oh, this hit home more than anything. I was pregnant with numero 3 this past summer (my husband is military, so he was away for 7 months for training). Mind you, I get pregnant breathing the same air as him, so while I was thrilled to be having baby, it wasn’t exactly when we planned it. But, moving on…I discover early July that he was not going to be returning in time for our mid-August baby. So, this made me extra excited. My sister and mom chime in, while I’m down about this, (in addition to everything else to be not thrilled with during pregnancy alone with 2 toddlers) that I should be GRATEFUL for my 2 healthy children and everything else in life. Are you effing kidding me???? Kick a dog while they’re down, why dontcha. Oh, did I mention she proudly calls herself a school psychologist? No wonder the youth of America are a mess. So yes, I am sure I was suffering from pre-partum depression, given everything that was going on with me, but that didn’t make me ungrateful OR clinically depressed. Did I mention she tried to get me psychological help via my making my friends alienate me behind my back? It’s always a good idea to sweep the support from underneath a pregnant person’s feet. I LOVE your writing style/posts-I’m trying to read many of them in a week–oh, the kids can feed themselves, for cripe sakes.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      Aw, you’re making me all blushy. Prepartum depression is so hard because it’s almost impossible to talk about. No one wants to hear about it and really, it was so hard for me to admit how I felt. Because I loved my baby and all that…I was just so…SAD.

      ANYWAY.

      I’m so happy to meet you. Sending you love and light.

  • Angie the Anti-Theist says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have had *severe* prepartum depression with both my pregnancies. I barely survived two suicide attempts when pregnant with my son. When I found myself pregnant again (while broke, disabled, unemployed, and utterly fucking miserable in the first place) I had an abortion. I had it so I wouldn’t commit suicide and leave my son alone, and that’s something so hard to say, because I know so few people will understand it.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. *tears in my eyes*

  • Dude. I so get you. I have written about this. I suffer from it. I am actually tying my tubes after this c-section because its too hard on me and my family….felt the same way with my first one. I did not tough it out. I took my zoloft for both pregnancies…and of course went to my shrink. I’m not sure I could have parented or made it this far into this pregnancy without it.

    HOLY SHIT YOU ARE PREGNANT?

    Love you. Get you. SO so much. Always here for you.

    xoxo

  • OH AND I JUST REALIZED WHEN THIS WAS WRITTEN. HA.

  • Pingback: - Mommy Wants Vodka

  • Melissa says:

    I wish I found this blog when I was pregnant with my second son. I had a very healthy pregnancy but mentally I was very depressed. Doctors or pregnancy books should really mention the healing powers of reading mommy blogs because I felt so alone in my pregnancy sadness. I’m a new reader. Thank you for your blog and I hope you have a wonderful day!

  • Bethany says:

    And 4.5 years later… I thank you for this. I needed this today.
    I mean, I’m still depressed as fuck, but I didn’t even know this was a thing.
    I thought it was just because my dr. is an asshole.

    Bless you, Aunt Becky – and when I get through the next few weeks, I will raise a glass in your honor.

  • Morgan says:

    Thank you so much for posting. I hate it, but found a peace too in knowing I’m not alone. I lost my first pregnancy this past Fall. I would have given anything for that baby- which is the biggestbest reason why I’ve been struggling to figure out why I feel the despair that I do. Do you feel like anything in particular helped you? I want a healthy pregnancy so my baby can have the best start possible. I also want to do what I can to avoid postpartum as well. Any advice you have is appreciated.

  • Amanda says:

    I found you through Babble:’s Top 100 Mom Blogs. All that I can say is that I can relate to this post. I have ADHD and discontinuing medications was so incredibly difficult. I became an extremely, extremely unproductive member of society. It was hell. And I mean – HELL! Add morning sickness, and moving across country to this and I became the most miserable that I’ve ever been in my life. Thankfully, I had the mind (and the support system) to know that it was only temporary, and every minute of it was sooo worth it because I love my daughter more than anything in this world. I have no idea what I would have done without my family, and my OB/GYN is the most amazing, supportive doctor in the world. world. But, like you, picking up the pieces of my life that I had dropped was not easy.

    Your post has made me think a lot (especially about my second pregnancy…agh!)

    I love your blog!

  • Amanda says:

    And by the way: this mommy wants Chardonnay. Ha. I love your blog title. So funny!

  • Jo says:

    So glad I found this post. Here I’m, 35w pregnant, not wanting to do anything except lying in bed, wondering wtf is wrong with me. This is my first n much wanted pregnancy (altho it didnt take long to happen). Nausea thruout pregnancy is fine (Thx diclectin). Then next came GD n the need for insulin which broke me down a little (cried uncontrollably for a week) but got over it. Got bronchitis any two weeks ago n it doesn’t seem to go away n I was breaking down again but I picked myself back up n tried to stay positive. And then my OB told me today the baby is on a diagonal position, which us worse than a breech baby. Which means they might need to induce me early n maybe do a c section. Well out the window with my natural water birth plan. I dunno what to feel now n I think I’m depressed.

  • thara says:

    I never had prepartum depression. That was because my pregnancy went well. However my labour went wrong and one of my girls Abby was born with severe brain damage. In the weeks afterwards, I sank into postpartum depression. I had to see a therapist and attend counselling sessions, it was that bad.

    My labour only took 10 hours yet those hours were almost fatal to her. I was shocked to find out I was Strep B- positive afterwards. Nobody told me I was positive or Abby should be cooled off as that would prevent her getting brain damage.

    I’ve spent the last 6 months worrying about what would happen if I got pregnant again. I also wonder how I can save enough money for my half brained girl so someone can take care of her later. She is severely disabled- no lie.

  • Mindy says:

    This made me cry. I’ve been having a really hard time and no one understands. Thanks.

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