So, I had a major prenatal mental-health blip this week. After a birthday which left me feeling more sad then special, after seeing several of my loved ones suffer, I hit rock bottom on Sunday night. I was inconsolable, my husband was driving me home on the motorway and I literally did not stop crying for more than 100 miles. Looking back on it, I cannot believe there was enough fluid in my system to do so, but I heard a statistic that says we’re made up of a high percentage of water, which fits in with the fact that I felt completely drained afterwards.
I was hoping that it would settle, that perhaps an early night would sort the problem out, but it didn’t and over the next few days I felt for the first time in a long time like I no longer wanted to live. It is a terrifying thought to have when you are growing a life inside of you, that you yourself don’t want to live. What has kept me alive and safe on multiple occasions when I have felt like this in the past is knowing that my ending my life would hurt those who I love, those who I would leave behind. Feeling suicidal is awful at any time, but feeling that you want your life to end does not leave you feeling like you will make a capable carer of the life within.
In the past when I’ve been depressed, I’ve not eaten, I’ve barely slept and my thoughts have been consumed around the clock with a single thought – “I can’t do this, I just want it all to end.” And though that thought has been ever present over the last few days, it has been interrupted over and over again by the feel of baby moving. I am scared about what will happen when this baby is born, because I can’t imagine how much more I will be able to love this child, when already I feel so blindsided by how much I already feel love for this tiny being inside me.
I didn’t want to eat, but I forced myself because of baby, I didn’t want to go to work, but I forced myself on some days because I knew that if I was distracted the thoughts would come less, and I went to bed and forced myself to try to sleep and to not get anxious, because the thought of my stress harming the baby was too horrid to consider. I am so much better today, and even last night, though I felt so tired from forcing a smile all day that all I wanted was sleep release, I still managed to feel grateful that I’d managed to fight back the bipolar by thinking of baby.
In my yoga class, which sadly I missed this week due to the bone crushing depression that I was swept-up in, our teacher talks about the importance of baby connection. Over the last week with my thoughts being so negative, I have been scared to speak to the baby, apart from to say, don’t worry baby I’ll fix it. Last night though as I started to feel better however, I wanted nothing more to connect with baby. I read poetry to the bump that I had loved when I was sixteen, we listened to classical songs I knew from my days as a flautist and stories from Grimm’s Fairy Tales.
Today the baby is moving more than ever before, and though it may be a little while before I’m back to feeling far from fragile, I feel proud that I made it through another big dip. I feel pleased that I was able to carry on, that I didn’t become so far lost that nothing save medication could bring me back from the brink. I’m halfway through this pregnancy and I’m terrified very day of the challenges that lay ahead, but the tiny little movements and the crazy rolling sensations within me make it hard not to remember why we are doing this and help me feel ready for anything.