It’s common to have mood swings in pregnancy. Our hormones are, not so literally, sprawled across the floor in a tangled mess that even the most expert of puzzle makers could unravel. We are the Christmas tree lights thrown into the bottom of the box when we said, “we’ll deal with that next year.” So far, fourteen weeks into this pregnancy, I’ve had very valid and legitimate reasons to cry. I’ve cried through the fear and the panic of thinking we were losing this baby. I’ve cried over the worry and anxiety of literally believing I had to try to hold this baby in. I know, a ridiculous thought, but that’s what it felt like. And yet, it seems, the last few weeks that I am able to open the flood gates for well… anything. And a second later, I want to sing from the rooftops my joy and excitement. A euphoria that inevitably comes crashing down. The ups and downs of pregnancy emotions can be difficult to deal with. Especially when those around you don’t understand or appreciate how much of a rollercoaster pregnancy is.
We know this rollercoaster of emotional chaos is not our norm but that doesn’t make it any less real or any easier to deal with. It’s not as though we can say, “oh it’s hormones” and switch off the waterworks and plump ourselves up into a happy positive demeanour.
So far I have cried at the most stupidest of things, either completely unrelated to me or something I would never normally cry at.
Watching Ellen DeGeneres receiving the medal of freedom from Barack Obama – bawled like a baby as I watched Ellen’s chin quiver.
Seeing how The Queens coronation played out on Netflix’ The Crown. Something about it being the first televised coronation moved me… WTF?
The Gilmore Girls reunion trailer…. yes just the trailer. The actual series didn’t move me at all!
(yes I watch a decent amount of TV)
While putting the Christmas tree up and seeing how happy our little girl was. I should have been swelling with pride and love instead my heart was in my boots for some ridiculous reason.
Eating the last bite of the pitta bread which I was seriously enjoying. I ran out of pitta bread and hummous. Devastated!
When my consultant told me I will be scheduled for a cesarean section. Ok, I can possibly be forgiven for this one.
Seeing my husband come home late from work one night, tired and worn out but eager to play with our daughter before her bedtime. I felt so guilty that he was so tired but still gave her all the time and energy he could.
Every single Christmas ad out there! I love Christmas, I love the ads. But bawling crying at them?? Especially the Lidl ad, dear God!
Watching a newborn baby getting her hair washed on Facebook… absolutely one of the cutest things ever but a tear fest? Nope, it was not.
A Christmas wedding proposal for some completely unknown couple to me. Beautiful done at a magical time of year and may potentially pull on any soppy gal’s heart strings… but I sobbed for fifteen minutes after… fifteen minutes!
When to Get Help
Mood swings are normal and natural in pregnancy. But that does not mean that you have to suffer through on your own. As I suffered mild postnatal depression after A and due to the emotional upheavel we have gone through with the risk of losing Little Bean the last few weeks, I have already been advised to give our Mental Health Midwife a call. As a precaution.
Right now, I’m thinking, “I’m ok. I know it’s hormones, I can get through this.” But in truth, I also know:
I hate being pregnant – hated it last time, hating it this time
I’m constantly worried about Little Beans health and my own health
I have second child fears that are slowly but surely taking over
All I want to do is sit and eat and close my eyes.
Antepartum Depression, like Postnatal Depression, is very real and unfortunately quite common. Triggers can be emotional upheavel, stress, worry, fear, complications in pregnancy, and history of abuse or trauma.
It absolutely can not be ignored. Self help includes getting good excercise and adequate rest. Eating a proper diet will always help also. Acupuncture has been proven to treat depression positively if you can stand the idea of it, personally it’s not my cup of tea. Support groups and advise from your mental health midwife or care provider will aid you in getting onto the right path and supporting you.
So, I will be making that call. And I will be talking.