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MorganKaines

Pregnant, anxious and depressed

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***

I used to struggle with GAD, panic attacks and health anxiety. Also had major depression a few years back; afterwards struggled with periods of mild to moderate depression. However, lately I was getting a lot better, and I finished a social worker education while working part time to support myself. Was in an abusive relationship, which I got out of; and now have a new partner who is very supportive and kind (but who sometimes steps in the salad and triggers old trauma in me due to my previous experiences of abuse). Like said, I was getting a lot better; and the panic attacks had stopped, health anxiety was getting less, my GAD was getting less... I'm still employed, but only with a part time job; and looking for a new job in the town we recently moved to. So these days I have a lot of spare time, which means a lot of time for thinking.

I got pregnant four months ago... We (my partner and I) weren't 100 % sure what would be the best course of action, keeping the kid or having an abortion. It took us a while to make a decision. I always wanted kids emotionally, but figured I wouldn't end up with any because a) I didn't want to be a single mum cause I know how huge of a responsibility raising a child is and b) I didn't think I'd find a partner I would trust enough to have a child with. c) I used to think that my mental health challenges would automatically make me unfit to be a mum. But I've always been told I would make a good mum despite my fears, so now that I had everything else in order, having an education, a stable and considerate partner, having my mental health challenges in check and having recovered so well; I decided to actually follow my heart and allow myself to keep the baby instead of having an abortion (which I didn't want to do).

At first I was feeling really happy about being pregnant, even if it wasn't planned. But then in week 8 I started bleeding. I bled for 2 weeks. And I was sure I had lost the baby, that I had miscarried. Somehow, it was still there on the 12 week check up; actually doing well. And the bleeding stopped. So I could finally breathe again, for a short while, starting to really connect with my baby after seeing it on a scan. But then there was other things, like sudden stops with the car, discovering I had eaten high risk food products and now needing to get tested for that... I did another scan to see if it had been hurt from suddenly emergency breaking with the car. But midwife said it was healthy and fine; and that I could continue practice driving without concern because it takes more than a few emergency stops to hurt it. Seeing it on the other scan, it being so big and sucking it's thumb and kicking... it was gut wrenching how much love I already feel for him (it's likely a boy, she said). So, I had been so worried, but after the check I could relax a bit more again.

But then last week, I ate a piece of salami by accident. Salami with other foods are high risk products for toxo and listeria; which can cause stillbirth or severe birth defects (like missing brain, cognitive handicaps and so on); so pregnant women aren't supposed to eat it. In a split second, I forgot, and after making my husband a sandwich, stuffed a piece of salami into my own mouth and swallowing before realizing what I had done and why I shouldn't have eaten it. I freaked out. Tried to throw up, but I have a lousy gag reflex, so couldn't. Cried for the entire day, kept having breathing issues; just feeling like; "If I cannot even protect my baby by remembering what to eat and what not to eat; how on earth am I going to be a decent mother??"

I'm getting another toxo test next week, even though the doctor said that the risk of toxo in my country is actually quite low; and she didn't think I needed to worry about it. She said only 2 out of 1000 women get toxo per year; and most of those do not get it from meat, but rather handling cats. And I still feel like I have practically killed my baby or sentenced him to a severe handicap. I cannot relax before I get the test back next week, which is the second toxo test I've taken this pregnancy. 

Somewhere along the time-line, I have slipped down into an anxiety/depression well. Instead of enjoying my pregnancy, I am spending most my days online (I don't work much these days after we moved, trying to get a new job before my pregnancy starts showing), sleeping or just sitting around staring into a wall. I am just so terrified, all the time, for all the things that could go wrong. I've tried so hard to keep my baby safe. I take my prenatal vitamins, I've been so watchful over what I've eaten (and then I mess up so badly that one time by eating the salami), I've taken out sick-leaves from my old job, I've not carried too heavy stuff, etc... I've tried to do everything, but truth is: when it comes down to it I cannot control how this pregnancy goes; I cannot control every aspect of it and I have no way of guaranteeing my baby's safety because so much could happen. And that scares the hebbegeez out of me; because if I cannot protect my child now, while it is IN ME, how on earth can I protect it from the world when it comes out? I am just so scared of everything. Like. I just really want my baby to be born, I don't want to lose it. But then if it is born; then what? How do I keep it safe then? I am trying to do everything right, but in doing so, I am getting swallowed completely by this anxiety that I will make a severe mistake or somehow hurt my child.

So with the pregnancy came a full on triggering of my GAD and my health anxiety;  and fear; and albeit I do not "feel depressed"; my symptoms signal I am on my way into a full blown depression in addition to the anxiety issues. I no longer game, watch TV/movies, draw or do anything I used to do. I have a lot of spare time, but all I do is a)sleep b)watch short, boring vids on YouTube c) cry d) stare into a wall. I cry easily, I struggle pulling myself together enough to do practical stuff. I am hardly using any make-up (my partner now lives with a slob) nor do I really care about what I wear. I keep falling into destructive thinking, like; "I wish I could teleport my baby into someone else, someone who would be a better mum and who could protect it; and then I'd just die; cause that would be better." 

I am basically just not doing very well. I love my baby already, so incredibly much. But having him in me like this, and not knowing if I'll ever get to meet him; or even if I'll be able to be a good mum for him once he comes out, if he somehow survives.... It's tearing me up. I just really wish I could enjoy being pregnant, do the nesting stuff, fix up living arrangements and buy baby things. Just... be pregnant and happy about it, and look forward to meeting my child; but instead I am just scared. All the time. Terrified. And I don't know what to do or how to get out of this rut. Maybe I just am not cut out to be pregnant? Maybe I'm not strong enough. And if I am not strong enough to be pregnant, how am I going to be a good mum?? I just want to be able to one day hold my baby. And I want to be able to keep him safe, and it kills me that I feel so powerless in this situation. 

 

Thanks for listening. I just could really use some support. 

Morgan

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Hi Morgan,

This is my first time to the forum, and yours the first thread I've read. Not sure how helpful I can be, but I just wanted to say I'm sorry you are going through such a hard time.

I have never been pregnant, but I can imagine every mom-to-be feels scared at some point whether she will be a good mother and protect her child. Unfortunately, if you are prone to anxiety AND have too much time on your hands, that of course amplifies things a hundredfold. 

The chances of you hurting your unborn baby are ridiculously small, I'm sure. Please be careful of what you consume with your eyes and ears. Limit internet time, avoid googling/fearmongering yourself, and get involved in something to keep your mind off of your mind. Do something with your hands, such as trying to draw, making a scrapbook, etc. It would also be a great time to learn a language, with all that free time!! 

It was several days ago that you posted. How is it going?

 

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On 9/14/2019 at 12:47 AM, MorganKaines said:

***

I used to struggle with GAD, panic attacks and health anxiety. Also had major depression a few years back; afterwards struggled with periods of mild to moderate depression. However, lately I was getting a lot better, and I finished a social worker education while working part time to support myself. Was in an abusive relationship, which I got out of; and now have a new partner who is very supportive and kind (but who sometimes steps in the salad and triggers old trauma in me due to my previous experiences of abuse). Like said, I was getting a lot better; and the panic attacks had stopped, health anxiety was getting less, my GAD was getting less... I'm still employed, but only with a part time job; and looking for a new job in the town we recently moved to. So these days I have a lot of spare time, which means a lot of time for thinking.

I got pregnant four months ago... We (my partner and I) weren't 100 % sure what would be the best course of action, keeping the kid or having an abortion. It took us a while to make a decision. I always wanted kids emotionally, but figured I wouldn't end up with any because a) I didn't want to be a single mum cause I know how huge of a responsibility raising a child is and b) I didn't think I'd find a partner I would trust enough to have a child with. c) I used to think that my mental health challenges would automatically make me unfit to be a mum. But I've always been told I would make a good mum despite my fears, so now that I had everything else in order, having an education, a stable and considerate partner, having my mental health challenges in check and having recovered so well; I decided to actually follow my heart and allow myself to keep the baby instead of having an abortion (which I didn't want to do).

At first I was feeling really happy about being pregnant, even if it wasn't planned. But then in week 8 I started bleeding. I bled for 2 weeks. And I was sure I had lost the baby, that I had miscarried. Somehow, it was still there on the 12 week check up; actually doing well. And the bleeding stopped. So I could finally breathe again, for a short while, starting to really connect with my baby after seeing it on a scan. But then there was other things, like sudden stops with the car, discovering I had eaten high risk food products and now needing to get tested for that... I did another scan to see if it had been hurt from suddenly emergency breaking with the car. But midwife said it was healthy and fine; and that I could continue practice driving without concern because it takes more than a few emergency stops to hurt it. Seeing it on the other scan, it being so big and sucking it's thumb and kicking... it was gut wrenching how much love I already feel for him (it's likely a boy, she said). So, I had been so worried, but after the check I could relax a bit more again.

But then last week, I ate a piece of salami by accident. Salami with other foods are high risk products for toxo and listeria; which can cause stillbirth or severe birth defects (like missing brain, cognitive handicaps and so on); so pregnant women aren't supposed to eat it. In a split second, I forgot, and after making my husband a sandwich, stuffed a piece of salami into my own mouth and swallowing before realizing what I had done and why I shouldn't have eaten it. I freaked out. Tried to throw up, but I have a lousy gag reflex, so couldn't. Cried for the entire day, kept having breathing issues; just feeling like; "If I cannot even protect my baby by remembering what to eat and what not to eat; how on earth am I going to be a decent mother??"

I'm getting another toxo test next week, even though the doctor said that the risk of toxo in my country is actually quite low; and she didn't think I needed to worry about it. She said only 2 out of 1000 women get toxo per year; and most of those do not get it from meat, but rather handling cats. And I still feel like I have practically killed my baby or sentenced him to a severe handicap. I cannot relax before I get the test back next week, which is the second toxo test I've taken this pregnancy. 

Somewhere along the time-line, I have slipped down into an anxiety/depression well. Instead of enjoying my pregnancy, I am spending most my days online (I don't work much these days after we moved, trying to get a new job before my pregnancy starts showing), sleeping or just sitting around staring into a wall. I am just so terrified, all the time, for all the things that could go wrong. I've tried so hard to keep my baby safe. I take my prenatal vitamins, I've been so watchful over what I've eaten (and then I mess up so badly that one time by eating the salami), I've taken out sick-leaves from my old job, I've not carried too heavy stuff, etc... I've tried to do everything, but truth is: when it comes down to it I cannot control how this pregnancy goes; I cannot control every aspect of it and I have no way of guaranteeing my baby's safety because so much could happen. And that scares the hebbegeez out of me; because if I cannot protect my child now, while it is IN ME, how on earth can I protect it from the world when it comes out? I am just so scared of everything. Like. I just really want my baby to be born, I don't want to lose it. But then if it is born; then what? How do I keep it safe then? I am trying to do everything right, but in doing so, I am getting swallowed completely by this anxiety that I will make a severe mistake or somehow hurt my child.

So with the pregnancy came a full on triggering of my GAD and my health anxiety;  and fear; and albeit I do not "feel depressed"; my symptoms signal I am on my way into a full blown depression in addition to the anxiety issues. I no longer game, watch TV/movies, draw or do anything I used to do. I have a lot of spare time, but all I do is a)sleep b)watch short, boring vids on YouTube c) cry d) stare into a wall. I cry easily, I struggle pulling myself together enough to do practical stuff. I am hardly using any make-up (my partner now lives with a slob) nor do I really care about what I wear. I keep falling into destructive thinking, like; "I wish I could teleport my baby into someone else, someone who would be a better mum and who could protect it; and then I'd just die; cause that would be better." 

I am basically just not doing very well. I love my baby already, so incredibly much. But having him in me like this, and not knowing if I'll ever get to meet him; or even if I'll be able to be a good mum for him once he comes out, if he somehow survives.... It's tearing me up. I just really wish I could enjoy being pregnant, do the nesting stuff, fix up living arrangements and buy baby things. Just... be pregnant and happy about it, and look forward to meeting my child; but instead I am just scared. All the time. Terrified. And I don't know what to do or how to get out of this rut. Maybe I just am not cut out to be pregnant? Maybe I'm not strong enough. And if I am not strong enough to be pregnant, how am I going to be a good mum?? I just want to be able to one day hold my baby. And I want to be able to keep him safe, and it kills me that I feel so powerless in this situation. 

 

Thanks for listening. I just could really use some support. 

Morgan

Hello and welcome, Morgan!

First, let me say that I"m glad you got out of the abusive relationship! Nobody deserves abuse. I'm also glad that you have generally been doing better in life, (although your pregnancy has definitely triggered some issues, so I'll try to help you, although I'm not an expert or anything.)

Bleeding in pregnancy is really scary, but it doesn't necessarily mean you've had a miscarriage. However, since you now knew that already, I'm more concerned about your access to health care. You said that you started bleeding in week 8, but only got a checkup in week 12, so I was wondering if you are restricted in your access to care? You need a lot of support in this time, so I"m hoping that you can get help whenever you need it, and not always be waiting four weeks for important checks.

Don't feel like a bad mother for accidentally eating salami. While it's best to avoid it in pregnancy, the chances of it causing problems are, as your doctor said, very small. It's just a precaution, and you didn't neglect the baby or do anything bad on purpose.

Remember that, while some people are at risk of miscarriage or birth issues, we're actually quite tough physically. Back in the day, when humans didn't know so much about pregnancy, women still carried plenty of babies to term, even when they were laborers and couldn't avoid heavy lifting, or didn't have access to decent food or vitamins. This doesn't mean it isn't good to take care of the baby and yourself, but it does put things in perspective. As for after it's born: there are are things from which you won't always be able to protect the baby, and there's nothing you can do about it. All you can do is love your little boy, be as good a mom as you can be, and not beat yourself up about things out of your control. Love is the most important thing, and with love, everything else will fall into place.

Not all women experience good pregnancies. Many do enjoy pregnancy, (despite morning sickness, heartburn, etc,) but those with mental illness can find that pregnancy is a huge trigger, and especially where GAD and depression are concerned. This does not mean you're a failure. It's quite common, in fact, from what I know about these things.  All the women in my family suffered through pregnancy, (except for perhaps one who had easy pregnancies, and even she only had two kids.) I think that you need to gradually try taking up your old hobbies so that you're not constantly thinking and worrying, and that this will definitely help you get out of this rut.

Many new moms are also scared that something will happen to the baby, but I don't think it sounds like anything is wrong, and I think you have to focus on the fact that you probably will get to meet him. After all, as long as you have the care you need during the pregnancy, then once you get to the birth stage, there's a lot that can be done to help it along nowadays. As for the fact that you're not 'nesting', well, some women don't have that instinct, especially if they're struggling with pregnancy, and you don't need to feel guilty about it.

I hope at least some of this helps, and that you will be able to take care of you so that you're ready for your beautiful little boy. :hugs:

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Hello 😊 

 

Thank you both for your replies, it was helpful with some new perspectives. And I greatly appreciate your kind words. 

I did have limited access to care, because we had just moved to a new town, in the middle of holidays season. .. So I got my first proper check up almost a month late. But I am finally getting good regular check ups now. 

Im actually doing a bit better. I ended up on sick leave due to pelvic girdle pain, and somehow I am beginning to accept that growing a baby is hard, daunting work and it's OK. Partner and I have started plastering and painting our living rooms (we live second floor of my mun's old house) so I am finally starting to feel like we could get things in order before the baby is here. With that and practice driving, I am finally having more to focus on outside of my worries 

And at the recent scan this week, the midwife said it looks like we're having a strong, perfectly bodied boy. That felt very reassuring, seeing how active and kicking he is. So I am trying to think that the chance if us having a healthy baby at this point is so much greater than the opposite, so there's no point in worrying so much. 

My boyfriend triggered some old wounds the other day when I was trying to help him with his nose bleed. I did something that caused him pain when trying to help him, and he burst out: "what are you doing, you F**** idiot" 

It immidiately made me feel like I was back in that old and previous relationship with my abusive ex. Before, I would have been sad, scared and just left the room. My old ex would have said stuff like that, and not cared that it hurt me. But in this situation, with my new partber, who is usually a gentle guy, I told him straight, decisively and strict, but still calm, that I do not accept being spoken to and called names like that. That he is free to say that my action was dumb in his eyes, but he doesn't get to call me stupid, dumb or any other such term. 

At first he tried defending himself, saying that it hurt, but I repeated that I don't care, I will never accept being spoken to like that, particularly not when trying to help him, and not with a kid in the future to watch and learn behavior from us. He then apologized in a very genuine manner, and called himself an idiot. I told him obviously I don't accept him name calling himself either, and that in this household we treat each other and ourselves with empathy and kindness. 

I am actually quite proud that I have finally learned to set healthy boundaries for myself and my family. When our kid is born, he will grow up in a safe, loving and healthy environment. I might not have been good at standing up for myself in the past, but there's the baby to think about now. And somehow that's really giving me a kind of fire I haven't had before. 

 

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18 minutes ago, MorganKaines said:

Hello 😊 

 

Thank you both for your replies, it was helpful with some new perspectives. And I greatly appreciate your kind words. 

I did have limited access to care, because we had just moved to a new town, in the middle of holidays season. .. So I got my first proper check up almost a month late. But I am finally getting good regular check ups now. 

Im actually doing a bit better. I ended up on sick leave due to pelvic girdle pain, and somehow I am beginning to accept that growing a baby is hard, daunting work and it's OK. Partner and I have started plastering and painting our living rooms (we live second floor of my mun's old house) so I am finally starting to feel like we could get things in order before the baby is here. With that and practice driving, I am finally having more to focus on outside of my worries 

And at the recent scan this week, the midwife said it looks like we're having a strong, perfectly bodied boy. That felt very reassuring, seeing how active and kicking he is. So I am trying to think that the chance if us having a healthy baby at this point is so much greater than the opposite, so there's no point in worrying so much. 

My boyfriend triggered some old wounds the other day when I was trying to help him with his nose bleed. I did something that caused him pain when trying to help him, and he burst out: "what are you doing, you F**** idiot" 

It immidiately made me feel like I was back in that old and previous relationship with my abusive ex. Before, I would have been sad, scared and just left the room. My old ex would have said stuff like that, and not cared that it hurt me. But in this situation, with my new partber, who is usually a gentle guy, I told him straight, decisively and strict, but still calm, that I do not accept being spoken to and called names like that. That he is free to say that my action was dumb in his eyes, but he doesn't get to call me stupid, dumb or any other such term. 

At first he tried defending himself, saying that it hurt, but I repeated that I don't care, I will never accept being spoken to like that, particularly not when trying to help him, and not with a kid in the future to watch and learn behavior from us. He then apologized in a very genuine manner, and called himself an idiot. I told him obviously I don't accept him name calling himself either, and that in this household we treat each other and ourselves with empathy and kindness. 

I am actually quite proud that I have finally learned to set healthy boundaries for myself and my family. When our kid is born, he will grow up in a safe, loving and healthy environment. I might not have been good at standing up for myself in the past, but there's the baby to think about now. And somehow that's really giving me a kind of fire I haven't had before. 

 

I'm so proud of you that you have found the energy to be able to stand up for yourself

when you are spoken into away that is not appropriate for you.  I hope you and your

soon to be family not but the best as y'all continue to grow as a family.

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1 hour ago, MorganKaines said:

Hello 😊 

 

Thank you both for your replies, it was helpful with some new perspectives. And I greatly appreciate your kind words. 

I did have limited access to care, because we had just moved to a new town, in the middle of holidays season. .. So I got my first proper check up almost a month late. But I am finally getting good regular check ups now. 

Im actually doing a bit better. I ended up on sick leave due to pelvic girdle pain, and somehow I am beginning to accept that growing a baby is hard, daunting work and it's OK. Partner and I have started plastering and painting our living rooms (we live second floor of my mun's old house) so I am finally starting to feel like we could get things in order before the baby is here. With that and practice driving, I am finally having more to focus on outside of my worries 

And at the recent scan this week, the midwife said it looks like we're having a strong, perfectly bodied boy. That felt very reassuring, seeing how active and kicking he is. So I am trying to think that the chance if us having a healthy baby at this point is so much greater than the opposite, so there's no point in worrying so much. 

My boyfriend triggered some old wounds the other day when I was trying to help him with his nose bleed. I did something that caused him pain when trying to help him, and he burst out: "what are you doing, you F**** idiot" 

It immidiately made me feel like I was back in that old and previous relationship with my abusive ex. Before, I would have been sad, scared and just left the room. My old ex would have said stuff like that, and not cared that it hurt me. But in this situation, with my new partber, who is usually a gentle guy, I told him straight, decisively and strict, but still calm, that I do not accept being spoken to and called names like that. That he is free to say that my action was dumb in his eyes, but he doesn't get to call me stupid, dumb or any other such term. 

At first he tried defending himself, saying that it hurt, but I repeated that I don't care, I will never accept being spoken to like that, particularly not when trying to help him, and not with a kid in the future to watch and learn behavior from us. He then apologized in a very genuine manner, and called himself an idiot. I told him obviously I don't accept him name calling himself either, and that in this household we treat each other and ourselves with empathy and kindness. 

I am actually quite proud that I have finally learned to set healthy boundaries for myself and my family. When our kid is born, he will grow up in a safe, loving and healthy environment. I might not have been good at standing up for myself in the past, but there's the baby to think about now. And somehow that's really giving me a kind of fire I haven't had before. 

 

Wow, there's so much I'm happy to hear! Firstly, that you're getting decent medical care now, which is very important. While it's true that 'growing a baby' (as you put it, which is an amazing phrase that I've never heard used before!) is hard and painful, I"m glad that the fact isn't distressing for you now, and you don't have to feel like you're 'failing' at pregnancy. It's also very good that you've got other things to think about external to the pregnancy, like working on the house and driving.

Congratulations on the news about your little boy! It's great you have the reassurance about his health, and the important thing now is for you to be ready for the birth, and for it to be as calm as possible for you.

It's great that you're setting boundaries in your relationship, because that is very important. It's true that having a baby can create a fierceness in moms that they didn't know they had; a strength, too. It's very useful in helping to make a good environment for the baby.

I wish you and your family the very best.

Edited by MargotMontage

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