During pregnancy it’s fairly well known that women’s bodies change drastically. It’s no secret that pregnant women can have mood swings, go from 0 to 100 real quick over what seems to be the smallest of things (like patients being rude on the phone when I’m TRYING to help you), and cry at odd things like commercials or cute photos on the internet (hello cute animals I’m looking at you).
I personally haven’t really noticed anything like that going on. Yes, my patience with people is a lot shorter, and I tend to get upset over some stupid comments, but not to the dramatic extent people tend to imagine. I always imagined crying or sobbing in the middle of a grocery aisle over the silliest of things and creating a scene. It’s not like that at all – moreso me quietly stewing on it until I get to vent to my partner or family.
However, what I did not expect was to have moments where I would feel completely overwhelmed by I don’t know what. I feel as though I know what to expect, I’ve left myself no illusion as to whats coming up in the next few months/years. I still though have found myself becoming so worked up and anxious, that I completely shut down and become that emotional ball that needs someone to bring them chocolate and tea and tell them it’s okay.
A part of me likens it to when I did have anxiety and depression – to not have any control or logic in the feelings and emotions going through your head. Talking to my partner about all of this has helped. As has just letting my family know that “hey – I’m not feeling my best at the moment, how about we chill out and watch a happy movie together“.
It did take me a while to recognise it for what it was, and to be okay with it. We always hear about mental health issues with people due to external circumstances or a chemical imbalance, what I hadn’t been told of was how common it is for pregnant women to also develop mental health issues before giving birth.
I’ve allowed myself some room to feel these emotions, acknowledge them, and move on to making myself feel better. For me thats usually a cup of tea or hot chocolate, eating something healthy or home cooked, sitting down to bullet journal, browse Pinterest, or watch youtube videos.
I hope that everyone else out there – pregnant or not – is doing well.
And to the pregnant ladies – meltdowns or no, prenatal mental health anxiety and depression is a thing, and there’s no shame in admitting to your partner or support network that you are struggling sometimes.
– Caitlin –