I am acutely aware of my body during this pregnancy. Any spotting, any bump or thump, any pains, any headaches, my bowel movements, my activities... blah blah blah. All of my experiences so far are perfectly normal. I worried more before, like a new niave mother should and would. But the books I read during my first trimester helped me see something else.
I need to be aware of my emotions. Some women experience postpartum depression and lack the self awareness to self diagnosis their condition. Why is that important? Well, how else is she going to get help. I so desperately want to enjoy those first few months of motherhood in spite of the grueling sleep deprivation and stress. But I read several stories where women didn't see the symptoms and neither did their partners.
Here are a few things I noticed about each case. They have the normal depression signs. Crying or wanting to cry, not wanting to do the normal activities they once did, not having motivation to be productive, and thinking about morbid or sad thoughts. They lacked the tools and awareness. I am acutely aware of my emotions because... well I think I have early signs of postpartum depression. I get a malaise and can't think. I am gray and I could sleep all day long.
It could be scary to have this disorder I guess. I step outside myself though, and I forgive myself. At our expectant parent class last night, the nurse said the I create the same amount of estrogen in one day that I created in one year of not being pregnant. That's some serious shit. How could I NOT be affected by this hormonal roller coaster.
I've dealt with seasonal depression and depression from stress in my life in the past. I took tools and tips and applied them to my life. Exercise, diet, vitamins, inner reflection, and forgiveness. But that doesn't always work and I'm prepared to ask for help if it doesn't for me.
I feel guilt frequently. Last night I burst into tears because I'm pretty sure it's my fault that my dad ran over our old dog Cocoa. I parked in front of his Hummer and he had to back up... right over that poor dog. Twice. I could cry right now thinking of it. This happened a year ago.
I also think of every pet I have had that died and I could cry for a full hour just missing them and regretting their loss. WHY! I loved them. Accidents happen. Life happens. I just don't want those two things to happen to me I guess. I fear bad things happening to anyone and I mean anyone I know. Close family... to my facebook friends. I'm sad and guilt ridden and weepy. I could feel stupid, which I do sometimes. But I know that my body is dealing with a lot and my emotions are a manifestation of that. I need to forgive my imperfections and those days I only want to lay around the house and move on.
I tell myself it's silly to want to cry. It's stupid. What do I have to cry about? I am happy. I know that. And so every once in a while I'm too hard on myself. But then I step back. I realize it is the situation, not the person. It's not because I'm dumb, or silly, or stupid. I feel this way because I am in this situation... the hormones are crazy. My baby is taking more of my vitamins from me. I need to up my vitamins and keep exercising. Not over analyze my imperfections. If I had lower self esteem or less happiness in my life, I think I wouldn't have the courage to realize all this. That's the scary part, because I don't DESERVE this. I'm a good person. But if I weren't as confident as I am, I wouldn't definitively say that. Thank God for small miracles.
I can be a bump on a log one day and then go to four different grocery stores the next. I can be uber productive at home. Or I can sit on my laptop and stare into space.
I told Kris to keep an eye out for all the signs of postpartum depression. Getting me out for a walk, eating well, and even sex will help me feel better. But we don't know what I'll be like after baby gets here. I could be worse or better. And if it's worse. I have to visit a doctor and not mess around. He may have to drag me and make the appointment himself. Thank God for that miracle: a husband who is in tune with my emotions.
Ultimately, my midwife prescribed vitamin D when I told her in passing that I feel like crying all the time. I hope this helps correct some of the hormonal issues and brings some sunshine back into my life. I prefer it to more serious meds. We'll see.
I read this article "When Motherhood Throws You Curveballs" that made me realize more of the things I was doing and thinking are considered a part of this disorder, therefore making me take it much more seriously. So for now, I'm not freaking out... just objective, aware, full of forgiveness, and willing to ask for help so that my condition doesn't worsen to this poor mother's OCD experience. And I continue to thank God. I'm so blessed.