Has anyone terminated due to antenatal depression?(35 Posts)
Sorry for the long post!
I'd already terminated one pregnancy, I felt extremely sad about it, but it was a very black and white decision and I terminated early.
I'm 43 and with no children. After that termination I decided to see a therapist every week for help with my anxiety and overall health. He gave me natural supplements and vitamins but no antidepressants.
As the months wore on I knew I wanted to try again, my mind and body were craving for a baby and I wasn't getting any younger. I spoke to my partner about it. He was very concerned bc of what had happened the last time and he didn't know how I would cope with a baby and my insomnia problems which although I was trying, I hadn't managed to control. I kept insisting that I would be fine, that everything would fall into place once we had a baby, that I was meant to be a mother..he finally agreed to try for my sake, to see me happy (he has 3 children from a previous marriage who live with us).
I fell pregnant right away last october. I couldn't believe it..I was being given a 2nd chance. I was so so happy. Right away I made an appt to see a leading psychiatrist to take preventative steps in case my panic attacks started (the reason I aborted a year before). Both he and my gp said that just bc it had happened the first time didn't mean it would again. They were very reluctant to prescribe anything and the psych said that if I started to feel anxiety, I should then go back to see him. That was in my 5th week.
The next 2 weeks, I suffered from Hyperemisis Gravidarum (vomitting everything) and was hospitalized to be put on a drip. Through this tough physical period (nausea was 24/7) I was mentally happy. The hospital did a scan and I saw a heartbeat at 8 weeks.
Once home I was able to keep some food down, nausea was still 24/7 and I started to get 'restless legs'. This was awful, I could not rest at all and bc of insomnia got maybe 3 hrs sleep a night, the restless legs would not allow me to lie still even for a minute..for me this was worse than the vomitting. I started to feel mentally overwhelmed, parts of my mind began to shut down. I know it sounds unbelievable, but I couldn't find the feelings I had of wanting the pregnancy..they would come and go, and then vanished all together.
I saw the psychiatrist right away and said that I needed help fast. Yes, I wanted to keep the baby even though I couldn't 'feel' I did anymore. He prescribed me an antidepressant. I do remember him not being sure which one to prescribe at first then went with Citalopram and said I would get worse for 2 weeks before I got better!!! Why hadn't he given me anything before! I did some research on this drug and my instinct was not to take it. I called my gp and asked him for a different one, but he said to trust the psych. I went ahead and took it.
My head felt like it would explode, I started crawling on the floor bc I didn't know what else to do...I was lifeless. I felt so frightenend and anxious and started to feel that I could not have the baby, that I had been extremely irresponsible to try, that I should have listened to my partner, that I was 43 and he 49 (diabetic type 1) and that my role was to take care of him, of his existing children (18yr old, 14 and 11) OMG why was I pregnant...
After 2 days of taking the antidepressant I stopped, it had had a terribly adverse effect (with which the psych later agreed), but I had made up my mind to terminate. The feelings I had had of motherhood and such happiness at being pregnant had completely left me. I cried but went ahead and made all the necessary arrangements. My partner, mother and 2 friends spoke to me in length, asked me to think carefully, one friend in particular was afraid I would feel worse after terminating bc she knew how badly I wanted a baby.
I terminated on dec 20th. They told me I was 13 weeks (I had thought just under 12). It's now been 6 weeks. Something in my mind is adversly affected with the onset of pregnancy hormones with life changing consequences..it's like a different part of my brain takes over. I wish I had done extensive psychotherapy after the first time, I wish I had forced the psych to give me antipressants when I first went to see him, I wish I had followed my instincts and not taken what he eventually did give me..or maybe this wasn't meant to be..maybe I'm not meant to be a mother.
Now I'm sitting in disbelief over the whole thing. I've started seeing a therapist already to try and understand and resolve what happens in my subconcious. My insomnia is worse than ever. I will never try again to be a mother, but my heart is breaking.
Oh reading these posts makes me feel so sad.
I am (can barely dare to type it in case I jinx it) just coming out the other side of a really horrible and scary fist trimester. We had been trying for a baby for 6 months, I am in a brilliant relationship, financially stable, have 2 other lovely children but had always wanted 3. At last our family would be complete....and then it hit!
Around 5 weeks pregnant and suddenly I was crippled with anxiety, everything looked black and every fragment of my thoughts felt wrong. I am by nature a thinker and one if life's worriers but I'm also usually cheery, energetic and i really enjoy my life. Suddenly my life felt over, like I had died and I was watching my old life through a glass wall. Everywhere I looked I could see evidence of my old happy life and was out of mind with desperation at how I could get back and join it. If someone had told me that I would become so desperate to make it stop that I would be googling termination clinics I would never in a million years have believed them. I did google termination clinics, I was literally going out of my mind and the panic attacks were so intense that I ended up in hospital. I just wanted it to stop.
How could I look after my other children when I had become a crazy lunatic? How would my business or my relationship survive and I was consumed in grief for the life I had lost. I was also exhausted and ashamed by it. Cross that I couldn't be in more control of my brain and disappointed in myself that I couldn't just be happy.
In those early weeks it was almost constant but then it started to improve for certain parts of the day and my appetite returned etc. Eventually it was only happening for 4 hours a day around teatime. It's now been almost 3 weeks of no panic attacks, no glass barriers i am back in my life again, being a normal happy (still hormonal tho) pregnant person!
I am so passionate that what happened to me was real and very scary and I felt very misunderstood by doctors and midwives. When it was happening to me I honestly never thought I would feel normal again, so its really important that other people reading this know how evil hormones can be! I see it like severe morning sickness, I think my body is allergic to pregnancy hormones and the message to my brain was severe
I am still very nervous about it coming back and I understand I have a higher chance of postnatal depression....but I am determined that i will make sure I am not under the radar so that should it rear its ugly head again I will be ready.
Hi everyone, I'm 33, 5 weeks pregnant, found out about a week ago and ever since then have been spiraling down into a horrible state. I've always been ambivalent about having kids, but my husband really wants them and all my friends are having them, so I decided to pull the plug. Fell pregnant straight away, felt some positive feelings initially, but for the last 3 days I have been in a nearly hysterical state...
Everything seems completely black, I can't stop crying, have panic attacks. Hate the way my body is changing and just thinking about this baby makes me suicidal. Now, could it just be the hormones playing up or am I really feelking that way? I can't go on like this, seeing GP tomorrow and will ask to be referred to a psychiatrist, although all I want to do is have an abortion and forget the whole horrid experience. I just want my life back!
Pretty sure if I don't have a child my husband and I will split up, although he's been very supportive, he won't make his peace with being childless.
Completely distraught, although I had depression before, this is the lowest I've ever been in my life.
I've also experienced ante natal depression/anxiety/insomnia through 2 pregnancies, was relieved to miscarry my 3rd because I didn't have to choose to terminate, (a little tearful here!) and put my family through that again.
In my 1st pregnancy hypnotherapy and sleeping tablets helped, in my 2nd sleeping tablets weren't enough but the post natal ssri's and some 'eye movement' therapy have helped me feel more like my old self. I was advised by my GP that I could take ssri's while pregnant and I took them while breastfeeding. There is no study to show effects during pregnancy because that would be unethical but the risk is balanced against the benefit. I found sertraline easy to tolerate though was completely ennervated for a few days at the start (possibly also due to recovering from pneumonia).
My children were both born healthy, at good weights and are generally very bright, happy and healthy, no ill effects if that helps total .
I wondered if I would ever feel 'normal' again. I wasn't able to fight for the help I needed, it was my partner who told the GP if something wasn't done I was going to hurt myself. This is what it takes to be taken seriously it seems.
Again sorry for the long post but I've finally joined and need to get a lot off my chest n to see if anyone else is or has experinced this?? this is my third pregnancy, 32 weeks into it at the moment.. First child is 5 years old but my second pregnancy last year I terminated at 11 weeks due to feeling very very low n very depressed, I thought I didn't want to be with my partner, questioned my love for him n was just a hormonal mess I thought this was down to me not being ready.. After the termination I felt on top of the world again n cannot even believe I questioned my love for my partner... I now know that I was suffering from
ante natal depression as I feel exactly the same now at 32 weeks n have from about 8 weeks... In may this year my partner proposed n I said yes we couldn't be happier... We had decided to try for a baby n soon after I was pregnant!! At the beginning I was very excited then come 8 weeks I felt awful, really sick, didn't want to go out n bother with anyone, I was off work for about 7 weeks... I felt so down never did I feel as low to end my life or even harm myself but I definitely did not want to carry on with this pregnancy!! I have n now in week 32 n still feel horrendous, me n my partner are no longer living together because I just cannot stand him sounds awful but that is the way I feel n he does not get it at all, I've tried explaining but he still doesn't understand!! I feel as though I don't love him anymore n I'm not excited one bit about this baby... I'm
more excited for my little girl as she can't wait but apart from
that I'm not feeling anything at all.. Quite scary really but I am thinking positive as I felt this before I had a termination n afterwards I was fine n felt normal again.. I'm just scared that ill feel ok after the baby is here but ill end up onto own for good as that's what I feel like I want at the minute.... Please help?!! Anyone else feeling like this? I feel like its just me n my partner thinks its just me too??!!!
Hello, how far along are you, was there any time during your last pregnancy when you started to feel a bit better? I had horrendous anxiety during early pregnancy but around weeks 10-12 it lifted, as there is a big hormonal change then. Could not connect with the (much wanted) pregnancy at all before then, just felt completely detached. Can you speak to your midwife? I'm sure the meds will be fine if you have been prescribed them.
Just bumping for you total and hope the previous posters see your post. You could try PMing them to see if they wouldn't mind talking to you?
Thank you. Have spoken to gp.numerous times and also psychiatrist. They just say it is my decision. The OP on this thread describes not being unable to get in touch with the feelings of wanting the pregnancy and that is what is happening to me.
I just needed to communicate with people who have been through.this as no one undetstands.
Please go and talk to either your GP or a midwife and get some reassurance. If the meds have been prescribed, it's highly unlikely they will have damaged your baby, GPs are far too wary of the consequences.
You need some decent help and probably someone to advocate on your behalf-is there anyone who can do this for you?
total I just saw your post. I have not been in that position but didn't want you to go unanswered. There are numerous scans and tests which would show any damage from the pills so please don't assume you have done harm, you may well not have. In any case you need the medication, the risks to you (and therefore your baby) would be worse if you didn't take it. I know this is easy for me to say but much much harder to believe in reality. I hope someone comes along with experience to share soon. You could also try posting in the Antenatal Tests and Choices section. Best wishes x
Anyone on this thread still about? I am on the verge of terminating due to antenatal depression and could really do with speaking to those who have had it.this badly before.
This is my second pregnancy the first was horrendous with anxiety and depression but for various reasons I thought it could be different this time, especially if I took medication which I refused last time.and it was nine months of sheer hell.
Now I feel horrifically guilty as I have terrible insomnia so taking a high dose of sleeping pills, without which I become unbearably anxious due to severe sleep.deprivation. I do not.trust that yhese have not harmed the baby and tne guilt is killing me. I want to terminate because I cant cope and its affecting everything in my life but actually going through with that terrifies me too.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I'm not sure if you are still monitoring your thread but here's hoping you will read this. I too had debilitating antenatal depression the medical profession were at a complete loss as to how to deal with me and when I asked for an abortion in utter dispair (late on at about 25 weeks) the midwife reported me to social services! I was suicidal but felt I couldn't even die bacause of the baby.
When my little boy was born (I still can't call him my son 2.5 years on) the mental torment until he emerged was infinately worse than the labour pains. But and I'm not sure if this is helpful to tell you but as soon as I saw him everything changed, that said I'm not sure how much longer I could have hung on if he hadn't been born when he was as I certainly felt (albeit misguidedly in all probability) that I was likely to become psychotic.
Clearly mine was not the result of the hormone changes at the start of pregnancy you experienced. However please know that this is a much more common condition (10%) than is generally recognised as the taboos surrounding it mantain the conspiracy of silence, issolation and desperation.
I do not know how you can begin to overcome this great trauma and loss but you have endured. As someone else said at the time you were in such a dark place you really had no choice but to terminate.
If you do try again it seems it is not certain that the same thing will happen again especially if you have progesterone supplements
My pregnancy was without doubt one of the worst times of my life and the medical profession caused /exacerbated many of my symptoms.
Now that my son is here I love him so much that the horror I experienced during the pregnancy still makes me feel guilty and worry over any damage his stressful gestation may have caused him. It makes me sad to remember how I dreaded his arrival but when he was born the sun truly did come out.
You are not a freak, just human and not all women react to pregnancy with delight.
Hi there, couldn't read without commenting too. I had the same kind of experience and it was the most scariest period of my life so far, I really didn't think that I would make it through.
Fell pregnant with my much wanted DS but completely lost my mind from week 6 to week 25 of the pregnancy. I had no real idea what I was doing and felt exactly as peachypips mentioned above in that the mental torment was so extreme I used to beg my husband to make it stop. My friends and family had absolutely no idea what to do with me and looking back now I am very surprised that I didn't end up in hospital too. I've never been a depressive and have always been a driven, positive and happy character. I too managed to make it through the pregnancy with medication and have no doubt that I will have to do the same should I go on to have more children.
There is so little awareness of this condition, my GP was particuarly unsympathetic in that she told me that I was being 'self indulgent' and that if she was behaving in the same way as me, her husband would have upped and left her. Very helpful when you are desperate and you have absolutely no idea of what is happening to you. Throughout that time I would repeatedly mention to the doctors, midwives and consultants that I had always had an edgy anxious feeling when I was on the combined contraceptive pill (which obviously releases the same hormones as pregnancy) and yet no one cottoned on and made the link until much later on in the pregnancy and once the medication kicked in and reacted against the hormones, it was like someone had switched the light back on. I literally came back to planet earth overnight.
I feel so so sorry for anyone who goes through this kind of experience. The effect that it has on the sufferer and the people around them can be enormous.
My family said to me once my DS was here and our dust had started to settle after my illness, that I should somehow try and do something positive with the experience I had. So if letting you know that you are not alone and it is by no means your fault, then that for the moment is enough.
Hi. Reading your story is like reading about myself! Even down to adverse reaction to citalopram. It turned me absolutely loopy.
However, I managed to make it through both pregnancies with medication. I was hospitalised in a psych ward too for a while as I wanted to kill myself. I wanted abortions both times even though I am against it, as the mental torment was so extreme. I literally lost my mind.
I am so sad for you, it breaks my heart. I wish you had had the care I had, as you could have made it. Do you not have a perinatal mental health team? I started on two drugs before conception to try and stabilise my mood in advance of my second pregnancy. I took drugs through whole thing. Didn't feel at all good but not psychotic.
It may be too much of a risk tho. Sorry not more helpful- there are no clear answers to this cruel and evil disease. I HATE it as it robbed me of early weeks with my kids. Love to you x
Hi, This happened to me too. We are the most normal family, who enjoy the most normal things. I had never suffered with any form of depression before this happened. and it has completely devastated my life. Even though I do have three other children who I love with all my heart, I will never get over terminating my fourth much wanted child. I was diagnosed with psychosis after the event, which was caused totally by my pregnancy hormones. I thought twice about posting on here simply because I cant offer you any hope in terms of it getting better. It has been seven years for me and I am no nearer getting over it than when it happened. I feel like I am living a double life. I am so normal in front of my family and friends, but when I am alone I just break down. I know I havnt got depression, I am just grieving. It doesnt make it easier to be told that my childs life could of been saved by a simple course of progestone to balance my hormones. I just know this grief will stay with me until I take my last breath. I wanted to send you a private message but I cannot work out how to do it or if it is even possible. It may be good for us to talk. My heart really goes out to you xxxx
Sorry to hear. This is why I'm glad I'm a catholic when I was depressed, single and pregnant. I just knew I could not play god and yes it was a dark place where 5 years on I'm still trying to get to grips with. It must of been terrible for you especially when you had so much support, you must of been very unwell. Again I'm sorry I don't want to sound judgemental but abortion is too easy to get sometimes, had you had no choice and no abortion was available may be there might of been a different out come, sadly you will have to live with your choices which may be worse that nine traumatic months.
I don't feel I can offer advice/words of wisdom as I've never been in your shoes. I only know that you must have felt like you were in total despair and had no other option but to terminate and that is such a sad, sad thing.
You're doing the right thing by seeing a professional as this is what you need and hopefully he/she can help you to find some peace in what's happened and the decisions you've made. Pre-natal depression is increasingly common and yet people only seem to accept that depression can happen post-natally. I'm sorry you didn't get the extra help and support you needed from the medical profession. I don't believe talking it through would have helped you at the time; it was clearly a hormone imbalance which can only be controlled through drugs.
All my love
just a quick post, I am 11w with my 2nd a much wanted IVF baby, and yet when i found i was pregnant i had a nervous breakdown out the blue, terrible panic, fear of coping with change (i adore my dd), terrified of risks at 40. i even booked a termination altho i think that was just as a safety net. I couldnt connect at all with why i had wanted another. The only other time in life i have been this panicky was postnatally. ANyway, I decided that i wasnt being rational and i was hoping i would improve. I did. I now connect totally with positive feelings. Clearly i havent been poorly like you. I had a few days where i couldnt eat and thought i cant go through this with a toddler.
You have had an utter trauma, so hard to make sense of. Remember you have always made the best decisions you could at the time. And thats all that anyone can do. I have been ashamed by how i have felt and have not been able to share other than with DH.
I really think negativity toward a pregnancy is much more common than we hear about
One thing I am sure of - you wont have been the first person to terminate for these reasons and you wont be the last.
Loran that's a harsh
Lee,do maintain contact with psych and team.if things deteriorate get an appt.do not suffer without seeking some support
You should definitely consider sterilisation so you don't get pregnant again.
Lee - I am so, so sorry for you. I don't have many words of comfort but am sending very big hugs.
Hi Lee, I just wanted to ask why did the Psychiatrist prescribe Citalopram knowing that it was only going to make you more anxious? Those two weeks were vital and I feel it was very risky to prescribe medication that was going to make your anxiety worse. IMO you should have been monitored really closely and given much needed support. You genuinely believed that this time was different and did everything in your power to prepare yourself mentally and physically - so don't reproach yourself for persuading your partner. I checked online and could only find one website with a helpline - and they charge £1/minute! Surely there is more support out there.
I can really emphasise with you as I would love another baby - however I just want the baby to be pushed in the door! I don't want to put myself through the worry of a pregnancy at the age of 42.
From reading your story I feel that it was the Hyperemisis that weakened you physically and I am sure that was extremely stressful - especially as you have 3 kids in the house. You already had your hands full!
Lee, life is not a bed of roses and we are all just doing our best to navigate a path through it. I am sending you lots of virtual hugs and really hope you get the support you need xxx.
Just keep talking about your fears and anxiety, that will bring them out in the open. You are not a bad person just someone who is trying to cope at the moment.
That is the main thing.
At the moment you feel fine.
At the moment you feel crap.
Concentrate on when you feel ok and what triggered that?
What made you feel crap or anxiety ridden and concentrate on what made you feel ok the time before.
There is light at the end of the tunnel, you may be a mother, you may not be but you have children as a stepmother that you can form a relationship with and love and nurture and sit up 'til midnight sewing a halloween costume or wiping a tear away.
Look after yourself.
< very unMN hugs to you>
Your story is really sad and I hope you find a resolution.
I had never suffered from depression prior to becoming pregnant with my ds. It was a long awaited 2nd pregnancy and I was initially thrilled. It went really well up until approx 20 weeks. When I became depressed.
I felt very negative towards the pregnancy, cried all the time, felt incredibly panicked and traumatised. Enormous feelings of guilt. It was awful. Had counselling, anti depressants. Really dark dark days.
I had a really supportive midwife. I was diagnosed with severe pre-natal depression caused by pregnancy hormones. Was induced 2 weeks early as they thought this would cure me.
When my dc was born it was like an instant relief. Adored him immediately. All my negative feelings disappeared. I still felt guilty as I'd put my dh thru hell but I just couldn't control it at the time.
My ds is now 8. I do still feel guilty and I over compensate a bit. Came off anti depressants after a year and never looked back.
I can't really put it into words how bad that period of my life was. But it had a Positive outcome and I hope you do too.