Would you like to be a member of our research panel? Join here - there's (nearly) always a great incentive offered for your views.

Feeling low

(8 Posts)
Sunshineleaves31 Tue 16-Jun-15 09:45:40

Basically I�ve come on here to have a bit of a moan because I don�t know who else to talk to. This will probably turn into quite a long post so please bear with me!

To give you a bit of background in the past I have suffered from very severe clinical depression (self-harm, suicidal thoughts, one suicide attempt) and when I found out that I was unexpectedly pregnant I knew there was a risk that some kind of depression could happen again. For the last six years I�ve been really proactive in managing the depression � I found exercise and moderate levels of social activity without getting overly tired really helped me. I�ve had no tablets or therapy or anything and I understand that I need to be responsible for my mental health as far as I can be. Alongside this I have a very high pressured job (I worked 70 hours last week over seven days to get a presentation out of the door) and am the chief wage earner in our house. I am already worried about what we will do financially when I have to be off and have cut my maternity leave to share with my OH in order that we have enough money for the mortgage, bills, etc.

Anyway, I have seen my midwife three times since the start of the pregnancy. I haven�t felt too good in myself for the last 19 weeks. I am permanently exhausted and it�s all I can do to get through the days at work without falling asleep at my desk. For the first 14 weeks I suffered terrible nausea and found it hard to eat much, which didn�t help my energy levels but that has gone away now.

The first time I met my midwife I told her about my mental health history and explained my management included a lot of exercise (including swimming, horse riding and dancing) and some social activity but that the fatigue was really cutting into this and I was worried that this would affect the thoughts in my head. She responded with, �You�re having a baby, that�s a massive life change, get used to it. Oh and you can�t horse ride or drink anymore.� I told her I understood that but was looking for some help with the fatigue and she just shrugged. I did manage to get, through the doctor, a referral to the CPN who listened to me and basically said, �This is beyond me, I will refer you to the psychiatrist� but that was at the beginning of June and the appointment isn�t till the end of July.

Yesterday I saw the midwife again and asked if it were possible to have an iron supplement to see if that helped with the fatigue, as two of my pregnant friends (who don�t have anaemia) have been given iron and think it helps them a lot. She refused point blank and then when I asked if there was anything else to help with fatigue she replied, �What do you expect? You�re pregnant.� Anyway she wrote some notes, wrote down my blood pressure reading incorrectly, said �I was in fine form� (I�m not sure how she knew this as she didn�t even say �How are you?� and kept the door open during the entire appointment so I was uncomfortable speaking as people walked past in the corridor) and said I could go. I tried to speak again and explain that I was getting a bit desperate in myself but she said that she would see me in a few weeks and it would be fine.

I work in a very male environment and am used to having to shout loud to be heard at various meetings but I don�t think I have ever been cut off or shut down so consistently.

I am getting a bit desperate. I�m too tired to do anything other than work. I have what seems like a permanent headache. I cry nearly every night now and have started crying in the morning on the way to work. I am sick of worrying about the fact that I haven�t done anything to get ready for this baby as all I can find the energy to do is sit there and that if I stop working then we won�t have enough money for stuff. I feel very lonely a lot of the time. I have started to think about self harming again a lot, just to get a break from all the thoughts in my head. My OH is doing his best but I think he doesn�t know what to do or where to start and it baffles him to see me crying all the time.

I know to a lot of people that this won�t seem like much and that I�m complaining about nothing and being over-dramatic but I feel like things are getting away from me and I don�t know what to do. I really dislike my midwife and I don�t want to see her again. I don�t even want her help, just for her to actually listen to the words I�m saying before passing judgment. Part of me thinks it would be better if none of this ever happened because I can�t conceive of ever loving my baby either and perhaps it would just be better for everyone if I died now. Sorry, I don�t know what else to do because I have nowhere else to say this to.

Frescoed Tue 16-Jun-15 10:00:24

Sunshine someone with more experience than me and better advice will be along soon I'm sure, but first: congratulations on your pregnancy!

It sounds like you've been managing your depression very well, but I can understand why this feels scary. First up, if you're only 19 weeks you've got some way to go still - so there's time to plan, don't panic.

Are there some exercise alternatives which you could explore? I know that keeping the exercise going is making a big difference to me, so I get why that's so important - but the best advice I've had on that front has been from the trainer at my gym, not sure my midwife would have known much. Is it worth exploring options with someone used to supporting pregnant women in exercise or sport?

Finally, your midwife experience sounds really bad. Maybe worth a chat with the midwife supervisor?

I'm sure you can do this and will be a great mum, but pregnancy is scary enough without the challenges of the rest of life. Be kind to yourself, it will take some time for things to fall into place, and do nbe persistent about looking for the help you need.

popalot Tue 16-Jun-15 10:02:57

Well, you will feel less tired as you go on through the pregnancy. Once you get into the mid 20 weeks you feel much better and that's when you start getting things done for the baby. So please look forward to that.

Midwives vary according to personality. Some can be very short. I sometimes feel like they haven't go a lot of time to discuss things. They are overworked - one explained she was a bit forgetful one day because she had been to a homebirth that morning, so they aren't just in their offices all day - they are out and about delivering and visiting babies. I'm not making excuses for her behaviour towards you, just explaining that might be why she's shutting you down - she might be overworked and not listening properly.

I think you need to ring her again and be very clear about the crying episodes, and stress that this is reminsicent of when you were depressed before. You can get ante-natal depression before the baby is born, due to the tiredness/hormones/mental affect of carrying a baby and it is her duty to listen and respond to this. Also, shut the door behind you when you go in - no way should it be open when you are talking to a midwife/doctor/nurse. If she opens it, request she shuts it for your privacy.

Also, I would go back to the GP aswell and see if you can't have the appointment sped up.

Personally, I would take some time off work to rest - it might do you the world of good. If you can afford it, then you might want to get some private therapy. Even just to speak to someone and offload your worries.

You are being very proactive and it is disappointing that you are not getting the help you need despite repeated discussions. Perhaps your partner needs to come with you so he can give you some extra power to your elbow when seeing the midwife and doctor.

Sunshineleaves31 Wed 17-Jun-15 09:52:29

Thanks both for reading my rambling post.

I am going to see the GP and see if they can help me stabilise my mood a bit. Plus my OH has said that we should go and try yoga to see if that helps on the exercise front.

Thanks again for your response, it helped me just write it down and sort it out in my own head.

Frescoed Wed 17-Jun-15 10:14:41

That sounds good Sunshine, keep at it. Hope your GP is helpful, and good luck with the yoga. Your OH sounds like a great support too.

I forgot to say, in case you're inclined and have the cash, that a few sessions with a good PT might be something you'd enjoy too as it can be very tailored to what you like/want to get out of it - not something that everyone would want to do, though.

Dunno when you're due, but the MN November (spanning late Oct to early Dec I think) antenatal board is lovely too - lots of ladies with more experience than me, and giving great advice/sharing stuff.

lemon101 Wed 17-Jun-15 10:34:35

Hi Sunshineleaves,

I'm really sorry you've been feeling so low. First of all I want to just echo everything frescoed has said - good advice!

Exercise is really important - its good for you and its good for your baby. I guess horse riding might be out of the question, but looking for alternatives is a really good idea. I'd take a look at what is available in your local area - I was frustrated with being advised by my pilates teacher not to do it anymore now preggers and started looking round only to find a bit of a pregnant lady circuit training type class which I'm going to sign up to. I run three times a week still even though its getting hard (15 weeks but already unexpectedly big out front) and I want to feel pushed still. It helps with the endless fatigue, I will go out the door knackered and within 10 minutes I feel better.

I also work in a pretty aggressive environment and I have always needed to exercise to manage my stress. It still does that which is why I am unwilling to stop. I still have days where I am crying because I'm so knackered and fed up of arguing day after day in my role, but exercise HELPS!

It is also a really good idea seeing your GP for some support with your mood during this time. Unfortunately not all health professionals are experienced and empathic when it comes to mental health difficulties. It sounds like your midwife is not great in this regard so I would save your breath with her and go see someone else.

Hang on in there lovely. flowers

LumpyCustard69 Wed 17-Jun-15 19:09:01

I have a history of depression. I was on fluoxetine when I fell pregnant, and the pregnancy was not planned, (conceived with a fling while on a break from my partner.....loooooong story). When I told my midwife on my booking in appointment, she responded with, 'Well, you don't look depressed'.

Your midwife sounds even worse. I really feel for you.

I see my gp with anything related to my depression, and he's wonderful about it. He's referred me to a local group that deal with depression during pregnancy and look after you for up to a year after baby is born, and they are brilliant. I see a lady once every 2/3 weeks. If nothing else, she listens to me offload so that I don't end up dumping everything on my partner, all of the time. It cuts back on the amount of time I spend on a downward spiral.
I would definitely go to your gp. They certainly can't be worse than your midwife!!! There is also an online thing called Mindgym. I haven't been on myself yet. But my gp says it has helped some of his patients a lot, as there is often a long waiting list for mental health services. I think it's a kind of online cbt sort of thing. Worth a quick Google anyway.

Good luck with everything. I hope your pregnancy care improves.x

Sunshineleaves31 Thu 18-Jun-15 14:35:38

Thank you all for your replies and all the positive suggestions. I have already re-contacted my GP and have been swimming this week and I did feel better for doing some activity. Really grateful for the supportive words as well - don't feel so lost and alone with it now.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now