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Has anyone terminated due to antenatal depression?

(46 Posts)
lee006 Sun 05-Feb-12 11:37:33

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'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.

FootprintsInTheSnow Sun 05-Feb-12 20:07:38

sad what a sad story.

Sorry you didn't have more support when you needed it.

JenJen84 Mon 06-Feb-12 09:49:39

Im so sorry to read this, I have been feeling very lost and alone but nowhere near where you were and my heart aches for your story. What a horrible situation to be in.
I hope you find some peace and some appropriate support.

BayPolar Thu 09-Feb-12 09:27:41

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

redrubyshoes Thu 09-Feb-12 09:45:50


That was harsh! shock

redrubyshoes Thu 09-Feb-12 10:32:26


I hope you are getting support now - not just from professionals but from friends and family as well. Don't internalise this.

lee006 Thu 09-Feb-12 16:29:52

Thank you redrubyshoes for your message.

I do have support but ultimately I, alone have got to live with this for the rest of my life. The mornings are the hardest as I wake up to the reality of it. Hopefully with time it'll get more bearable.

BayPolar Thu 09-Feb-12 16:57:49

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

bonzo77 Thu 09-Feb-12 17:03:02

bay haven't you spotted that your nasty comments are offensive and are being deleted. From other threads too. Are you just here because you want to cause more pain? Would you say this in RL to the OP, if you could actually see what state she was in? Say something useful or bugger off.

ShowOfUmblestAnds Thu 09-Feb-12 17:07:34

I am so sorry you've found yourself in the situation you are in. Please know that there are people, the vast majority of people in fact, who would never, ever judge you for the decisions you had to make.

uggmum Thu 09-Feb-12 17:11:52

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.

redrubyshoes Thu 09-Feb-12 21:32:15


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>

tiedupinknots Sun 12-Feb-12 17:17:55

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.

lorcana Sun 12-Feb-12 17:36:37

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wearenotinkansas Sun 12-Feb-12 21:34:54

Lee - I am so, so sorry for you. I don't have many words of comfort but am sending very big hugs.

lorcana Mon 13-Feb-12 00:06:00

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

scottishmummy Mon 13-Feb-12 00:20:05

Loran that's a harsh
Lee,do maintain contact with psych and team.if things deteriorate get an not suffer without seeking some support

tiredpooky Thu 23-Feb-12 15:51:44

Hi Lee
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.

loveisagirlnameddaisy Thu 23-Feb-12 16:45:23

Hi Lee

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

eternalscot Wed 29-Feb-12 23:59:39

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.

Sky01 Mon 09-Jul-12 12:34:16

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

peachypips Mon 09-Jul-12 12:48:32

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

Tixy Thu 12-Jul-12 23:18:28

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.

jussey17 Thu 19-Jul-12 14:41:13

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.

BlueWren Tue 24-Jul-12 22:10:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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