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Desperately wanted pregnancy yet feel so low. Antenatal depression?

(9 Posts)
Marzipanface Wed 10-Oct-12 22:08:57

Sorry for epic post...

I am ten weeks pregnant so still quite early. This is my second. Me and my DH tried for nearly a year to get pregnant to no avail so gave up for a while. Roll on a few months and I get a BFP! Yet for the last three weeks I have been feeling very flat and emotionless about the whole thing. It started off with concerns about how I will cope once the baby is here and with a toddler as well, on my own during the day.

My DD didn't sleep through the night until she was almost 2. I spent the first few years with total sleep deprivation and frankly I am terrified this will happen again with this child. Except this time I wont be able to nap as I have to look after a toddler.

The other concern is this time I am in a new town where I know hardly anyone. All the postnatal groups are for mums with babies and so I can't take my toddler. I am desperate to meet people and try to make some friends and now I am pregnant I feel really panicky about being isolated. Last time I was a new mum I had a big group of supportive friends, this time I have none. I can't drive so find it really hard to get out to the Children's Centres and groups. I feel I don't have the energy to trek for 20 mins each morning in the pouring rain like I used to.

I am getting morning sickness and feeling quite ill this time round and finding it hard to deal with an energetic toddler. I can only see this getting worse.

Am I depressed or are my circumstances making me depressed? I wake up each morning and realise it's just the whole day of me trying to entertain my little one and feel like crying and going back to sleep.

I had a traumatic birth with first, almost died I lost so much blood, so I think that is also making me anxious.

I am currently on 10 mg of Citalopram which I was on prior to pregnancy due to a health condition that improves whilst pregnant but flares up when I am not.

Has anyone else felt like this? Or is it just hormones?

emeraldgirl1 Thu 11-Oct-12 08:00:09

Just bumping this for you as you sound so low and I wanted to reply even though I am not sure I can be much help!

I too felt ridiculously low at about 9-11 weeks, I have a history of depression and was terrified I was sinking back into it.

Now at 17w and for the last month I have felt my usual (reasonably) cheery self again, so I have to conclude that the misery was all caused by hormones and the vileness of the nausea. Not to mention the fact that I felt physically so tired that I felt like I was a zombie, a horrible feeling that reminded me of clinical depression.

You are on pregnancy number 2 so this may not be much help as you have been through a pregnancy before. However from reading MN it does seem as if a lot of people feel OK in one pregnancy and then terrible in another one, so is there any chance you're 'just' suffering from hormonal/morning sickness related misery? Not saying that's nothing, but it may mean a chink of light if you're panicking that full-blown depression is looming?

You sound so low about everything sad so all I can offer you is the advice I always try (and fail!) to give myself when I get low, which is to TRY not to lump all the bad stuff together into one unmanageable blob. Of course you are worried about sleep deprivation and about making new friends, but perhaps it would help if you tried to deal with each problem separately? Also (and I say this as a sufferer from chronic anxiety) it may help to tell yourself that there is no value whatsoever in worrying about some stuff before it happens. It will either happen or it won't - some things you can prevent in advance but the things that you can't are not worth worrying about IYSWIM. My counsellor calls it anticipatory anxiety and I have to say it is the worst thing I struggle with, it can be totally debilitating sad

In the meantime, is there anyone you can talk to about this? Your MW?

Don't feel bad that you feel so low about a pregnancy that was much wanted. I wanted this too and felt awful that I was in such doubt about it when I felt miserable. It doesn't make you a bad person at ALL, just a human being!! xx

kellestar Thu 11-Oct-12 08:08:57

I've felt that anxiety, I am 13 weeks with DC2. DD is a full on active little girl who is on the go all the time. I worried that she'd be so full on I'd never get time with the baby. At the time she was also clingy and whingy. I have felt it's harder to attach to baby this time around, I suppose not as much time to myself to think about it and bond.

Also every baby/toddler is different, I do go to a bumps, babes and toddlers group run by the NCT and recently been reassured by their experiences with two. Have also noticed that the post natal groups don't allow toddlers. So I do have to drive into town for the bb&t group.

I think at this stage it is normal for this anxiety. My DD will be 2.4 when DC2 arrives. I have registered her to start a play group at 2.9 and paying for a few hours a week until her free hours kick in once she is 3.

Have you joined a mn antenatal board for you due month? Have found it helpful to vent and get advice on there.

Clarella Thu 11-Oct-12 09:07:17

I'm sorry you feel so low - it sounds like a combination of circumstances, lack of a friendship circle, hormones and your previous experiences, plus having a toddler! - what matters is how you feel and what can be done to help you. Perhaps consider discussing how you feel with your doctor (or community mw if you think she is helpful - mine wasn't) and it might be that some counselling might help esp regarding how you feel about your last birth. For me the looong first and second trimesters with a load of confusing medical and hormonal stresses, (odd thyroid) isolation from work from 9-21 wks due to no immunity to slapped cheek (and then summer hol, worst ever!) and a weird conviction I was poisoning baby were enough to make me very depressed by around 24 weeks but the 'ingredients' were there from the start. I've found the perinatal mental health team really really supportive and as everything is now much better, including my physical state (33 wks) im not feeling the need for counselling but theyre there if I need them.

You may feel physically less tired and 'hormonal' (hate that word) in a few weeks as mentioned above, to try to get out and about which might help but its worth checking in with someone now incase there's something they can suggest. For me the external stresses mixed with trying to get the thyroid meds right were too much to handle so I can't tell which was the main cause - probably a combination which tipped the balance, so your 'balance' may tip back to 'better' as you get into the second tri - its hard to tell though and only you know how you feel. It can't be easy with a toddler also though adding to your pressures and I'm not sure how to advise on that but there's many who can on mn!

I also rang this helpline in the early days when is started to get very anxious due to lots of long waiting for blood results and confusing answers, you can email too, and they were very helpful simply to chat to.

And yes mn antenatal clubs are very useful, there may even be people who live locally. Best wishes xx

stowsettler Thu 11-Oct-12 10:46:16

I agree with Clarella, I'd go and see my GP in your shoes. I'm sure a lot of it is hormones, but that doesn't make your feelings any less real.

Rockchick1984 Thu 11-Oct-12 11:54:18

I suffered from antenatal depression during my pregnancy, and while I've not been through the situation you are in, I can't recommend highly enough that you go and speak to your dr. I was given counselling within a few weeks, didn't have the usual 6-12 month wait for it (was about 5 weeks from referral to appointment) and found it incredibly beneficial.

Why not learn to drive now while you are pregnant? Even if your DH can arrange alternative ways to get to work just once or twice a week, it could mean you having the car and being able to get to groups. Can you get to your local Surestart without driving?

My friends from when I had DS are now starting to have second babies and have said its much harder to go to the postnatal groups etc. General consensus seems to be go to toddler groups, there is always mums with babies there as well who sit in car seat or sling the whole time. Netmums local pages often have group meet-ups at soft play centres where you can take both children, you could start going to places like this now rather than waiting for baby 2 to arrive. Is there a bus service near you? If you buy a monthly bus pass, you will (hopefully) feel more motivated to go out, and that way you can tell yourself it's wasting money not to go out when it's paid for!

Marzipanface Thu 11-Oct-12 13:52:58

Thank you everyone for taking the time out to respond. After talking to my DH and posting on here, I have made an appointment to see my GP on Monday.

I have had driving lessons already but stopped for a while. I have enough money to do a further 10 lessons, not sure if this will take me up to my test as I am so nervous in the car. Nevertheless I will do the next 10. I have booked one today for this Sat.

As far as bus services are concerned, the bus service in the town I live in is quite pitiful! By the time I've got to the bus stop I am over half way there. So transport is in issue although I have never had a problem walking places.

I suppose I will just see how I get on. Not felt like this for a very very long time. I am generally a positive upbeat person.

1stbabyat30 Thu 11-Oct-12 15:37:37

Hi - This sounds like me pretty much identically - other than it is my 1st pregnancy not 2nd. At 17 weeks I felt so low I came on here and shared my concerns to many lovely supportive empathetic people. I was awfully sick, hopelessly low, I wasnt working, am in a new town where I know no one but my partner - and I also don't drive so can't get about easily. I completely empathise.
I want to go to groups but I am scared of going alone and meeting new people - dont feel as confident as usual. People persuaded me to go to GP and I would have but I found I greatly improved a few weeks later. Non of my circumstances changed - they are still the same - but I talked it over with partner and after a few weeks my appetite returned and it was as if the cloud was lifted. I still have my bad days but I am generally really positive and hopeful about the future. I am not a doc but I am sure that our hormones are playing havoc at this time and combined with feeling sick and dizzy and lethargic and alone - everything can just seem impossible. But I can assure you that things can turn around quite quickly - don't beat yourself up for not feeling instantly glorious at getting pregnant like we are supposed to - think that was half my problem - big hugs x x x

Ciske Thu 11-Oct-12 15:54:58

Just a few tips, I was in the same situation with second baby, having to copy with toddler and wanting to meet new people as well:

* You say you have to entertain your toddler all day. Can you encourage her to engage in more activities she can do solo, so you can do your own stuff around her, rather than having to keep her busy? I found colouring, building etc. kept DD happy while I did my own thing. This will help immensely when baby arrives and you have to juggle the pair of them.

* With DD being 2, free nursery hours will come up soon. Can you take her to nursery for part of the week? It'll take pressure off you when you're pregnant and need the rest, and also give you some quality time alone with baby later on.

* With regards to baby groups and meeting people - yes it's a nightmare finding groups which are ok for babies and toddler's alike. It's normally one or the other. sad I took DS2 to a baby group during one DD1's nursery days. If that's not an option, I found local playparks are great for sitting around and meeting people. Toddler runs around, while you can sit with baby and chat to the other mothers doing exactly the same thing.

* As to feeling low in general - it's daunting, that feeling you're life is about to change again, just as you're getting into a routine, and being pregnant takes a lot out of you even on the best of days. Be nice to yourself, you're going through a lot and it will affect you.

Also, a few good things to know: it's hard with another child, especially in the early months, but there is nothing more beautiful than seeing your two kids bond and love each other. Also, when DS2 turned 3-4 months, the two kids started to entertain each other and now need much less direct 1-2-1 parent time, so family gets easier in some ways (although overall much busier!).

Good luck, and take care of yourself!

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