Content Warning: Pregnant with depression and suicidal ideation.
My journey to motherhood didn’t start under the happiest of circumstances.
I was already experiencing the most chaotic times of my entire life when I became pregnant.
The spiral of sadness that I had been going down before I conceived paled in comparison to the overwhelming sense of gloom I felt as a single mom-to-be.
Every day was a challenge to get out of bed, get to work, and to eat.
All of the things that are easy for “normal” people, but for me?
These were the most difficult things I’d ever had to do.
I couldn’t shake the sadness.
I never attempted to take my own life.
That didn’t stop me from praying to God to end it all for me, though.
“Please, God, please just let me go to sleep and never wake up.”
Being alive felt so unbearable.
I couldn’t shake the sadness.
I didn’t think I had the strength to get through an entire 9 months of pregnancy, and then be able to be a good mom.
It seemed like disappearing would be the only way to make the oppressive blues go away.
One day, I was planning to pray for death until it came. I texted a friend simply, “I’m so tired”.
They recognized my call for help and came to me.
I needed that support right at that time.
Fortunately, that friend wasn’t my only support.
I had other family and friends surrounding me who wouldn’t let me physically be by myself for too long, even if emotionally I felt alone.
They did everything in their power to lift me up and support me, but even that didn’t seem like it was working.
Finally, I had a breakthrough.
First, I started seeing a new midwife.
She figured out that my iron was dramatically low which resulted in my extreme fatigue.
She connected me to a hematologist who put me on a treatment plan that had me feeling like a new person within days.
Soon after that, I found out I was having a daughter, and I the joy took place of the pain.
There were still blue moments (there are still blue moments) but much fewer and farther apart.
What are the signs of pregnancy depression?
There are several signs of depression to look out for when you’re pregnant. According to the CDC, some of those signs are:
- No energy
- Feeling hopeless, you’re not looking forward to anything
- Unable to focus, experiencing brain fog
- Not being able to shake the feeling of being sad
- Suicidal thoughts or attempts
I knew I was depressed when I was pregnant because I couldn’t see the future, wasn’t excited about it.
Even as I made plans, I couldn’t shake the feeling that, “maybe I won’t be here.”
I’m glad I was able to get help when I did.
How to get help if you’re pregnant with depression
If you feel like you need help right this instance, dial 911 for immediate support.
When I dealt with depression during my second pregnancy, I had a lot better medical support system.
Talking with a therapist, and managing my diet helped me to move through my depression until my son was born.
- Speak with your OB-GYN. Let them know how you’re feeling. They will likely have a referral to a therapist who has experience working with folks who are pregnant and depressed.
- Call or text 988, or chat at 988lifeline.org. This is a free, confidential helpline with trained crisis counselors available to talk 24/7.
- Call The National Maternal Mental Health Hotline. They provide 24/7, free, confidential support before, during, and after pregnancy.
It’s also important for you to know that you don’t have to fake happiness. Share with loved ones how you’re feeling. Let them know you need support.
Depression isn’t something you can just snap out of, and being pregnancy with depression is an even more daunting mental space to be in.
You are not alone.