Today was tough.
This pregnancy, I have been suffering some of the worst mental health symptoms since my mother passed away.
Whether it is the hormonal fluctuation or the added stress because I work full-time with a toddler on top of that, I don’t know.
But it has not been this bad in years.
Yesterday, I had a follow-up visit with my doctor, and I breezed through the appointment because I simply did not want to bring it up.
In almost every aspect, I am exhausted.
Last night after dinner, I had a major panic attack. The first in a very long time.
It was so severe that I almost fainted, and it exhausted me so badly that I fell asleep on the couch until I was woken up hours later by my husband, who then suggested I go to bed.
He had cleaned up the kitchen, put our daughter to bed and tried his best to reassure me.
Because of that experience, I called this morning for an appointment. They saw me immediately after I described what was going on.
Honestly, I don’t know what took me so long. I think I was mostly just embarrassed because I had been doing so well.
Or so I thought.
My lifestyle changes have significantly improved my mental health to where I don’t need meds.
But my issues are compounding and complex.
She gave me a full exam, reassured me that I was healthy (and baby, too) and I was referred to a support group.
I’ve never felt more relieved in my entire life.
I couldn’t concentrate or think much of anything else, besides irrational, impending doom.
Worst-case scenarios flood my mind and loop themselves exhaustively from morning until night.
Sleep has not been a solace, since these highly intrusive and vivid nightmares started.
This time, it was evident that I needed to swallow my pride and make the call, not only for myself, but for those around me.
Not only did my doctor reassure me, but she talked me through the entire exam.
She supplied me with constant reassurance and a juice box because I told her that I might faint.
My mind fights rational explanations and rebuttals them with irrationality.
“I must be sick, there must be something wrong with me, it must be internal where I cannot see until it’s too late.”
Nope. I am perfectly healthy.
My lifestyle changes have helped me, but I have been battling these pregnancy hormones like an internal world-war.
Some days I find reprieve, but on most days I feel like I am directly in the line of fire, desperately trying to shield myself and fight back.
Guilt has been another heaping issue for me.
When we were trying to conceive, I had come across so many posts about infertility.
These stories anchored my reverence for those having issues with conceiving a child, and once I became pregnant, I kept them tucked away.
How could I complain? What is wrong with me?
The truth is, every woman is different, and I am no longer forcing myself to add to the façade that was beginning to drown me.
Many women post such glamourous accounts online of their pregnancy, while I for the most part, do not enjoy pregnancy.
I see these happy, smiling women in maternity photos with positive captions online, and cry almost every time I come across one.
That is what propels me to write these words.
Mamas, if you love your children but hate the process of getting them here, I completely understand your perspective.
It is not the most glamourous experience, it has me wracked with anxiety, sickness and perpetual praying we both manage to survive it.
The silence is what almost killed me the first time my depression was this severe.
Despite a cracked voice and tears streaming down my face, I will shout my experiences from the rooftop however taboo they may be.
Today I remind myself that online feeds are curated, and that every journey is unique.
Mindfulness training has taught me, if anything, to be aware of these internal changes and to seek assistance when I can no longer go it alone.
My stubbornness almost won this time, but my white flag is up, and I finally feel a shift forward.
Help is available, and I know first-hand how sometimes, we really are our own worst enemy.
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