Pregnancy brings with it a ton of changes to your body. Some good, some bad. Your boobs get bigger, your butt expands, body parts swell that you never thought would swell, but what happens to your mind? It seems like your anxiety takes a different direction, but always focused on the same theme. Will I be good enough? Will I be a good enough mother? Will I be able to handle a baby? Will I make the right decisions? Am I making the right decisions? The feeling of being good enough is something that is felt universally by mothers-to-be. What makes it even harder, is there is no tried and true method to raise a perfect child. You just need to wing it.
The increased hormones do make you more emotional. You are coping with another lifeforce growing inside of you all while wondering if you yourself are going to be okay.
Not to mention, postpartum depression popped up in almost every book I read. It scared me. You are more prone to postpartum depression if you’ve had depression before – the words haunted me. As someone who has previously dealt with extreme depression, I just felt like I now was getting a grasp on how to control my emotions. It’s the uncontrollable aspect I feared. The chemistry in my body pushing me down a dark path. Will I have to change medications? Will my coping skills still work? Will I be able to function on no sleep and still beat depression? I worried. I still worry.
What would depression look like this time around? Would I be able to identify it? Would I know the signs?
My worrying mind all lead me to once answer. I need to lean on my support system. Therapy appointments must go unmissed. Taking selfish hours for myself is a requirement. I need to find a new kind of balance. As long as I am actively working towards a new kind of balance, it keeps me warm at night. It shakes the depression scaries away.
Plus, I finally found a therapist who understood me. It’s magical once you find someone who you click with on many different levels. She was my safety net. If the darkness started to creep in – I knew she would be able to shine a light on what was really going on in my world.
I cannot advocate for seeing a therapist enough. It’s not something you start when you’ve hit rock bottom, it’s something you start so you don’t hit rock bottom. Having a person to talk to that is unbiased and outside your circle is extremely important. New views and the sense of knowing everything is kept in confidence is extremely cathartic.
While I don’t have all the answers, I do know that being easy on yourself is the only way to cope in this information overloaded world. You know what is right and wrong for yourself and your family. Trust your instincts and don’t let others “mommy shame” you into doing something that doesn’t feel right.
Interested in therapy resources? Here is a good read by BetterHelp.