I know that pregnancy can be hard, even at the best of times. Your mind and body become a whirlwind of hormones and emotions. But what I’m feeling is more than just pregnancy hormones. Deep down, I know it’s not right that I’m crying, almost constantly, every single day. I know it’s not right that at 25 weeks pregnant I am still desperately trying to cover up, what is now, a very visible baby bump. Why? Because I do not want to talk about my pregnancy. I don’t want to make small talk with strangers about whether it’s a boy or a girl. I don’t want to discuss baby names. I just want to forget about it. Pretend it’s not happening.
I wake up each morning and dread being alone with my two-year-old all day. I have no idea how to occupy her for 10 hours… especially when all I want to do is crawl back into bed and hide away from her. Not just from her but from everyone and everything. I can’t bear to feign another smile as we play together – my eyes glaze over whilst I wish I was anywhere else but there. Still, I chug down my 28th imaginary cup of tea that she’s ‘made’ for me and hope she doesn’t notice that, mentally, I’m someplace else.
Sometimes she’ll notice I’m crying. She puts her face up to mine and says “Ouchie, mummy?”. “Yes, Baba – Mummy has an ouchie.” She leans in to hug me and pats me on the back. I sob even more because I don’t deserve her. And she deserves so much better from her mum.
I’m exhausted all of the time. I have no motivation or energy to leave the house. I do manage it occasionally, we’ll venture out to our local park which makes me feel a little better. The fresh air helps and it also eases the mum guilt. But as I stand there pushing the swing I wonder “Is this it? Is this all there is?” I just feel… numb.
I’m terrified of how I’ll cope with a newborn and toddler throughout the winter, when it’ll be even harder to find the motivation to get outside. It feels as if this winter is going to be an endurance test that I’m just not ready for. Still, time keeps ticking on…
I had my 25 week midwife appointment this morning and I knew I needed to tell her that I wasn’t coping. I knew that if I was going to get any help to make this better, I needed to be honest. I wasn’t sure if I had it in me to walk into that room and admit that I am struggling. To admit to somebody I barely know that I am not enjoying this pregnancy or being a mummy all that much.
I needn’t have worried about keeping it bottled up. I had already started crying in the waiting room. By the time I’d sat down in front of her I was falling apart.
“What’s wrong? What’s happened?”
“I’m just really, really sad.”
And that was it – five words. Five words which I hope will be the start of things getting better.
We talked about how hard it is for me, living here, with no support network. I told her that my husband works such long hours and I don’t want to be a burden on him when he gets home. I told her how I never do anything for myself anymore. I explained how my anxiety stops me from taking my toddler out each day.
She listened to me and promised me she would do everything she could to help. I have to see a GP and I’m already dreading having to have this whole conversation again but I know it will be worth it.
I don’t want to be depressed when my baby is born. I don’t want Jasmine to see her mum suffering with an ‘ouchie’ anymore. I want help. I need help. And after suffering in silence for weeks and weeks, I think I’m finally on the right path to getting it…