28 Weeks

I haven’t updated about my pregnancy in a long while. The truth is that besides the stress of moving across the country and settling in to a new city, new house and new surroundings, there is a bigger reason for my reticence in posting about things.

In all honesty, there is a distinct lack of enthusiasm about this baby. I don’t mean that we don’t want him… of course we do. But I don’t feel the same with this pregnancy as I have in my past ones. I keep taking weekly photos of the bump in hopes of making it feel more exciting. Watching my body grow and change, feeling kick and somersault inside of me and knowing that soon we will be a family of five is indeed something positive to anticipate. But I can’t help but feel a little… unmoved by it all.

Part of it is certainly the thick cloud of depression I’ve been suffering for a fair few weeks. Part is hormones. A great deal of it is the SEVERE lack of sleep I’ve been suffering since moving here. Pregnancy insomnia is never easy, but this time it has taken a toll I never could have expected. I am utterly exhausted and feeling bitter and frustrated at everything. I’m also very angry a lot of the time, which manifests in being short with the children and outright nasty to Mark. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve threatened him with divorce for seemingly minor infractions. My love doesn’t seem able to overcome my negativity, and that just brings me down further.

And the worst truth of all, the one I haven’t even said out loud until now and which fills me with shame and even a little terror… is that I don’t know if I love this baby yet.

With Dexter and Daniel, the incredible love I felt was instantaneous as soon as that second little line showed up on the stick. I would have done anything for them, gone through any pain or challenge – indeed, I DID. I didn’t care at all for myself. EVERYTHING I did was about the babies. I kept them safe, did exactly what the doctors told me, worried constantly about them. My love for them was an incredible gift that made me a better person.

But this time around… I don’t think much of the baby. Everything I feel is selfish and focused on my own comfort. I take medicines when I’m feeling unwell – which I NEVER would do unless forced before. I eat soft serve and shell fish and gallons of coffee – which I avoided like the plague in the past. I haven’t even committed to a name for this one, not even giving it much thought. Dexter gave him a name a few months ago, and I haven’t had the strength to argue it.

Hell, I have just had my first appointment with a new OB and I didn’t even try to fight for the care I know I need. The only thing I found out at the appointment is that my fundus is measuring 3 weeks ahead of schedule, lining up with my LMP rather than the date my old OB insisted I have after the 6 week scan.

I’ll make another confession – I think a lot of the problem I’m having committing to this baby is a very specific fear.  I’ve taken after my mom in most things in life – looks, personality, etc. And in the back of my mind, in each of my pregnancies, I have worried and fretted that I would go through what she went through. That a child of mine would die. That he would not make it past the baby stage.  My brother, Jacob, died of SIDS at less than 3 months old, and I’ve grown up thinking of him all my life.

He was the third baby of my parents. This is my third baby. He was a boy, and this will be a boy. As if all of this wasn’t enough, because of the possible change in my due date (I won’t know for sure until this Friday when I have a scan), this baby may be due in mid-October rather than mid-November… Jacob was born October 16th.

I know all of this sounds rather ridiculous, but in my current hormonal state, with everything seemingly acting against me, I can’t help but worry and stress about what could happen. I literally stay up all hours thinking about how to cope if something terrible should happen. And then, I start to fear that my worry is for the wrong one… I think, “What if I am focusing so much on this new baby and keeping him safe and secure that something terrible happens to one of my other children?”

I swear I wake up weeping each morning. I can’t get these terrible thoughts out of my head.

I spoke to the doctor last week about how depressed and anxiety-ridden I’ve been, but she wasn’t interested. She fobbed me off and offered no help or support. Perhaps the new doctor I will see next week will have some advice. For now, I just muddle through, hoping that I will find some excitement soon. I pray that something will spark within me, and I will see that I’ve loved this little boy all along… that life is going to be amazing going forward. I hold on to all the hope that I can muster that this is all just hormones going wrong and not some awful premonition of disaster to come.

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Katie Reed

Katie Reed

Katie Reed is a 38 year old mom blogger from Salt Lake City, UT. She is married to the man of her dreams and together they have four beautiful boys. Dexter is 9, Daniel is 7, Chester is 5 and Wilder is 2. She writes about living with mental health issues while navigating motherhood. Her blog focuses on tips and tricks for moms, information and parenting news, kid-friendly recipes and crafts. She loves to reflect on the humorous side of parenthood and shares the reality of her life, with a "warts and all" attitude.

29 Responses

  1. I hope your new doctor takes your anxiety/depression complaints seriously. I’m 22 weeks pregnant with twin girls and I have been riddled with anxiety basically from the day I found out I was expecting (and that’s when I thought I was only having one!). There are safe medications you can take, and hopefully it will help you feel better about the pregnancy. I’m the kind of person who focuses a lot on what could go wrong, so I feel you on that, but I hope you can pull out of this. In the end, you know you’ll love this baby when he’s born, and hopefully your fears will be put to rest. Pregnancy sucks, and it can really screw you up. It’s important that the doctor know how you feel; maybe even print out this blog post. If this one doesn’t take you seriously, please find a new OB. I don’t know what I’d do without my OB — he always asks about how I’m really doing and whether I’m depressed and asks if there’s anything he can do to help. Maybe it just means I clearly look like a hot mess, but whatever it is, I’m glad that he takes me seriously when I come to his office first thing in the morning after an all-night panic attack. Best of luck and hugs to you!

    1. Thank you, Maria. I think I feel a lot better for having “said” all of this “out loud,” if you know what I mean. To admit it I think is the hardest part. I am hopeful my new doctor will be able to reassure me at the least and give me support or medication if necessary. I can only hope. 🙂

  2. Hoping all will be well for you and for your baby. You’ll be able to surpass this and he will be the ‘3rd times the charm.’ Hoping for good health for both of you

  3. I have issues with depression and anxiety and noticed a lot of similar thoughts that you expressed in your post. I was able to get and stay on celexa for my pregnancy with my son and it was the reason that I was able to make it through the pregnancy. I would definitely talk to your doctor and insist that they hear you. If they don’t – ask for a referral to speak to another doctor. You definitely don’t have to feel this way.

    1. Unfortunately, I had some major problems when I was last on Celexa, and it led to a suicide attempt. I have not been on antidepressants since then, and I would not like to be if I can help it. But I definitely plan on advocating more strongly for support from my doctor and getting outside help if I need to. Thank you so much for the kind support.

  4. I think you are simple amazing and very courageous to put your true feelings out there. I would be terrified too and you should feel validated. I hope you get to a doctor who will actually listen to your fears and offer your comfort. I think all women have the same kind of fears and depression but you put pen to paper. Hang in there.

  5. I think you’ll be getting a ton of support from fellow moms after sharing this post. I really hope your new doctor has more empathy for your current state and if he or she doesn’t – find one who does! So glad you didn’t keep it all bottled up. I bet you’ll find a lot of solace in family and friends after sharing like you have!

  6. Huge hugs. Your doctor needs to take this seriously; you are depressed, by the sound of it. Exhaustion doesn’t help, the loss of your brother doesn’t help. But I don’t think that’s all. I suffered with PND after my first child, and struggled with depression through three more pregnancies. Huge hugs, and hang on in there. xxx

  7. Is there anyway your husband can go to your appointment and help advocate for you? Sometimes we need that help to get the care we need. If an outside person comes in and says, no she’s not exaggerating it really is this bad, maybe they’ll take your depression more seriously. Even if you need to see a separate doctor about the depression, I think you should. Try to be kind to yourself, it’s hard to be excited when your that depressed and scared.

  8. If your OB doesn’t take you seriously, you really need to find another that will do so. Or even a therapist to help you with the magnitude of this depression that could potentially impact your life directly and is impacting the lives of your children and your husband. You deserve to feel better. Love for this new baby will come, but not until you take care of yourself. A good therapist can seriously help.

  9. Thank you for such an honest and heartfelt post. It’s a subject that not enough mums talk about during pregnancy or after. I wanted you to know that there is support available – I’m sorry your own doctor hasn’t been very supportive. Our courses are based on over 20 years of psychology research and evidence and are specifically designed to prevent antenatal and postnatal depression. We have a weekend workshop on the 20/21st September in Exeter, Devon. Not sure where you are based but it would be a good reason for you and your husband to take a weekend away before your baby is born? Everything is done with your partner, so that he can help and support you as well. Take good care, and keep talking 🙂

    1. Thanks for the kind words. Unfortunately, we moved from the UK in 2012, so we are not really able to make it to this course, although it sounds like it would be incredibly helpful for others in this situation. Possibly I could find something similar close to where I am. Thank you again.

  10. I find it quite immoral that a person with a documented history of depression and psychosis would choose to bring children into this world. You either are stupid or selfish or both. What do you think will happen when your kids are older and dealing with the same crazy as you? They are boys and will probably end up as rapists or murderers or worse! Having depression is not your fault but bringing depressed and crazy kids into the world is. I hope you are financially planning for all the therapy bills your children will need to keep them somewhat sane.

    1. Wow. I’ve never seen such an ignorant comment! How do you even justify speaking to someone like this or even believing it is true?? You are either a troll or a deluded idiot.

      To the author: please don’t let comments like this get to you. You are a good mama and a good person and just need to breathe and remember you have tons of support. I hope you feel better soon.

  11. Honestly I am not trying to be rude but you are being ridiculous. You have two healthy kids and a healthy baby in your tummy and you are looking for reasons to be unhappy and treating your family badly. SIDS is not contagious nor inherited. Your brother dying is sad and I’m sure scary but you are being paranoid and superstitious to hold on to it as a reason to be afraid. No one can predict the future and anything might happen to any of us at any time but you are focusing on such negatie things that i am sure it is not helping your pregnancy. Babies are shaped by what we go thru when pregnant and any stress and negativity will affect him badly so you need to stop right now and pull your thumb out and feel better. I don’t care if people say depression can’t be helped by thinking positive but it CAN. You have to do the work – not just wallow in self pity and fear.

    And before I get attacked – I am not being rude. It is more helpful to be honest and clear with depressed people then to blindly encourage them to give in to their emotions. In other words: SUCK IT UP BUTTER CUP!

  12. Thanks for being so transparent. Many women deal with depression and anxiety during pregnancy, but not many want to talk about it. Someone has to start the conversation.

  13. Don’t listen to the negative nancies. You don’t need that.
    What you need is ass jokes a plenty! 😉
    And to remember just what you are going through this pregnancy. The move and everything that’s come with it. The boys are still happy and amazing and you still get up in the morning. That alone is a big plus for you!
    These feelings will pass. But try not to let them get to you. Seek advice from another doctor and take some time for you.
    For you and baby.
    Love you for being so honest and know we are all here xxxxx

  14. The more children you have the less time you have to really *think* about that particular baby. It’s just the natural way of it. You are trying your hardest. You are worrying about your children, you are loving them. You are fine.

    Any by the way, I drink copious amounts of coffee while pregnant.

  15. Two things: First, go see a doctor that will listen to you, and do it soon. Second, you are not alone. I got pregnant with my third when my twins were six months old. I had morning sickness, was exhausted and selfishly just wanted my body back as I had JUST started weaning them. I cried for weeks and months. How could I take care of another baby when I felt like I was just keeping my head above water with this one? We had also just moved, so I didn’t have a support system. Despite facing infertility before, I just couldn’t believe that this was happening to me. There was not a lot of joy. And then this little baby came out of me, and everything changed. It was different than my twins, but I loved her instantly, and you will too. But please talk to your doctor NOW, as with the hormones you are having and anxiety my guess is you will be at risk for PPD. There is no shame in asking for help to get through this difficult time. You have a lot of reasons to feel anxiety. Hugs to you, deep breaths, and hang in there. You can do this!

  16. Oh Katie, this makes me feel so sad to read this. Please please don’t be so hard on yourself, and please go back to your doctor and demand they take you seriously about your depression! It is not you that does not love your baby, it is your illness. And it is not you that doesn’t care, because you do. You are clearly not well, and you have had so much to deal with throughout your entire pregnancy, and before that too. I don’t think it helps at all, but I honestly do understand some of what you are feeling. This pregnancy has me feeling very detatched from it all- from being so ill, to now feeling exhausted and anxious and stressed, it is hard to feel the same excitement as before. But don’t forget that you before you didn’t have 2 small children to care for too. I really hope you can take some time to be kind to yourself and to rest a little. Thinking of you lots
    x x x

  17. Hun i think your doing amazingly considering everything you have been through the last few weeks. You had a massive move, new house, new place and the house was in an awful state. You have had to do loads and loads of work to the house to get it ready and all that at 20+ weeks pregnant.

    Just stay strong for baby and Im sure all this will get better once baby is in your arms

    lots of love and hugs xxxx

  18. Such a brave post. I have had four kids and with every one I became more anxious. Totally understandable for you with what your Mum went through. I would imagine as a child you would have picked up on her pain, grief and heartbreak over the loss of your Brother. My Mum lost a baby when I was a child and I swear a lot of my anxieties stem from that time. Sending you a massive hug and please push forward with your doctor or ask to see another one xxx

  19. i just ran into your blog today at work and realized our due dates are super close! (i am due Nov 15th with my 3rd) I am so sorry you’re feeling that way during this pregnancy, but i can understand where you are coming from as well. This was our only “planned” pregnancy.. our two older children are 2 and 3 (just 12 months apart) and will be turning 3 and 4 a few weeks after my due date 🙂 The two of them have been a handful, and this pregnancy has been harder than I imagined it would be. I have been more anxious and had more trouble/complications this time around. I have been working hard to enjoy this pregnancy, but it is so easy to forget with so much going on. We will be moving (it’s only about a 10 min drive from where we are now) within the next few weeks and it’s almost more than I can handle. The stress of packing for 4 people while preparing for a 5th has been a bit crazy, to say the least. I will be thinking of you in the next couple months. I hope seeing that little boy in your arms helps you be able to see the bigger picture, and just how blessed you are. Stay strong. us moms can handle anything! xoxo

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