I spent my entire pregnancy detached from everything. Emotionally, it was the most challenging nine months and ended up being the opposite of everything I had hoped. I don’t want to say I didn’t want my baby because I’ve always said I would be open to having another child. However, I did not wish to have a child under my current circumstances. The plan was to do things differently for my second go-round, “right way.” My first child was out of wedlock. Truth be told, I spent five years with a man I had no business being with in the first place, but that is a story for another time. Once that relationship ended, I told myself if I were to have a second child, I want to be married in a healthy relationship. I want to be happy. I want my children to have a two-parent household. Raising a child in separate homes is a lot of work, and I don’t recommend it if at all possible.
My pregnancy went very well, and the baby and I were perfectly healthy (thank you, Lord), but I was depressed the entire time, I felt nothing like myself, and my relationship was at its rockiest ever. Some things had transpired between us that rocked me to my core. I have never cried so much in my life. Because things were so bad in my relationship, there were times I wished I wasn’t pregnant. I was so mad and felt like I had let myself down. Not to mention, I had hoped to provide a positive example for my children of what a healthy relationship could look like if done right, and I just totally missed the mark. I am a 32yo single woman with two kids by two different men, and the thought of this made me cringe. This is no shade to anyone in this position, and I know it’s not a terrible thing. Life happens; things happen. I just wanted to do things differently this time. I kept thinking to myself how awful it looked, two failed relationships that ended with children.
In addition to dealing with that, I was no longer doing what I loved—blogging, reading, learning, church. I even shut my friends and family out. I felt like I had lost myself. I went from being this confident woman with things to do and goals to accomplish, a person that hated dwelling on negativity, to someone I did not recognize in the mirror. Everything in my life stopped, I felt paralyzed, and I didn’t know how to get out of my rut. I told myself to shake it off, Rembert; we don’t wallow in our troubles. But my pep talk was no good here. My hormonal imbalance made it increasingly difficult to get a grasp on things. I was in the most depressive state I had ever been in, and all I wanted to do was be happy, lay in my man’s arms while he rubbed my stomach, and plan for our baby’s arrival. None of that was happening.
A couple of times, I felt like I didn’t want to be here. I wanted nothing more than to stop the pain I was feeling.
What do you do when you are spiraling, and you can’t seem to grab onto anything to pull yourself up? When the pain you feel is suffocating you. A couple of times, I felt like I didn’t want to be here. I wanted nothing more than to stop the pain I was feeling. Of course, I would never end my life. There was no way in hell I would do that to my children. But it did cross my mind; however, I chose life.
There were a few things I did to help my mental health during my pregnancy. At the time, it didn’t really feel like I was making much progress because I felt crappy most days. But looking back, I realize they did help, even if it was minimal. The best way to get through something is to get out of your head and find ways to release that energy. You can do that in several ways. Some of the things I did were:
- Journaling- This is an excellent form of therapy. Take a minimum of 5 minutes and write down whatever thoughts come to mind. Do not worry about spelling, punctuation, or it being perfect. Just write whatever is in your heart. It is nice because sometimes there are things we feel like we cannot share with anyone, so this a great way to help you process and get those thoughts out of your head.
- Therapy- Being able to talk about your issues out loud is very beneficial. Therapy is a safe place, one where you can be unfiltered and say any and everything. They give you a different perspective and offer many other tools.
- Doula- If you are expecting, I recommend hiring a doula. It was great having one for my second pregnancy. She provided me with so much information and helped me prepare for my son’s arrival. She would often spend over an hour with me every visit and made sure to check on how I was feeling mentally and emotionally. She was the best part of my pregnancy.
- Friends & Family- It was challenging to hang out with my friends and family due to COVID, but they often checked in on me. Like I said I mostly kept to myself, but occasionally if I felt comfortable I would share how I was feeling. Your loved ones can be a great source of support.
There are so many ways to help combat mental health issues. These were just a few of the things I did. It is also very important to know that you are not alone. Often times we feel like no one will understand, we’re embarrassed, or we feel stupid. We have to shed this way of thinking. You are not the first person to go through something and you will not be the last. From when I was young I had trained myself to keep things in, I told myself I had to stay strong out of fear of being seen as weak. But I had it all wrong. The real strength is seeking help and leaning on those around me. The real strength is actually doing the work.
It is easy to give up, but it takes courage to stay and fight another day. To have enough faith to know that shit ain’t sweet right now, but it will work itself out. When you’re in the thick of it, it’s hard to believe you will make it out, but with a little bit of work and one foot in front of the other, things will start to clear up. Today I am here to say that life is still a mess, but I’ve made some progress, and I feel so much better after delivering my son. The entire time I spent ignoring my stomach, I am now making up for it. Being with him is like coming up for fresh air. God blessed me with two healthy children to guide, and I will do that until my last days. So my goal now is to live fully and get everything out of this world; God intended me to have.
Lastly, if you ever have thoughts of harming yourself, please reach out to someone you know or call the suicide hotline.
Thanks for reading my post! Have you suffered from depression? If so, what did you do to get out of it? Share your tips. Also, be sure to share this post with anyone who may need it.
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