Until my diagnosis, I had never heard of prenatal depression. Sure, I had the typical pregnancy hormone-induced tears during greeting card commercials and mood swings during my previous pregnancies, but that was pretty much par for the course. Then, I became pregnant with my son and experienced the struggles every woman with prenatal depression just understands, and a few that people who don't have it can't possibly comprehend.
Before I received help for my prenatal depression, things were bad. I didn't know how to cope, and I felt so guilty as a result. Despite being a dumpster fire for the rest of the world, 2016 was a year of tremendous change for my family. My new husband and I were working on blending our families together, and I was learning how to switch gears from being a single mom with two kids, to being a step-mom to two more. We had a ton of fun, too. I trained for and ran my first marathon, my husband and I took an amazing honeymoon in Hawaii, and we took four kids on three awesome family road trips in our new mini-van.
When I got pregnant, we were elated. Everything seemed like it was falling into place. Then, almost suddenly, life wasn't good anymore. I have hyperemesis gravidarum, severe nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, and went from training for a marathon to puking 10 times a day in a little over a month. I started to feel overwhelming sadness, fear, and dread.
Because mental health is not something people talk about in our culture and there's so much stigma about it, I literally suffered in silence. I didn’t know what to do, who to tell, or if there was anything I could do. Then at a prenatal appointment, my OB asked me how I was feeling and I let it all out. I'm so glad I did. We found the right medication for me and now, despite my other complaints of pregnancy, I feel pretty good most days; like the grey cloud over my life and my pregnancy has lifted. So, if you find yourself struggling with the following feelings, know that you're not alone. Seep the help you need and deserve, because no one should be made to suffer in silence.