Maybe it's a thing?
Please let it be a thing. Because if it's not a thing, it's just me. And somehow that makes it so much worse.
I'm not depressed. I'm not someone who's depressed. People who are depressed want to hurt themselves, or others. They cry.
I don't feel like that. I'm ok. I'm just tired. So tired and so sick. It'd be ok if I could just stay in bed. I don't know what I'm going to do if I get out of bed. How am I going to cope? I've got the girls, and I can't think about what I'm going to do with them, what I'm going to feed them, what I'm going to say to them.
And then there's the washing, and the cooking, and the shopping. And I can't do it. How can I do it? How have I ever been able to do it?
But it's ok. People keep telling me it's ok. People seem to think I should be happy. Happy about this baby. And they say that, and I paint on a smile, which I know can't look real, and I say "Yes, it's wonderful, I'm so happy". And I know what they're really thinking. Because it's what I'm thinking. What my brain is screaming at me, every minute of every day. How am I going to cope? I can't cope with the three children I have, how on earth will I manage another one? How can I be happy when I am failing already and all that's going to happen in eight months time is I'm going to fail more? Fail harder. Fail worse.
Go back to bed. Hide. Make it go away.
I don't feel like this. I really don't. But I did. For all of October and some of November. And then it passed. And now I am happy. Happy and bumpy and looking forward to feeling my baby move. But I wasn't. I really wasn't. And I couldn't say. I couldn't say because I didn't want people to think less of me. To think that I had gone into this with my eyes closed. Or, more importantly, that I was bringing a baby into the world that wasn't wanted. Because it is wanted, so much.
And is it a thing? Am I the only person who feels like this in early pregnancy? Because this isn't the first time. I felt like this with L too. I upset B enormously because I gave him the impression that at eight or ten weeks pregnant I didn't want our much wanted, much adored first-born. I caused him to question me, and us, and our decision to have this baby. But it wasn't any of those things. It was just so hard. So hard getting through those first few weeks. And so much harder trying to pretend to be happy when everyone wants and expects you to be happy and when all you can do is try desperately to hold it together and not scream; "I don't know if I want this. I don't think I can cope".
I've called this post Pre-Natal Depression, and in so doing I am not trying to undermine the real seriousness of Post-Natal Depression, but just to share how I felt, on the off-chance that although this isn't something we speak about, and it isn't something the medical profession recognises, and it isn't, maybe, as bad or as serious as proper PND, that is is a thing, and that I (and anyone else who has felt, or is feeling, like this) am not alone.