The great depression

During the late second and early third trimesters with James, I suffered from prenatal depression. It wasn’t something I talked about much, mainly because admitting that one has daily fantasies about driving off a cliff and sinking to the bottom of the lake is a bit of a conversation killer.

One of the ways I first knew I was pregnant this time around is that I started having mood swings and feelings of paranoia and self-loathing. But because of the possible teratogenic effects of antidepressants, I had really hoped to avoid going back on them until the second trimester. I figured I’d rather be a little cranky and unmotivated rather than have a baby with an omphalocele. Just my personal preference!

But this week, I’m throwing in the towel. At some point, the needs of the few are outweighed by the good of the many. My little bean has gotten in an extra four weeks of development, but now it’s time to think about mood-swinging, unmotivated Mommy, who can barely gather the energy to feed and dress the kids. And Maddi, who enjoys pushing boundaries but would prefer for Mommy not to yell at her for tiny infractions. And even James, who is a very empathetic baby and can sense that all is not well with his mommy.

So hopefully, by next week, I will be feeding and dressing the children once again, and not screaming psychotically at my toddler for dumping sodden Cheerios into the “clean dish” side of the double sink, and not being tempted to smack James’ bottom when he tries to leap off the change table to happy, naked freedom.

Meanwhile, I have bought my first transition clothes to wear while I am too pudgy for my regular wardrobe and too slim for maternity, and I’m anxiously awaiting my next appointment in nine days, when we hope to hear a heartbeat or see a baby.

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