Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Well I've Been Here Before Sat On The Floor In A Grey Grey Room

I have always been an emotional person. Whether my feelings are positive or negative, I feel them hard and strong and wholeheartedly. My mom says that I've always been this way; even as a small child, there was never any grey area with me. I love something or I hate something and though I may reverse my feelings and love something I hated the day before, in the moment I feel no half-way feelings.

Pregnancy hormones have amplified my emotions to a point that would be almost comical if it wasn't so devastating. I feel like I have no control. My anxiety, which once affected my daily life on a mild to moderate scale, has reached a new, terrifying level where yesterday a pile of dirty dishes brought on an actual chest-clenching, can't-breathe, shaky-hands panic attack. Last night I sobbed to Shawn that this is the hardest thing I have ever done and I honestly cannot see myself being able to do it for another five months. Which brought on a new wave of anxiety and desperation because whether I can or can't, I will be doing it for five more months.

I have never experienced lows like I have in the last few months. I scare myself sometimes and I know I'm scaring Shawn. I know on a good day he's annoyed and confused by my emotional highs and lows but on a bad day he's just as desperate as I am. I know that he's trying to understand. I know that he wants to make this as easy as possible for me. But still, I struggle. Every day is a struggle. And I don't know what to do.


  1. {{{{Hillary}}}} I wish there was something I could do to help or make things better. Am sending good thoughts your way.

  2. Knowing nothing about pregnancy, is there such a thing as PD (partum depression) rather than PPD (post-partum depression)?? I hope you have a great OB who can help you through the gray. Don't be afraid to reach out. Hugs to you.

  3. Oh, Hillary - I am so sorry.

    I have always struggled with anxiety, and the hormonal rollercoaster of pregnancy can be a nightmare. It is just that, though, a rollercoaster. You may have bad days, but it will get better.

    You will do this for five more months, but you also already have done this for that amount of time(half way!). For most people, it does tend to level off as your pregnancy progresses. Plus, towards the end you will have so much to channel the anxiety in to (nesting, planning, picking out hings, choosing names) that I found I sort of was able to trick myself into not focusing on so many of the things that caused me to have panic-attacks.

    Sending good thoughts your way until things improve.

  4. I have never been pregnant, but I've suffered crippling anxiety so I understand how scary and awful it is.

    Don't be afraid to get help. I'm pulling for you, lady. Big love.

  5. Reverse Amy's comment above (I've never had crippling anxiety, but I AM pregnant), so I feel ya sister.

    You know I'm here if you ever need to chat :-)

  6. Oh, Hillary. Pregnancy is a mindfuck like the worst boyfriend you ever had times a million. Do you like your OB? Could you have a conversation about this and see if you might need a little extra help?

    Hugs to you, lady!

  7. sweet hills - it makes me sad to know that the pregnancy hormones are making your anxiety worse. it's very scary to be in that moment of fear, feeling like you are on the very edge of losing control. sometimes you want to curl up into a little ball. sometimes you want to run away. sometimes you want to yell and scream and cry your face off.

    Physically, when you feel like another panic attack is coming on, lie down in bed (or get in your most comfortable spot in your home) close your eyes, and do some deep breathing. Breathe in as deep as you can and let it out ALL the way. (Typically we only breathe out part of what we inhale) Concentrate on your breathing - if other thoughts start creeping in, slow down your breathing, and just keep concentrating on inhaling and exhaling making sure to get as much oxygen in and exhaling as much CO2 as you can. If you have to cry, let it all out. Crying releases endorphins into the blood stream which act as mood-elevators. (which is why women feel much better after a good cry, and why we need a good cry every once in a while). If you're at work, or in public, sneak away to the restroom (if its not stinky) or outside. If there is an empty floor in your office building, head there to just get away for a few minutes too.

    Take one step at a time. One hour at a time. One day at a time. Ask yourself 'In a year (or 2 or 5) from now, will these thoughts matter?' and 'if so, how?'. Sometimes they will, most likely they won't (not to say that what you are thinking during anxious moments doesn't matter, it's more about changing your cognitive behaviour so that you can have less anxious moments).

    but like Kate says - your halfway there! and before you know it you will be holding Willie in your arms and you will have so much love for him. You and Shawn are first timers and there is always going to be that 'OMG I can't do this, this is so overwhelming, what are we doing?' which is perfectly normal. just think of all the peeps you know who have babies (that really probably shouldn't) and they are doing an ok job so far. Which only means that you and Shawn will win at the pregancy and parenting game. You and Shawn are going to be AMAZING parents. You do a super awesome job with the pups already, so your kid is really lucky to be part of your family.

    Hills you are amazing, and you can do this. I believe in you. xoxox
    love you kitten!

  8. hils, i was going to divorce harry in both my pregnancy's, literally was thinking 'that’s it I’m getting a divorce there’s no way i wanna be with you i hate you, ooh i forgot to mention i hit him, slapped him and ran away'
    Now you know me well and understand for me to really think and feel that way is a pretty freeking huge deal, i have known harry is my soul mate for 13 years and never doubted it, yet i really really felt and thought ‘fuck you, fuck this baby i want out right now’ (i recall it was over as cooking dinner!) ... then i drove my car really fast down the motorway, angry , crying, steaming crazy mad... and then it hit me that its not my life to be playing roulette with anymore and I’m being selfish, i could kill me, the baby and the people in the cars driving alongside me. So i slowed the car down, pulled off the motorway, screamed at the wheel 'I feel so fucking trapped aghhhhh' CRIED, SOBBED and then drove home to harrys big open arms bemused how i could have ever thought such a thing! my mind boggles to this day... why the fucking hell does pregnancy turn us all in the mental cows - i;ve done it in both pregnancy's , feeling like my world is caving in, its horrid, but its sooo worth it - - I think it’s the fact we feel so vulnerable, trapped, and out of control - once you start to feel ok with being out of control and start surfing the hormone wave with one finger in the air ‘ FUCK YOOOOOUUUUUU hormones fuck you give me all you’ve got!... Then you can kick back and enjoy the miracle of life inside of you. much love to you my crazy Canadian - i love you xxxx

  9. There was a moment in my pregnancy with Sprog where I was screaming and crying and said, "I can't stop myself and I know I'm wrong, it's the hormones" I walked out of the room in a stream of tears and wailing and just shut myself into the bedroom until I could come out of it. It's okay to just walk away until you can calm down. It's utterly 100% FINE to shut yourself off in a dark room in a cozy bed until you can breathe again.

  10. Oh, man. I'm so sorry. And I totally understand. I spent a lot of my early pregnancy freaking the fuck out and thinking WHAT HAVE I DONE?! I AM IN NO WAY FIT TO DO THIS, AND NOW THERE IS NO ESCAPE. And then, of course, I felt hugely guilty for even thinking those thoughts, which meant I was afraid to talk about what I was thinking & feeling, which made it worse, etc. Just please know you are not alone.

    It got easier (WAY easier) for me once I got around 5 months, and I hope the same happens for you. In the meantime, talk to your OB. He/she will understand & maybe have some guidance & solutions for you. I know it's hard for Shawn to understand & not take it personally (it was really hard for Brad not to take it personally when I was calling him an ASSFACE and sobbing over Tide commercials), but when you have a moment of clarity, reassure him that it's the hormones (AND IT IS). And maybe tell him he really isn't an assface.

  11. Oh yeah, and also? All of this is totally worth it. ALL OF IT. YES, EVEN THAT.

  12. Big, squishy, hugs.

    You can do this. Shawn can do this. And we're all here to listen when you need and support you in any way we can.

  13. Oh, Hillary. I'm so sorry. :-(

    Talk to a professional about this. You shouldn't have to deal with this right now. Find someone who can help you.

    In the meantime, I'm sending big hugs and happy thoughts. Hang in there.

  14. MLE: Thank you for your good thoughts, love.

    Tia: Depression during pregnancy is definitely a thing, I just don't know enough about it to say "yes, I am sad and I cry a lot and this goes beyond what is normal" because I have no idea what "normal" is during pregnancy.

    Kate: Thank you for reminding me that it will get better. It's really hard to remember that when I'm feeling low.

    Amy: Thank you, lady. Your support means a lot to me.

    Sarah: Thank you! I feel bad - you've become my pregnancy sounding board!

    Mermanda: I love you back.

    Lemon Gloria: Yes! Mindfuck is the perfect description for pregnancy. I haven't actually seen the same OB twice so I don't really feel comfortable with anyone yet (there are 8 doctors in the practice.)

    K-Tee: I love you to bits. Thank you for the card - it made me smile.

    Having Cake and Eating it: Dude, your comment rocks so fucking hard. Thank you! Knowing you guys, and knowing how much you love each other (it's gross, really) I find it so comforting that you felt a similar way. The absolute CRAZY that I have been feeling is what's most upsetting to me. I don't even recognize myself. Thank you for letting me know I'm not busted for feeling like a nutter. Love you xoxo

    Raven: Thank you for your words :) I am so hard on myself (which is ridiculous because NO ONE is putting these crazy expectations on me - I'm doing it all myself) and I need to realize that it IS okay for me to just disconnect and chill the fuck out until I can breathe.

    Gayle: YES. The guilt. Oh my hell the guilt. I feel like SUCH an assface for hating being pregnant because there are starving children in Africa who would sell their kidney to be pregnant. Or something.

    Angella: Thanks, lady :)

    Stevie: Thank you.

  15. Love and hugs coming your way. I wish I had something more substantial to offer!

  16. Oh hon!

    We are all here for you whenever you need us. You both will get through this. It's hard but it's not forever, right? (<--that is pretty much my mantra at the moment, fyi, when I'm not doing the ugly cry that is)

  17. I don't think I can top Having Cake and Eating it's comment. So ... I'm not even going to try. But the visual cracks me up. All I see is some pregnant lady in a bikini on a surf board with her finger raised as high as it will go. Kills me.

  18. I'm just a little bit behind you on the pregnancy train (so to speak) but I am just waiting for my first breakdown. Although I've never dealt with anxiety, I've always been highly emotional and feel things very strongly.

    I guess I just want you to know you're in my thoughts and that you have so many people here to support you in any way you need. You are definitely not alone. You WILL get through this and you'll probably feel like superwoman having done so.

    You are a gem. Remember that.

  19. I am pretty even keeled when it comes to emotions and pregnancy was no different for me. But, one thing pregnancy and parenthood has taught me is to expect the unexpected. Sweets and I have used the unexpected as an excuse to continue our lines of communication, to strengthen our resolve and to be thankful we're in this together. It helped make the toughest moments a little easier, knowing there were two of us on the same page. It's OK to be anxious and scared and excited (in the same moments) about your future ... I hope you and Shawn will use this time to lean on one another and strengthen your relationship even more than it was before.