The Sixth Symptom

I’ve been pretty fortunate so far in this go round with symptoms. And, frankly, I’m like Goldilocks when it comes to them – I don’t have too few or too many, but just the right amount at the right (read not incredibly uncomfortable) level.  I have the usual suspects – nausea, sore boobs, occasional back pain, tiredness, crankiness – all of which make feel better and worse at the same time. 

I have also developed another one that until today I did not realize I even had.  It is the most anachronistic one too, one that I had originally chalked up to that general personality change that I go through in the beginning of a pregnancy (think Jeckyll and Hyde).  What is this mysterious new visitor?

I’m almost embarrassed to type this because I know when I was not knocked up if I had read this I would have likely said something very unladylike at the screen. But, here goes:

Depression.

Yes, I am depressed – the version where you have no interest in anything that used to bring you joy or pleasure, the version with the extremely low attention span – huh? – the version that you really wonder why you get out of bed in the morning, the version that makes you question, will this ever get better?

I was incredulous at first.  Depressed, really? Not a toxic side effect of the hormone soup going on?  But, deep down, I knew that no, that was not the cause, although it damn well may have helped. 

I have given a lot of thought as to why I might be depressed.  On paper, this would appear to make no sense – I have finally gotten that thing I have been trying to get for a really long time and while there are no guarantees, there have been no statements of alarm yet. 

The problem is the no guarantees part, the part where I don’t feel as if I can plan past tomorrow because I don’t know if the little p will still be around.  And, I love to plan.  Along with the no guarantees comes the uncertainty. Will it work? If it doesn’t, when will we know that it won’t?  I was perversely fortunate last time to know pretty early on that viability was not looking good.  This time, Dr. Salsa has been nothing short of maddeningly cheerful making it that much harder for me to remain skeptical and preserve my fragile little heart.  I can’t let myself look forward and I can’t look back so all I am left to do is look at now and see the ocean of uncertainty that I just don’t know how this is going to end.  And that doesn’t help. 

Should we have progress tomorrow, I will talk with Dr. Salsa about this issue and will ask him about other options that are safe for me to take because I have finally figured out that this is not normal and I don’t have to live this way.

15 thoughts on “The Sixth Symptom

  1. Oh, Mrs. X, I’m so glad you will talk to Dr. Salsa. Depression is real and it hurts . . . he will help get you help. Sending good wishes for your appointment tomorrow.

  2. Long time reader de-lurking again. Just wanted to say that as a long time sufferer of depression (on and off 11 years) that no you don’t have to live that way and talking about it is really the first step to taking care of it. I hope that dr. salsa can help you find what help is right for you be it medication, therapy or some combination 🙂

  3. I totally get what you’re saying. Living in the now is HARD. I can live whole lifetimes of things if I’m allowed to daydream/plan, but to just stay in the HERE and NOW, pure torture.

  4. Gah, depression is such a cruel menace.

    If it makes you feel any better, I’ve known of a couple pregnant ladies (fertile pregnant ladies) lately that also battled depression while they were gestating their babes. But I can only imagine how amplified your condition must be, considering your past experiences with your own pregnancies. The uncertainty must be maddening.

    I really hope that Dr. Salsa is able to help you. You deserve to feel blissfully contented again. *hugs*

  5. Prenatal depression, according to a recent British study is TWICE as common as postpartum depression. It just hasn’t found its Brooke Shields yet.

    So you’re right to take it very seriously. I was struggling with the anxiety, bursts of trauma, uncertainty very badly for a while, and I thought about therapy just to keep me from flipping out all the time. I didn’t wind up going that route, but just knowing I could take it helped. I know that in more serious or long-term cases, there are anti-depressants you can take that are deemed worth any risk.

    My hope is that once you get past the grim milestones that remind you of the difficult past losses, it will be a bit easier. But that may not be the case, and that’s fine. Just do what you need to do to get through this and take some modicum of joy from life.

    Sending you a huge, warm hug…

  6. I hope that Dr. Salsa can help. Maybe things will improve with time, but it’s better to get a handle on it now rather than later. Good luck.

  7. Ah, my old friend depression – she’s a bag of crabs, ain’t she? Considering the capital Trauma you’ve experienced, it’s no wonder your body tripped up that landmine. You’ve achieved what some of us have only dreamed about and yet there is no joy, no excitement – just uncertainty. Detachment. And knowing the difference between feeling “down” and “depressed, it’s a steep drop.

  8. Oh Mrs. X, as someone who has struggled with clinical depression in the past (but not pregnancy as of yet) I totally get where you’re coming from. IF. is so hard on the psyche that irrational feelings seem the norm. What you are feeling right now is completely understandable especially after suffering two losses. Definitely as Dr. Salsa what you can do to help. Recognizing that there is a problem is a huge first step.

    Hugs to you!

  9. Trotting along right behind you, thanking God every day for the antidepressants I take as faithfully as my prenatal vitamins. I hear ya…

    Hugs to you, Mrs. X.

  10. From LFCA…

    Just wanted to send positive vibes your way. This rollercoaster has a lot of side effects, depression among them. Good for you for talking to your doctor about this and getting some help.

    Warm thoughts on your pregnancy!

  11. I went through this with my pregnancy. I didn’t have a loss before getting pregnant with my son (just a lot of failed cycles), but I was older. It’s a real lottery my age and I didn’t know how it would turn out. I think I held my breath the entire time. (We also had a lot of misdiagnoses.) I didn’t even buy furniture until the very last minute. It was really hard. You have this perception that you will revel in the pregnancy and plan and buy and prepare. And it’s so hard to get past all the insecurity the infertility brings with it.

    I hope you will find some peace soon and will feel released from doubt’s grasp (at least enough to have a little fun planning a few special things.)

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