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#1 of 9 Old 08-21-2014, 08:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,

This is my second pregnancy, and I'm starting to see signs of a symptom that I had during my first -- a lot of sadness. With my first pregnancy, I wasn't working and was finishing up grad school, and now, I'm staying at home with my son after teaching for two years.

And for the past week or so, I've just felt sad. I think it's probably hormones, but I needed to get it off my chest. I feel aimless, with no motivation or driving force. I feel very melancholy, along with anxiety about some family matters.

Has anyone else experienced this? I've gone through the mood swings dealing with high energy/happy then angry/impatient, but for some reason, sadness is harder for me to see as some kind of symptom or hormonal thing, and feels more of a weight.

Thanks for listening!
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#2 of 9 Old 08-22-2014, 05:46 AM
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Yes! I was dreading that with this pregnancy but it's not happening. I had this with my third, fourth and fifth pregnancies and it was pretty awful. I was in pretty bad shape. What helped was talking about my feelings with supportive people and using happy essential oils. I also had my herbalist do a tincture for me but I don't remember what it was. I did Zoloft actually with my third pregnancy but the next couple I figured that other stuff out. I also limited my interactions with negative energy from the news, the media, social media and people in my life. I was very careful. Meditation is also quite helpful for me.

I am sorry you are going through this but you are smart to talk about it. I hope you find some things that work for you! Good luck. <3
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#3 of 9 Old 08-22-2014, 06:17 AM
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Absolutely. I think for me it has been a combination of fluctuating hormones (progesterone, I've read, has a sedating effect) and just feeling like crap. I've been too nauseous and tired to do things I normally like to do or see friends or do much of anything really, and I think that would make anybody feel sad. Food is also so important, I think, to the human experience of joy and community and connection with the ground, and when you can't enjoy it, life as a whole becomes a lot more difficult to enjoy. My motivation is completely sapped and even at work, when I *have* to do things, I do them slowly and with as little creativity and energy as necessary just to get by. Which is not how I normally approach my job.

I've been depressed before, and this is not it. When I was depressed it was like a heavy fog that I couldn't get out of and eventually didn't even want out of because I'd forgotten how to feel any other way. This, on the other hand, is so purely dependent on hormonal shifts and symptoms that it's almost embarrassing. For a while, when my symptoms were at their worst and most constant, it was kind of similar. But now, at the back end of my first trimester, it feels different. On a good symptom day (which I'm having more and more of at this point, thank goodness), I feel like I have "juice" again. I feel genuine happiness, I can get excited about the baby, I can think of things to do and foods to eat, I want to snuggle and laugh with my husband, I want to go outside and move more, and I feel like myself. Even the flowers in my garden look bright again. But when a wave of symptoms shows up, my mood plunges and I feel sad and lethargic and forget what I like to do. Sometimes that lasts for days, depending on how long the nausea and fatigue stay with me. Then they go away and I feel like myself again. There's this phenomenon called "sickness behavior" that humans exhibit when ill, to keep them from expending too much energy and to alert others to their needs and engender help. Depressive behavior is a key part of that, and I think it's what happens to at least some of us when a wave of symptoms hits. I think that's normal, even though it totally sucks.

I'm pointing out the difference because there is such a thing as prenatal depression, so if you find that you can never get on top of it and can't catch glimpses of your normal self in there, even when your body is feeling OK, you might ask your doctor about it. If you're not comfortable with drugs, talk therapy can be just as effective.

How far along are you? My saddest time was probably between 7 and 9 weeks, when my symptoms were the most relentless. I'm 11+ weeks now, and the waves don't hit as often anymore.

It's really hard. People had to keep reminding me that the first trimester wouldn't last forever, that pregnancy wouldn't last forever. In the depths of despair it really feels like it will. The important this is that you keep posting, keep being honest, and keep sharing your feelings with others. It helps not to hold it all inside.

We'll be holding you in our thoughts for sure. Please keep posting!
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#4 of 9 Old 08-22-2014, 03:16 PM
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I'm sorry to hear that you're going through a tough time right now. I am having a very similar experience as well. I didn't have the sadness with my first pregnancy, and thought I'd feel so elated this time b/c I know the joy and love firsthand for the baby inside me....but alas I feel sad, anxious, melancholy, very little motivation to do normal activities. The best thing I've found to help is sleep and rest.

I'm hoping that it's just one of the tough hormonal-driven symptoms of the first tri! Hope you start to feel better soon, friend
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#5 of 9 Old 08-22-2014, 08:02 PM
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I am so sorry that you are having this experience, too. You're not alone! What you described sounds exactly like what I've had with my last pregnancy (my second) and with this one. No motivation, can't think of what I like to do. I just am so sorry for you. Prenatal depression is something that I had never heard of, but it's growing in recognition. What has really helped me is taking prenatal fish oil. My takeaway from reading is that the baby takes the DHA from your body and with subsequent pregnancies the mother becomes depleted; strong link between taking it and depression symptoms lessening. I can happily say that I don't experience it anymore. Could be also the 2nd trimester, although I think with my 2nd pregnancy I experienced the depression into that trimester as well.
Even if you don't take it and don't want to take it, know that you're not alone and that we'll listen to you and you don't have to take any of my (well-meant) advice. Hugs!

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#6 of 9 Old 08-24-2014, 03:47 PM
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I'm sorry to hear you aren't feeling well. I was feeling down when my symptoms were worst, wishing I wasn't actually pregnant, but not full depression. My story is that I have been on varying doses is Effexor XR since I was 20 for severe depression. I had two doctors tell me I would prob be on it for my whole life. I give credit to the combination of drugs and therapy for saving me from myself. I didn't want to take it while pregnant though (it's a class C drug.) After months of meeting with a psychiatrist and therapist I was able to get off it for the first time in over 8 years. Once I found out I was pregnant I started going once a week to my therapist and I really value that time. I think everyone can benefit from therapy. I have learned about how my natural thought processes work, what my warning signs are, how to refocus my thoughts, and generally take care if myself. If it's in your means I really recommend you find someone. Many work on sliding scales. I will look for the website where I found mine and post that.

Meanwhile, here is an article that may help.
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#7 of 9 Old 08-24-2014, 04:08 PM
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I'm on my phone so here is the general site. Click on find a therapist. You can search by area you live, specialty (some list pregnancy and parenting), if/what insurance they take, etc. I have also heard about this peripartum one but not used it:
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#8 of 9 Old 08-25-2014, 05:10 AM
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I've been thinking about this thread for the past few days, especially something @indiana said.
There's this phenomenon called "sickness behavior" that humans exhibit when ill, to keep them from expending too much energy and to alert others to their needs and engender help.
I wonder if this can be helpful to pregnant women. If we feel that we need to burrow in and stay away from other people, we will be less likely to catch illnesses from other people. It may not exactly work in an evolutionary sense, since I think it was less likely that you would catch a cold from your tribe back in the day. Now we can pick up a cold from anywhere... Just a thought...
I'm prone to depressive behavior and have been depressed but it doesn't seem to be a big problem for me right now. I have been taking fish oil/DHA most days but recently I haven't been able to because of my overenthusiastic gag reflex.

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#9 of 9 Old 08-25-2014, 06:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all for replying and for sharing your own experiences. That's something I just don't take for granted -- having a place like this where I don't feel like "the only one."

I think some form of talk therapy might be beneficial; I did that last year for about 6 months, when I was feeling really blocked, and many amazing things came out of it. I know that my symptoms are not terribly severe, but it's the change that gets to me. As indiana mentioned, that idea of "sickness behavior" really resonated with me. It made me feel like I understand a bit more about why all I want to do these days is isolate.

Thank you all again. I appreciate the support!
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