Getting Through It

rachel-and-kids

When I was pregnant with Lane, things were ideal. I was excited, I felt good, and I drank a chocolate milkshake every day for the final six weeks. It was truly one of the happiest times of my whole life.

When I was pregnant this past year with Tom, things were good then too, but I didn’t feel as good. It was a lot harder to be pregnant while taking care of another little one. She needed me whether I felt like getting out of bed or not. It took a few months before I realized I was feeling some depression. I didn’t feel sad exactly, but more melancholy like everything was hard.

Finally I told my friends about it and they prayed for me and the depression lifted, but that wasn’t the end of it. I was still experiencing stress and high blood pressure, which I’m sure were because of all the hormones during the pregnancy. It’s hard to take good care of yourself when you feel that way. Tension wore me thin, and I didn’t get along with my husband as easily.

I remember in the final few days wanting to be different and hoping I would get a chance to start over. It wasn’t until a few hours after I had the baby that all the stress I felt in the previous months completely melted away. Of course I was elated to have a healthy, beautiful baby boy, but it was also the first time in a long time that I remembered how good it felt to feel normal again. I had almost forgotten.

I know pictures don’t always tell the story, especially in the blogging world, but I wanted to share my experience in case someone else might feel discouraged. It does get better.

About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.

Comments

  1. I am so glad you’re feeling better, and thank you for talking about this– perhaps someone else will feel less alone when she reads your story.

    Missy K´s last post…A Woman With a Plan

  2. PRECIOUS picture!!

    When I was pregnant with Ike, I had a 3 yo, a 2 yo, and a 15 month old. The MINUTE that baby’s head was out of my body – I mean literally, his body was still inside but the second his head popped out, I thought – HalleLUjah, it feels SO good to not be pregnant anymore!

    I will take a newborn with 13 other kids over being pregnant with 3 kids any day. Being pregnant while you have little ones is one of the hardest things in the world.

    missy @ it’s almost naptime´s last post…But for now, my down comforter and 14 pillows are a-callin

  3. All I can say is that I am glad you are better and you are glowing in your pic…

  4. This picture is absolutely precious–there’s so much story there in one happy little moment. I love it (and so glad you’re feeling better! I’m pregnant with #4 right now, so I know what you mean about subsequent pregnancies being a little harder than the first!).

    Julia´s last post…pictures!

  5. i was amazed how much harder my 2nd pregnancy was than my first. That last month seemed like 4. It was brutal. I actually have struggled with depression since having the [now 21 month old] baby. A good support system is vital for survival and healing! And good on you for sharing. It seems like we feel ashamed for struggling, when really, you tell everyone when you have the flu, so why not when you have an emotional illness. The more we talk about it, the better.

  6. I totally relate to your thoughts here. Being pregnant with Dacey was a beautiful, magical time. My pregnancy with AJ was SO EXHAUSTING. I feel sad about that sometimes. She is such a joy, and sometimes I wonder if she will be our last. What if that was my last pregnancy? I didn’t enjoy it very much at all.

    But then I remember what Missy said above about how hard it is to be pregnant with littles, and I offer myself a little measure of grace.

    Thanks for sharing these thoughts, Rachel, and your family is GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!!!! (you are SO BEAUTIFUL!)

    Megan at Simple Kids´s last post…The Power of Seeking Our Children’s Forgiveness

  7. Thank you for sharing. What a sweet picture….and, you look alot like Julia Roberts!

    tricia´s last post…Thank You Apartment Therapy

    • Oh my, well I can say for sure that’s the first time anyone ever said that! Too kind, but I’ll gladly take it.

  8. What an absolutely beautiful photo.

  9. If you only knew how timely this is! I am 36 weeks pregnant, taking care of a 6 year old, a 4 year old and a 2 year old. I am definitely in a mild depression….I can barely walk, everything is in slow motion, it feels like I will never be normal again. It’s just nice to know someone understands. I do remember after each pregancy saying to myself over and over, “I’m so glad I’m not pregnant, I’m so glad I’m not pregnant….” So at least I know it’s coming! Thank you for this post!

    Keri´s last post…Ponderosa Sunday

  10. Uhoh, everyone’s comments have me worried–because I’m on my first pregnancy, and I’m exhausted all the time!! Oh well, maybe I’ll be backwards and my 2nd will be easy?

    Anyway, the picture is beautiful Rachel, and I’m glad to hear that you’re doing better! Your kids are adorable!

    • Every pregnancy is tiring. When we say one was “easy”, it’s relative, because it takes a lot of work to make a little person.

  11. Beautiful post! Love the picture! I suffered horrible PPD after my daughter was born (also a complicated pregnancy). I am now in the throws of frustration with my 3 year old son. I am still waiting to see the silver lining….

    • Valerie R. says:

      I’m convinced that age 3 is the most difficult one there is. My otherwise obedient, sweet, oldest child (now 10) went through a huge kicking, screaming, tantrum phase at age 3. I look back on that time in amazement. My second child…same story. You will get through it!

  12. Thank you for this! I have a 2.5 year old and am 32 weeks pregnant. My son’s pregnancy was a breeze, I was a stay at home wife. I could nap when I wanted to and for however long I wanted to. That pregnancy was EASY. This pregnancy has been anything BUT easy. Yes, as far as we know, there is a healthy baby girl in there. Physically I have been on bed rest and can barely walk because of pelvic bone pain. I can’t wait to feel normal again… emotionally and physically! There are days where I get depressed and everything IS hard, but I keep my eye on the prize…a beautiful gift from God…not all of God’s gifts come easy!

    Liz´s last post…I’m revamping my list…

    • Wow I can definitely relate to you… I’m 31 weeks pregnant with and almost 2.5 year old and was just put on bed rest. Thanks for the reminder to stay focused on the prize. Right now I am so overwhelmed and stressed I’m just trying to remember to breathe. Maybe I should hang up a picture in front of me of my first as a newborn. I know I’ll forget about all of this once I have my new little one in my arms.

  13. Rachel – you are beautiful beyond just the outside appearance. It was very bold of you to post that. You didn’t do it for yourself – you did it for others to see that everything is not as it seems. Bravo. And, I’m so glad you are feeling better.

  14. Thank you for being honest. It does help others.

    Meg´s last post…Making Your Spouse Feel Special

  15. Wow, not having kids myself I would never have considered this. Thanks for sharing. I’ll remember to be kind and gentle with my preggo friends. :)

    Juice´s last post…In Which I Learn To Fear “Excuse Me”

  16. Sandra Gonzales says:

    Thank you being so gracious as to share your personal experience.
    I don’t know you but I hope for the very best for you and yours. Its hard being a woman but I won’t trade it for the world.

    The photo of you and your little chicks is so precious.

  17. Wow, I think you wrote this for me today. I am in my third pregnancy, just got through my 3rd case of hyperemesis . .. and my emotions are all over the place! Every day I remember past junk and feel the need to confront someone about something . . . I am normally not this way! I think that the Lord let me read this today so that I’ll realize that it’s a lot more hormones than reality, and that I should NOT follow through and say things I’ll regret! That’s exactly how I felt immediately after giving birth before- like I was normal again! Oh, I am looking forward to that day! Thank-you so much for being honest and sharing that today- it was just what I needed, in such a gentle way! And that picture is beautiful!

  18. Rachel, you do such a service to all your readers! Thank you!

    I think that there’s a huge stigma around admitting to feeling unhappy during pregnancy. There’s so much pressure about pregnancy being so wonderful – and sometimes it’s so far from it!

    I didn’t realize I had been depressed during my second pregnancy until I was diagnosed with PPD 4 months after the birth. I sought professional help, and 9 months later, I’m better than ever! I’m so grateful for the help I received, and my support structure. To other women who suspect they may be depressed, I strongly suggest you talk to your doctor! Help is out there!

  19. You and your family are so lovely, and thank you for sharing real words from your heart.

    Jamie

    steadymom´s last post…Adoption: A Beautiful, Broken System (Moms’ 30-Minute Blog Challenge)

  20. Thank you so much for sharing this. I think it definitely helps to realize that anyone can experience depression.

    As the mom of a three-year-old who dealt with what I’m pretty sure was PPD (though undiagnosed, in retrospect it was certainly more than the “baby blues”), I do feel nervous about my next pregnancy. I can’t count how many naps I took the first time around…and next time I’ll have a preschooler to chase! At least I know now that I’m prone to depression, so if I do experience it during pregnancy or after the birth, I won’t let it go unattended this time.

    The photo of you and your children is beautiful!

    Jessica´s last post…Sunday smatterings

  21. Thank you! I’m 32 weeks pregnant with my third, and had a very similar experience when pregnant with my second. People kept telling me that it was easier as long at the baby was on the inside, but for me, as soon as he was born, I felt so much more normal and up to the task of being mommy. I keep reminding myself that it is physically hard to be pregnant, and it’s so good to read through the comments and see that so many others feel that way, too!

  22. Definitely a timely post! I am just 13 weeks pregnant with my second and find myself angry and sad more often than not. This pregnancy has been a lot tougher than the first – exhaustion that finds me in bed everynight at 8 pm, constant nausea that is only just now getting slightly better and nagging worries about the health of my baby. Pair that with working full time, a military husband who has been gone for over 6 weeks of the pregnancy so far and a toddler who seems to say nothing but “no” as of late, I just can’t seem to get past the feeling that this was all a mistake. It is very comforting to know that I am not alone in feeling like this.

    Thanks so much for sharing so honestly!

  23. Thank you, thank you. I am in my fourth pregnancy (my eldesy just turned five) and, as always, am feeling fairly miserable and useless (hernia at my bellybutton, still sick-ish at 23 weeks, and just waiting for the pelvic bones to start creaking).
    I KNOW this child will be a blessing and I love all my babes so much – I just feel so miserable during the baking of them! I never “bloom” or “glow”; I just feel lethargic and guilty that I don’t love the pregnancy.

    Moan over. Just wanted to say thanks for reminding me that I will probably feel my usual super-efficient, organised self once the babe is actually here. Give me a newborn over a pregnancy any day, that’s for sure!

    Enjoy your babes,
    Karen

  24. My daughter called me this morning as she was driving to her first doctor’s visit for this pregnancy. This is her fifth child.

    She said she was already tired of feeling so tired and she hoped the nausea did not last with this one. We talked about taking life one day at a time. :)

    I remember when #4 was born and she was well enough to make the 1,000 mile trip back home. The pregnancy had not been easy for her but the look on her face when she held that little one close to her was precious.

    I must admit to having been smitten, too. Children are truly a gift from the Lord (even toddlers and teenagers).

    Brenda@Coffeeteabooksandme´s last post…This and that…

  25. Soooooooo needed this today. I’m pregnant with #2, and this pregnancy has been a lot harder physically than the last. On top of that I’ve been working three jobs plus staying home during the day with my toddler, and it’s all just taken its toll. I’m 31 weeks and ready to be done, but I will persevere. Thanks for your encouragement.

    Minnesotamom´s last post…I Heart Faces – Autumn Beauty

  26. It is amazing how much energy our little baby consumes when we are pregnant. Thanks for sharing. I know how you feel about trying to show a balanced picture in the blogging world. Just because we share the good stuff, doesn’t mean there aren’t difficulties going on as well. We are all just human after all ;)

    Take care!

    Juggling Motherhood´s last post…Do what you love

  27. Thanks for this post. I am 24 weeks pregnant and keeping up with a 2 year old. There are definetly days I am not sure how I am going to get through. With a dreary Indiana winter coming, I am sure there will be many more. But I know that there will be an end. The baby will come. Spring will come. I will feel normal. And then I will wonder what all my fuss was about ;)

    kris´s last post…Vacation!

  28. That is wonderful that life is feeling a bit brighter for you. You are so right, it does get better…

  29. Hi Rachel!

    First off, I am so glad you are feeling better about everything. We all go through things that make us for one reason or another, feel down, yucky, depressed or unhappy in some way. Fortunately it generally goes away. However, I think sharing posts like this is so important. We as women kind of have a responsibility to all our “sisters” out there to let them know they are not alone. And even if just one person reads a simple post like this and it helps in any way, wow, what a wonderful thing!

    Thank you for caring enough to share this.

    Have a fantastic day!

    Diann @ The Thrifty Groove´s last post…A few Treasures Found

  30. I also want to say thank you for sharing this! I am 34 weeks pregnant & I have a 2yr old (& a 7mo old puppy, lol). I feel so so miserable, uncomfortable, and super grouchy. It’s encouraging to hear that others have felt this way, I can’t wait to feel normal again!
    Thank you! :)

  31. happy to see you happy!

    hailey´s last post…Home is a…

  32. Right there with you, right this very moment. I was the happiest pregnant person with Evie. And now, being two years older myself and with a two year old to chase after — yeah, totally different pregnancy experience. Especially, with twins in the picture. It’s hard! And sometimes I feeling so terribly inadequate. Like just yesterday, when I spent much of the day lying on the couch while the TV blared and toys piled up everywhere and Evie was cooped up all day long. As much as pregnancy is the wonderous miracle that it is… I am VERY ready to have a normally functioning body back!

    jill´s last post…new shoes

  33. I’m so glad you’re feeling better! Thank you for sharing this on your blog. I appreciate your honesty … you admit your imperfections and for some reason that gives us readers permission to admit and confront our imperfections as well. I love your blog.

  34. Oh my word – I am so familiar with this feeling! I only have one son, but I h.a.t.e.d. being pregnant. I wasn’t sick or anything, but I hated the way my body felt. I hated the clothes, I hated the tiredness, the way my body was completely not its own and not reliable anymore, all of it.

    And then, when he was born, it was a miracle! I wasn’t pregnant anymore!! I could hold my bladder for HOURS. I was truly astounded.

    I’m so glad you’re feeling better – that is a beautiful picture. I’m bookmarking this for the next time. Thank you.

  35. I am glad you are better. My second pregnancy was more tiring too, as I have now 4 yrs old and infant (8 months), life is sure hectic. so I know how it feels.

    Zengirl´s last post…Stress Free Thanksgiving Party

  36. My goodness you are a pretty woman!

    I am glad that you are feeling better. I am not sure if I have ever been blue, but sometimes I feel melancholy. I immediately help someone else or go to yoga. Mild case perhaps.

    Congratulations on your wee family.

    Sara in Sydney

  37. who knew there were so many of us out there with those common bonds! I have a 22 month old BUSY bee little boy & a 4 week old precious little girl. I was on bedrest the last part of my pg with both – so much easier the first time around. I do struggling with figuring all out – but it’s nice to know there is hope. I’m still very much considering call the dr for something to help me smooth over the gap – my children deserve to have a “well” momma not one who easily looses her temper & is not focused! God bless all you ladies!

  38. Thank you, thank you for this post.
    I am experiencing something very similar right now … my first pregnancy was, as you wrote, truly one of the happiest times in my life. Now that I am in my second pregnancy and taking care of my toddler, things are definitely harder and I find that I feel kind of down about it.
    It feels so good to know that I am not alone in this and to hear that it does get better.
    Thank you.

    P.S. I love your blog. It is one of the very small handful of blogs I read regularly. I always feet liberated and lighter after I read what you have to share!

  39. Oh – on the money, you have hit the nail on the head… Folk always say to me as I drag through those last weeks: “How on earth are you going to cope with a new baby?” and I always think to myself: “Just fine thank-you, I won’t be pregnant!!!” I don’t say it out loud, but it is so the truth!!!

    se7en´s last post…The Day Alexander Came To Visit Se7en…

  40. Thank you! I am not even remotely pregnant (and don’t plan to be) but I have a lot of problems with asthma and allergies at this time of year. It’s hard to work and visit with friends and keep up housework when you just don’t feel well. I’m going to have to remember to take it easier on myself and my lungs–so that it will be easier to take of people around me. Thanks for this post, and I’m so glad you’re feeling better.

    Jen´s last post…At least there are pumpkins

  41. Thank you so much for this post! I think it gives us all permission to admit that pregnancy is a whole lot more than baby showers and that maternal “glow.” I’ll be 14 weeks pregnant tomorrow, and I’m still coming out of the first trimester fatigue and nausea, and it’s been hard. On Monday, I considered it a huge victory that I had the energy (and the stomach) to stand in the kitchen and make my husband a sandwich. Thank you so much for allowing us to be our imperfect, not always put-together selves. Your blog is such an encouragement.
    God bless you and your sweet family!

  42. Thanks for sharing your story! I would only add … for those women were the depression doesn’t lift … when you don’t feel normal after you give birth or you can’t even remember what feeling good felt like … GET HELP IMMEDIATELY. I waited 8 months … 8 long months of being a basket case. I was so unhappy, so desperate but I didn’t want to be on anti-depressants. Finally I knew I couldn’t do it anymore and within a week of starting the anti-depressants, the sound of my son’s cries no longer made me want to die. I WASTED 8 months of my life. The first 8 months of my son’s life when getting help right away would have made life better, more manageable and totally doable. So, if things don’t get better … get help!

    That’s my two cents. :o) And I’m so glad you are feeling better! It’s hard with two young kids but sooo worth it. My kiddos are 5 and 6 now … they get along great (most of the time). They are growing up too fast!

  43. My first pregnancy went pretty well, though I was seriously tired and gained a lot of weight. The second was a real struggle. She was born when the oldest was 22 months, and it was a long road. With my third, I was 35 and fully expected to be downright miserable the entire time. But, strangely, I felt better than I did when I had been in my 20s. Physically I had more energy, and emotionally I was able to avoid the depression that came before. I’m not sure what the reasoning was. I wasn’t in any particularly awesome health or anything.
    I suppose my point is that every pregnancy is different, for one reason or another. I don’t think anyone can explain it.
    You look beautiful, and so do your children!

  44. Thanks for your beautiful honesty. I hope you continue to feel yourself.

    Nicole´s last post…tags

  45. Beautiful photo. Contentment is written all over your face :) Thanks so much for sharing.

    Nicki at Domestic Cents´s last post…What To Do With Thanksgiving Leftovers

  46. I remember feeling like that also with my second one. I had to be difficult to live with I was so irritable.

    However I now have seven, no that is not a typo!(My two daughters are older and from a previous marriage) to make a long story short. I remarried and we have 5 boys, all boys! The last three I have to say I loved being pregnant, that came after a miscarriage, which was a real difficult time for me, it made me reevaluate my thoughts and what I was thankful for, and I was grateful to be pregnant and healthy. I would never take that for granted again. I had to say with a 3,5,7, and 12 year old in the house being pregnant some days it seemed like a circus!

    I am glad you came out and talked about it, many women keep it inside and you feel like your alone, but your not. In the end you have a new little man in your life! He is such a cutie!

  47. Two beautiful kids. So glad you shared your story. Too often, we keep things to ourselves thinking we are the only one that feels that way. We never know that others feel the same and are afraid of being the only one, too. You’ll probably never know what good you did posting this!

    Mrs. E´s last post…Thankful Thursday

  48. I’m so blessed I read your blog as I am feeling very similar with my second pregnancy. I feel like I’m taking out my feelings of unhappiness on my husband and am glad to see that I’m not alone. I need to realize that every pregnancy and child is a gift from God and feel blessed that I am able to experience this. Thank you for your truthful, relatable topics. Your blog is a blessing!!

  49. “I didn’t feel sad exactly, but more melancholy like everything was hard.”

    That exactly describes how I am feeling now, while pg with my third. Today especially has been hard for no particular reason. Just tiring and hard. I only have three weeks to go (and I have a feeling it will be less) so I hope the feeling lifts when he/she is born.

    Thanks for posting this.

    Recovering Procrastinator´s last post…Fancy coffee drinks at home

  50. What a beautiful smile! Yes, deperession during and after pregnancy is a real concern and many women don’t realize how common it is. Here’s a link to more info from the March of Dimes: http://www.marchofdimes.com/pnhec/188_15663.asp.
    Thanks for this great post. I’m so glad you’re feeling better.

    MoDLin´s last post…ACOG revises Pap smear recommendations

  51. huge hugs. i had undiagnosed post-partum depression (it was clear in hindsight) with my first. with my second it wasn’t PPD, it was different. exhaustion and frustration similar to what you describe. it lasted until my second was about 6mo old. now we are trying to decide on #3. everyone i know with 2 (except me) thinks going from 0 to 1 was harder than from 1 to 2. those i know with more think once you have 2, it just gets easier with more!
    nicola
    http://whichname.blogspot.com

    nicola´s last post…shop art