Heart Replaces Brain (19w3d)

I really really can’t believe that I am just steps away from the halfway point of pregnancy. I was thinking last night about how time was crawling by in June, waiting for our transfer. And it felt like a lifetime to get from 8 to 12 weeks. And then, here we are. Almost 20 weeks. I hear this phenomenon only intensifies after the baby comes out of the womb.

Mostly, things are going ok. Except that I seem to have lost my brain (I am sorry to all of the pregnant women whom I did not believe before; pregnancy brain is real)  and my propensity for tears (already marked) seems to have taken up residence in the space my memory once occupied. Of course, one (the loss of blood flow to my brain) is full of cutesy stories; the other feels a whole lot harder.

I’ll start with the funny: Last week I forgot my job title. TWICE. I had to exit out of the document I was working on, open a blank e-mail (with my signature line – and title – on it) and then go back to the document. Of course, the first time I did this and returned to the document, I’d already forgotten my title again. Yep. Then I forgot my phone number, while in the midst of leaving it on a voice mail. I now have a card with both my work and cell phone number taped to my desk. What have I come to?

The sadness is broader, less easy to capture. I can’t quite explain what is making me sad, although I do manage to come up with reasons that at least allow me to cry about it and get some release. This morning it was about my birthday, which was a month ago and was, well . . .just kind of disappointing. Why am I thinking about this now? Why, because it’s La’s birthday, of course! What a perfect time to mull over your own disappointments – right when you should be celebrating someone else. Ugh.

What’s hard is that I can actually see how shitty and ridiculous all of this is from the outset (not even the end of the crying jag!) and yet it doesn’t stop me from crying or from feeling sad, even kind of depressed.

My bestie, Hero, is another sore spot. Since I last updated you here, Hero stopped seeing crazy Smokey, then decided to just stop taking her anti depressants, then took a tumble down the rabbit hole, then got back on meds (different ones) and since then has been in a very serious and deep depression. She also found out that her ex girlfriend (with whom she was in a terribly abusive and co-dependent relationship) is dying of cancer.

Shit has been hard for Hero. But she’s responded to it by, basically, isolating herself from everyone and everything in her life. I’ve seen her 2 times since September – once on a drive up to see the aspens where she chain smoked every chance she got, and drank a whole bunch at lunch; the second time at my birthday where she, again, spent most of the dinner outside chain smoking by herself. The third time she came over for a football game, saw we had other people over, went directly to the back yard where she – you guessed it – chain smoked, then asked to leave out the back gate. Every other plan we’ve had, she’s cancelled. She does call me sometimes and wants to spend hours on the phone talking which is a painful thing for me, since I am very public about how difficult phone conversations are for me.

I’ve tried expressing my concern for her in a lot of ways, but I also feel like the further I get into pregnancy, the less time and energy I have to be someone’s crisis call when that person isn’t also showing up for me. In our 10+ year friendship, Hero has been deeply depressed/dealing with incapacitating anxiety/in a hella fucked up relationship that renders her virtually incapacitated for – I’m estimating here – 7/10 of them. I’m starting to feel like I can’t continue to show up for her, when it feels like it’s just on repeat.

So, I kinda told her all of that. And probably, in another world where I wasn’t 19 weeks pregnant, I wouldn’t have said it at all or at least I would have been less blunt. So, there’s that too.

I’m worried about this sadness influx because I’m already on a medication (celexa) which I’ve been taking at the same dose for many, many years. I know pregnancy wacks out your hormones and makes everything a little weirder/harder, but I also don’t want this to get out of hand . . .out of hand could = OB instead of midwife. out of hand could = PPD, of which I am terrified.

So, I’m trying to manage. This is not really the rage of BCPs. It’s sadder. It feels like just needing to cry, or feeling kind of out of it, or feeling helpless. As a long time sufferer of anxiety, it feels hard. Anxiety makes you amped up, do things. This feels really small and quiet and hard. The plan right now is to call our very fabulous couples counselor to see if she’ll see me one-on-one and give me some tools. Try that for a while, and hopefully, it eases the flood of feelings. If not, I talk to the midwife and see where it goes with her.

In less distressing news, I am now feeling Seafoam just about every day, and with much more conviction! Although we are still not at “kick” level, it is definitely very clearly someone touching me from the inside (and very clearly NOT gas or indigestion or muscle spasms!) It feels neat. And weird.

On Saturday night, Cletus (aka the Big Bulldog) spent a few hours with his giant head directly on my belly. Since bulldog snoring works so well as white noise for me, I’m hoping with this prep, it will work well for seafoam too!


I also started some knitting projects, just in time for the cold snap! I’m making La a new squishy red scarf, and Seafoam a pair of varigated green/blue/brown leg warmers! I’ll make sure to post the final projects soon!

That’s about it. Here’s your requisite 19 week picture! I found an awesome maternity consignment store less than a mile from my house and scored another pair of jeans. I’m glad that I work in a relaxed office, because basically all I wear anymore are maternity pants, maternity t-shirts, a scarf and a sweater. My tights are thisclose to not fitting over my belly (I can do it still, but it isn’t pretty or comfortable) – any recc’s on good maternity tights (vs. leggings) for a tall girl?



25 thoughts on “Heart Replaces Brain (19w3d)

  1. I experienced this sadness post baby. It wasn’t ppd. I just cried. A lot. Once I started I couldn’t stop. It was very weird. I talked to my ob about it. He put me on zoloft (low dose) & it helped. Now, Oliver is 5 months old & I’m no longer taking it. I just couldn’t do anything without crying. Literally. I went out to run some errands one day & had to come home early because I could not stop crying. It started that day just thinking about my baby at home. I just couldn’t get a grip.
    Pregnancy is such a strange & wonderful thing. It definitely jacks up your entire system!
    Good luck! You’re doing great. And as always, you look adorable!

  2. I’m really sorry you’re struggling. I mentioned to another blogger earlier that I feel like I am too, although I think mine is more related to being completely exhausted and realizing that I just can’t do what I could before AND a significant decrease in daylight hours that I so desperately need. And hormones, they sure don’t help do they.

    I do want to thank you for mentioning consignment stores-I hadn’t even thought about this in regards to maternity wear. I bought some really cheap (like $8.00 each) summer dresses for next year when I’ll be huge, but pants are already a problem for me even though the scale doesn’t say I’ve gained any weight, so I may need to hit up a store or two in the next few weeks. Tricky expanding uterus…

  3. I’m so sorry you’re feeling so down right now. Hormones are serious business. They mess with our heads like nothing else. I really hope they cut you some slack soon. Having problems with your best friend certainly isn’t going to help anything, so I hope she sees the light and steps up a bit. In the meantime, at least you know you have squishy bulldog cuddles waiting for you at home every day. Puppy cuddles just can’t be beat when you’re feeling down (and beat.) Also–you really are looking fantastic! It’s so exciting that you can feel Seafoam.

  4. A few things. 1) that dog is great. 2) I got maternity leggings online at a pea in a pod- a bit pricey for my liking but I loved them. 3) when I was right around where you are in my pregnancy I got super depressed for three weeks to a month. Like more depressed than I’ve ever been which is saying a lot. It went away and I was fine after that. I also worried about ppd and have not had any problems. Not saying that’s how things will roll for you but just that how you feel now isn’t going to dictate how you’ll feel in coming months. Hang in there, friend.

    • This is SO comforting to hear! I think I have this idea that if I experience one “symptom” is will last the whole time (whether that’s nasal stuffiness or depression) and just knowing that that isn’t de facto the case really feels liberating.
      Thank you for sharing this! ❤

  5. Sorry about all this. Though I’m sure nothing like pregnancy hormones, mine fluctuate like mad during PMS. It’s completely surreal to be behaving one way when rationally you believe you should be feeling another way. Like an out of body experience.

    Just remember to be kind to yourself!

  6. Hi lovely,
    Just a quick hello… Your description of how anxiety makes you DO, but this particular brand of sadness just feels ‘small, quiet and hard’ resonated very strongly with my own experience of pregnancy and (so far) motherhood. And yet, it hasn’t made that tip into PPD (a possibility that also terrified me). And it doesn’t occupy front and centre at times when I need or want to be thinking about something else (although pregnancy/baby brain is pretty ever present). And, with the help of my own wonderful counsellor, often this feeling is what prompts me to slow down and listen to what I need, my body needs and my baby needs and to attend to those needs with a quietness and gentleness that anxiety-as-norm has never allowed me to accomplish before. I’ve come to think that, for me, this feeling is a funny kind of blessing, a mark and reminder of the hugeness of the change to your life and emotions that carrying, giving birth to and loving a baby entails.
    Wishing you all the loving kindness you could need while you feel your way through this time!

  7. I’m sorry to hear about Hero, but I’m super glad you are taking good care of yourself. Since I have a long history with depression, I’ve been having trouble figuring out if I have a touch of that, am just tired, or am just sad. I am sorry that you are experiencing this and I am glad you have a plan. I hope it works well and quickly. Just know that you’re not alone! ❤ Happy birthday to La!

  8. Tights- Old navy leggings and surprisingly Burlington Coat Factory Leggings. Love them both. I live in them.

    Weird emotions- I don’t know what’s normal and what’s not, I only know what I have experienced. I normally deal with quite a bit of depression and anxiety which when not pregnant I treat with high doses of vitamins as I get super funky on depressants and anti-anxiety meds. When I was about 20 weeks I had a big long conversation with Cade about how amazing pregnancy had been for my mood. No anxiety attacks, zero depression. I felt better than I have in years and the exact opposite of what I expected to happen during pregnancy. Then all of a sudden about 3 or 4 weeks ago out of nowhere I was hit with crippling depression and anxiety. Having dealt with it for years I usually know to find what my triggers are, talk through them with Cade and find a way to get some resolution to move past. This has not been the case this time. Like you I am able to find sort of small reasons why I *might* be feeling upset but talking through them brings me no resolution and it constantly feels like something much bigger is bugging me, though exactly what that is remains elusive. I’m not sure what I’m trying to say other than I kind of know somewhat what you mean!

  9. That sounds so difficult with your friend. It hurts to know your bestie is in pain, but the destructiveness on top of it is a really challenging element. I’ve always felt like creating space is necessary for me. I’m also an introvert and there is only so much I can handle– I can’t do much phone time either. But I think there is something to being a support yet detaching a bit when you just can’t bear witness to the unhealthiness. After a while you feel like a broken record– and what good is it doing? You gotta take care of you and Seafoam.

  10. Remember, we feel so much more in pregnancy. The sads will feel sadder, so you need to balance them with more happy things. Look for them. Do a gratitude list. Don’t let the sadness dominate.

    • As for pants, there are various tricks. Using a hair tie in the button works many times. Especially if you add a belly band. Now that I’m using a maternity belt that helps even more. Another option is a tweak on the belly band, with a button. I ordered mine and would like them better if I ordered one size down, but it’s still handy. You can get them cheap using this: http://athriftymom.com/free-belly-button-maternity-band-from-bellybuttonband-com-just-pay-shipping/

      Maternity clothes are crazy expensive, so extending how long you use your current clothes helps a lot. Good luck.

      • Unfortunately, I’m 100% unable to make my regular pants work these days! I’ve gotten good maternity pants (thanks, mom! thanks consignment maternity store!) but it’s the tights/leggings I need to make my porofessional work outfits manageable in the winter (many of my dresses will accomodate me for a long time, but I do need tights and they are uncomfortable at the moment) so I will take whatever recommendations I can on those!

      • I haven’t looked for pants, but I’ve had decent luck on ebay actually. I feel ok gambling on them because I find stuff so cheap. Also, don’t forget about craigs list. 🙂

      • right! also I just looked at the button belly thing – it looks amazing! do you like it? is it worth paying the $20 for shipping to get it “free”?

      • I think so, assuming you get the right size. Mine are a bit big, but what I do is use them to wrap around my maternity band, since that needs something around it anyway. And you do get two of them for the shipping, which is cheaper than a bella band. Though, bella band is more compressive.

      • I lose track of who lives where. I believe you would really find benefit in having your bars run. It’s a healing modality which is of no risk to seafoam but often offers immense benefit. Here’s a little video so I can get ready fof work. Lol http://www.accessconsciousness.com/faq.asp#6
        I’m able to head to you next weekend once our friend flies back home. Unless you happened to be in the denver area before then. 🙂
        This tool changes so much more than I can describe but that’s why I love it.

  11. I experienced a lot of anxiety and sadness before baby was here and then it was a little more intensified after Punky was here – but I think a little bit is normal. You should talk to your midwife though and make sure she is aware. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be too concerned. Hope you get to feeling better – I’m sure the stuff with Hero doesn’t really help your own issues with sadness; sorry you have had to deal with that too!

  12. On mat tights – I will find what kinds I got that were awesome and follow up. There is one amazing legging/tight that I lived in.

    More critically, I wanted to say something about the sad and PPD fear. On the latter – the most dangerous part is not knowing you have it and it therefore going untreated. You are on top of the anxiety/depression now and trying to see someone. Set up those supports for post partum in the coming weeks even if you feel better. You will not regret it. On the right-now sad: I am so glad you have sought help from your couples counsellor. Tools are good. If they don’t work and you have to leave the midwife, it will be okay. The most important person to keep safe and functional in this equation is *you*. Before seafoam makes his appearance and after. You are his tree of life. That doesn’t mean you have to be strong or together all the time. Seasons and leaves come and go and storms break off branches but your roots go deep. Nurture them and hang in there, love. I know you can do this. And I’m sorry it’s so hard right now (and may be again or later).

  13. I worry about Callie getting PPD…for about 2 years before her pregnancy, she was really depressed (more work related than anything) and it was never treated..i finally convinced her to go to a therapist, and as soon as she agrees, we find out we’re pregnant…PPD is a real thing to be fearful about, but pregnancy makes you feel things with 10x’s the intensity. I don’t think i’ve ever seen Cals cry so much from sadness AND from joy, all in the same day in these past 6 months…i hope that you are finding lots of little joys because those are so important too…and that bump looks GREAT! Look at you , all cute and stuff!

  14. It’s really helpful to read about the brain and feeling emotional, I didn’t know why people can’t think straight during pregnancy! And your story about finding your job title is funny, although I’m sure it wasn’t funny at the time. I am sorry for what Hero is going through and hope she comes back soon. Love your dog.

  15. Pregnancy does so much to you emotionally. If you’re quite an emotional person anyway, not that I’m saying you are, it’s bound to make it worse. I cry at anything these days and I’ve been told I’m usually made if stone!

    Also, I totally believe pregnancy brain exists. I just assumed you had so much to remember what with appointments and stuff to buy that you just forgot stuff, but no. I put the frigging kettle in the fridge the other day. The kettle. In the fridge. Yeah. I know.

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