Depression in pregnancy

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didot
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 11/19/2010 8:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi. I don't usually post anonymously to forums like this when I have a problem, but I feel stuck and really could do with some outside perspective.

First of all, I want to clarify that this is not the first time I've felt like I've had depression. The first time I had depression was some years ago when I left school due to bullying, and I was left for around two years with nothing to do, until I was old enough to join college. I managed to beat off the depression without medication by practising meditation, gaining some spiritual insight and purpose. I wasted most of my days playing video games, just procrastinating, feeling bad, until I learnt to stop myself, and started to learn to love myself and accept why things happen. I have a very obsessive brain, in that I can overthink things wildly which I think is mostly due to my vivid imagination and lack of rationality. This obsessiveness varies, and I manage to keep it undercontrol by not struggling. Anyway, after my time alone in the house, I overcame my mild agoraphobia, and studied art at college for 3 years (Which was not easy as I had anxiety for the first year). I did very well at college, getting top marks for everything, and I enjoyed myself. I felt like I had a purpose in my life, and depression was far from my mind.

I will get round to pregnancy in a bit, but i think the back story is important. In my second year of college, I met a guy who was significally older than me on the internet. He had suffered with depression too, so he understood somewhat how I felt. I started seeing him for a few weeks, but I never slept with him. I was a virgin at the time. He was married, and had children, so eventually my senses came to me and I realised that I did not love this man, I was just glad for some male attention. I realised how selfish I was by stringing him along, so I stopped seeing him. Not long after, I made a pen pal online with a man who was around my age and he happened to be spanish, studying london. We had a lot in common in that we shared the same spiritual views, and just seemed to 'click'. Eventually we met, and developed a relationship. And, eventually, he had to go back to Spain. I spent the 3rd year of college going to visit him in Spain, and he coming to england to visit me. It was difficult as we hardly got to see each other, only on conversations on skype every day.

At the end of my third year, I had to decide whether I wanted to go to university or not. I was in two minds. I wanted to, but at the same time, I did not want to. There was one university which I really wanted to get into as it was one of the best in the country for what I wanted to do (Illustration). However, the problem was, was that it was 6-7 hours away from any major airport being isolated and literally near 'lands end'. I didn't get into the university, so I had nothing to worry, right?

I went to Spain, naturally, to be with my boyfriend. He had a flat there, that we could both live in. Some weeks after being in Spain, I received an email saying that some places had opened up in the university, and they had given me a place. My family and everyone wanted me to go. But I was not sure. I was sure that it would be the end of me and my boyfriend, that we would split up if only to make it easier for ourselves . I estimated if I went there to study, I'd only get to see him once or twice a year, mainly as well for the monetary costs. And also, I was not convinced I wanted to study. I started to feel the urges to become a mother, and these urges got stronger every month that my period came, so much so that I became a bit obsessed, and would cry every time my period came.

Me and my boyfriend talked about starting a family. He did not want to at first, as he was scared about making the wrong choice, and me regretting not going to uni. However, eventually he agreed as he saw how much I wanted to be a mother. I fell pregnant not long after.
I expected that I would feel elated, overjoyed and all those lovely feelings. However, I did not. I felt normal most days. And some weeks after falling pregnant, my boyfriend got offered a good job in the capital city. Naturally, he took the job.

Now, here starts the depression. My boyfriend getting the job meant a lot of things. It means that I am alone in the house from 7 am to 7.30 pm most days, with no outside contact apart from talking to my boyfriend by phone, or my family in england. It means that again, I am stuck in the house, except that this time it is worse. I don't speak very good spanish, as I was never taught it in school and have only learnt some from my boyfriend. Since I dont have much confidence, I can't communicate with anyone, and thus the fear of going outside is increased (I don't even communicate with my boyfriends family, only his nephew when his nephew is alone, as he's only 4 years old and I'm not afraid of making mistakes in front of him). I don't go outside in the day as I feel so scared to talk to anyone in spanish, and I feel crippled that I can't even do simple things like buy food from the supermarket. I've also almost completely lost the desire to create art, even though I want to continue with my dream of becoming an illustrator. Depression was bad when I was young, and alone, but now it's even worse and dreadful considering i'm pregnant and supposed to be nurturing a life. I feel so bad for life inside me, that he has to go through this too and I doubt my ability to be a mother when I can't even leave my house or speak the language of the country that I live in. I wouldn't change my decision to be a mother, as it felt right for me and still does feel right for me, however, I wish that this could be the most enjoyable experiences of my life, not one of the hardest. I don't know how to get past the barriers that I have, as most days I lack the motivation to do anything but the necessary to survive (cook, clean..) and even then, I find that hard and wake up late most days. I just feel really sorry for this baby, even though I love it with my whole heart, I can't help but thinking that someone out there desperately wanting to have children would be a much better mother than me.

Lululiya
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 104
   Posted 11/19/2010 9:11 AM (GMT -6)   
Oh, wow. Hun, I'm sorry for your pain. You've been through a lot! Choosing to move to another country, especially one with another language you aren't familiar with, takes a lot of bravery but it can be very distressing. Have you ever thought of buying some of those "Spanish for beginners" DVDs or workbooks? I know it might sound lame and unhelpful, but just getting the very basics of the language will help you. It really will! If you learn basic words, for the supermarket for example, if you need help finding eggs you can look up the word before hand and you'll have something to go on. Don't worry about making mistakes and looking silly; They'll be able to tell that it isn't your native language, but they'll still be able to help you. If you keep at it, eventually you'll pick up more and more words. Your grammar won't be perfect, but everything comes with practice! I know it sounds like a longshot but please do give it a try!

Have you tried just going out during the day for a walk? Getting out of the house and getting some fresh air might do you wonders. But then, you are pregnant so that may be difficult after all.. But on a day that you feel up to it, you might find that it lifts your spirits a bit just to go out and do some window shopping :)

As for being a good mother.. It's very apparent that you care very much for your child! You're depressed now because everything seems so mixed up, but once things start to fall together you'll settle in :) I think your baby will be lucky, knowing that his parents love each other so much that they moved to another country for each other. Plus, growing up there he'll be able to pick up the language right away, and if you start working at it, by the time he's talking you'll ever have a good grasp on Spanish!

I really hope everything works out for you. You've had the guts to take a big leap. It'll be a lot of work, but in the end you'll find it very rewarding! Take care, stay optimistic!
“The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are the things you get ashamed of because words diminish your feelings - words shrink things that seem timeless when they are in your head to no more than living size when they are brought out.”

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 42612
   Posted 11/19/2010 9:31 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Didot,

I agree with the above post. Learn the language. You will be much happier when you can get out and talk to people. Plus some of them must speak english. I am sure that going out and doing little things will bring you into contact with other people and things wont seem so bad. Go for it.

Welcome to the forum. I am so glad that you have posted. I am sure that you will get a lot of advice as everybody here is so kind and compassionate.
Take care,

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies

didot
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 11/19/2010 10:02 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you both for your replies. They are both really helpful to me, it really touches me just knowing people care and take the time to reply me. Your posts helped me release some grief I held inside, and I'm grateful for that. about the language, I understand a basic level of spanish and have done some basic online courses. I tried to learn as much as I could before I came to Spain, however, it wasn't enough to hold an adult conversation. The problem is, is that I have a big fear of speaking the language. I even had fear speaking any spanish to my boyfriend and only recently have I been able to. I have spoken basic words to people in the past like 'please, thank you, yes, hello, etc' , but beyond that I find it very difficult. Even when opportunities for conversations arise, I find myself unable to talk, like my mind goes blank and I can't find the words. That's made me very fearful to go outside.

stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 11/19/2010 11:14 AM (GMT -6)   
 
Hello and welcome to HealingWell.  First of all congratulations on your pregnancy.  I think we all become a bit frightened with our first pregnancy as it is the fear of the unknown, and all those doubting thoughts that pop into our head.  The "what ifs?" Believe that once your baby gets here you will find that nature helps out and you will be a great Mom. 
 
Try not to regret any of your choices re schools etc. as they are history now and stay in the moment. I think learning how to speak Spanish is a great goal.  Is there a class at a school that you could sign up for? The class would get you out of the house as well as give you a purpose and a goal.  Don't put any tight restrictions on yourself and remember you don't have to be the perfect student, just take it one step at a time.
 
I would also recommend you get out everyday and even if it is just to take a walk  be out in the sunshine as  it should help lift your spirits. 
 
I have depression and was, at one time, afraid to go out in public or to take a walk as I did not want to break down in tears in front of anyone.  My therapist told me to just wear sunglasses and go for it.  On bad days I still wear sunglasses even on a cloudy day.  More then once I broke down in tears when out but to be honest nobody noticed or cared. 
 
I wish you the best and keep on talking with us.  We care.
 
Kindly,
Kitt

~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.
www.healingwell.com

"If you can't change the world, change your world"

didot
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2010
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 11/19/2010 2:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the welcome and the congratulations. I do feel welcomed, everyone here is very nice and compassionate. It's sad that it has to be this way, but I think bad/difficult experiences teach us to become more aware of other peoples suffering and more compassionate. I wish no one had to suffer, but I'm an idealist.

I worry because I want the best for the baby, and when I'm low, I don't feel like the best that the baby could have. I know a lot of women feel that and that it's normal, but I wish I didn't have to be low in the first place.

You're right about not regretting. I don't regret it so much, I just look back and see that that was the easy choice, and I chose the hard choice, as always. I'm always following my heart and my feelings, and never the rational path.

The problem is is that me and my boyfriend live between two houses. One that we own far away from Madrid, and one we rent closer to Madrid. The town far away nobody speaks english, and most of the immigrants/foreigners there are from Morocco and Romania. There are not many people who speak english there, it's a small and very traditional Spanish town. They do a free course for immigrants there, but I feel sure that there is not going to be any english speakers there, so I feel too scared to try that, and we only go to this town some weekends, so I'm not there in the weekdays. We've only just moved to this new house in a town north of Madrid. I'm not sure if there are any english speakers, but I doubt it. There are other immigrants here but they are not english. Me and my boyfriend chose to live here and not to live in the capital because we just dont like big cities even though there were more english speakers (still far and few between). I have looked at courses in the capital and they are way too expensive, and I'm not sure if there are any free courses nearby as we've only just moved here. You gave me an idea and I will look for some though. For now I'm trying to improve by talking to my boyfriend. Because I've been in some negative events associated with not knowing spanish and my boyfriends family, it's made me less motivated to learn spanish and put a negative factor on it, making me fear it and not want to learn it so much. My boyfriends family haven't been very forgiving to the fact that I dont speak their language, and they don't understand what its like to leave a country and join one where you dont know the language, tripled with the factor that none of them understand depression and depression is a taboo here in spain, like many things. For instance, in the uk you can get a midwife to come to your house for free and assist you in giving birth, here in Spain you have to fork out 1800 euros or more !!!!!!!! I wont get into that! That's another topic entirely.

As for going out for a walk everyday, I am working up to doing that gradually. I am taking small steps. Today I had a bad day so I didn't progress. For instance, I go for a walk with my boyfriend when he comes home so I can get to know the area a bit, as I'm afraid of going alone and getting lost. Only problem is that he only comes back when its dark so you lose the pleasure of walking. I was going to gradually immerse myself rather than force myself, as I know i'd feel uncomfortable. I even feel uncomfortable just collecting the mail alone, so I don't think I'd be so comfortable to go for a walk alone yet. As I mentioned in my first post, I suffered with mild agoraphobia in the past so I had work past that whilst I was in the uk, and still had to work past some fears everytime I went for a walk. So its 100 times worse being in a foreign country, not knowing the area, etc.

Thanks a lot for all your posts, I really appreciate it

(Hah, I just realised that my username is the name of a font (typeface). I studied graphic design in college so I wonder if thats subconscious hah)
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