Pregnancy and Mental Health
Growing up, I always dreamed of becoming a mom. My only lapse in the idea of being a parent happened a few years ago when I was single, and wanted to travel for a living. That quickly changed when I entered a comitted relationship, and realized I wanted to settle down and start a family.
While marriage still isn't in the works for my boyfriend and I at the moment, we are having our first child in July. Our first, and if the cosmos see fit, only. This pregnancy wasn't planned, but I was still beyond happy when I found out we were expecting because for a while, we didn't think it was possible for me. Now that I know we can conceive, I'm making the conscientious choice not to do it again.
I already love our son more than anything in the world, and he's not even here yet. However, the toll that the hormones have taken on my mental health is enough to make me not want to be pregnant ever again. As women, we hear tons of stories about pregnancy hormones, mood swings, etc., but the truth is, none of that can be accurately described until you go through it yourself because every woman and every body is different.
I've always battled with anxiety and depression, but being pregnant is the first time in seven years that I I've felt like literally giving up on life. Some days are better than others, but everyday is a struggle between putting on a happy face and living, or giving up and not. I found myself lying I bed feeling purposeless, and I couldn't bring myself to put pen to paper because every ounce of inspiration was gone.
Even my relationship has been suffering. For the first time in the two years we've been together, I have questioned our ability to stay together. I've told him to leave, we slept in separate bedrooms, and even straddled the line of a break-up. Which, in hindsight, I guess is why people suggest waiting until marriage to start a family. Babies are a huge financial responsibility, and adding those stresses into a mix of ever-changing hormones is a recipe for disaster if you do not have your mental health in check.
I'm choosing myself first when I say I'd rather hold on to my sanity than have another baby. Pregnancy is not easy. It's a long, annoyingly painful process. All of which I can handle. But when my mental health, and the sanity of my relationship become jeopardized, I have to take a step back and really think of what's more important. I choose me.