#12: “But Honestly, How Are You Feeling?”

“Winter Fear” by Kay Ryan

Is it just Winter

or is this worse.

Is this the year

when outer damp

obscures a deeper curse

that spring can’t fix,

when gears that

turn the earth

won’t shift the view

when clouds won’t lift

though all the skies

go blue.

annie and ari

There is an expectation with pregnancy that growing a life leads to glowing. The question, “How are you feeling?” is supposed to elicit maybe some talk about morning sickness, followed quickly by, “But we’re so excited.” The words “prenatal depression” are rarely heard, even in the rare case they are acknowledged by the expectant mom.

Because if you don’t feel excited, well, then who are you?

You’re could be one of the many, many women whose pregnancy experience—whose symptoms—include antenatal or prenatal depression, post-partum depression’s lesser known sister. It can be incredibly isolating to feel so sad at a time when you are expected to feel joy, to feel like the bleak midwinter has descended when everyone else is basking in sunny spring. It can feel like there is no space, no place for you and for your feelings.

So when someone asks, “But honestly, how are you feeling?” be open to sharing, and hearing, an honest answer.

In this episode we talk to a woman who, though excited about becoming a mom and enduring a difficult road to a healthy pregnancy, nonetheless found herself feeling that maybe every decision she had made to get this point was the wrong one. She walks us through her experience realizing that what she was feeling was serious, how she decided to get help, and how she—and Valerie—realized that maybe the best thing to do in this kind of situation is to tell people the truth when they ask how you are feeling.

You may find yourself in good company.