A woman with a worried expression looks at a floating positive pregnancy test above her head

Early-Pregnancy Depression

It was 5:00 a.m. on "test day" – 8 days after my frozen embryo transfer, and I was alone in my bathroom, holding my breath as I waited for my pregnancy test to register "pregnant" or "not pregnant." If you've ever been in this place before (and if you're reading this, I'm guessing you have been), you know that those are the literal longest 3 minutes of your entire life.

On September 29, 2018, I found myself with 2 positive pregnancy tests – the first of my life – and for the first time, I was pregnant. I woke up my sleeping husband who embraced me like never before, and in that moment, we felt like all our dreams were to come true.

Except for one thing – I was still struggling with my depression.

Early pregnancy

Fairly shortly after finding out I was with child, I began to worry about something happening to my baby girl. This was a genetically tested embryo, so we knew that it had a good chance of being "healthy," and we knew that it was a girl. But I also knew there were so many things to worry about in early pregnancy.

Like, the time I started spotting. I was terrified I was going to lose her. After an emergency ultrasound, it turned out to be a subchorionic hematoma, something common in pregnancy and even more common in IVF pregnancy, but terrifying nonetheless. Everyday that I bled, I worried that was going to be the end of our bliss.

Depression and fear during those early days

I found my mood going up and down. Being grateful (so grateful) that I was carrying (as far as we knew) a healthy child. That besides vomiting daily, my body was handling the pregnancy as well as possible. And that at every appointment, our daughter's measurements and heartbeat were exactly as they should be.

Then, there was the depression side. The terror that the next appointment was going to be the one where were found out something was wrong. Where the other shoe dropped. Where she had no heartbeat.

Constant worry

There were days that I stayed in bed because I just couldn't face the world, and I felt like the safest place for baby girl and I was under the covers, tucked in and away from any potential harm – like a misstep that turned into a fall, or an accidental hit to my abdomen.

Who knew what could happen? I didn't know, thats for sure, but I knew I could worry about it.

The 20-week scan

At 20 weeks gestation, approximately halfway through a traditional 40-week pregnancy, moms go in for an anatomy scan. This scan is more in-depth than any of the previous scans, and it looks at all of the limbs, organs, and bloodflow of the baby. At my appointment, they kept saying, well, what we can see looks good, but she keeps moving around and we can't get the views of her heart that we need.

That was it. It wasn't even bad news and my heart sunk to my toes. I felt defeated. I felt my depression rising. I felt the need to hide from the world.

I was a wreck

It took 3 more visits for my squirmy child to get all of the views they needed, and it turned out everything looked as it should. But boy, between visits I was a wreck.

Ever feel like that? Like there's nothing specific to be upset about, but you're upset nonetheless? Welcome to depression, especially during early pregnancy.

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