The nine month cloud has been in my life before, blown away as suddenly as it arrived by the rush of love that filled it's place when my boy finally arrived. At the time, I had no idea that it was a cloud, really, just nerves about becoming a mum and concern, because until that baby arrived safely I could never truly be excited.
This time though, the familiarity of how I feel has come has quite a shock. I know I can cope with being a mother and know that I can have a healthy child, so feeling that cloud descend has taken me aback.
The urge to retreat is strong, to avoid those that make me feel worse. Things that would normally pass me by, as only slightly annoying, linger and fester in my mind, making the cloud blacker and more stormy. Unfortunately my wider family are pretty high on that list, but I have other people in my life that I can be honest with and that will lift me and I've become lax at contacting them too. Finding it harder to take that deep breath and paste a smile on.
I did confide in a friend last week, one of those friends that loves you however you are and who you can say the things that are not considered suitable for polite company. She admitted that one of the things that put her off having a third child was that she had really disliked being pregnant.
She also agreed that it is a hard thing to admit and is usually met with clichés about how fantastic a baby is and how there are many people who would love to be in the same position. In fact she felt that it was more acceptable to express a preference as to which sex you are carrying than admit that being pregnant makes you miserable.
Of course, all of those clichés, that set my teeth on edge, are true. I irritate myself for being so self-indulgent, when I know that this is something I want, that has been planned and is surrounded by love, but denying how I feel is not helping at all.
My mood is so similar to last time that I began to wonder if there is such a thing as Antenatal Depression and it turns out there is. Knowing that I am not the only person to feel this way is a huge relief, but that relief is joined by feelings that I'm just being ridiculous and blowing everything out of proportion.
I guess, as with any form of depression there are differing levels and whilst I don't feel I need professional help, I know that I don't feel myself, I am a few degrees away from the me that I know is still here somewhere.
Mainly I am glad to discover there is an actual 'thing'. It comforts me to know that I'm not imagining it, that it is OK and will no doubt pass, blown away by the change that is coming.
Until then, I know things that help. This helps, writing it, even though it has taken three attempts. My on-line people help, they somehow manage to get through the irritation filter and it is often easier to be honest here. I need to resist the urge to retreat, but on the other hand make sure I retreat a little from those that make things more difficult and not feel guilty for this.
I have to accept this is how I feel. It doesn't make me a bad person, it doesn't make me a bad mother and doesn't mean that I don't love and want the child I am carrying. It doesn't mean that I don't know how lucky I am or that this is not a easy place to get to. It is simply how I feel, a cloud I have to pass through, despite all the turbulence it may hold.
Giving in to feelings can often be a good thing. If we open ourselves and accept what we feel, then we can let these things wash through us and slip away and that is what I have started to do today.