Chapter Share: Chapter Thirteen ~ Pregnancy Number Three: The Second Trimester

While the following chapter of A Dozen Invisible Pieces and Other Confessions of Motherhood is still difficult for me to re-read to this day, I still appreciate it for its frankness–something I had to do at the time, while writing this book, as a measure of catharsis–and ultimately,  a motivating factor in my willingness to go forward and share my story with friends, strangers, my Lamaze class students, and anyone else who might benefit from my experience with pregnancy related depression…

Chapter 13 – Pregnancy Number Three: The Second Trimester

As the end of my first trimester came and went, nausea and fatigue persisted.  My hopes for the burst of energy that so many books predict for the second trimester were bludgeoned, but this time I was not exactly surprised, as I had missed out on this mid-pregnancy bliss while pregnant with Landon as well.  At twenty-two weeks, my nausea finally began to subside, only to be quickly followed by a recurrence of the sometimes debilitating pelvic pain that had plagued my second pregnancy.

I re-visited the physical therapist with whom I had worked less than two years prior and began the same set of “pelvis stabilizing” exercises that I had been somewhat diligent about performing when I was last knocked up. (Don’t you just hate that term?  Me too, but I couldn’t resist it here.)

I hoped that by being a good and responsible patient, I could get a jump start on an exercise routine that included therapeutic movements with names like “tail wags”, “supermans” and “hip hikes”, and stave off the worst of the pain that had been a source of great frustration and discomfort in my not-so-distant past.  I hooked up with a trainer at the local gym who added exercises such as “wall angels” to my regimen, and I was hopeful that the remainder of this pregnancy would pass uneventfully.

But shortly after resuming the physical therapy program, I was blindsided by a  mid-pregnancy bout of prenatal depression and I became unable to properly look after Ellie and Landon.  I stopped eating and drinking and gradually, day by day, slipped further into an emotional catatonia.

Although the majority of this period of my pregnancy quickly became a blur; memorialized in my mind are snapshots of crying spells, emotional and physical despondency while my children milled around me, casting anxious sideways glances in my direction, and an overwhelming sense of hopelessness that I could handle the challenge I was soon to face in simultaneously mothering three young children….

to read the rest of the chapter visit:



Filed under Depression and Other Pregnancy Complications, Writing and Publishing

8 responses to “Chapter Share: Chapter Thirteen ~ Pregnancy Number Three: The Second Trimester

  1. Amy Atkinson

    I found your blog through the UPS Arches magazine. This chapter is so similiar to what I went through two and a half years ago with my third and fourth. What a difficult time. It is so strange to be outwardly happy about the pregnany, and paralyzed with fear at the same time. It was so hard to imagine having four children in four years. Now I look at my twins and could’t imagine life with out them.Thanks for writing this, I am going to get your book.

  2. Amy,

    While initially, writing this book was about catharsis and healing for myself–just the simple process of putting the words down on the page and getting all those thoughts and feelings out into the open–the process of healing has, for me, taken on a whole new form.

    As I have had the opportunity to connect with more and more women such as yourself, in the responses I have received about this book, the healing for me has gone on to be something greater than I ever could have expected. Since releasing A Dozen Invisible Pieces, I have discovered that I was so much less alone in the difficult time described in this chapter, than I had considered myself to be. Knowing that there are other women out there who have experienced difficult pregnancies such as myself (and who have gone on, like yourself, and me too, to thrive in the love for our children) has lifted me to a whole new realm.

    Now, my hope is that this book will provide that inspiration and common ground for other women who are now, or have yet to experience sorrow, fear, pain, or self-doubt in the midst of their pregnancies. To know it is acceptable to admit to these difficulties without the threat of public humiliation, ostrication, or judement, is healing in and of itself. If nothing else, I hope my book sends that message loud and clear to those who happen upon it.

    Thanks for your comments, and for sharing a bit of your story, Amy.

    ~ Kimmelin

  3. Cheryl Peterson

    I had a similar experience and it was horrible. My depression continued off and on for months after the baby was born. It almost led to divorce as I had no interest in family, sex or talking.

  4. Amy Atkinson

    Since I had my 2nd child, I have tried to be an honest mom, to not sugar coat things. As moms, we often strive to appear perfect. This can cause so many insecurities, and self doubt. By being the first one in a relationship to be honest, I think it allows others to be more truthful as well. When you see that there are other people out there who don’t enjoy cleaning poop out of the shower, or who are tired of explaining over and over again that sanitary pads are not really appropriate craft supplies, you can laugh at the tough times. and when the really bad times come, you feel safe to reach out to people. I really need to know that there are other wonderful, loving moms out there who don’t need to pretend that everything is perfect all the time.


  5. Amy,

    Your thoughts are so well delivered…and no, you absolutely are NOT alone in the tough times of motherhood!

    Cleaning poop out of the shower…it reminds me of when we had to have our then two-year-old son undergo a colonoscopy for his chronic diarrhea. He had to go through the same bowel prep adults who are having a colonoscopy go through. However, he was not yet potty trained.

    Within an hour of giving him the horrific drink, his diarrhea (worse, of course, than normal) began…every few minutes…and would last for hours. I had him in and out of the shower all afternoon. That was truly, one of the more miserable days of my life! (But, God, is he a cute kid and, thankfully, nearly diarrhea-free two years later!)

    I have rarely seen perseverance like the kind demonstrated by mothers on a daily basis.

  6. Amy Atkinson

    Ahh, yes sounds like the barium enema my little 22 month old had last month to fix her telescoped intestine . So horrible, but I kept telling myself, “she’s going to get better, and thank god it’s not contagious!” Never boring!

  7. Pingback: Depression During Pregnancy « Writing My Way Through Motherhood and Beyond

  8. I’ve only had one really rude comment. I was eating at work and some guy (whose wife was also pregnant) said “you should be eating healthy food when you’re pregnant”. I was eating fish stir fry, no fat anywhere to be seen. Plus it was totally none of his business even if I had been eating a Big Mac. I guess he was just stupid as well as rude.

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