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Long Story Short: I need help with all this. (Elisabeth)

February 21, 2012

Age: 19
Pregnancies: 1
Births: Due February 17th 2012

OK, this is a long one, my apologies.

I first found out I was pregnant at the beginning of summer, I was 18 at the time. It was a complete shock and I was unbelievably scared. I felt like this wasn’t supposed to happen to me: I’m the youngest of four, had a terrible relationship with my Mom, had far too many self esteem and body issues, depression haunted me (still does). Felt like I could never tell my parents or family and I was incredibly selfish thinking “Why me?”

I told the guy I was seeing right away, he was just as shocked as I was. But he urged me to keep it. I was very undecided at the time, I mean who was I kidding? I only have my high school diploma, have no idea what I want to do with my life, barely have 3K saved up, was fighting with my Mom too much, had only been seeing this guy for 6 or so months, the list goes on and on.

I hate the idea of depending on others for things, I was raised differently. Gotta earn what you want kind of mentality, but my parents have done and are doing so so much for me, of which I am so grateful for. Anyways, I knew I would have to depend on, my now boyfriend, and/or my parents.
For some reason that petrified me.

When I first told my boyfriend that I was pregnant he was away for work (his job takes him away for 2 weeks or so at a time) he wanted to know if I was OK and what I was going to do. I didn’t have an answer for him for weeks even when he went with me to the Doctor’s to make sure and everything. He has honestly been amazing from day one, I am extremely fortunate.

He urged me to keep the baby even though I told him multiple times “I can’t do this”. He told me that if I thought I couldn’t do it that he would take the baby and raise it, just please let him know. I knew I had to but my mind was all over the place for so long.
I had thought to myself that the best solution would be to abort the baby- it was just way too much for me. I never thought I would be a Mom, nor did I want to be one to be completely honest. It really hurt my boyfriend when I told him this. I said I was going to call the clinics so I did and it made me feel 1000x’s worse. The websites said how understanding they were and how well cared for I would be, how compassionate they were, etc. Not the case- they were incredibly rude and made me feel like complete crap. I was even hung up on when I was asking questions. When I told my boyfriend about this-it enraged him. He thought it was completely ridiculous.

I’ve always been against abortion. When my Mom was pregnant with me Doctors told her that I was going to be mentally and physically disabled so she should just abort me. When I learned that I could only think of what was going through my Mom’s head- she is such a strong woman. I had also known how they perform abortions and the different types so when I started to think that that was the only option I was disgusted with myself. How selfish could I be?
And the fact that I have such a supportive boyfriend and family. That’s when I decided that I would keep it.

I managed to get through telling my family and all and same with his. I worked on my relationship with my parents and still am.
There have been multiple stresses in my life since then: work putting me on sick leave (only to go back 2 months later for 1 month), shady people in my life, people trying to break up my boyfriend and I, dealing with friends who have depression, my family having extreme health issues, etc. But it wasn’t anything that none of us couldn’t get through. I mean, there are so many more people with much, much worse situations. I have no room to complain.

My boyfriend bought a house and we moved in together, I felt like a complete mooch. This isn’t how I pictured any of this; I’m suppose to be independent not have to rely on him for so much. I help out as much as I can. But I feel like it isn’t enough.

And now that I am 36 weeks I am seeing more weight on the rest of my body and can see a few stretch marks starting to peek through. I hate it. Why is this happening again? I have always struggled with my weight and appearance. Having three older, skinnier sisters never helped. I constantly compared myself to them, still do.
When I hit puberty my legs were stretchmark city as well as a few on my sides and boobs. I would work out a lot and try to eat well. It would work sometimes and I would feel better for a little bit but then I would see skinnier people and hate myself and eat to feel better. Vicious cylce I am still going through.
I know that I should be happy with my body and proud that I am able to grow such a miracle in me. But I hate me.

Kick in the depression. I feel horrible about myself- like I’m not good enough for my boyfriend, like I am going to let down my baby and him and our families. I hate my body, I feel like no one could like my body or me. I just don’t want my baby to come into this world with me thinking that way.

I could go on forever about all this. But how can I feel better about myself for my baby, boyfriend and family’s sake?
It’s hard on all of them. None of them deserve this.

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5 Responses to “Long Story Short: I need help with all this. (Elisabeth)”

  1. jackie Says:
    February 21st, 2012 at 8:38 am

    i totally understand the way your feelin hun… during pubrity i had stretch marks all over my legs mainly inner now since i had my son 9 months ago i have them on my butt some outer thighs and i really hate it!!! they are fading a bit with use of a Dermaroller..

  2. Lauren Says:
    February 21st, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Hey girl. You are being a good mom already getting through all this tough stuff. I was very depressed when I was pregnant – I didn’t even realize it until I had the baby and felt a billion times better. Definitely tell your doctor if it seems like more than you can handle. As far as relying on your boyfriend – honey you are pregnant and about to be a mom and he is being a good MAN to step up and take care of you and your baby! That is how it should be. Don’t feel bad about that, just focus on taking care of yourself and your little one. If you are a good mom that is the best thing he could ask for from you. Life is going to be very different for you from now on, but an amazing kind of different. Best wishes.

  3. Valerie Says:
    February 21st, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    You will realize soon the baby inside of you is the most important thing. Honestly, if you breast feed you’re sure to lose the weight & who cares about stretch marks if the only person who sees them is you, & your boyfriend? I know how hard it is to hate your body but honestly, things could be so much worse. Imagine having a sick baby. Try to count your blessings. Stretch marks fade but the love for your child will never fade. Your boyfriend sounds awesome & you being an awesome mom to his baby will forever be the image of you he has in his mind. Not an unattractive stretch marked girl that you think he sees. he’ll see you as a beautiful woman now, the mother of his child. God bless & please keep your head up. Most moms have been there. It is so difficult to feel ugly, and to see your body change drastically. BUT- I had a scare with my second baby who was in the hospital & I think it has given me a new outlook on the “ugly” parts of my body. They just no longer matter when I have healthy babies to love. :)

  4. axi Says:
    February 21st, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    I hear a lot of negative talk about yourself in this entry. A lot of talk about how unfair it is for everyone else, but what about you?

    This is a huge adjustment. Don’t feel ashamed of having mixed emotions or taking your time to decide what you want. Just because you are having a baby, it does not mean you are doomed to be dependent. You can go back to school, go to work, whatever you want. You have it in you to make your life your own.

    Maybe some counseling to find out why you’re so down on yourself would help.

  5. DLH Says:
    February 22nd, 2012 at 3:45 am

    Hi Elisabeth. I’ve not had children, so I can’t really talk about the pregnancy side of things, but I have had / do have depression – so hopefully can say a few things that might help.

    First of all, and I know it’s hard, try not to see your depression as ‘something you have brought on your family’. Being around someone who is depressed can be a strain, yes – but YOU did not ask for this, and you do not deserve it. If your family and boyfriend help you through your depression, it’s because they love you, and their reward will be in seeing you get better. Thank them, yes — but never feel guilty for needing their help in getting through depression.

    Also, I’m not trying to be harsh in contradicting another poster, but I think you already know that the baby inside of you is the most important thing – which is why you wrote the above post. Am I right? Try to remember that it doesn’t make you a ‘bad’ mother if you feel depressed and worry about your appearance *in spite* of the love you have for your child. Yes, things could be worse — but depression is a horrible illness and knowing intellectually that there are people in worse situations, or that you have every reason to be happy, doesn’t make one feel better – it makes them feel worse! I’ve really struggled with the guilt of having depression in spite of having the most wonderful and supportive fiance a girl could wish for. It took me a while to realise that me having depression had nothing to do with my love for him and the fact that I couldn’t fix my depression ‘for’ him didn’t mean I did not love him enough. Does that make sense? Yes, you should try to draw strength and happiness from the people you love (children, parents, partner), but love for other people won’t help you recover from depression. You have to love yourself and you have to want to get better for your own sake. You could love your child / partner with all your heart and soul and that still wouldn’t cure you, and you absolutely *shouldn’t* let it make you feel guilty, or that you don’t love them enough, that you can’t get rid of your depression ‘for’ them.

    I also think (and do correct me if I’m wrong) that the real problem for you isn’t the *actual* physical state of your body but rather how you perceive it and how it makes you feel. If you didn’t have depression, you would be able to deal a lot better with worries about stretch-marks or gaining weight. But just as depression can make people hate their personalities, it can also make people hate their bodies, and not in any rational way. I’ve struggled with really bad self-image for ages and have only recently started liking the sight of my naked body in the mirror. Most people would say I’m being ridiculous, that I look fine, but the ‘ugly’ feeling is on the inside, not the outside. I’ve found that being physically kinder to my body has helped, for example pampering myself with body lotion after having a long bath, or taking a run in the park. With exercise I think there’s also an important distinction to be made. Don’t do it hatefully (‘I’m fat so I need to exercise to get thinner’) but rather positively (‘exercise makes me feel good and makes me proud of my body’). However, depression is a very ‘holistic’ illness – it affects everything, your body image, your sense of your personality, your confidence in daily interactions, etc. So when I’m more depressed, I hate my body more. So, whilst being more gentle with your body can help, I don’t think any one problem that stems from depression can be dealt with in isolation. If you start to recover from depression as a whole, everything will improve.

    I also wanted to talk about your worries about being ‘dependent’ on other people. This is a big problem I have had with depression too. It makes sense – when you’re depressed you feel worthless, so why should anyone help you in any way? I feel guilty when people give up their time to talk to me, when I get given gifts, when my fiancé pays for a meal. But the fact of the matter is, I’m not forcing people to talk to me, maybe people give me gifts because they like me, and my fiancé pays for meals because a) he enjoys it and b) he has more money than I do. You *are* worth whatever help you are getting.

    Finally, I would really encourage you to go see a doctor and maybe find out about getting counselling. Talking through such things with someone you don’t know on a personal level can be a great help. With all the will in the world family and friends are not qualified to completely understand depression or deal with it professionally. Counselling might cost money but please, if you can afford it, get it. As I said before, you *are* worth it.

    Take care, and I really hope you see the light at the end of the tunnel. As someone who’s been in the blackest section of the tunnel, I can only say, keep going – you’ll get out eventually. I hope I’ve helped in some small way. You are not alone!

    x

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