How I managed bipolar depression while pregnant in a pandemic
I’ve struggled with bipolar depression for a while. At one point, I honestly thought I had it all under control — and then I got pregnant.
My medicine wasn’t approved for pregnancy, so I’d decided having a healthy baby is what mattered most to me. She would be my third child
I spent weeks searching for someone I could relate to, because I couldn’t be the only one experiencing this, right? Wrong. I couldn’t find anything — no guidebook, no one walking down a similar path, nothing.
Somedays, I spent my free time playing freeze dance and board games with my kids until bedtime. Other days I didn’t get out my bed at all, and that mood could sometimes last for days. Naturally, pregnancy is hard on your hormones and emotional state. One day you’re yourself, and the next you find yourself crying over commercials with puppies.
Pregnancy with bipolar depression, including manic episodes, feels different. Everyday was unpredictable. I woke up with a range of emotions. I could feel anything from being super happy to being so low that I didn’t want to be here anymore, at all.
It was hard, probably the hardest thing I’ve ever grown through.
I was absent as a mother, a partner, a friend. Honestly, I didn’t even recognize myself. Toss in the pandemic that forced me to stay away from my support system for the safety of my pregnancy and kids; things got rough.
But here I am, I made it. I’m here.
I started blogging my experience, hoping I could offer someone the support that I was once seeking.
Mental health matters. If you feel alone, know that someone out there gets it, or maybe your story is the one that gets the conversation going. Every day won’t be a good one, you’ll get mentally drained, and you may want to quit — but don’t give up. You got this. A healthy, happy mama is the best one you can give your kids.
Brianna Kilborn is a mother of three and blogger based in Marietta, Georgia.