I am concerned my mood will affect my child

By anonymous on 21/05/2010

I am now 7 weeks pregnant. Since finding out I was pregnant 3 weeks ago my emotions have ranged from utter despair and terror to moderate happiness.

On paper there is no concern - I have a really supportive boyfriend who I have been living with for the last 8 years, a large house in the countryside and (I think) a supportive employer. Although the pregnancy was unplanned my partner has wanted to have children for the past 5 years. My view has always been 'maybe at some point in the future'.

I have struggled with depression since my late teens (I am now 30) and have been on a waiting list for cognitive behavioural therapy for the last 3 years as I don't want to take anti-depressants and finally had my first session last week which felt like a bit of a let down after such a long wait. I am very concerned that my mood will affect my child - my mother had depression when I was growing up and I think this has affected me and I am just worried that the cycle will repeat again.

Since finding out I was pregnant I have been struggling to sleep and waking up throughout the night worrying about whether I will be able to be a good mother. These worries are then exacerbated further by my reading that anxiety and stress during pregnancy can do harm to the child when it is in the womb and I feel even worse.

Reading some of the other stories on here I feel that my worries are very selfish. Even without the depression issue I am not sure that I really want a child - I am worried about the effect on my body, childbirth, the lack of sleep and the level of commitment required.

Considering abortion to happily announcing my condition

Unlike my partner I am struggling to see any of the benefits - he got me to write a list of pros and cons and the only pro I could think of was decorating the nursery as I like interior design. I just can't picture any of the positives although part of me thinks this may be because I was an only child growing up and really have not had any contact with either babies or children.

Within the course of a single day I have gone from considering an abortion to happily announcing my condition to my family who are all overjoyed.

I really don't know what to do, I think deep down part of me wants this pregnancy however another part feels that it would be better for the baby's sake to end it now to stop the cycle repeating.

Editor's comment

It is often difficult to shake off childhood memories, and if your Mum was depressed during your childhood this may colour how you feel about being a mother yourself. I can understand your apprehension when you have struggled with depression yourself. No one can tell you if you are going to cope with a new baby but equally losing your chance to be a mum and perhaps break the cycle you fear may repeat itself.

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