Prenatal Depression – Goodbye to My Perfect Days

“I wish I wasn’t pregnant.” I blurted it out to Adam after weeks of unknowingly being crushed under the weight of prenatal depression. The house was in shambles. I barely moved from the couch due to the nausea and exhaustion. My clothes were uncomfortable and I couldn’t sleep and I was short-tempered with my three-year-old.

This second baby is due within weeks of my book launch. Was I shooting myself in the foot, career wise? Life had just started to feel perfect, with my little boy growing more independent, and my writing and speaking giving me a sense of purpose and destiny.

And then, in the middle of my contentment, the positive pregnancy test we’d been dying to see. We conceived, and a couple months later, there I lay miserable on the couch for yet another day. I felt my perfect days slipping away.

I saw instead months of sleep-deprivation, mountains of diapers, belly flab, the inability to feel like my own person.

And after weeks of feeling this dread, I admitted it, ashamed. I felt so guilty and selfish, but I wanted my perfect days back.Prenatal Depression- You're Not Alone

My poor husband stared at me, his sobbing, hysterical wife. “Why would you say something like that?” he asked, shocked.

You moms know pregnancy is not all baby showers and scrap books. We literally are invaded by another life for the better part of a year. The life inside doesn’t care if she’s making me sick or kicking my bladder or messing up my hormones. She just is. And as my tummy grows, I feel less and less like Sarah Kovac. I begin to feel only like a host, making someone else’s life possible.

As a mother, that’s what I do. I make other lives possible, often to the detriment of my own ambitions and desires. Sometimes I’m struck by the realization of all I’m missing. All I could do. All I could be.

And then.

My precious three-year-old holds my face in his hands, and whispers, “It’s okay mama, don’t cry.” And I remember why I chose this life — why God blessed me with it.

“It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

Giving up my body, my emotions, my memory, my “perfect days,” is hard. It hurts. It’s exhausting. And it’s the channel through which more blessing has entered my life than I could have thought possible. God has opened up more doors for me in motherhood than in the rest of my life. I didn’t know myself until I knew myself as a mother.

So maybe my life isn’t going to be the “ideal” anything. Maybe my biggest accomplishment will be to keep these kids alive until adulthood. Maybe I will be stuck at home for years and maybe I won’t see Italy until I retire.

But I am blessed. I am blessed because the things I’ve sacrificed have made room for more, for better in my life and my family.

About a month after I’d cried guilty and frightened to my husband, I finally felt the baby kick. (I had an anterior placenta that had absorbed the kicks until then.) We saw her on the sonogram… yes, her. A girl to round out our little family. Adam suggested the name Taylor May, my maiden and middle names combined. I cried again, but this time the tears didn’t hurt. The dark cloud finally blew past, and I loved her.


So when you wonder what you’re doing here, washing mashed peas out of your hair or missing the party to watch Cars (again!), know you’re making temporary sacrifices in exchange for lasting, deep joy and fulfillment. For you and the ones begging you for more Cheerios. These days in the trenches of motherhood are defining you.

Perfect days are over-rated (and unattainable). So let them go, and let the messy, frantic, beautiful now sweep you off your feet and tell you who you are.

17 thoughts on “Prenatal Depression – Goodbye to My Perfect Days

  1. Rachel Beran says:

    Love this!! I can completely relate to it…all of it. I went through a terrible case of postpartum depression after my first son. Hormones can do crazy things! Thanks for being authentic and pointing us moms to Jesus!

  2. Daisy Fuentes Dronen says:

    Sarah, this post really spoke to my heart so glad to see I’m not alone! I’m in my third trimester awaiting a little girl too with an almost three year old! I was starting to feel like I was going crazy! But The Lord is faithful and he continues to speak life into my life and sing over me! I am so glad have cloud has passed!

  3. Someone reviewed your book, and posted a link to your site. I’m browsing here as my little son eats animal crackers and drinks juice while we wait for one of his older sisters to wake up and watch him while I go for a run. I just this week had to give up a dream in order to choose motherhood–even though I chose motherhood more than a decade, more than 8 children, more than 13 pregnancies, more than foster care training, more than 2 adoptions ago. It has been so hard to realize that I had to choose again–so humbling to see that my focus was wavering. This post so powerfully described the very feelings of my heart that my breath is taken away. I’m not alone! Thanks for voicing your vulnerability. You helped me feel stronger for it.

    • Sarah says:

      Anne, thank you for reading! We have to choose this life over and over, don’t we? Blessings on your decision and your family!

  4. katie says:

    This really spoke to me! I am 11 weeks and my husband is ecstatic, while me…not so much. This was a surprise baby and was earlier than I wanted. I wanted to work a few more years and work on continuing school. I am not working right now due to relocation (husband is Military) and we leave again in just a few months. So I was so happy to be moving soon and working a lot, but now things have changed. I have been very sick!
    Also, I am a very athletic woman and the changes my body is going through is hard for me. I feel like such an awful woman!! I feel so selfish because I don’t have a connection or happiness tied to this child. All I feel is sick, pain, depressed and dont want to leave my couch. So I totally relate to how you felt!!! I am praying that I begin to feel joy and completeness. I want to be a happy mother and I pray God helps me with this

  5. Jessica says:

    Sarah, I hope to gain the same clarity you have. I’m a first time mom, 15 weeks pregnant and miserable. I don’t feel connected to this baby….I find myself wishing it wasn’t there. I try to be positive but I end up in tears, feeling this exhausted, queasy desperation to be normal again.

    • Hey Jessica, that first trimester can be rough, especially because we have expectations about how we’re supposed to feel. Pregnancy is definitely not all warm fuzzies. You will love your baby. You will bond. Don’t worry. The baby I wrote this blog about is now 4 years old and I absolutely adore her. We bonded BIG TIME once she arrived… more so than with my first baby. It will get better, mama!

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