The good news is that it's normal to get tired being pregnant, or be depressed about losing your former shape to a growing abdomen, swollen ankles -- or suffering something like restless legs or lower back pain from toting the extra pounds.
So what helped me? I signed up for a pregnancy yoga class, and I concentrated on being in the moment, becoming conscious of the fact that my pregnancy would be over very quickly -- and that I had a small window of opportunity to enjoy every aspect of becoming a mother. And that meant accepting the bad, depressing, blah moments just as much as the giddy, exciting, hope-filled ones. (And if that didn't cure the blahs, giving into my craving for a root beer float would sure do the trick.)
Here are some other tips for fighting off the blahs, and keeping yourself centered and happy during these important nine (pretty much 10) months:
- Exercise is a great mood-lifter. Try a walk through the park and play "I spy," looking for things that you think will catch your baby's eye when he/she arrives.
- Take as many cat naps as you can squeeze in. You need to rest up now, because once the baby arrives, your sleep patterns will probably suffer massive interruptions.
- Get wet. Water can soothe your soul. Take a relaxing shower or take a quick dip in the pool. Laura Evans, a labor and delivery nurse at Austin (Texas) Women's Hospital says "swim in the ocean for an even more invigorating experience."
- Pamper yourself. Even though you may feel unattractive with the extra weight, a day at the spa will help you shake the blahs. Splurge on a pedicure, massage, and/or facial.
- Go ahead and cry. Give in to those rock-n-roll emotions. Rent a teary movie and curl up with a box of Kleenex.
- Keep a journal. Write down how you are feeling and what you are experiencing. You'll appreciate having a record of the entire pregnancy -- the good and the bad. It will also help on bad days to read an entry you wrote of being really excited and happy.
- Learn from the experiences of other women. Talk with friends about how you are feeling, "I don't usually whine, but I feel like all I'm doing lately is whining," says message board mom Jazz at 34 weeks. "And you know what? It makes me feel just a bit better!"
- Read some encouragement. Pick up a good book like Journey into Motherhood: Inspirational Stories of Natural Birth by Sheri Menelli, or The Pregnant Woman's Comfort Book by Jennifer Louden.
- "Take in all perspectives and listen to your own voice," recommends Julia Beck Bromberg, founder of Forty Weeks. "Stay connected to the process and to other women."
- Celebrate the pregnant you. Ignore the perfect pregnant models on magazine covers. Wear fun, funky maternity clothes that make you feel like a million bucks. Tie it together with cute accessories and some new makeup colors. You can even try out a new haircut, just for fun.
- Pay attention to your diet. What you eat can affect your mood. Plus, you'll want to make sure to drink plenty of water, eat protein and keep blood sugar stable by avoiding too many sweet cravings.
- Go shopping. Grab one of those scanner guns at a baby store and have a blast filling up your gift registry. Or spend the day shopping for things just for you.
If the blahs persist -- they don't ebb and flow and aren't helped by other activities -- you may have a more serious depression that you need to take care of.
"Often times, we focus our anxiety on how much weight we are gaining because we are shutting out the anxiety about the bigger changes that are occurring," says Evans. "If you can work through your anxieties around the issues such as being a parent or having a growing family or the changing relationship with a partner, you may find your anxiety about the smaller issues lessen quite a bit."
If the depression interferes with your daily life, seek treatment. Dr Kate Abello, Ob/Gyn at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore says, "Prozac is felt to be safe during pregnancy, but it's important to talk to your doctor to determine what is likely to be most effective and safe for you.
"Ultimately, there is no quick answer to resolving the pregnancy blahs," she continues. "I encourage women to focus on their baby and the new life they are bringing into the world. Seek out family and friends. If this is your first baby, speak with a girlfriend who has been pregnant." Or meet other moms due when you are on web message boards.
"Remember, pregnancy is not a disease," says Dr Abello. "It's a good thing -- a natural process that's happening to you."