Amber Fillerup Clark pregnant with baby #3 talking about her experience with pregnancy blues. Barefoot Blonde / Amber Fillerup Clark

My Experience With Pregnancy Blues

I asked you guys on insta what you wanted to hear more about on here and overwhelmingly the response was more on pregnancy blues! So I hope this doesn’t come across like I am being super negative, I know I have already mentioned it on here before and I usually try to keep the mood on here really uplifting.. But the whole reason I wanted to bring it up in the first place was just that I felt sooo weird posting and portraying me as my normal self when I felt nothing like my normal self (well often I did I guess and those are the parts you were seeing on insta stories or insta, it came and went). So I guess I just wanted to keep it real with both myself and you guys. And as a side note: I am SO excited to be pregnant!!!!!!! I guess that is why the blues can be so confusing too.

I never had pregnancy blues or postpartum depression or anxiety with either Atticus or Rosie so honestly this was/is all really new to me and I guess that is why it was making me so uncomfortable. I also had heard of the term “pregnancy blues” but have never personally read anyone’s experience so I wasn’t even sure what was going on with me at first. Also I am not sure how true this is but multiple articles I read said that 20% of pregnant women experience this which I thought was so interesting because that is a lot of people! So hopefully this will make someone who is feeling the same things feel a little better? Also there IS an end to this – I am feeling like I am out of it now – so I hope it stays that way! I am not sure if it is just that I am getting further along in my pregnancy and my hormones are leveling out or what – but I am not going to question it ha ha.

A lot of you asked what is was like for me so this is the best I can explain it! I can’t remember when I started feeling it but it was a total lack of energy – not just in the day to day but even felt no energy to feel emotion. It felt exhausting to have conversations where I am giving them a lot of energy and emotion and I just feel so tired. For a couple weeks I also kept having this weird thing that happened about 3 or 4 times a week where it is like a wave is coming and I could feel it coming because my heart started to race and I could feel something chemically happening in my body, like my countenance, mood, everything was changing and suddenly I started crying and just couldn’t stop crying and I would have to go lay down for like… I don’t know 5-15 minutes because I couldn’t do anything. I have no idea what this is and I feel stupid even saying this on such a public forum because I realize this is such a personal thing, but again I feel like I have always been personal on here and so for me it feels more weird to not talk about this. I have never had this before so I was just feeling so confused and trapped. Normally I would have a bad day or be feeling negative and I can give myself a quick pep talk and turn it around. Never have I had something like that where it felt like I have no control whatsoever. Even when I had what I think is depression in junior high and high school, I think a lot of that was different because for me it was situational and not something that I was going to have my whole life. But again like I said I woke up one morning feeling totally myself again and didn’t want to be too hopeful because I felt like it was probably just a good day but I haven’t felt any of those overpowering emotions since so I am hoping my body is figuring its issues out ha! Crossing my fingers.

P.S. If you feel like sharing your experience in the comments for other women going through the same thing then feel free to share!! I am sure it would be very appreciated.

Things I did to help day to day when I was really feeling it all were these:

1. Take B-12 Vitamins : A lot of you on my DM’s or emails recommended this and I am so sorry if I didn’t have time to respond but I did read them all and went and got some and honestly I felt like this helped me soo much. So THANK YOU to everyone who gave this recommendation.

2. Drink Lots of Water & TRY to Cut Out Sugar : Again ughhhh I am so bad at cutting sugar haha but I did cut back a ton!!! And I have been drinking lots of water.

3. Give Myself Time to Just Feel Whatever I am Feeling : I hate the feeling of being sad for no reason and then on top of that feeling guilty for feeling sad for no reason. I just wanted to be sad on the days I felt sad and that really helped. Because I think when you’re not trying to NOT feel something – you actually come out of it faster – at least for me!

4. Social Media Breaks : I tried not to post to give myself a break from taking pics and it was really really good.

5. Quality time with the kids : Ah this probably helped the most of anything. Just being with them and being as silly as possible 🙂 kids sure can turn your mood around quick.

I hope anyone who is also feeling pregnancy blues gets to feeling better SOON!!!! Sending my love to you guys! Thank you so much for reading and supporting and all of the love I have received in comments, DM’s, emails!

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  1. Hi! I am pregnant in my first trimester and am feeling kinda depressed…I wake up and feel a need to cry for no apparent reason…I am so happy to be pregnant and we really wanted this with my husband! So I really don’t know why I am feeling so down sometime… I am also tired and feel a ton of minor belly aches but my doc says it’s alright…

    Also, I already have a 6 year old son, so it is not even my first pregnancy!!! And I feel worried about how my son will react..is he going to be happy, or is it goint to be too much of a change to share his mommy that he had all to himself for 6 years????

    Help… @alexandrazach

  2. This helped me indescribably, because I remembered reading it and was then able to understand my own recent/current experience with pregnancy blues. I can’t explain how comforting it is that you wrote out exactly how this feels/felt for you, because it makes me feel so much less alone and so much more comfortable with my emotions at this stage in my very first pregnancy, when I doubt I would’ve if you hadn’t shared. I just had to comment and thank you so much

  3. Oh, Amber, I can so relate to this and you are not alone. Hang in there, keep sharing, and know that you are a wonderful mother who will come out on the other side of this ok. I had terrible depression post pregnancy . It was scary, and I felt very lonely. Sharing our stories is a gift to bridge the loneliness we sometimes feel as mothers.

  4. Hi Amber, I read your posts weekly but I rarely comment. But when you wrote in this post you feel like you get “this wave” of emotion. It could be a panic attack? I know personally panic attacks “wave in and out” when they occur, and also make your heart race and make you dizzy (sometimes like you’re going to faint), so you often have to lay down. I also cry when I get them because it’s just so much emotion at once it’s hard to handle. So it may be panic attacks? Anywho, thank you so much for opening up about your struggle. No human on earth gets by without at least some form of struggle. By sharing your story it brings us as people closer together. Just keep taking care and loving yourself. 😊💕

  5. Hey Amber! I am 30 Weeks and having a girl ( my first baby) and I have had some baby blues. I always told myself how prepared I’d be, and I wouldn’t feel that way. But like you I LOVE being pregnant and I Alexander falling in love with my baby!! But, I have days where all I want to do is lay in bed and cry. And my anxiety has been a little higher. I understand how you feel! I have a little trick that sounds cheesy, but I count my blessings when I’m nervous and sad. Also, I love the social media cleanse! I think your amazing! And Thank you for opening up about baby blues!

  6. i really really love that you’re sharing this here, amber!!! i never had pregnancy blues, but i think it’s important that you write about it – especially for woman who experience the same! sending you lots of love and i am super glad, that you are feeling better!!! <3

    xoxo,
    marie

    http://www.heartfelthunt.com/sunset-on-the-beach

  7. I love when you are real with us on the blog! I am only 21 so I am not planning on having kids anytime soon, but I know this helped a lot of mommas out there and it’s something I am going to keep in the back of my mind! Feeling understood and like you are not alone is one of the best feelings when you are down – so I know this helped a lot of people 🙂

    Lauren Lindmark | https://dailydoseofcharm.com

  8. Thank you putting the word out. I struggled for the first 12 weeks of my pregnancy (now 15 weeks). I felt guilty about the depression because I knew how lucky I was to be pregnant. I certainly did not understand what was happening with the extreme wave of depression and exhaustion. And no-one I knew who had been pregnant understood what I was talking about. It was impossible to explain to my family and friends even though they were (and continue to be) such a huge support. You feel totally alone. If anyone reads this, please understand that this IS a normal pregnancy symptom and it’s important to pamper yourself and listen to yourself during this time. Take the 10 minute nap, take a deep breath and ask for a hug, everyday. Thank you Amber for normalising something that is not spoken about enough.

  9. Glad to hear you are feeling more like yourself again! I’ve dealt with depression and still do… and even feared getting pregnant because of the possibility of pregnancy blues or even postpartum depression. It’s such a difficult emotion to deal with! But it’s comforting to know that it truly is just a feeling that people do experience! <3

    BlondieintheCity.com

  10. Love this!
    Now with my son Eden I’m still waiting 12 weeks after birth to come back on earth. Birth is also no joke.😂 i believe I will become myself again.

  11. I am pregnant with identical twins only 14 weeks along, and it is my first pregnancy! I have felt so overwhelmingly blessed to have two babies growing inside me, very healthy so far, but I definitely was so depressed the past month and a half because I had such severe sickness from the double amount of hormones adjusting with my body! I definitely felt those pregnancy blues where I did not want to do anything or talk to anybody because I just felt so unlike myself. Thank you for sharing this because it helps knowing it’s okay to feel like this and it’s okay to feel guilty. Xoxoxo love you Amber !

  12. Hi Amber. I am also pregnant with our third baby and I just wanted to thank you for sharing this. I have sought a lot of counsel during this time as I’ve been so scared that something was changing in me. I was so depressed and exactly some of the same experiences you just described. I am 18 weeks now and finally feel like I am becoming myself again! You are so not alone!!!! I’m so glad you spoke up as you have such a large platform to make others feel like they can relate when they are going through the same thing!!! Xoxo!!!!

  13. Thank you so much for sharing this. I think it’s important to share the bad as well as the good sometimes. There are so many people affected by this and many are feeling very lonely.

    Kathrin | Polar Bear Style

  14. Thanks for your honesty. It takes courage to share those emotions. I struggled with severe postpartum depression after the birth of our daughter in January. Overwhelming anxiety, insomnia and waves of hopelessness. So grateful for supportive family and a fabulous doctor. There were moments when I felt I would just always be a shell of who I used to be. But they told me I WOULD recover and they were right. For anyone struggling know you’re not alone, there is help out there and you can recover.

  15. So appreciate you for sharing this and trying to in a sense normalize it! The same exact thing happened to me this pregnancy and I felt so bad about it that I told my therapist. She gave me some good advice and said that I had to just let myself feel the way I felt, knowing it wouldn’t last forever. But trying to pretend I didn’t feel that way wasn’t going to help anything. She said you can feel something, but that doesn’t make it true. So I may have felt sad to be pregnant, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t actually ecstatic!

    We struggled to get pregnant and then after a year of trying finally did and then lost that baby soon after. So this is our rainbow baby! So at first it made sense why I wasn’t necessarily over the moon – I was SO nervous we would lose this baby too so I was essentially not trying to get my hopes up for fear of the other shoe dropping – but when the feelings didn’t go away as I got further and further along, that’s when I started getting concerned. I had never heard of pregnancy blues so when you mentioned it on Insta-stories I felt so relieved! It felt so good to know there was a term for it and that other people experienced it too. I think honestly there are just so many changes going on hormonally that we have no control over.

    I am so glad that you think you are out of it, I am too! I still can’t say that I feel ecstatic even though I know I am, but the absolute lack of emotion is gone and thank goodness for that!

    Thanks again for opening up about this!

    xo Mary-Katherine
    http://www.goldhattedlover.com

  16. I did not have pregnancy blues but I did have postpartum anxiety with both kids. It would come over me suddenly, just like a wave, and I would feel nauseous for hours and even get sick multiple times. I would get hot flashes and chills. Crying spells that I couldn’t control even over happy things. Luckily the second time around I knew what was happening and went to the dr right away! I highly recommend if you don’t feel yourself do not hesitate to talk to your doctor! Don’t let it get worse before u speak up! There is no shame in it because like you said, you literally have no control over the hormones raging through your body and the effects they have on you. Taking care of yourself is number one so you are able to take care of your baby to the best of your ability! Hope this helps another mom out there feeling alone. I know I needed it when I was going through it.

  17. I love that you shared this! I think I am a week or two ahead of you in pregnancy and felt a bit of what you are describing. My first pregnancy was just so easy and this one just kind of felt all consuming with not really feeling like myself. I was and am so so excited to be pregnant, but I think there’s a lot of guilt about not being 100% happy and thrilled every step of the way in pregnancy, even though that’s such a normal thing to feel. Glad you are doing better!

    themodernlunchbox.com

  18. Thank you for sharing this, Amber!! I think it’s so important to talk about mental health issues of all kinds and in many forums, so I’m grateful for this post. I experienced something very similar, although I assumed it was just “regular pregnancy stuff” at the time. I had never heard of pregnancy blues or depression, but I had serious pregnancy blues the first 20 weeks of my pregnancy. Exactly like you described: I was so exhausted and didn’t have the energy for emotions. I’ve always been an energetic person, so it shocked and scared me, especially since most of my friends had never experienced anything like this. I was nauseous that entire time too, so it was a rough first half, but finally around 21 weeks the fog lifted and I felt like my old self again. And I was so lucky to make it through the first postpartum year without any blues or depression. BUT, something I didn’t expect at all was the feeling of being “off” and anxious when I cut back on nursing. My daughter was 12-ish months when I stopped pumping/nursed only in the morning and evening, and my body was totally shocked. I felt those same feelings of anxiety-ish feelings you described: I could feel a wave coming on and my heart felt like it could explode and I would have to take a lot of deep breaths and sometimes put my head down to calm down. I had heard of women having depression symptoms after finishing nursing, but this didn’t feel like that, it just felt like extreme anxiety, or something like that?

    The female body is AMAZING, but I wish more women would talk about their experiences. I feel like even with close friends there’s pressure to just deal with whatever comes our way without complaint, but it’s hard to know what’s normal and what isn’t if we don’t talk about it. (On that note, this article was amazing and so helpful in explaining how motherhood changes women’s brains: https://www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/2018/07/17/pregnant-women-care-ignores-one-most-profound-changes-new-mom-faces/CF5wyP0b5EGCcZ8fzLUWbP/story.html).

  19. Hi Amber
    Nothing about you said here is stupid!! My baby is 16 months old. I also got pregnancy blues and I remember I asked a friend that was pregnant at the same time “why they call this a magical phase?” and also remember your photos from your trips being pregnant and keep thinking why I didn’t have the half of the energy to do something like that. I didn´t even had my time-lapse photoshoot that I had planned because I never felt pretty or with enough energy to do it. Thanks for sharing this is a great example that not all pregnancies are the same. And yes the non-sense crying and ALL those feelings will disappear just hang in there!! XO

  20. Hi Amber! I just wanted to share that I had the same experience and I went to a naturopath and found out I have Hashimoto’s (a thyroid problem) and she treated it with natural medication. Just thought that might help you <3

  21. I had pregnancy blues and anxiety as well Amber. I only have one child because I honestly dont think I can go through it again. I found exercising helped a ton. Lite cardio to get a good sweat. Thanks for posting this and telling your story. I dont knie many other women that experienced the pregnancy blues. So it’s great to get the conversation going!

  22. I think it’s amazing to have these kinds of platforms to be able to talk openly about mental health issues, so thank you for being brave and opening up to the world in the hopes of helping other pregnant women who may be going through similar things.

    One thing to consider when posting on issues related to mental health is to encourage people to access evidence-based mental health treatments (pregnant women included) if they are feeling as though their experiences with anxiety or feelings of depression are getting in the way of everyday life (your ability to go to work, school, or do the things you normally do, or is affecting your relationships with others). There are many symptoms of depression are beyond just feeling “down”. Some of these include difficulty sleeping, changes in appetite, feeling excessive guilt, and lacking energy.

    Even though these pregnancy blues are often specific to pregnancy and hormones, it’s important to talk to your doctor about what you are experiencing and seek evidence-based treatments from qualified professionals if necessary. There are treatment options for mental health issues that do not include medication. All of your advice related to self-care (drinking water, social media breaks, etc.) are fantastic, but sometimes when people have a diagnosis of depression or anxiety, they need a treatment that has evidence to support its effectiveness. Given how many people you reach with these posts, it’s important that people know that talking to a licensed mental health professional is sometimes necessary, even if you aren’t quite sure what you’re going through.

  23. Thanks for sharing your situation. Very brave — as many women are afraid to admit it is happening and do not seek help. (More recent research is also showing that men can experience mental health changes during pregnancy or after the birth of a child.) This is so common for women to experience. You are definitely not alone! This is one of many good online resources for women and their families regarding prenatal and postpartum depression and anxiety. https://www.anxietybc.com/parents/new-moms/feeling-anxious/postpartum-anxiety-and-depression
    Best wishes to you in your recovery and in getting the support that you need.
    Lorelei

  24. Hi Amber,
    Thanks for sharing! I’m currently on my second pregnancy, and it’s been so horrible. I can’t wait to give my little guy a brother or sister, but I am hating being pregnant right now. I feel mildly depressed with no energy to do anything. I didn’t realize that the “pregnancy blues” were really a thing until I’ve seen your posts. Thank you for opening a space where I don’t feel so alone.

  25. Thanks for sharing !!! I feel the exact same way and it feels so good to read / hear other women sharing their stories. I felt so lonely at times. Glad you are doing better ! All the best, sarah

  26. Thank you so much for sharing!! I am currently pregnant with my 2nd and still in the first trimester. I feel pretty exhausted and nauseous 24/7, so it’s nice to know that I’m not alone!

  27. I love this post. I also really love the article Important Body Image Advice for New Mothers.

  28. I definitely experienced this in the first trimester with my daughter. I generally felt no emotion or borderline annoyed/frustrated by everything and everyone in my life. Then suddenly I would have a breakdown with no real idea what it was about or why I was feeling so overwhelmed and upset. I had a miscarriage my first pregnancy, so I assumed that I was anxious because of that. I think I started to feel like myself again right around the time we found out we were having a girl. (16 weeks?) I also suffered from the baby blues for about two weeks after delivery. I’m hoping I won’t have to go through it again in my future pregnancies, but it is all worth it in the end I guess. One thing a friend said to me that has stuck and helped me get through tough times is, “All of your experiences in life, good and bad, are working together to make you the person you are meant to be.” Whenever I think if that, I feel strong.

  29. Thank you for being so honest, Amber. All of your pictures show so much joy and happiness but only you know it’s not always that way so thank you for sharing. I had just THE best pregnancy. No blues, no morning sickness or any other sickness. HOWEVER, I had such bad postpartum depression, it was very hard for me. It started with quite traumatic painful delivery (without epidural or meds…. what was I thinking?) and then my milk was so low, I was in so much pain plus all of this with being a new mother and not knowing exactly what to do in practice (only in theory) – just awful. I think the hardest part about this stage is that you not really realizing it’s happening to you- being able to define it and giving it a name and be like “yeah I read about this, I know it’s just a stage” until you are really out of it and look back. So I didn’t know what and why was happening to me and why I was not happy and why I have to fake it in front of the whole family when I’m supposed to be the happiest in my life and have this connection/bond to my baby which I fully didn’t and I still feel guilty for it. It makes me want to have another baby just so I can do it again and hopefully feel different now being more experienced and knowing what to expect. But anyway, love your family and love your honesty. So so happy you feel better and best wishes for the rest of the pregnancy!

  30. Thank you Amber for staying real. I love reading your blog as it is a great source of inspiration but I have to confess that sometimes it also makes me feel slightly bad as my life does not always look as bright, joyous and lucky as your beautiful pictures (which is normal, your blog is is here to inspire you and challenge us to do better, not show us day to day realities which everyone knows!). Still reading about this was quite nice. I am myself pregnant after 6 failed fertility treatments. Literally this is a miracle and I should feel so happy. I do feel happy and so blessed but still sometimes, even when you want it so much, pregnancy can be hard and thank you for sharing that it can challenge you too as I will feel less guilty and more normal next time I find something hard!

    The second thing I wanted to share is that I actually have a pregnancy jewelry brand which I built myself. These are chimes pendants that gently soothe babies (and mothers!) during pregnancy and help mothers create a strong, unique and happy bond with their babies right from the first moments of life (babies can start to hear from 16th week of pregnancy and many studies recommend positive, repetitive sounds to comfort babies). The idea was to have something silly (thought not so silly as it does have a function and shopping therapy is called therapy because it does work to some degree!) to cheer mums-to-be up. Something precious that you could keep forever too (not like your maternity clothes) as a reminder of this special moment of your life, that one day you might pass to your own child as a reminder of this unique bond and moment you both shared and just something to make you feel pretty even when pregnant and remind you to be happy. Anyway, I would love to send you one as I think that our “Gypsy Mama” model in particular would be just for you and that some of your readers might find this little pregnancy talisman useful! 🙂 Camille from The Good Karma Shop

  31. Thank you so much for sharing, Amber! I actually got postpartum depression really bad after I had my first baby. I actually didn’t realize it was depression because I wasn’t “sad” but I totally felt a complete and utter lack of energy, like I couldn’t even shower or brush my teeth because it felt so exhausting. The idea of getting up for the day was so overwhelming to me that I’d start crying and it totally felt like a wave, a lot of times it’d trigger some kind of panic where my heart would be reading and it was a serious struggle for me to get through simple tasks like conversations and stuff. Of course, everyone has a different experience and I think depression can affect everyone differently, which is why it’s so important to talk about! It’s actually the reason I started my blog, because I wanted to share in case someone out there like me found it and was able to relate (although I’m not going to share my blog in this comment because it feels like I’m trying to promote myself when I really, honestly just want to are my thoughts on this!) I am so glad you shared this. I feel bummed that you had to go through this, but seeing someone like you that I admire so much talk openly about something that hits so close to home for me really does resonate so strongly! <3

  32. It’s so important that someone with as much influence as you is candid about this topic. Thank you! As you mentioned, this is a common thing but it seems like no one talks about it. Us ladies need to confide in each other! Your body is going through a lot and I’m so glad you’re starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks for sharing your tips. Remember to go easy on yourself.

  33. Thanks so much for being so honest, Amber. I can relate with this right now, actually. I’ve always been so excited to be pregnant, and being a mom has always been my dream! And now that it’s finally happening, I wonder why I’m so tired, moody and emotional?! I cry a LOT! I’m overdramatic, super sensitive and really unmotivated to do much. It makes me feel so guilty. My mother and husband have to keep reminding me that my hormones are out of whack and it’s normal! It doesn’t mean anything at all! But I also feel guilty because sometimes they bear the brunt of it! And I cry about that too, ahh! It’s a rollercoaster ride. I just don’t feel like myself! Then I remind myself that I’m essentially renting out my body to another HUMAN BEING that is literally sucking the life out of me, ahahah, and it all makes sense.

    It’s so important to remember in a day and age when social media is deceitful by portraying everything as sunshine and rainbows…that it’s just not the case. I am sure you are so excited to be pregnant but you can’t control your hormones! And that’s important to talk about. It doesn’t mean something is wrong with us, it simply means we’re normal human beings feeling natural things. You’re doing great, mama! 🙂

    xo E
    http://www.holaitserica.com