My Pregnancy Journey: Battling and Overcoming Depression

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Published: February 16, 2015


This is part of an ongoing series chronicling EJ’s 9-month journey to motherhood. You can catch up on the series here — Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8.

My emotional outbursts had finally started to even out. We were settling into our new place, and I was enjoying my job and the people I got to interact with every day. Everything seemed to be going okay, but . . .

Do You Need to Talk to Someone?

True to my doctor’s word, I had undergone a growth spurt, and getting around was becoming exhausting. I spent a lot of time complaining about how tired I was. When I get tired like this, it’s usually a sign of more going on.

The thought that I would be prone to post-partum depression had already crossed my mind because I had been diagnosed with mild depression and undergone counseling in the past, but I didn’t realize that I wasn’t the only one connecting the dots between my exhaustion and a possible underlying issue.

One morning my husband innocently asked me if I needed to talk to someone, and I knew exactly what he meant. He wondered how much of my exhaustion was emotional rather than physical and was worried that I needed to start “preventative therapy” now to get me ready for when the baby came. I was touched.

[RELATED]: The Nobility of Suffering in Silence — Depression in Nigerian Women

We decided to bring this up with my OB-GYN, who thought it was a good idea and gave me a referral to a counsellor in the area. Unfortunately for us, the failure of our supposedly “really good insurance” to cover talk therapy put a roadblock on preventative counseling. But instead of getting down about it, I decided to draw upon what had worked during my last stint in counseling: it was time to get serious about exercise again.

Getting Back in the Groove

Exercise for me is so much more than being how I stay fit and keep my weight in check – it’s my therapy. If you’ve ever wondered how I stay motivated to work out, now you know it’s because both my physical and mental health depend on it. My former therapist actually recommended that I take my yoga practice more seriously, because she could tell a marked difference between when I practiced and when I didn’t. So when I decided to get back into a workout routine, yoga was my first stop.

FREE RADIANT DIGITAL ISSUE NO 06_1

To get back into the groove, I removed the main obstacle that had kept me from doing prenatal yoga: props. I have a membership with an online yoga studio, Yogaglo, which I’ve used for years. But when it came time for prenatal yoga, I noticed that a lot of the classes required props that I didn’t have, like blankets and bolsters. This was really just an excuse, as I could have used a regular blanket and pillows, but rather than debate that with myself, I coughed up the money to buy myself a new block, a new blanket and some bolsters.

Next came setting up the space. Our new house came with an added perk: an entire room that could be used for exercise. This meant that I no longer had to roll out my mat for a practice; I could leave it all out there, set and ready to go. And it had the right type of floors – not carpet. So, I set up the space and got my little yoga corner going.

EJ HOME-YOGA-SPACE

My new home yoga space

I started by committing to practicing six days a week for however long I could, and I successfully kept this commitment with myself. The flexibility of having one day off made it easier on those days that I couldn’t wake up on time. My energy soared, and I felt so much better. I finished out my seventh month doing yoga, and the plan for my eighth month was to add back in some strength training and core stabilization.

I never would have thought that I would be suiting up and getting my exercise groove back at the end of my second trimester, but one of the many things that this experience taught me was that I was capable of anything and never too “frail” to move my body to make it feel better.

Find out what you’ve missed and catch up on the series here — Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8.

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About Ejiro Ogenyi

EJ (Ejiroghene) is a Lifestyle Coach and owner of the Team by EJ Ogenyi LLC. She helps busy women lose weight without taking their eyes off their other priorities - their families, their careers, their wallets, and their lives. She is a Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach and she enjoys bringing her skills and her experience losing weight herself to the awesome task of helping her clients create healthy lives and bodies that they absolutely love. She is also a wife and mama to a beautiful little boy.

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