Like I’ve talked about in a previous post I have suffered from anxiety for a while now. There are many things that have caused me to become an anxious person but I won’t go into that here. As an adult my anxiety became something that really affected my every day life and I found that sometimes I wouldn’t know how to cope. I would sometimes force myself to just go through whatever was causing my anxiety and not let anyone know. I didn’t want to upset anyone or make them worry about me. I also didn’t want to get made fun of for being anxious, which would happen a lot. I finally sought help after I had my first child.
After I had my first son my anxiety went through the roof. It had never been that bad before. I contribute it to a lot of reasons, the first being lack of control. I had to deliver him by an emergency cesarean and that just sent me into being angry at my body for not doing the one thing it was supposed to be able to do. I felt like I no longer had control over what was happening to me, nothing was going as I had planned. There I was, strapped to a table, being cut open and feeling every push and pull as they took my baby from my body. It was traumatizing for me.
Another reason my anxiety went crazy was I had to go back to work just 5 weeks after having him. I was lucky enough to have those five weeks paid by my employer, not everyone gets that, but it was really hard for me to leave him after that short of an amount of time. I left him with a good friend of mine that I trusted whole-heartedly but I was still anxious about not being with him every second. If she didn’t text me back right away I would immediately think the worst. I would have panic attacks at work because I felt like I was trapped and being held away from my baby.
I always thought something bad was going to happen to him. I couldn’t even take him anywhere there would be a large amount of people because the more people there were the more out of control I felt. Anything could happen. I would constantly be looking around making sure no one got close to him, I was always afraid someone would steal him.
I would get so agitated and lash out at people because I was always on edge or exhausted from being stressed out all the time. I cried almost every day. My hormones were all over the place. I hated my body, not for how it looked but for how it functioned after having the baby, but I also hated how it looked. I also had to have my gallbladder removed just three months after giving birth because of stones which prolonged my healing time and made me hate my body even more.
I finally couldn’t take it anymore and decided to see a doctor about it. It turns out she diagnosed me with Postpartum Anxiety and Depression. I started attending therapy and it worked for me. Just becoming aware of what it was that was causing my anxiety was enough for me to work past it and live a better quality of life. I did take some medication to alleviate the depression for a bit but have since been off of it for a while.
I still suffer from my anxiety from time to time but it’s less of feeling out of control and more just general things that most parents worry about such as, are they getting enough food, sleep, playtime, etc. My confidence in my mothering skills has vastly increased and I don’t feel so overwhelmed with it now. It does get better.
Getting the help I needed was the best decision I ever made for myself and my family. There is nothing wrong with asking for help. If you feel like you need to talk to someone I highly recommend it. Your family needs you to be okay, not just to take care of them but to be there for them to love. Being a mother is hard enough without having to deal with something that can be helped. Don’t let what others will think about you stop you from getting the help you need.
I will say the second time around was much easier and I was able to adjust to having two a lot better than I had the first time. I had a planned c-section so I knew what to expect. My experience with my first child made raising the second one much easier. Now I have two amazing, healthy little boys and I am so thankful that I was able to even get pregnant and have them in the first place. They may be bossy and demanding but they’re also sweet and loving. They bring my life so much joy. I never knew that kind of happiness was obtainable.