My journey with postpartum anxiety was something I never thought I would be talking about.
I have suffered from anxiety since I was a teenager so the heavy feeling in my chest was nothing new to me.
But after having a baby everything changed. After having a second baby it all got worse.
Right after both of my kids were born and we went to their first pediatrician appointment I was given a series of questions regarding postpartum depression. Even at my own 6 week check up after both kids I was given those same questions and told that the feelings could just be the baby blues and if they do not go away to call and make an appointment. But what I was feeling never matched up with postpartum depression.
Something Is Not Right
My breaking point was just a few months ago, before my youngest turned one. I was supposed to go on a day trip to look at wedding venues for my cousin. That morning I woke up with a strong weight on my chest, I woke my husband up crying because I felt like I couldn’t leave the house. I had to call her and tell her I couldn’t make it because I wasn’t feeling well. But then cried even more because I felt like I was letting her down.
A week later I was set with a hotel room to go to a conference three hours away from home. I had never been away from my youngest over night at this point, nor have I ever stayed in a hotel room by myself. The drive was excruciating. I had to pull over multiple times because the knot in my stomach made me feel like I was going to puke, or worse have to use the bathroom.
It is not just the feeling of not being able to leave the house. It is an overwhelming feeling of what if something happens to me and my husband is left to care for the two kids on his own. What if I am three hours from home and something happens to my kids and I can’t get to them in time. It’s these feelings and thoughts that take over and there is nothing you can do.
The crippling thoughts and fear was so overwhelming that I stopped sleeping at night. I would be up to the early hours of the morning constantly checking on the kids, watching their videos monitors.
I Needed Help
After talking with my husband, I made an appointment with my doctor. As soon as she walked into the room and asked me how I was, I started crying. She asked me some of the same questions that point to postpartum depression. After explaining what I was actually feeling she asked me if I have ever heard of postpartum anxiety.
No, honestly not once.
After having a baby everyone only talks about the depression and baby blues, not the anxiety. She told me that these feelings are common especially in people that have suffered from anxiety prior to children. Postpartum depression is a lot more common but postpartum anxiety is also a thing that people suffer from, but it is less talked about.
Since my appointment with my doctor we have started treatment. It was not an easy choice to come to the decision of starting a medication but for the last few months of being on it, I can actually say “why didn’t I do this sooner.”
I can now leave my house; I can now live in the moment and enjoy my time with my kids. The anxiety is still there but it is much more manageable now.
I can now talk about those feelings without breaking down and crying because hearing me say them out loud makes me sound broken.
You are not broken.
There is nothing wrong with you.
You are not alone.
When I look back at my journey with postpartum anxiety and my experiences, I hope that in the future the care for a woman that is postpartum changes. I wonder and worry how many other women are at home suffering with these awful thoughts and not getting the help they need. All because postpartum anxiety is not talked about. I pray that someone who is suffering finds my story and can relate and seek the help they need. That they can find the confidence knowing that they are not alone in this and feel more comfortable to talk to some and ask for help. If you are that someone, start your conversation.
Message me if you need to.
- Beginners Guide To Surviving Mom Hood
- 5 Things to Do in the Morning to Have a Productive Day
- Asking for Help Postpartum