From that second line on the pregnancy test, the anxiety was there.
What if I do something wrong in the pregnancy and hurt my baby? What if the baby is born sick?
That question would play in my head for months. I am lucky. I have a support system that tells me everything will be ok, and somehow I can shake it off. I gave birth to a beautiful little girl. She is perfect in every way, and when I look at her, my heart fills with such amazement and love. Then I take this little bundle home.
What follows is a rollercoaster of insanity.
My anxiety is something that comes and goes, but the first three months of my daughter’s life was hell. I trusted no one with her, and I didn’t even trust myself to do it right. Every bad scenario played in my head, like never ending nightmare, to the point of just staring at my little girl worried that she would stop breathing. I didn’t sleep. I barely ate. I had a full blown panic attack at the mall because I was POSITIVE someone was going to try and steal my baby. I was scared to death people would drop her, or cough on her, or squeeze her too tight. I wasn’t sure of myself anymore. Maybe I wasn’t meant to be a mother. It sure didn’t feel like I was cut out for it. She would scream and all I could think of was I couldn’t do it anymore. Surely I am supposed to adore every moment, right?
Then she slept 6 hours in a row. I even remember the date. December 2nd 2016 was a turning point for me. Not only had I gotten help for postpartum depression, but I got my first anxiety free night of sleep. Don’t get me wrong, I still have that anxiety almost every day, the anxiety just isn’t as debilitating. There is a lot of shame. I was ashamed that I wasn’t the perfect perky mother that I was hoping to be. I was ashamed of the thoughts I had when my anxiety was high. No one really talks about the shame. I was too scared someone would look down on me for not being perfect. I was too scared someone would think I didn’t love her.
Since then it has been easier. I get frustrated less often, and I look to my husband more. That feeling of happiness stays with me now, and I look forward to days alone with my daughter. I can laugh a little at the first few months, and look back at my frazzled state with a calm mind. I know that I am not less of a mother for having anxiety. I know I love her, and with every smile she gives me I know that she feels loved. That is the most important thing.
She is so loved.
Guest Mom Blogger:
Anonymous, Mother of one