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Anxiety and Motherhood
Dealing with Anxiety as a new mother.
When I was 21 years old I got pregnant with my first child. My pregnancy was horrible, I was constantly scared and had nightmares about labor and the physical aspect of it. I never wanted to have a baby and thought my 100 pound, 5'1 self couldn't push a baby out of my vagina. I was defiantly wrong about that theory considering my body has now pushed three babies out of my vagina. Before I got pregnant I was living with a good friend, enjoying life and being young. My boyfriend at the time (who is now my husband) dealt with my pregnancy the best he could, however, it was defiantly a challenge to keep our love alive. We were constantly fighting, I was depressed all the time and hormonal as hell.
After delivering my son, I was so excited and proud to be a new mother. I loved him with all my heart and wanted to be the best mother possible. What I didn't know, was how bad the unwanted anxiety can come out of nowhere and start to be a factor of your every day life. No one warns you about anxiety after having a baby and the more I talk to new mothers about it, the more common I find it to be.
Here are some main aspects I encountered while dealing with anxiety after I had my baby. I wanted to share so new mothers realize they are not alone.
- It is about an eight hour drive from my home to my husbands parents house and a forty-five minute plane ride. My husband is very close with his family and our first baby was his mothers first grandchild. We all know how mother in laws can be. I was expected to pack up all my babies belongings and put him in a car for eight hours or on a plane to go visit them. Sounds like an easy task for some, however, here were my thoughts as a new mother traveling with my anxiety. If I were to get on a plane with my baby we were going to die. That plane was going down and it would end our lives in the worst way possible. The only way to stay safe was to stay at home in my sweet comfortable bubble and nurture and protect my baby in his own surroundings. Getting in a car would result in a car crash. These thoughts sound crazy and absurd but this is how I felt and my fear of my baby getting hurt was everywhere. So I chose to not get on a plane and not put my baby in a car for eight hours. Moms, if you don't want to travel as a new mom then don't. You have a right to stay home and enjoy your bubble with your newborn baby. Family can wait, your mental health and staying sane as a new mom is your top priority. I wish others could understand this more.
Night time scares.
- My husband worked overnights and I was left alone with the baby while he was at work five nights out of the week. For some this wouldn't be an issue, but for a mom with bad anxiety, it defiantly was. I couldn't sleep at all and it wasn't because of my baby staying awake. My thoughts would race in my head at night. Is someone going to break in the house? What if there is an earthquake or natural disaster and I am alone with the baby? How am I supposed to protect myself and keep my baby safe? Every possible bad thought would race through my head and leave me sleepless and scared. The anxiety was so bad I would search the news and read about all the bad things in the world. Who does that? I did. My anxiety let me.
- I gained fifty pounds with my baby boy. I was 21 years old and before I got pregnant I had a perfect body. I never had to deal with stretch marks or loose skin. To be honest, after I had my baby I felt disgusting. I went from this young and hot 21 year old to a new mom with loose skin and thicker thighs. I was not mentally prepared. I hated being around my friends who still had their great young bodies. My anxiety made me think that my husband didn't like me anymore and didn't want to be intimate with me because of the way I looked. Those thoughts defiantly weighed in our relationship. Anxiety even led me to believe he was out cheating on me when he really wasn't. I wish I could of been more confident.
If you are a new mother and are dealing with anxiety, you are not alone. A lot of moms prepare you for the breastfeeding and the sleepless nights, however, the struggle with anxiety is never talked about. I had no idea my body would do this to me. I never had anxiety before having a baby and it was all new to me. The best way to deal with anxiety after having a baby is to talk about it. I found that talking with my husband released a lot of bad thoughts and getting everything out in the open almost aired my head. If you are struggling with anxiety, please talk to someone that you feel most comfortable with.
Medication is great for some people, however, for me I depended to much on the Zoloft and Xanax to even realize what the deep root issue was. Don't depend to much on the medication to fix everything. Dealing with the root of the problem and where the anxiety is coming from was the best way for me to eliminate it.
Breathe. Take time for yourself. Sit on the beach and get fresh air. Go for a walk and enjoy the scenery of the flowers and feel that heat from the sunshine. Getting some alone time really takes your mind into a positive setting and almost sets you free from the anxiety you have been feeling.
And most importantly. Keep up the great work, being a new mother isn't easy and if you are a new mother living with anxiety like I was, it makes it even harder. Just know from my experience, their is a light at the end of the tunnel. Mostly filled with sticky fingers and chocolate kisses.
© 2017 Kendall Home