Hi readers. It has been awhile for numerous reasons but the main one being I didn’t really know what to share or even how to share it. The past several months have been challenging. I had to go back and reread my last postpartum update, which was 5 months ago, because I had forgotten exactly what I had shared.
My hope when I created this little space for myself was to be authentic and real. Can I just tell you for a moment how hard that can be sometimes. When I began blogging it was super easy to write and share because I didn’t think anyone I actually knew in real life was going to read it. I am not saying this to say I am a different person than I portray on the internet. Trust me. I am exactly the same. But thinking that people I actually know might visit my blog has at times left me feeling apprehensive to post.
It is so easy to get caught up in yourself and the day to day tasks in life. Sometimes it can all seem never-ending. The piles of clothes waiting to be cleaned or put away, dirty dishes from the meal you just made, cluttered countertops with bills awaiting to be paid, and the stuff that has accumulated in your house that needs to be maintained can almost feel suffocating at times.
After Maisie was born I was feeling so awesome. I was happy to have our little girl home, my body was recovering great from pregnancy, Caden was transitioning nicely into his role of big brother, and Josh was able to take a few shifts off from the fire station. Overall life was feeling really great.
I can’t even really pinpoint to you when I started to notice the anxiety creeping into my days.
Maybe that is the point.
I can’t pinpoint when it started because it had been there all along. Hovering in the background waiting to creep into every fiber of my being.
Not really a problem or even anything noticeable to anyone else but more of an internal battle I was struggling with everyday.
Thoughts of death, dying, sickness, and disease began to overtake my life. I worried about absolutely everything. Anything horrible that I read about or heard about that was happening to someone else would immediately send my mind racing with the possibility that those horrible things were going to happen to me and my family.
It was awful.
If you have never struggled with anxiety be so thankful. It is debilitating and robs you of so much joy.
I would be feeding my beautiful newborn baby, listening to my husband and son play together in the other room and be terrified that something awful was going to happen to one of us that would break apart our family.
When your thoughts are constantly focused on the negative the world starts to look a little less brighter. These untrue negative thoughts were slowly becoming my new truth. My mind was beginning to believe what I was thinking was actually going to happen.
All of this came to an abrupt boil 8 weeks after Maisie was born. I started having panic attacks that were triggered from several medical issues that I was dealing with at the time. I was worried, frustrated, and frankly annoyed that I couldn’t get a better handle on my emotional state. My thoughts were spiraling out of control and I could not for the life of me reign them back in.
Josh was on shift (his shifts are 24 hours) and I called him crying. I felt like I was going to pass out because I couldn’t breathe. My heart was beating so fast and everything I could think of to calm myself down was not working. Thankfully he was able to come home and my parents came over to the house to watch the kids. We then proceeded to drive back to the fire station so he could hook me up to the monitors and see what was going on. Of course by the time we got to the fire station my heart rate had returned to normal and I felt like a crazy person for even calling my husband to come home.
The single best thing that happened from this event was talking on the phone later that night to the wife of Josh’s friend/firefighter co-worker. Thank you, Sara, so much for taking the time to talk to me! Sara is a Labor and Delivery nurse and it was this conversation that led me to my doctor to talk about getting treatment for postpartum depression and anxiety.
Until this moment I didn’t really think that I was dealing with anything postpartum related. Everything came on so gradually. Sometimes it takes a person from the outside looking in to be able to give you the encouragement you need at just the right moment.
If you are struggling with depression or anxiety please know you are not alone. Check back Thursday. I will be sharing the details on my treatment and how I am currently doing.
Thank you for taking the time to read and feel free to share this post.
UPDATE: Thank you so much for your support, comments, and shares! Be sure to read my follow up post on how I am doing now and details on my treatment.