When you’re pregnant your told by your doctor or mid-wife everything possible about Postpartum Depression. After the birth of your baby your doctor/mid-wife goes through a routine of questions to try to determine if you’re experiencing it. How are you feeling? Do you have any bad thoughts about your baby? There are so many resources available to help you get through and understand signs of Postpartum depression.
After the birth of my second baby, my daughter Ella. I was more than prepared for these questions. I knew what to be on the look out for. After birth I felt great, considering. I felt overwhelmed with joy. I had a beautiful baby girl, my sweet son and an amazing, helpful spouse. I was feeling like the luckiest girl in the world! How could I ever feel depressed?
But… there was one thing that did haunt me everyday that I wasn’t prepared for. I couldn’t diagnose this feeling. I had no idea what was going on with me. After many restless nights I knew I had to try and find an answer. Surely, I couldn’t be the only one out there feeling this. After a lot of online research I finally stumbled across information about Postpartum Anxiety. This was something I knew nothing about. From my experience Postpartum Anxiety is kind of the opposite of Postpartum Depression but can over time turn into depression. It’s the constant fear or worry about your baby’s health, your well being or any of your loved ones. You have this constant fear that the most terrible things are going to happen to you or anyone you love. These horrible thoughts would haunt me everyday and predicted daily life.
Already after having a baby your filled with so many emotions. Your hormones are on a rampage and then adding this to the mix. Not fun. I would start to think “What if we got into a car accident? What would happen to my babies if they didn’t have me? What if Drew didn’t come home from work for some terrible reason?” I got so embarrassed with myself for thinking these things. They were awful. I would get so worked up, I would turn myself into a nervous wreck with the many ‘What If’s?’ Sheltering me and my babies. I finally spoke to my doctor, with little to no help I decided that I had to take it into my own hands.
I came to the conclusion that I had to face these fears head on. I had to take back control over my mind and my body. Mind over matter, right! Slowly, I began to get back into yoga. This is where I find peace and can clear my mind. I used mental exercises to rid these horrible thoughts and trained myself to think positive. Kind of like when a cat does something bad and you spray it with a water bottle to keep it from doing it again. I did that to myself! I did of course daily loads of venting to Drew, it always felt soo good to talk about it and rationalize it. I tried my hardest to catch up on sleep. When your taking care of a newborn and having no sleep, of course it’s hard to think clearly. I can now say, a year after having Ella I don’t feel these thoughts anymore! I don’t let them take over.
Of course everyone experiences this differently which is why I wanted to express my story. To all of you moms out there dealing with Postpartum Anxiety or have faced it yourself I would love to hear your stories and what helped you. This is something so common that almost never gets talked about. I’ve learnt a lot through online resources and my mom! Take advantage of educating yourself. Most importantly take care of you, your baby and find enjoyment in every minute. Don’t let the ‘What If’s?’ get the best of you!