Everyone says things will change after you have a child. What they don’t tell you is the possibility of postpartum anxiety that is almost impossible to control. I knew having a child was going to be difficult. I felt like I had prepared myself in every way. What I didn’t prepare for was this thing called postpartum anxiety that I use to be so ashamed of.
6 weeks after my daughter was born I had to go back to work. I put her in daycare that Monday morning and come Tuesday my world came crashing down. Maylee was 6 weeks old with meningitis. My sweet baby girl caught Meningitis. She was incubated in an ambulance and headed straight to Cooks Children’s Hospital.
This is where it all began.
This is when my crippling anxiety started taking over my life.
I have a fear of sickness. It’s a thing. Actually, the more I have opened up about my postpartum anxiety, the more I have come to terms with the fact that I am not alone. Do you know just how many momma’s have postpartum anxiety? Or better yet anxiety over sicknesses? I no longer can handle vomit. It’s so bad when my daughter vomits that my husband knows he has to play mom. It’s so bad if my children make a noise on the monitor. I wake my husband up asking “OMG did you hear her cough? Did she vomit? Is she sick?” I’m pretty sure my husband thinks I’m insane, but I will say he loves me through the craziness. I thought once we left the hospital everything would be fine. Yet still, a dark cloud of anxiety held over me. I obsessed over watching her breath. I started to wonder if I had postpartum depression. I went seeking for help and a doctor tried to put me on depression medication, but this was different from what I’d been told to watch out for. I knew I wasn’t depressed. I felt connected to my baby girl. I loved her with my whole heart, I felt the need to protect her, but everything made me anxious.
Everything made my heart race.
Everything made me panic. I was anxious.
I was terrified of the unknown. What if she gets sick again? I ended up reading about postpartum anxiety when I started talking to fellow mommas. It was affecting me, my husband, and my daughter. I was raising her in a fast-paced lifestyle that was full of anxiety and led her to become an angry child. So, I tried to find ways to cope. Some days went well. Other days I felt too stressed, scared and too overwhelmed to leave the house. I was scared of germs and wouldn’t leave in fear of my daughter catching “a bug”. I took control over my anxiety and developed friendships. Friendships with fellow moms. I surrounded myself with other mommas who understood me. Moms who let me vent in a judgment free zone. Moms who loved me through my anxiety and showed me that I wasn’t alone.
You see I was embarrassed. I had a roof over my head, a beautiful family, and the most supportive husband…yet I still felt lost. What I have learned through my journey with postpartum anxiety is that I am not alone. Many moms struggle with it, but are too afraid to talk about it. I have chosen to speak about it in hopes that it finds another mom peace and hope. We are not alone in this. Exercise and focus on the good things in life. Enjoy the outdoors. Do something for yourself, momma. I would love to say that my anxiety is gone, but to say I don’t still wake my husband up in the middle of the night would be a lie. The truth is, there is not a quick fix. It’s called motherhood and motherhood leads to anxious feelings. The bad days are few and far between.
I have found a village of mommas who love me through it all. I now take my daughter to a Mother’s Day Out program without feeling guilt. I try not to stress about the uncertainty of a sickness. No matter how difficult it is for me, it is worth it. For my daughter, for my husband, and for me. I cannot keep my daughter secluded from the world because of the uncertainty. The sisterhood of motherhood has saved my sanity. We come in all differences of opinions, circumstances, strengths, and weaknesses. One thing remains the same, we are all mothers who are winging this thing called motherhood.
Baylie has a strong desire to help women through motherhood. She is always positive and loves to make others feel fulfilled. She lives her life loving others and caring for others. She is strong willed and works extremely hard. Baylie always takes chances and loves to reach for the sky.