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  • Writer's pictureToni

Postpartum Anxiety

It's time to be brave.

 

Photo of me and my little one, 2017

This was me and my little one in March, 2017. I was at my lowest. Sleep deprivation got the worst of me and I starred at this tiny soul thinking of what a HUGE failure I was. I couldn’t remember the last time I showered or when I felt happy. I felt so alone and isolated with a side of guilt. Beyond the colic months I knew there was more to my anxiety. I had to reach out to my physician if not for myself then for my little one and our family. It wasn’t fair for them to see me the way I was. I was diagnosed with Postpartum Anxiety 6 weeks after she was born. Doctors immediately had me on drugs and I hated it. I felt like I was in a foggy bubble unable to respond fast enough for my screaming newborn. I felt like I was weak and mortified to tell someone that I’m not okay. I have never spoken about my diagnosis until recently when I finally started to feel like myself again.


The journey was probably the hardest one I have ever been on. The reason why it was so difficult was because I wouldn’t allow myself to lean on anyone but my husband and best friend. As much as they were my rock, there was a point where I knew I needed professional treatment more than just a vent session.


#Momguilt is real. Having difficulty conceiving for a year was exhausting and sad. When finally being a mom, I felt that I should have felt grateful and not frustrated. That wasn't my reality at that time. I would reach out to her pediatrician asking for advice on why my 3 month old refused to sleep for longer than 30 minutes at a time and I would get an answer like, "That's a baby for you. You've got one that cries. There's nothing you can do." I was told to this constantly, over and over and over. To hear that I have no power to help ease her screams and give her some relief and us more than 2 hours of sleep a night was devastating. I imagined motherhood to be tough but never as emotionally draining as it was during the first year.


I also believe that living in the age of social media there is this internal pressure to post that "perfect photo" of your kid. This is something I still battle with because now in her toddler stage, all I want to do is to share her incredible personality and intelligence to the whole world. The days when it had it's own challenges I tended to lay low with sharing as if someone would judge me for having a bad day with my child. It's ridiculous that I was embarrassed to share that side of my experience on social media too.


Bad days are real days in parenthood.



Things began to change when I started advocating for her and I. I changed her doctors and had solid medical advice. I started reaching out to other mothers and I realized that I'm not alone. I type this to you tonight because I need you to know YOU ARE NOT ALONE. There are others who feel like you do and you can get the help you need to feel more like you again. This month is Mental Health Awareness Month. Evaluate how you're feeling and be honest. Lets stop this stigma and realize that the more we discuss the pain we're hiding the more we can help the mothers of the future, and most importantly ourselves.


Below I posted some sites that helped me in my journey. I hope it helps you or someone you may know. It's time to be brave.




 

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