WELCOME! This isn’t exactly going to be the most fun post that I’ve written. However, it is necessary. This post is why I started my blog – it has taken some time for me to write this but I’m feeling ready. This is all about my struggles (and triumph) with postpartum anxiety (PPA). I’m hoping that someone reading this will benefit from it. Don’t forget… this is a judge free zone. If you have something negative to say, please remember that everyone’s experiences are different and this one is mine. If you still have something negative to say, please go ahead and click that ‘x’ in the corner of your screen!
Let me start by telling you that I’ve always been a pretty happy go lucky type of girl. So, I’m not exactly looking forward to writing this. I do think that this could help someone else and that is why I am here. I definitely don’t need sympathy or pity from anyone… just looking to help someone who may be in the same position that I was in.
I prepared for our baby to join us for months. We made sure that her nursery was perfect. Her clothes all put away. We had way more than we needed for her to join our family. And then, she did. Within 4 hours from my first contraction, Tayler and I were holding our baby. While my pregnancy and delivery weren’t the easiest… it was all over. Our families held her and (since it was now morning) they all went home. Our room was dark and it was just the 3 of us. We were just so relieved to have a healthy baby!
Vandy was (and totally still is) about the most laid back, chill baby. She really is. You can read my Labor and Delivery Story if you want more information, however, my recovery from delivery wasn’t easy, either. Because of this, it was actually somewhat hard to hold her and it was nearly impossible for me to get in and out of the bed. Thankfully, my sweet husband always goes above and beyond for me. He literally took care of her 100% for at least the first week.
I didn’t really bond with Vandy because of how little I was able to do with her. However, I started to feel better and I started to take care of her and I got a ton of snuggles. I still felt horrible that I wasn’t obsessed with her. I didn’t have that ‘overwhelming love’ that everyone talks about. Tayler and I talked about it A TON. I hated that I felt like that – I was really trying!
I started getting suuuuper snappy with Tayler and the rest of my family. They would say something and I immediately had a rude remark in response. I took everything so offensively. If someone had a suggestion, I would cry on the way home to Tayler because I felt like everyone thought I was a bad parent.
Sometimes, I just wanted to sit on the floor and cry. Sometimes, I did just that. When Tayler went back to work (after 2 weeks off), I pretty much texted him all day thinking that something was wrong with Vandy or basically begging him to come home. I was terrified to be left alone with her. TERRIFIED.
Before bed every night I would basically start crying or get so anxious that I thought I was going to literally have a heart attack. So, Tayler (thankfully) started taking Vandy at nights and would then wake up, get ready, drive over an hour to work, drive home, and take care of her until he left the next day. I still felt terrible but I couldn’t help it. It was such a miserable time.
I started a Google search about postpartum depression…my symptoms were the same but DIFFERENT. It wasn’t like I couldn’t get out of bed or something like that. I didn’t feel like I wanted to hurt Vandy. It just wasn’t the same as what I was feeling.
I kept researching. Nothing. I couldn’t find ANYTHING that was similar to my symptoms. I felt defeated and basically crazy.
My symptoms kept getting worse, more extreme, more often. I wasn’t taking care of myself and I would basically refuse when Tayler would try to get me to shower or eat.
I basically hated myself. I really felt invisible, silent, and didn’t feel like I was being a good enough mom for Vandy.
We have the world’s easiest baby. Sleeps 12+ hours at night, brightens everyone’s day, only cries if she’s hungry or doesn’t really want to take her nap! She’s so good anytime we take her places. And yet the idea of taking her somewhere gave me so much anxiety that I couldn’t do it. I would only really take her somewhere if Tayler went with me. People coming over to our house was just as bad. I felt like our home needed to be spotless or everyone would think I was failing. Or that our dog would need to be perfect or I would be totally sucking at managing our dog. I put all of this stress on myself and I was literally making myself miserable. Not by choice but I couldn’t stop.
Nights were the worst. I would beg Tayler to just let me go drive around by myself to think. He really didn’t want me to just go drive around by myself considering I was pretty well hysterical most of the time when I would ask but I also knew that once I got in the car, I would instantly be mad at him for not wanting me to stay. Of course he wanted me to stay. He wanted me to do whatever I needed to be happy but there wasn’t a good answer. I wasn’t happy anywhere.
My anxiety episodes turned into full blown anxiety attacks. What if something happened to Tayler on his way to work? What if Vandy gets sick? How can I take care of her all by myself all day? What if Tayler doesn’t love me after all of this? My brain would not stop.
I just felt like my world was so dark. Here I am with this amazing baby and husband – why am I not happy?! Am I losing my damn mind? No matter how hard I tried, it just kept getting worse.
Then, my family talked me into seeing my OB/GYN. I was about 3 months postpartum but she still wanted to see me to talk about it. I’ll also mention that my OB is the best. I really mean that. She is so amazing and laid back. She’s easy to talk to and she was so, so good for us the entire time I was pregnant and did such a great job during the craziness of delivery! I have felt better ever since I spoke with her and she told me that I was searching for the wrong thing.
Seriously, this one word change in my search changed my life. I, then, reached out to a friend about the issues that I was having and she was going through the exact same thing. Seriously… God sent her into my life. I truly believe this. We’ve talked about this a ton and I think we’ve made each other realize that we really are sane.
I’m no where near how I was before Vandy was born. However, we have definitely bonded and even leaving her to just go to Walmart about kills me. I definitely have more good days than bad. When I do have a bad day, I just try really hard to talk to Tayler about it and try to look at the bright side. I reach out to friends if I need it and taking Vandy for walks on nice days also seems to help!
So, if you are currently standing in some similar shoes or you are currently pregnant… you may want to bookmark this one. Subscribe to my blog because this definitely won’t be the last of its’ kind. I really do aim to help other women feel empowered and to realize their worth.
I will leave some fun suggestions below that just may take you out of your ‘funk’ – even if it’s only for a little bit!
- Take a loooooong bath. Relax and try to just think. If you’re like me and you feel like you don’t want to be alone… have your boyfriend/husband sit in the bathroom with you and just talk or call a friend and vent your heart out!
- Don’t hold your thoughts in. It may not be fun while you do it but you really need to talk about your feelings. You’ll feel soooo much better once you’re done! If you don’t have someone to talk to… message me. I’m serious. I’m happy to talk because I’ve been where you are. I know that it isn’t fun and I also know that you aren’t crazy.
- Exercise… outside is definitely best! Fresh air on a walk is my current favorite. I am hoping to get back into jogging and this has helped me more than I would’ve every imagined! Fresh air of any kind is amazing, clean and vacuum and leave the windows open if the weather allows.
- Read some blogs or watch some YouTube videos that focus on postpartum anxiety.
- Remember: it’s okay to go to Walmart alone or wherever else. My parents love to watch Vandy while Tayler and I go grocery shopping and it helps so much because we get to talk and relax for a little bit and my parents get to spend time with her!
- Take a deep breath. Sounds silly but I’m completely serious. Somedays you just need to take a brief second to catch your breath and ground yourself.
Again, if you don’t feel like you have anyone that you can talk to about your feelings, please reach out to me. I’d love to talk to you. You are not crazy. In fact, you’re annoyingly normal! Please remember that you are not less than the next person because you deal with postpartum anxiety. I believe it has truly made me a better, stronger version of myself and I finally know how to stand up for myself and what I need. I’m still working on it but I’m getting there!
If you are here… I’m willing to bet you have a baby or are about to have a baby. Check out my Newborn Must Haves post to double check your list!
Thank you for being here. This blog is always a no judgement zone so feel free to leave a comment below. ANY negative comments will be deleted.
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