Do you feel that your anxiety controls every aspect of your life?
I did feel that way before I started my therapy. It was horrible, its uncontrollable and absolutely exhausting. Here is my anxiety story pre and post baby.
How I have found becoming a mum & dealing with anxiety.
Becoming a mum has been amazing, one crazy rollercoaster ride. I never thought I’d have a successful pregnancy after my ectopic and losing my right tube. But here we are 10 months after having my son and he is my little star.
I remember when I found out I was pregnant and I just thought, crap I need to sort myself out, I don’t want this baby to feel the way I do. Anxiety has taken so much from me, most of the time I wasn’t in control of it. I have missed out on so many events and parties because of my mental health. I knew I needed to figure out how to really get a hold on my anxiety & agoraphobia before the baby arrived. Emerson has saved me in so many ways I can’t even imagine the person I would be today without him. Going into motherhood whilst suffering with anxiety & agoraphobia was beyond terrifying. I didn’t want him to grow up around a mum that wasn’t there mentally all the time. I was worried he would see how I am and think it’s totally normal. Whilst being nervous, worried, excited, angry are all real and ‘normal’ feelings. It’s the ability to be reasonable, rational and realistic, that I lacked.
Learning to manage my anxieties and phobias during pregnancy with all the added hormones was, well a whirlwind. I went through this stage of pregnancy feeling amazing and I got the giggles at the smallest of things. Through most of them my husband would look at me and say ‘Are you okay? Did you pee your pants?’. I did a few times, but hey I was pregnant!
Since having my son, I can honestly say my anxiety has taken a back seat. It did help me leaving the house straight away. Well I say straight away after I think 2/3 days we went for a little walk around the block. Even if it felt like my organs where still shuffling around and my baby bump that had no baby in anymore, jiggled away. I felt like shit in all honesty, physically not mentally! Although I was exhausted, I didn’t feel anxious about things I normally would. They all changed to baby related worries.
Baby related worries as a first-time mum.
Wow. I was not expecting to worry about the things I did with a new-born baby. Is his poop the right colour? It was fine. Why has he got red spots all over his face? Baby acne, milk spots. Is he still breathing? This was a tough one for me to shake, even now I check when he’s sleeping. I think after suffering an ectopic and a miscarriage, you always think something bad will happen. Is he okay in his car seat? I remember sitting in the back with him for around 3-4 months, I was just so paranoid he would suffocate in his seat, or he wasn’t positioned correctly. THE STRESS! It was draining, eventually they slowly died down. I still worry but not as much, I understand his different cries. I can hear him breathing because the kid snores just like his dad in his sleep! If I can’t I just pop my hand on his belly and I’m good! As he’s getting older and reaching new milestones my worries are changing. I am currently trying to figure out how to baby proof walls after a trip to A&E. My son ran into a wall!
How do I still help myself feel less anxious now?
I read, I eat chocolate and I phone my mum to have a rant. I also shower alone for a good 30 minutes to destress. Reading really helps me relax, especially in the early days with a new-born. I read a lot during cluster feeding times and night feeds to stay awake. Reading has always helped calm my mind, must draw me in though. By the 5th or 6th chapter if I’m not loving it, I move on to another. Showering is a weird one I guess, but honestly having a long hot shower is what I need 90% of the time. I like to imagine washing away my anxiety for that day, my worries and anything that happened that day that hasn’t made me feel great.
Cuddling my little boy, when he lets me. Mainly in the evening when he’s winding down, he becomes super cuddly I love it!
If you are suffering right now, if you know your triggers or even if you don’t. Get out, go for a walk even if its 5 minutes every day. I helps I promise; fresh air is also great for both you and baby! It is tough but if you have someone supportive by your side get them to come with you. If you’re on your own, pop some headphones in listen to a book, music or a podcast. I am loving podcasts currently, only particular ones, that make me laugh. Yes, I am that crazy woman walking down the street laughing her ass off! I love it, and Emerson laughs at me too. It’s a win /win. I am always working on ways to deal with my anxiety, getting control over my triggers and living my life!
I will always have anxiety, but it’s the way I react to it that matters. That’s what will help teach my children that quitting is never an option. Even if it does suck occasionally, we are all strong enough to come through the other side. We just need to believe in ourselves.
Hey! I’m Thia from The Honest Mums Club. I’m a 23-year-old first time mama, documenting my journey through pregnancy loss, motherhood and mental health. My family is my world, but so is free food, specifically cake! I started my blog this year to help build a community of likeminded parents to encourage each other on this crazy journey we call parenthood!