It took me six months to get help after my son was born. 6 months of checking over and over and over each night to see if he was breathing. The need to feel his chest rise 3 times before I could leave his room. Which would enviably turn into 4 times…5 times..9 times…13 times.
6 months of walking back to my room and convincing myself in that short walk that something had happened. Feeling like I had no choice but to go back and start the routine again. In the darkest days, it would be a good three hours before I could climb into bed and stay there.
6 months of worrying I couldn’t/ wasn’t capable of giving him what he needed. That his shirt was too tight or his diaper was too loose. The room was too hot, too cold. Worrying his sheet would come off the mattress and he would get caught in it. To this day I still can’t bring myself to put a blanket in his crib.
6 months of counting, then recounting scoops of formula-just to throw it away in the end because I knew I must have done something wrong.
6 months of being scared to let him out of my sight, to let him sleep anywhere but his room. Of making myself not call the daycare 40 times a day to see if he was okay.
6 months of thinking I wasn’t enough for my family and they deserved so much more than me. Getting help wasn’t easy. I’m lucky that my husband encouraged me to get help. I’m thankful that he never made me feel bad or wrong or crazy for feeling so out of control. I had to fight for my OB appointment. I had to advocate that I needed help and no, it wasn’t something that could wait for a “new patient appointment” because I was technically a new patient to the OB department.
If it wasn’t for my high-risk nurse who heard my cry for help when I ran out of options, I’m not sure what could of happened next. It took me 6 months to find someone to talk to and medication that allowed enough room in my brain to sleep, to eat, and eventually live my life. I had never heard of Postpartum Anxiety before my son was born. Now I know I’m not alone. He’s almost 17 months old now and I still have moments of panic and fear. Some of that just comes with motherhood. Some of it not. We have to do better for moms. Not all of them are as lucky as I am. #maternalmentalawareness