Postnatal Anxiety – It’s a struggle
As I sit in my car struggling to catch my breath, thinking why on earth did you just say yes! Why did you just agree to that?! I didn’t know what to do, so I phoned my mum. Explaining to my mum that I had just agreed to my mother in law (mil) taking Darcie for the first time the next day. She’s only 4 weeks old I told my mum, she needs me, her mummy. I’m not ready for this! I can’t do this, and I can feel the panic arising. I needed air, I had to get out my house. So I’m sitting in my car, outside Tesco (I didn’t even need anything from the shop) panicking, catching my breathe. I can’t tell her no, she is her Gran after all, and I know she will look after Darcie, she won’t let any harm come to her. She will be fine. But I am not! This was sprung on me, I was put into a situation where I felt as though I couldn’t say no, even though I probably could have, and it would be fine. But in that moment, I felt like I had to say yes. For me, this brought back so many memories and raw feelings of having to give me son away every other weekend. Not having the option to say no, having to miss out on family days and memories because I was no longer with his Dad. That feeling of the first time I had to leave him, and I sat in my car in tears for ages before I could drive home. All these feelings and fears came flooding back. I didn’t even know they were still stored in there. I’ve become used to Ben being away every other weekend. I still don’t like it, but it’s just a part of life now, it’s been happening for almost 6 years.
So off I went back home, after buying sweets and crisps from Tesco! ( got to love comfort food!) sat back in my living room with my Fiancé and my mil. Acted like I hadn’t just had a melt down in the car, and I was totally fine with everything. Trying so hard to keep my feelings to myself. My mil went home, and I carried on the night with Kris like nothing was wrong. We went to bed, and I couldn’t get it out my head. I was getting more and more annoyed that this was just sprung on me, that I was put into that situation, and that I didn’t have the chance to prepare.
My mil was coming round the next morning to take my baby away for a couple of hours and I wasn’t prepared in the slightest. My anxiety levels were through the roof, my chest was tight, and I was panicking. I still hadn’t spoke to Kris about it. I couldn’t, he’s not going to understand, he will just think I’m crazy, that I am panicking because my baby is going away for 2 hours, he’s not going to get it! So instead, I went into my head. I couldn’t even look at him, let alone talk to him. I was annoyed with him too! He should know that I’m not ready, he knows me better than anyone in this world, so I shouldn’t even have to tell him. He kept asking me what was wrong, that I was being distant, but I just kept telling him I was fine. Then he started to ask if it was because Darcie was going away, and I just kept saying “No I’m fine!” That was completely the wrong thing to do. I should have just been open and honest with him there. So as I lay in bed, clinging onto my baby, hoping that my mil wouldn’t turn up. I heard the door go. I couldn’t bring myself to go down, so kris took Darcie and handed her over. I lay in bed frantically wiping away the tears before kris came back up, hiding my face in my pillow, refusing his cuddles, not wanting to be around him or anyone. I just wanted my baby back home, I wasn’t ready for her to be away from me. He left me to it, and as soon as he left the room, I broke down, I couldn’t breathe, my chest was so tight,I couldn’t stop the tears! These 2 hours were longest ever, and in that time my feelings came spilling out, and I blamed kris, I was annoyed with him, so it turned into a fight. I didn’t want that to happen, I was trying so hard to keep my feelings to myself, but it was making it worse. Darcie come home, she was fine, she was changed and fed and happy. I knew she would be, I just wasn’t prepared.
The sun was out, beautiful autumn day, so we wrapped Darcie up and took her a walk. The fresh air helped. We stopped in a memorial garden and sat down. Still fighting back the tears, I was able to open up to kris and tell him exactly how I felt. Without blaming him, without being annoyed at him. What I should have done in the first place. Post natal anxiety is hard, it’s totally normal, I suppose I just have to learn to be more open with my feelings, and learn to say no when I’m not comfortable. I need time to prepare myself mentally for things like that. I need to have a plan sorted, and feel in control of the situation. I struggle when I’m put on the spot. I can’t say no. Then I panic and make myself ill, when the situation could have been avoided if I had just been honest about my feelings.