Postnatal Anxiety – It’s a struggle

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.

31 thoughts on “Postnatal Anxiety – It’s a struggle

  1. Awwww huni, your feelings are normal. I struggled to let someone take Erin and Megan when they were little. You can turn this around to be a positive thing though. If your MIL wants to take Darcie then let her, make time for yourself, go for a relaxing bath or go for a sleep. There will be times when you need her and your own mum. Don’t make an issue of it now and accept the help. Love you lots. Xxxx

  2. Hi Michelle first of all well done for admitting there is something wrong and for opening up to your partner Kris.
    This is my story, for me the feeling of anxiety was a loss of control of the situation and I was grieving for my mum and dad both, whilst just having my daughter. It was exactly as you said except but for me it manifested in my leaving the house and showing my beautiful baby what a wonderful, colourful world there was around us I just couldn’t bring myself to get out. I could function very easily with the everyday things like washing,looking after my baby, cooking etc but getting out of the house was a no no. My husband didn’t understand just his way I suppose but for me what helped was counselling as talking was kethartic and truly beneficial to my well being and as my counsellor used to say Relax,Release and Breathe.
    He taught me that if I slowed my breathing down and relaxed I would be able to slowly teach my brain that nothing bad would happen to me or my baby and over thinking things wouldn’t benefit me either.
    It took me a good 3-4 months and some adjustments to my lifestyle like going out to the fenced off garden and testing myself a little every day and eventually I got there.
    So Michelle I kind of understand to an extent how you feel and as my dad used to say keep going forward if not you’ll only stop but the world around you keeps going.
    Maybe this is your way of dealing with your anxiety telling people and writing it down and hopefully through time you will find your inner balance and be able to live your life the way you choose happy and content with all you have , your lovely family cause that’s all that really matters in the long run.
    Tracey 😘😘

    1. Hi Tracey,

      Thanks for the comment, and thanks for sharing your story. You sound like you had really bad anxiety, and well done for getting through it, and coming out the other side. It was defiantly the loss of control that was my biggest issue yesterday, I feel as though if I had the time to mentally prepare myself, I would have coped better. Time will tell, I have a couple of things planned this month, so will see how I get on with being mentally prepared for it, and totally in control xx

  3. I am so sorry you are feeling this way Mama. Having our little ones away can be very upsetting and I cannot even imagine the feeling. It is so important to have open communication with your partner, especially when it feels like we can’t. They will always be there to support you. Take care.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It’s great to know that others struggle with post natal anxiety. It’s easy to just pass it off as hormones, but the feeling is very real. I admire you for sharing something so personal!

  5. Oh my goodness! You’ve literally taken the words right out of my mouth in this blog post! I was forced to let my family spend time with my wee one out of guilt of living so far away. He was only 3 weeks old! My anxiety is still so bad every time I get a text from them demanding to see him because I’m still not 100% with letting him go yet, he’s my baby after all! Glad other people have experienced this too, makes me feel less lonely lol x loved this x

    1. Hi Alanah, thanks for commenting on my post. The guilt feeling is awful. One thing I have learned throughout this process is that it’s ok to say no. She is my baby after all and if I’m not comfortable with people having her then she stays with me. However this has still to be put to the test as it’s easier said that done. lol. I have had a lot of support and messages from other mums, it’s great to know we aren’t alone ❤️ x

  6. I had severe postpartum anxiety with my son that turned into postpartum depression. It’s such a difficult thing to go through. I had to eventually take medication for mine, but over time things got better. Loved this post!

    1. I am so sorry you had to go through that. I had postnatal depression with my first baby, it really is awful, and not spoke about enough. I’m glad things got better over time for you 🙂 x

  7. I’m sorry you went through that. I couldn’t imagine letting my daughter out of my sight at that age, let alone for two hours! I used to be where you are, feeling like I had to say yes to whatever was sprung on me. It’s taken a bit of time and some soul searching (and reading the Boundaries book a few times), to get to a point where I can stay true to myself and not feel guilty about it.

  8. I am so sorry you have to live with anxiety. I am living with that too – I think in all honesty all parents do as we worry about our children at any step. However what helped me is learning that anxiety is normal, and how it actually works so I can control it better. x

    1. Thank you for your comment 🙂 I’m still trying to find a way to live with it, but I’m sure I will get there. I’m sorry you have to live with it too, but I think you are right in what you are saying that most parents go through this x

  9. oh no!!! I hope with time the anxiety gets better! I don’t have children, but I can only imagine. I’m glad you were able to express yourself on your blog and with your partner. I hope that helped!

  10. Oh my goodness, it sounds like you’re having a tough time at the moment. I’m so glad you were able to talk to Kris in the end and I hope that with time, it becomes easier for you x

  11. Sorry to read about your anxiety, I can relate though. I’ve had anxiety since I was a child and it has been worse since I had the children. I have CBT which I find really helpful, it’s very hard though and has a way of taking over!

  12. Wow…reading this post brings back alot of memories. I suffered really bad from PA (you know I didn’t know there was a term for it until reading this). Soo true about COMMUNICATION- When you don’t vocalise how your feeling, it leaves you with just your own thoughts which are so negative, and magnifying that it makes everything worse.
    I hope your feeling better now :-).

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