by Jessica Williams, Birth Center Mama
I was never formally diagnosed, but I had some mild depression right after my son was born and I still struggle with anxiety. When he was first born, I was dealing with a lot of disappointment about having a C-section, in addition to recovering and trying to figure out how to care for a newborn. I remember feeling like I was in over my head and I wondered if I was not cut out to be a parent. I thought of care-free days of going out to happy hour or chatting with my husband on the porch and wondered if life would ever return to normal. I thought I was supposed to be over the moon with love, but
I thought I was supposed to be over the moon with love, but instead, I felt alone and did not recognize my life. Fortunately, by about week 6, my spirits were back up and I was pretty well adjusted to motherhood. I now know that the feelings I experienced in the beginning, are so common! At the time, it was hard for me to talk about it because I did not want to seem ungrateful for my healthy boy or have people think that I did not love my son. Anxiety is something that I struggled with off and on prior to having a baby and motherhood has definitely brought out some irrational fears and obsessive tendencies. When Alex was in our room in a pack n play, I had this fear that I would accidentally throw a blanket over him. Not once did I do this, but that was where my mind kept going. Now I worry that a cat is going to sneak into Alex’s room, curl up next to him, and accidentally suffocate him. This fear is slowly going away because I realize that my 8-month-old would probably pinch or bite the cat. For a while, I would obsessively cat count (we have 3) to make sure they were not in his room. These are just two examples of some of my nutty mom fears. I take Zoloft, which keeps my base level anxiety under control.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][vc_column_text]Jessica, and other mamas, share their stories to help reduce the stigma of perinatal mood disorders. If you are suffering, contact your provider for a referral or reach out to the Center for Women’s Emotional Wellness at Christiana Care. Postpartum Support International has a variety of good resources.