I did it! One whole week without an anxiety attack. There was plenty of opportunity to feel the rush of panic with stress sitting in the corner laughing at me, needlessly taunting me. But no, this week I am Rocking Motherhood. Next week I’ll keep rocking.
Being honest and open is one thing I try to stay true to as a blogger. I write with my heart on my sleeve which is why you have read about the hardships of my pregnancy, the pregnancy scare we had, the tough days we have as Momma and Papa Bear and my recent spiralling descent into the maddening world of anxiety. If you follow me on social media you’ll know that my honesty is not only on the blog but also on my Facebook page, my Instagram and wholeheartedly on twitter which has become my favourite social media platform. A twitter friend named my anxiety and it’s stuck so let’s talk about this Frickin’ Flamingo and how social media has had an effect on it.
I’ve been blogging somewhat sporadically the last few weeks. Gone is my focus, my routine and my schedule. It’s less to do with the fact that we have a five week old baby and more to do with that fact that a little over two weeks ago I accepted the fact that I was suffering from either anxiety or Postnatal Depression. D was only two weeks old and it had hit me hard. In the beginning I questioned whether it was the baby blues as the pregnancy hormones began to leave my body and sent me into a spiral. But now that I am five weeks postpartum and I’m still experiencing the painful pang of what feels like depression mixed with anxiety and confusion, I realise that I need help. I was nervous about publishing this post because it’s incredibly personal, probably the most personal I’ve written on the blog as it leaves me somewhat vulnerable, but if even one person relates to this post and realises that they too are suffering which then leads them to get help, then this post has been worth publishing.
This week on In Conversation With, Heather joins us. Heather writes an aptly named blog Very Anxious Mommy. I think it’s safe to say that we all go through moments of anxiety as we try to figure out how to be the best parent we can be and also cope with the usual disasters life can throw at us. Heather, is mum to two beautiful children, an advocate for breastfeeding and a stay at home mum. She is also open and honest in her blog about battling anxiety and depression and is genuinely an inspiration to all of us. Remember to check out her blog and to follow her on social media.
I’m not sure if it’s a normal occurence or if many tapped into this phenomenon, but B and I have talked about this quite a lot over the years as we look back on our first few weeks and months… ok, years with A. We developed, almost instantaneously, a Siege Mentality as soon as we brought A home from the hospital. Whether it was because we were mentally unprepared for our new life with a baby or the shock factor of how difficult and drastic a change it was, we don’t know. Either way, it was our new life as we aimed to protect our newborn and ourselves from any, whether positive or negative, outside influences from the world.
It’s common to have mood swings in pregnancy. Our hormones are, not so literally, sprawled across the floor in a tangled mess that even the most expert of puzzle makers could unravel. We are the Christmas tree lights thrown into the bottom of the box when we said, “we’ll deal with that next year.” So far, fourteen weeks into this pregnancy, I’ve had very valid and legitimate reasons to cry. I’ve cried through the fear and the panic of thinking we were losing this baby. I’ve cried over the worry and anxiety of literally believing I had to try to hold this baby in. I know, a ridiculous thought, but that’s what it felt like. And yet, it seems, the last few weeks that I am able to open the flood gates for well… anything. And a second later, I want to sing from the rooftops my joy and excitement. A euphoria that inevitably comes crashing down. The ups and downs of pregnancy emotions can be difficult to deal with. Especially when those around you don’t understand or appreciate how much of a rollercoaster pregnancy is.