I am 5 months postpartum. My little baby girl is the cutest and sweetest thing ever. I absolutely adore her, but I had no idea how hard it would to adapt to motherhood. There’s no way to prepare for the huge life change of being a parent. I feel like I just woke up one day and I’m in someone else’s life. My work, home, and social life are totally different. On top of that, I live in a shoebox, so I literally have no place to escape to even if I want to, unless I leave my house (My hubby and I are desperately looking for a larger place but the real estate market is so awful right now, so I’m praying that it gets better soon).
Since I’ve had my baby, I pretty much constant anxiety. I will randomly get horrible thoughts about all the different ways that should could die or I could die. It’s really awful.
I think today my life changes finally decided to manifest themselves in my body. I had an anxiety attack on my way to work. One second I’m fine and the next I can’t breathe and I’m about to pass out. I was stuck at a red light, in the left turn lane, at a big intersection, and I didn’t know what to do. I almost jumped out of my car to walk across the street and sit on the curb, but that seemed like a bad idea, so I forced myself to breathe so that I could make the turn and pull over safely. Before that, I was just singing in my car, not loud or anything, when I thought “wow, I should stop singing because I feel like I’m not getting enough air.” So, I stopped singing and just breathed in and out for a few blocks. Then, all of a sudden, I COULDN’T get enough air!
I pulled over as soon as I could and ended up parked at a CVS. After a few minutes, I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to get to work today because I still couldn’t breathe normally. I had to text my supervisor and my client because it was too hard to talk on the phone. Sitting in my car turned out to be too hot, so I floated into the CVS and sat down on a beach chair that was on display. My legs and arms were tingling and my chest felt tight. My anxiety got worse after that because people were looking at me and I wasn’t sure whether to say anything or not. Why is it so hard to be vulnerable?! I wanted to shout out, “I’m not okay!”, but I just sat there trying to breathe. It’s so weird that more I willed myself to relax the less relaxed I felt.
I started shaking and my teeth were chattering. Was in shock or something? At one point I thought I was gonna poop my pants. My body was freaking out! I finally mustered up the courage to ask someone for help. I called one of the employers over and told him that I thought he should call 911, but I guess he thought I was lying because he just called his supervisor over instead lol. The supervisor asked me if I needed to lie down and if I had low blood sugar. I really didn’t know what to say. I think I told her that I wasn’t sure what was wrong but I just felt dizzy and couldn’t breathe. She gave me an orange juice and told me to drink. I finally called my husband and he came to get me and took me to the ER. After about 30 minutes of waiting, I finally started to calm down. The whole episode was about an hour. I never ended up seeing a doctor because the ER was packed and I knew they were just going to check me for COVID and I know I don’t have that.
Since I’ve been home, I have taken my iron supplements and vitamins, eaten, and had lots of fluids. I still have some mild anxiety, but no where near what I was experiencing earlier today. Anxiety is such a funny thing because it can hit you even when you’re not consciously thinking anxious thoughts, but it hits you in your body lol.
It’s been at least 10 years since I’ve had an anxiety attack and it was only after drinking a Monster energy drink. Today, I had cereal, water, coffee and a sandwich all between 9am and 1pm. Maybe I waited to long to eat and hydrate though. I don’t think I ate or drank anything from 9pm to 9am, but maybe that’s too long to go for nursing mother? I’m gonna go to the doctor asap and get my blood sugar and iron checked. I think I’m also gonna see a counselor about this anxiety and coping with all these life changes.