New Mom Anxiety

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.

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July 29, 2021

When it comes to anxiety, breathe is the key 🙂
Having a baby is naturally a life-changing thing !
So sometimes we need to learn breathing again. Breath with your belly. You can also see some therapist or instructor (like yoga) that can teach you new ways of breathing.

July 29, 2021

@twinparadox I think I’ll go back to Yoga. I miss it. I used to go all the time. I need it now more than ever.

July 29, 2021

Full on anxiety attack. Work, motherhood, and catastrophic thinking. One day at a time. I remember bursting into tears the first time I changed my daughter — the realization that this little human’s life was totally in my hands. I’d recommend taking a little Xanax to take the edge off. Take half or a quarter of what they prescribe until you see how it affects you and just take it when you feel anxious. It will be okay.

July 29, 2021

@solovoice I don’t have any meds right now, but I’m gonna talk to my doctor and maybe she will give me some.

July 30, 2021

@theheartspeaks If you can avoid meds, maybe that worth avoiding it. It depends how disabled by anxiety you feel. I took these benzos (like Xanax ..) a first time and then got hooked for my lifetime. Yoga and everything that breathe can do are way healthier as you’ll learn to naturally vent your emotions instead of repressing them with chemistry damaging your brain.

If you’re overwhelmed by anxiety, if you don’t have time or energy to take care of yourself, meds are of course a big help and even necessary sometimes. But then do therapy or something (if yoga isn’t enough) at the same time, keep in mind that meds won’t cure you, they will just put the problem under the carpet for a short time.

I had a major anxiety disorder for like 15 years, panic attacks and all the funny stuff anxiety can do, sometimes it was ok live with, sometimes it was disabling, a couple of times I ended up to the hospital. Peak time was after my twins birth.
It’s still a bit hard to believe, but after all that time I got rid of it. I had meds, therapy (different kinds), sport, but in the end, I feel that breathe is the key, if you learn to calm down by breathing, you can avoid panic attacks.

I know breathing sound like “too simple” for such a complex, mental, situation. Maybe that’s why I neglected this for too long.

You wrote it right : emotions are actually physical ! Next time you’re having an attack, maybe you’ll notice that you’re breathing quickly and short. That’s hyperventilating, and this is the wrong breathe leading to physical attacks. That’s why it is difficult to breathe at this very moment. First thing is to learn emergency deep breathing and these attacks will quickly vanish like magic.
You’ll need a bit of practice but eventually deep breathe will become natural at some point.

August 2, 2021

@twinparadox yes! I would like to avoid meds if possible. I don’t think things are so bad that I need them just yet. If anything, maybe just going back on the pill to help regulate hormones or something. I’m planning on counseling, physical activity, and calm breathing exercises for now. Meds are a last resort. It’s very reassuring that I’m not the only one that has gone through something like this.

July 29, 2021

Breathe. In and out. Baby girl needs her mama. 🙂 I’m Sammy btw.

July 29, 2021

@kartoffeltorte yes! breathe!

July 30, 2021

@theheartspeaks Don’t hyperventilate though lol

July 31, 2021

Random reader. Saw you on the home page. A visit to doc is wisest thing to do.