Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Having a baby and all, part 1

This is a really hard post for me to write. Usually, I don't write about inside personal struggles; but I feel compelled to talk about it because I think it's a topic that is often ignored or looked over.

For the past few months, I've been struggling with depression and anxiety. I'm self-diagnosing it postpartum depression and anxiety, since I just had a baby.

My world changed. Once sleep-filled Saturdays turned into 2 a.m. necessity baths and 9 p.m. whatever dinners. Even when Cole's sleeping, I'm constantly doing one thing after the other: picking up, making bottles, showering. I have no relax time anymore. It's run, run, run. And it is taking its toll.

More than once I've had to call friends and family in the middle of the night to see if someone - anyone - could come help with Cole. I didn't feel like I could do one more thing. More than once has the sound of him waking over the baby monitor sent anxiety through my veins and made my heart race. I feel guilty even admitting that.

It hit me around the third month. I had gone back to work and Mike was working his week-on/week-off schedule. Life, as it was, returned to "normal." I realized the depression pretty quickly, having had bouts of it on and off in the past. It was the anxiety that I didn't quite recognize. Then one night - Mike was working - I woke up with Cole and couldn't catch my breath. I thought I was going to pass out. Who would take care of my baby if I were to die in the middle of the night with Mike gone?

It was then that I realized that I was having an anxiety attack. I knew I would be OK, but that doesn't get you very far when you can't catch your breath and there's someone in the other room who needs you. At 3:30 a.m. that day, I called my dad, who lives over an hour away, to come keep me company and help out with Cole.

That was the day that I said enough. I needed to cut out a stresser. That day, I decided to quit my job.

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