Thursday, June 10, 2010

more on momhood

Sometimes Brett and I say to eachother, "I can't believe we have a baby." It's true, I cannot believe we have a baby and I can't believe how cute she is (I'm not going to try to be humble, my kid is CUTE). I'm her only mommy and I will do right by her. She is a dream. My Maggie.

Having said that, I also cannot believe how much more fragile life seems these days. I worry about her health and well being frequently and feel like disaster is possibly waiting around the corner at all times. This is not healthy, and it's something I need to get control of. After she was born, I had some tough times and was occasionally over come by dark thoughts. Thought of horrible things happening to her and a fear of living a life without her. I am so in love with my baby that I don't think I could live without her. I think of parents who have lost their children and it floors me. Our neighbors lost two of their three children to a terrible, painful disease and I don't understand how they've survived the grief. You survive because that's what you do, but the pain must have felt unbearable. I have a tremendous amount of anxiety, and I think I've dealt with it by eating. I know, that sound so lame, but it's true. It's not like I'm paralyzed by fear, but I think that this sort of under the surface fear and anxiety over something happening to my daughter has taken me by surprise. I have always had anxiety issues, but this is new and I don't quite know how to deal with it. My general way to deal with anxiety is to eat, and so I have, but I didn't know why. But I really think that it's this anxiety over her. I don't know if this one warrants therapy, but I do know that it warrants exploration and perhaps a dose of reality. Hello parenthood, you're a whole new level of possible crazy, but I promise to take care of it for her.


Jess said...

This post is beautiful. I'm sorry you've been struggling with dark thoughts. I think to some extent that is totally normal, but if it's excessive you might want to talk to a doctor or someone about it.

Have you read Swistle's old post about this? And all the insane scenarios she dreamed up? And then all the commenters chimed in with a bunch of the dark thoughts they had after giving birth?

Marie Green said...

She truly IS adorable! Her eyes!

Also, anxiety is very common among moms, and especially new moms, I think. I know I experienced it, though I didn't seek help until years later. I wish I wouldn't have waited so long! For me, it just took a low dose of Zoloft (an antidepressant that's especially good for the anxiety piece)... Seriously, what you are going through is so common! Get some help; you won't regret it!

Swistle said...

It's really, really common. One thing I found helpful was talking to other moms about it. I guess it would make it worse if the other mom was like, "Uh, no, I don't know what you're talking about"---but mostly I've found that talking about it makes other moms say, "OH GOOD I THOUGHT IT WAS JUST ME!!!"

I still have dark thoughts and scary visions sometimes, and my youngest is three. I think it makes sense that we would have these feelings and fears---we really do have so much to lose now.

Flibberty said...

Why did I stop blogging? Three comments in and something I thought I was struggling with that was so BIZARRE that I didn't want to admit it, turns out to be normal. Not that I won't get some help, but good god. THANK YOU ALL!

Tess said...

Yep, yep, totally get this and even though I've not struggled with anxiety in the past, the thought of losing Ava just shuts me completely down. I once read a comment where Swistle said she would EMBRACE DEATH, and I agree. Game over. I can't even get to the place where I imagine going on, and I am a happy/optimistic person in general.

Also, just as an example, I NEVER used to think about crashing when I flew on airplanes, or if I did, I was like, "meh. That would suck, but oh well, whaddya gonna do". And I now I PANIC, like OMG MUST LIVE CANNOT DIE WHILE AVA IS A CHILD.

So, uh, you know, what everyone else said. Totally normal.

Sarah said...

Oh, yeah. About three to six months after both my kids were born I just went into anxiety overload. Couldn't sleep, constantly panicking that something would happen to them or to me, that I would leave them an orphan or I would end up being a terrible mother, blah blah blah. The first time I did talk therapy at my church and that helped a lot. I also started watching reruns of old sitcoms to go to sleep, because otherwise I was literally having nightmares and flinching at every sound, thinking someone was maybe breaking in to STEAL MAH BABY! No joke. The white noise, familiar voices and laugh track settle me down and put me in happy, life-is-just-dandy mode so I can go to sleep.
And by the way, you are totally not bragging: that kid IS so cute.

CAQuincy said...

Right about the time I had babies was when I stopped watching/reading the news. The death! The drama! The gore! And ALL of it could possibly happen to MY BABIES! I even had to be careful of the books I read because it could cause me to stay up late at night worrying and fretting. I never sought professional help, but I did read me a WHOLE lotta feel-good books and watched movies that I knew were "safe" and wouldn't send me into a tail spin (Jane Austin!).

Motherhood IS an eye-opening experience. Exactly what Swistle said, "...we really do have so much to lose now."

Yes, READ those Mommy Blogs--we're ALL here for you!

artemisia said...

Oh, I think this sounds pretty normal - but still sucky. Maybe a low-key, group therapy with other moms? That might be helpful, and ultimately kind of fun to meet other moms.

I cannot imagine. I cannot imagine at all. I know I would spiral into anxiety shut down if I had kids. (Hence, why I know I shouldn't have 'em).

But, hell. YOU RECOGNIZE what is going on. You are so on your game, really.

Hang in there. We always have your back!

artemisia said...

And look at her blue eyes and smile! She looks like she is a little spitfire!

Anonymous said...

She's such a cutie! :)