One of the toughest parts about my last pregnancy was the anxiety I had throughout it. Before having Kaiya I didn’t have this much anxiety but now it seems like I am just riddled with it.
I wanted to link this post with a previous post of my called Anxiously Ever After where I discuss the anxiety I felt in my pregnancy. I thought for sure that it was just pregnancy related hormones causing my emotions to stir up and drive me crazy, and to a certain extent it was. Some of the things that gave me anxiety in pregnancy have now stopped but some of them are still present.
For so long my husband and I were always working towards something. First getting married, then trying for Kaiya. Then it was buying a house, followed by trying for Ramona. We’ve struggled with everything but we finally are in the place where we exactly want to be. We have an amazing house that we both love. We have our two beautiful little girls who we are obsessed with and our marriage is as strong as ever. That’s not to say that things are perfect by any means – there’s always the ups and downs of life – but we’re really happy with where we are. We worked really hard to be here so we’re trying to be sure we appreciate every moment. So what could possibly be wrong?
I am so incredibly happy that I’m terrified! Life is TOO perfect; something has to go wrong. My anxiety recently is in two parts: either something health related is going to happen to me, or something will happen to my girls. I’m terrified of something happening that will take me away from my family, and I’m terrified of something happening to my family.
For whatever reason throughout my pregnancy and even as of late I have been convinced that I will either die of a heart attack or something related to my heart will happen. Up until a week ago I had no idea why I was fixated on this; then I remembered something that happened that ignited my fears.
A little over a year ago I was coming home from a work function when I saw firetrucks and ambulances outside my condo building. Of course I was curious as to what happened so I took a different way up to my unit so that I could scope it out. When I came down the hallway I saw all the paramedics in the doorway of a unit two doors down from ours. We were always friendly to all of our neighbors in our hallway, so I knew exactly who this couple was. As I walked past, the door was open and I could see that the guy was lying on the ground in the entry way of their unit. The paramedics were giving him CPR and pounding away on his chest. I found out the next day he had died of a heart attack right then and there.
I now have realized that it was that unfortunate event that stirred up the fear inside me. It doesn’t necessarily make my anxiety go away but I can at least rationalize the fear. I was doing a little better with things up until 2 days ago when a woman in my pregnancy group passed away of a heart condition leaving her newborn, son and husband behind. I can again rationalize the heart stuff – she had a pre-existing condition, I’ve seen my doctor and I know I’m physically fine. But that doesn’t take away the fear of not being there for my girls and for my husband. I’m not exactly sure how to work through that. It is definitely a work in progress.
Even when my health related anxiety is controlled the other anxiety takes over. I am constantly on edge, playing every scenario out in my head of how it can go wrong. Constantly telling Kaiya to be careful; do this, don’t do that. Watch out for this – make sure you’re being safe! I’m sure in her head she’s like “mom just let me live!” But I can’t help it… I worked so hard on making these beautiful little girls that I would be absolutely devastated if something happened to them.
I was venting my fears and frustrations to two of my mom friends in our group chat last night and what blew my mind was that they too had the exact same fears. That either a.) something would happen to them, or b.) that something would happen to their kids. We are 3 well educated, logical, grown women and all we do is live in constant fear of things. This is by no means a way to live life! So I wonder what it is that is making us feel this way?
We discussed if it was social media and this kind of struck a chord with me. It seems like Facebook is primarily comprised of two polar opposite post: a.) Too positive and b.) Too negative. Either there’s the posts where everyone seems ridiculously happy; pictures of all the fun times they have, all the fun things they do. Various outings, shows, people they see, dinners they have, etc. Or the reverse – there’s always that one post where its either a runaway or lost kid, someone who has passed away, or the warning posts where “This happened to my kid don’t let it happen to yours!”. The other type of negative post is about parenting: kids today aren’t well mannered…Kids today have too much privilege… Kids today expect too much… Don’t be a helicopter parent…. Don’t be an absent parent…Say this to your kids, don’t say that to your kids. It is seriously hard to navigate life in the critiquing world of social media. Nothing ever seems to be good enough. You try to let your kid fall and experience life – you’re a bad mom for neglecting them. You tell your kid to be safe or you watch them constantly to make sure they’re safe and you’re a helicopter parent. You have to try and make sure they don’t have too much screen time, but also make sure they are skilled enough in a technology driven world to be a productive member of society. It is getting ridiculous!
One of my girlfriends has been prescribed anti-depressants for the way she’s been feeling. While pills are not the obvious way she wants to handle things the only other alternative is therapy, but as a full time mom of two that’s not always the easiest solution. I personally would love to limit my social media and screen time but cutting off ties to the outside world right now isn’t a great alternative when you’re home alone all day with two kiddos.
So I’m throwing up this blog in hope of a little advice. I’m sure the three of us aren’t the only ones who feel this way. What can we do about it? The fact that the three of us have all the same fears is a little concerning. It’s obviously not us but the mentality of today’s society. What has to change? What can we change? Do you feel the same way do? How do you cope?