Post-Partum Anxiety!

I love writing for the outlet it gives. However, the most important thing I have learned is that if through my story I am able to help even one friend or stranger to feel less alone, or do something that will change their life for the better (i.e. go see the dermatologist and get a scary mole removed, seek help for post-partum mood disorders, start using a budget!) then all of this has been worth it.

SO. Here we are.

Since September, I have had another baby, returned to work. Seen friends get married. Celebrated babies on the way. Mourned with friends who have lost babies. Attended three funerals, the most recent being the death of Marcus’ 91 year old grandfather. I try to be very honest here and portray my life accurately but there are just some stories that are not mine to tell. Like a lot of stories actually.

Anyway. About three weeks ago I started experiencing some occasional shortness of breath. By last Monday, I was like…having to strain to breathe all day. I went to urgent care after work and they told me I had post-partum asthma. Weird, but apparently a thing that can flare up if you had asthma in the past. They sent me home with an inhaler that I took regularly for the next two days and did not do a damn thing. So I went back to urgent care on Wednesday. They of course ran tests to be sure I did not have a blood clot or post-partum heart failure (which is actually the first thing that pops up when you Google post-partum breathlessness hello scary af). After these came back negative (praise hands) the doctor turned to me and asked, Do you feel anxious?

Me: EVERYTHING IS COMPLETELY FINE I DO NOT FEEL ANXIOUS AT ALL. (Seriously, I did not “feel” anxious in the way that I normally do.)

Her: Try taking a Xanax anyway. You have a lot going on in your life right now and shortness of breath is a very common symptom of anxiety.

Y’all I was super skeptical but then I took that pill and yes, yes it was anxiety because I could breathe again. I didn’t have a clue about how tight/tense my chest was until it relaxed. Also taking this in the evening for a few days helped me to get “back on track.” Obviously this works differently for everyone, but for me, if it recurs or worsens, I will need to go back to the doctor to find a more appropriate regular medication. For the here and now, I know I need to be using the coping techniques I have practiced in the past and that I need to take a step back from…everything.

Sometimes you see this stuff coming, sometimes you don’t. As some of you may know, I experienced this after Critter was born and since I wasn’t having the same symptoms this time around I just thought everything was fine.

I wasn’t but I am glad to be on the way back to fine now.

All of this is to say if you’re reading this right now and you do not feel fine, you are not alone. For the rest of the group, thank you for coming along for the ride.


6 responses to “Post-Partum Anxiety!

  1. Thanks for posting this because, yes. So many do feel alone and isolated. I did. As I have shared with you before I had postpartum depression after having my oldest son and postpartum anxiety after having my youngest. I was bracing myself for feeling sad and blue the second time around because of what I had been through with Chet, but I did not know what hit me when I began to feel anxious. I started to have a panic attack almost daily and it was frightening and isolating. Every one talks about baby blues, but no one told me that I would struggle to breathe and my heart would race and I would not be able to form a rational thought. Thankfully I had an amazing doctor who prescribed me Xanax and I began to talk to someone to help me sort out my anxiety. Now anytime I meet up with a friend who is about to have a baby or is post baby I always make a point to ask how she feels. How she really feels and to let her know that it is A-OKAY to feel anxious, or blue, or depressed. There are resources. There is help.
    Anyways…long winded comment, but I love the honesty you show. Thank you, thank you Kat!

    • Lady, hearing your struggles has always made me feel so much less alone. I really love that you look after your new mama friends. I try to do the same with mine for the same reason. Be well. ❤️

  2. Thank you so much for sharing! I didn’t even know that could be a thing!

  3. Thank you so much for sharing – this is scary stuff and it’s so helpful to know that anxiety can manifest this way! I’ve definitely become a worrier since having a baby, and that along with the craziness that is life, can be a lot! Apparently, my stress and anxiety manifest as sickness since I now have mono:( Hope you feel better soon!

    • Oh my God. I had mono in college. I cannot imagine parenting with it. You are a strong mama – always remember that!

  4. Thank you for posting. Glad to hear you’re on the road to feeling better (=

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