I have been very candid in the past about my ex-husbands affair, the failure of our marriage and lots of things that stemmed from that. I have written extensively about postpartum mental illness (much of which stemmed from what was happening with him), had long talks with friends who have also suffered and reached out to new mamas to make sure they were ok.
You can read a lot about my postpartum anxiety experience at the link below and while the Climb out of Darkness organization no longer exists, I think it is important to recognize that pre and post partum anxiety and other mental illnesses do occur. Link to the post: http://www.vannclan5.com/2016/05/cotd2016/
A few weeks ago, I felt that anxiety creeping in again. Let me first say this – my husband Jacob is absolutely wonderful. NOTHING about the anxiety I feel stems from him, the way I am treated or anything. This pregnancy I have been supported, lifted up and taken care of in ways that I never imagined were possible.
I have an hour commute each way most days. In the mornings I drop off Natalee at the elementary school and then Katie at the high school. If we leave the house at 7, I can have both girls dropped off by 730-740 and be on the road to work. Some mornings if it’s raining I take Jonathan too, as his school is right next to Natalee’s. Drop off is easy. In the evenings, I leave work at 5pm, and get home between 550-615pm. In the evenings, I am a white knuckle driver. My hands often hurt after the ride home because I live in this constant fear of being in a car accident. When I lay my head down at night to go to sleep, it’s one of the first things that pops in my head – I am going to be hit by someone who doesn’t stop at a red light, or something. It takes me probably 30-45 minutes to fall asleep. Here comes that anxiety creeping in again. When I wake up in the morning, it hits me again about car accidents, but not for me – for Jake. I worry until he texts me to tell me he made it to work (our morning routine). I worry about it being dark, and a deer running in front of him on his way in since he is mostly on back roads.
I have anxiety about fixing everything at the house in time, since we are still displaced from our bedroom due to the hurricane flooding our bedroom. We have a repair plan in place for the chimney (cause of the leak that caused the flooding), and the company we are using is doing their best to get it done quickly because of the situation. I hate the out of control feeling that stems from not knowing when that will be done. We can’t start on baby girls room (painting), or even put her furniture up until that is complete. As it stands now, we couldn’t even fit a bassinet in her room along with our mattress (currently on the floor). Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and mentally calculate how many weeks we have left, along with how much money it will take to finish everything to get things livable. Here comes that anxiety creeping in again.
Lastly, the last thing I should possibly worry about (but I do) is who is going to take care of everything at work while I am gone. My plan is to take 8 weeks of maternity leave, and thanks to the caring nature of our faculty – I am able to do this (they have donated leave to me). I just worry about all the little things I do that no one else knows how to do. Faculty and students have actually commented on “what are we going to do without you”, and sadly I think the staff is in for a rude awakening when I am gone and not easily accessible as I once was. Here comes that anxiety creeping in again.