I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder, a mental health issue a few days after the birth of my second child. Though this happened in an eon, thinking about that phase of my life still give me jitters. On one hand I was thankful to God that He blessed me with another healthy and beautiful daughter who has added love and joy to the family, on the other my deteriorating mental health interfered with my ability to function normally.
As I ruminate, I still to date fail to fully comprehend how can a happy-go-lucky gal like me suffer from anxiety.
Why I am writing about what happened:
Because I want to foretell the soon to be second-time moms that even though you are armed with the experience of parenthood, adjusting to a life as a mom of two could be as struggleful as a new mom. I don’t mean to scare y’all but just wanted to give heads up.
Also, because I want to bust the myth that second time moms can’t suffer from post-partum blues. To tell the truth- exhaustion, panic attacks, anxiety, would take a toll on your mental health at some point or the other even if its short lived.
Lastly, as the majority of mother obtain their pregnancy and post-delivery information from online sources, drawing on other mother’s experience, I thought to pen down mines’ too; because even if one soon-to-be mom reads this article and gets prepared beforehand to tackle all the fatigue and guilt, I will be glad I am mentally preparing someone.
Having been there and done that, I thought my second motherhood would be easier. After all I have survived the usual rigmarole like sleepless nights and tiring days that accompany the first-time moms.
But eventually I realize how wrong I had been. Second time parent means more demanding parental role; it’s like double the work- tending to the needs of two souls who are completely dependent on you, along with taking care of your physical health and managing house; I sure went bonkers.
I felt inadequate – slowly a sense of failure as a mother crept into me. I was easily irritated by my older one and the partner, which made me guilty also.
The fact that we were in United States, away from the immediate family, made things worse. None of the set of parents could come because of some Visa issue. Managing all alone, every day was a constant race against time for me – with nursing, changing diapers, cleaning bottles, along with taking care of physical and emotional demands of the elder one; and of course, the house- I used to get frustrated and tearful but would put a brave face in front of my kids. My husband tried to be supportive but his commitment to office work rendered him useless to me.
This chronic stress led to deterioration in health.
First, I thought it was just “baby blues“and would pass in a few weeks but every passing day became increasingly difficult to keep it all together.
Finally, I had to see a doctor who prescribed some mood-stabilising medicines. It helped to an extent, but I could feel I was not happy from within.
Eventually we decided to shift back to India for good to be among our family. Once back I kept a “help” to help me with daily chores; thanks to whom I could find time for myself which really helped me feel calmer n relaxed.
I am sure all of us mothers can offer many reasons why we suffer from postpartum depression or anxiety or feel so helpless and lost in the situation. The reasons could be similar or different for each of us; however, the point remains the same – we need to keep exploring the ways to develop coping skills for the upkeep of our mental health; sometimes it could be as simple as asking for a help.
This post is part of Blogchatter’s CauseAChatter