After the overwhelming event of having a baby, a traumatic birth and a strange new creature I had to look after – I felt my anxiety soar. I was literally worried about everything. First small things like is she too hot or is she too cold? Up to huge things.
I remember we had a coffee table in the middle of the room. This made me unbelievably anxious, now Jasmine was just a few days old so the fear of a coffee table may seem ridiculous, she couldn’t even lift her own head, but to me it was a death trap. I could clearly see me dropping her and her head hitting the corner I would go over this time and time again in my mind until the coffee table was moved. The thoughts of dropping her didn’t stop there. I panicked I would drop her down the stairs, she would fall out of her pram and on the the pavement and I also had a huge fear that I would drop her out of the window. I actually locked the windows one night as I was so scared I’d drop her. No, I was never near any windows with her.
You’ll either read this thinking I’m mad or be nodding along. I’ll be honest, I thought I was mad, until I started talking. When I started talking I realised this is a really common thought process for new mums, your mind plays out the worst possible things in your mind – the fear. I was so scared about everything. Dave would leave the house with her and I’d find myself saying to him ‘please don’t let anyone steal her’ which obviously goes without saying but I had to make sure it had been said. I was terrified of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) I would worry about it all the time, the cynic in me would say that’s why she doesn’t sleep well, because maybe I was subconsciously afraid – again I know it’s irrational.
What if there’s a fire? What if there’s a carbon monoxide poisoning? What if a psychopath has been in the house, time-delayed the baby cam (which I can see her peacefully sleeping) so it’s 30 minutes behind and has already taken her!!! I’m still afraid of driving with her, haven’t driven with Jasmine since she was born, something I need to conquer.
The anxiety is thankful no longer so extreme now she’s a little more robust but it’s still there, I’m guessing the worry you feel for your children never leaves you. I wanted to tell other mums it’s normal, the dark thoughts, the incomprehensible anxiety all very normal. So don’t worry that you are going mad or alone, talk about it! Talk to other mums, talk to your GP and talk to your family. Keep talking – there’s lots of great charities listed below if you need any additional support. You won’t drop you’re baby down the stairs!