Anxiety, Blog Series, Mothering

Part Three: My Anxiety and Motherhood

When you first become a mother it is only natural to freak out a little bit, especially for new moms when it is your first baby. I did a whole lot of freaking out when I was pregnant with my first, I didn’t know how to raise a child? Who was I kidding!

Well I took responsibility for my actions and became a mother. Let me tell you now that it wasn’t easy keeping my anxieties out of my motherhood. When I first gave birth to my baby boy I felt absolute joy, despite the situations going on around me, I was happy. Those few moments of joy only lasted a while before I would experience the worst overload of dark clouds.

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Lestat One day old

In this moment to the left that my mother had captured was the day after I had given birth to my son. I was lost in thought, and honestly I don’t remember what I was thinking. My mother said I looked joyful but fearful at the same time. Which sounds about right! I didn’t know how to raise a child, I could barely remind myself I need to eat how was I suppose to remember to feed him. Of course it didn’t help that his biological father wasn’t of much use. Back to the photograph, I thank my mother now for snapping this photo because it reminds me of how far I have come. Reminds me where I started of in my new like as a mother!

 

A lot of people say becoming a mother you have to give up a lot of things, well I’ll tell you this. I didn’t have much to give up; half all my friends weren’t real friends and left me,  and I ended up being homeschooled and graduated! I adjusted to the life that was given to me, it was hard to adjust but I did.

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Lestat and I at Denny’s. Lestat at 3 years old

 

When you become a mother you often worry about all the things that could happen, well for a mother with anxiety you worry about a whole lot more. You worry about not getting it right and messing up, you worry about if you will mess up your child, or if you don’t teach them the right thing. Your anxiety tells you that you’re not doing a good job, your messing it up. It tells you that you shouldn’t be a mother and that you should just stop before you do serious damage.

As my son grew older my life got more complicated because of my own actions. As life moved, we moved along with it. My anxiety over time stayed the same just how I handled it was different. When I gave birth to my daughter I was scared like I said in Part Two: My Anxiety and Marriage. I didn’t know how to raise two children let alone a girl! I had just gotten over most of the thoughts anxiety had pushed me through the first round.

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Little miss Diva (Raina at 8 months old)

However I accepted my pregnancy as a gift and celebrated with my dark thoughts still in my head. My anxiety didn’t stop there, I found out there were complications with Raina, I had Placenta Previa it is where the placenta is covering the exit and I wouldn’t be able to give birth naturally. Over time it cured it’s self (power of prayer). When Raina finally arrived I was in awe I had experienced this joy before but under a whole new situation, I was with a better man! That’s when the anxiety flared up again like a bon-fire, how was Lestat going to react? Will he even want to be a sibling, not that he has a choice! I will say it was difficult for him at first but he warmed up to being a big brother fast.

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Raina and Lestat watching movies together

I honestly don’t know what he would do if he didn’t have Raina or Markus in his life. As much as it is a love/irritate relationship they all love each other.

 

Now let me tell you about the youngest mini-me and my disgusting mind playing with me! I found out I was pregnant with him almost half way through the pregnancy. I was completely normal physically up until 23 weeks with him. When the doctor told me how many week I was I had a panic attack for the first time since when Lestat’s biological father left us. I was shattered and torn, I didn’t want to be pregnant at all. As much as I hate to admit it, it is true. I couldn’t stand the thought of being pregnant for the third time. My thoughts went wild. There where nights where I was hyperventilating because of what my over active thinking did to me.  Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him Psalms 127:3. As sweet as that verse is at the time I didn’t want this gift. I wanted so desperately for my unborn child to be someone else’s, I didn’t deserve it!

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When Markus was born

I know that sounds completely horrible and that there are women out there who would do anything at a chance at being pregnant. I was selfish for thinking it I am sorry! When I told my future husband about these thoughts he was shocked, he didn’t know what to say to me. My better half isn’t a religious person but he does believe in one thing, keeping a baby! Never would he suggest to anyone to get an abortion purposely, so for me to admit that I didn’t want our second creation hurt him! How I felt about all of this was due to anxiety and depression, anxiety was telling me that I couldn’t be a mother too three beautiful babies. Anxiety at this point in my whole life had become the worst of me because I let it happen. I hide myself in our room for as long as it took for me to get it through my head that everything was going to be fine.

When my better half was able to look at me with out disappointment, or what felt like it, I broke down into tears. I was ashamed of thinking everything that I stated. I slowly eased into the thought of being a mother to yet another child. Three fourths of the way through pregnancy we found out that Markus had the possibility of being a downs baby and that he also had a calcium build up in his tiny heart. Once again I had a panic attack, my anxiety roared with thoughts once more of not wanted another baby. I didn’t know how to raise a downs baby. God comforted me when I didn’t know who to turn to! I didn’t want to tell my husband that I might not want a downs baby. What an ugly, horrible thought right! I started to hate myself even more for even thinking those words. After praying about the situation and coming to terms that I could have a downs baby , we got the blood tests back. He was normal, I didn’t want to celebrate but at the same time I did. My anxiety had turned into depression, I hated myself for thinking this way.

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Markus almost 3 months

For my whole pregnancy I was conflicted with ugly thoughts. Now looking at my youngest, I often cry because of all the things I thought about while growing him in my body. Looking at him now, an always happy, never fussy little boy I am ashamed of how I thought of him. That is what anxiety does to me! It had me thinking the worse thoughts and convincing me that I wasn’t cut out to be a mother to any type of baby. Needless to say I hug Markus any chance I get!  I love my family of five and give as many hugs as I can even when I am being grumpy and ill-tempered. I make myself remember how I felt to remind myself what not to do ever again.

 

What I am trying to say about all this is my anxiety is always there in my motherhood, making me double guess and doubt my capabilities. It makes me over think situations that don’t need to be over looked. At my worst of times I become that grumpy ill-tempered person toward them because I don’t always know how to handle myself and the thoughts I have. Lestat has seen some of those bad days, he has been gentle and will be on his best behavior. He is a wise soul and sometimes asks a head of his time. I am proud of him! I am proud of all my children for how far in life they came and will go! I hope and pray that they don’t experience these things because they are agonizing and painful.

This Story has been one of the hardest things to write to you guys, but I want to show you the truth that anxiety isn’t a joke. All though out every pregnancy I smiled and waved but suffered internally and battle myself! For anyone suffering if you need to talk my email is always open, please seek help if it gets bad!

Alexis

 

 

 

10 thoughts on “Part Three: My Anxiety and Motherhood”

  1. I had a lot of the same feelings. Get The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie O ‘Martin. It will change your life. I started praying the prayers (still do) at the end of each chapter and using the verses in my prayer. I went from prayer to prayer until the anxiety subsided.- After about 10 -15 of those prayers, it gets better.

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  2. This was an incredibly brave and eye opening post. I can’t relate, but I was truly touched by your story. And in all honesty, anxiety or not, finding out about a surprise pregnancy so late on in a life situation where the last thing you’re planning on is another child, could have anyone swirling into darkness. I understand the guilt in feeling horrible about the bad thoughts, but I think they were justified too. All the best, and thank you for sharing such an intimate story!

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