tripping the life unbalanced

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

my year of anxiety. part one.

A recent post of Scarbie Doll's has me thinking about motherhood and anxiety and all things in between. This past year has been a rollercoaster of panic attacks for me, and it's only now that I can see some light at the end. I was actually diagnosed with GAD recently (generalised anxiety disorder) and most of it (I am convinced) was triggered by the birth of my daughter. Or maybe it was always there, waiting to appear. But in any case, my anxiety issues are definitely tied up with my mothering, and it's difficult to see the two as separate.

But maybe I should start at the beginning. Back to when Alice was born, and start the story there. So here's the short of the long:

I have always been a worrier. Maybe not more than most, but still I had my share of worrying prior to having a baby. But the first 20 weeks of my pregnancy were surprisingly fairly worry-free. Until I had my first ultrasound at 20 weeks, where they found a large cyst on my left ovary. Not just any fluid-filled cyst, but a good 'ole endometrioma cyst to boot. Which meant that the damn thing grew along with my pregnancy to the same size as Alice's head basically. And which also meant I had to have a c-section instead of a vaginal birth, as all parties involved (midwives, gps, OBGYNs) were concerned the cyst might burst during delivery. Needless to say, this meant the 2nd half of my pregnancy was a bit stressful, and I was pissed about having to have a section. But whatever. In the end, the c-section and the cyst were the least of my worries. Because in the end, it was the health of baby Alice after she came into this world that became a problem.

Because she was born via section, Alice had tons of fluid on her lungs and needed to be on a c-pap machine the first 5 days of her life. I wasn't able to hold her for 4 days. I could only see her through the incubator. And of course that was hell enough. Somehow we made it through those awful days of not knowing what was going to happen to her - with tubes and heart monitors going off all the time. Somehow I got my baby home and settled into our life and breastfeeding and all that stuff. And somehow I didn't actually deal with the trauma of her birth and just went along, not really feeling what had happened.

I wonder now if it's possible to have a delayed post-portum depression? Because I don't think I actually started to deal with the anxiety and worry from those early days until last year, when Alice was well past the one year old stage.

More to come...

8 Comments:

  • Um... Hello... Are we the same person? I feel the same way exactly and I also didn't get to hold Nate until Day 4! You should have seen the panics I was having in Paris, lying awake thinking I had an aneurysm (wtf?) or stomach cancer (I was just bloated). I'm glad we finally got to meet. Must hook up again soon.

    N

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