Monday, May 6, 2013
I wasn't sure if I would write about this. But then I thought, maybe it will help me, maybe it will help someone else, so here I am writing.
It's no surprise that the weeks after Gavin's birth were traumatic. Worrying if he would be healthy and the long drive back and forth from Children's everyday definitely took a toll on me. And after he came home it was really hard to manage his needs and Emily's needs while trying to stay calm. But I held it together the best I could, I didn't feel depressed just a little overwhelmed, I was basically running on adrenaline.
Two weeks ago, out of the blue, I had a full blown panic attack. I felt like I was going insane, I couldn't breathe, I was vomiting, sweating, shaking uncontrollably- the thoughts in my head were beyond scary. Panic attacks are something that I don't think can be fully understood unless you've experienced one. I thought it was just a one time thing but the next night the same thing happened. Steve took me to the ER so that I could get medication to calm down. They gave me anxiety medication and a phone number to a local behavioral health office. I got an appointment the next week and was put on an anti-depressant. I'm still taking the medication and I don't feel like myself yet, but I'm working on it.
When I call the office and say I feel worse or I'm having a particularly hard day, my doctor tells me that it takes 4-6 weeks for the medications to work and that it will get worse before it gets better. Somehow these words aren't comforting when I wake up with anxiety almost every morning and I am barely able to take care of my babies.
What I'm doing to get better:
- Surrounding myself with (amazing) people who care and want to help. Steve has been working from home and helping me with the kids, he is a special kind of husband for sure. I know I won the lottery when I found him. His parents have also been beyond helpful. They take the kids when they know we need a break, they even keep Gavin overnight when we need them to. I can't thank them enough.
- Therapy (professional and otherwise). I've been going to therapy once a week and it helps. My therapist has basically told me that I went through a serious trauma and all of my emotions that I had shut down while Gavin was in the hospital are catching up to me now. It also helps so much to talk to friends and family who have been through similar situations. Their pep talks usually leave me feeling like I can handle almost anything.
- Daycare. Emily has started going to day care 3 times a week. This is very hard for me. I'm learning to let go of some control and I'm telling myself this is good for her and for me.
- Acupuncture and Reiki. I have always been a fan of acupuncture, it has worked for me in many ways, so I'm trying it for my anxiety. I had my first treatment this weekend and I felt so great afterward. I go for my first Reiki treatment on Tuesday and I am excited to try it.
- Walking, Every day I try to get out for a walk. It calms my mind and it's always good to breathe in the fresh air.
The hardest thing I face everyday is the guilt I feel. I feel guilty that Steve is working from home and not getting as much done as he needs to. I feel guilty that I can't take care of my babies like I used to be able to. I feel guilty that Steve's parents have to help as much as they do, and I feel guilty that Emily is at daycare while I am home, not working.
Some days I feel hopeless and I feel like a burden on my family and I feel like I should be stronger than this. But I am trying my hardest to be positive and hopeful. I want so badly to feel like myself again and to be able to be a good wife and mother.
I just keep telling myself I will get better....for them.