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Monday, June 2, 2014

15 minutes on Post-Partum anxiety

As I said yesterday, I've got fifteen minutes to write about whatever's floating around in my head today, with little proofreading or editing - no time to make myself sound polished or put together.

I had wanted to write about my bucket list today, but today came a little different than I expected.

With my first two pregnancies and births, it was a roller coaster ride for sure, but this third one knocked everything out of me and wrung me dry. From about this point last year until maybe a month and a half ago, I was simply trying not to drown. Insurmountable insomnia only allowed me 2-3 hours of sleep a night for the second half of my pregnancy. My older two children, and 1 and 3 years old, had constant needs.

Most unexpected and unwelcome, though, was the anxiety that came after Evie's birth. I think it's partly from being overwhelmed and partly from the hormone surge/physical burnout from this last pregnancy that did me in. Of course, it's quite a task keeping 3 small people alive day in and day out, but also trying to meet those emotional needs and spiritual needs and intellectual needs can be so paralyzing.

Thankfully, it is subsiding. First, I'd have a good day here and there, then I started having a few in a row. The past month or two has been mostly clear.

But not today.

Days like today, the fetal position is the only comfortable one. All thoughts are obtrusive. My heart pounds and my chest tightens on and off all day long. Sometimes for a somewhat valid reason, sometimes because I thought about folding the laundry.

Thank God for good friends and long walks. Thank God for wisdom and hugs and people who don't have to know the whole story, but still walk beside me and without so many words, say "yep, it's tough, ain't it? Been there."

Thank God for these 3 little children who give me reason to clear my mind and crawl in the floor and play with them. Its better than any meditation practice.

Thank God for this wake up call that forces me to get down in the floor with my kids and play and laugh and forget about the whatever it is that I'm supposed to be doing right now.

I know, from experience, that this day will pass if I just hang on, even if by my fingernails. I know that tomorrow may or may not be better, but the day after that, or maybe just the week after this one, it will all feel right again, and I'll feel thankful in a way that I wouldn't have known how to otherwise.

This one was 17 minutes. Whoops. ;)

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