Yes I’m over protective when it comes to the twins and that’s purely because they were born prematurely. The night before leaving the hospital and the thought of not taking the girls home with me, caused an anxiety attack. This anxiety attack bought my blood pressure up, which in turn gave me another day extra in hospital with them!
You know what? I must have suffered from anxiety as a teen, or perhaps even as a child. Back then it wasn’t as ripe as it is right now, especially since becoming a mother. I think I shrugged it off whilst growing up but once I set upon my fertility journey, it became a prominent part of my life without even realising.
How do I feel you ask? Well it’s an overwhelming feeling of panic, constantly feeling irritable, always on edge, at times manic in my behaviour, way over protective and I’m forever worried with thoughts I can’t control.
All these feelings of anxious more so reared its ugly head whilst trying to fall pregnant, whilst being pregnant, after giving birth to the girls prematurely, once they came home from The Special Care Nursery and when I witnessed Miss Zara at 4 months old (2 months corrected) have a lumbar puncture at the RCH. By this time I was a mess and it started to become more noticeable.
After a year of what at first felt like new parent jitters, I became soundly aware of my emotions. I was scared to drive with the twins in the car, it was a necessity the girls reach all milestones, I had the “what if” terrible thoughts, I was constantly on edge, needed to stick to a strict routine and I was extremely highly strung.
I knew within myself all these emotions and feelings weren’t normal and whilst the maternal health nurse would regularly ask me those standard all round questions to see where I was at, I covered everything up so well.
I knew I needed help but showing the world I was capable, strong and managing was way more important. I mean, there are so many mothers out there with such perfect, normal and satisfying lives and my mental health was struggling.
I suppose things started to change for me once I started following some incredibly strong and fierce mums on Instagram who openly talk about their struggles with anxiety and motherhood and it was then that I realised I’m not abnormal, crazy or even silly.
I sort help through my GP and after explaining in length my feelings, thoughts and actions, I was then diagnosed with post natal anxiety. It was once I started to openly talk about and dissect my symptoms that things started to make more sense. I bravely made the choice to reach out and get help but I wasn’t doing it only for myself, it was also for my husband and our daughters. It was that actual moment in time that I was really showing them how strong and capable I really was! I was reaching out, I was owning my struggle, I was talking about it and I was starting to accept it.
Til today my anxiety is still very much present and whilst I don’t have a full handle on how I feel at the best of times, I am now more in tune and much stronger within to recognise and respond to it. I became truly honest with myself and it’s that, that lead me to admit and identify I had a mental health issue.
As a result, having a mental health illness is nothing to be ashamed of. I truly believe if anyone out there is experiencing any of the symptoms I just shared, you should first and foremost reach out to a professional, identify your symptoms, trust and accept them and if you are diagnosed, make plans to help achieve your goals in beating it for the future. It has definitely made life a lot easier for me when dealing with it and I have no doubt others may feel the same way.
In all honesty once I accepted the diagnosis and stopped suppressing my feelings, I felt a sense of relief and talking about it also helped relieve a lot of my tensions. Knowing I’m not alone in this battle, only makes me more determined to show it up, show it out and conquer it.
Much love all