Some of the worst parts of pregnancy and childbirth occur long after you grow and bring your baby into the world. Personally, and even though my pregnancy, labor, and delivery were already mind-numbingly difficult, I encountered some intense things when I confronted my postpartum anxiety. Some of those intense things I experienced presented themselves almost immediately after my baby was born. Others, however, didn't bother me until I was sitting with my baby, alone, weeks after giving birth and leaving the hospital.
When I was postpartum, I spent the majority of my time with my baby alone, while my partner spent the majority of his time working. As a result, it was hard to decipher whether or not some feelings I had were "normal," or if I had a real problem I needed to seek help for and treat. In fact, it wasn't until I felt so out of control with anxiety and depression that I could no longer function during the day, that I decided to take the steps necessary to feel better.
I've always been an anxious person. Some of my earliest memories involve worrying and playing the awful "what if?" game. I come from a long line of worriers so, honestly, my chances of being anything else were slim to none. However, after my pregnancy my anxiety and depression catapulted into terrifying new territory. Feelings I used to be able to control were now relentless and unmanageable. So, with that in mind and because, as a society, we don't talk about the realities of post-baby life enough, here are some of the things I wasn't ready for when I finally decided to confront my postpartum anxiety: