My life with postpartum anxiety

Motherhood has always been something I’ve wanted. Having a large family is also something even my mother knew I wanted since I could speak. My husband and I decided we wanted to have more then just two children. My experience with my first two pregnancies, births and postpartum time was very average. Had a few hiccups but over all good experiences. My third pregnancy again very average, few hiccups but nothing crazy. My labour was strange this time for me, completely different then my first two. I had previously had two spontaneous ruptures but my third I got my midwife to break my waters. Over all the birth experience, although different not a bad one. I wouldn’t change anything looking back but I also wouldn’t want to do a few things again if it can be avoided. Beginning of postpartum for the first month was very similar to my first two. The issues that had come up were more just trying to handle three kids, heal and also deal with our new family routine. We lucked out that my in-laws were able to visit from England just before Covid -19 was starting to show up in Canada and the UK. In March thing started looking bad and Vancouver was taking measures to try and stop the spread. For me this was the start of my anxiety. Not knowing what to do, having three kids to look after and taking away alot of what I did with my older kids to keep my sanity. For the most part the first few months wasn’t too bad. I found new ways to entertain my kids, and keep in contact with my mom friends. I had my circle which worked out great. Then my husband and I decided to finally buy a house. We lucked out and found a townhouse that was finally in our budget and meet our list of must haves. Now buying a place is hard enough but moving with three kids under the age 4, and also doing renovations I highly recommend not to do. Even more so during a pandemic. In a way it was a great way to help distract myself and the kids. During the summer we would walk between our basement suite and the townhouse. Each time we would bring a few things and the kids got to play while I cleaned. It was a welcome distraction for awhile. For me my anxiety was worse between 2pm and 6pm. The accumulation from the day, naptime and trying to get dinner ready. It started off as just a feeling of being over tired, then it was like I wanted to curl up in a ball and just shut off my brain. I would over think everything and get overwhelmed. Sometimes I can control how I am feeling around my kids but other times it’s alot harder to stay calm. I started snapping at my two older kids for very little things like being two loud or running around. Completely normal kid stuff. Started to do more meditation and breathing techniques to help not only myself stay calm but my girls would join me and calm down themselfs. I still have the odd time where I get overwhelmed but I am more aware of it. Going outside also helped me. On bad weather days and getting stuck inside is my biggest trigger. These days are the hardest and I find myself spiraling. With Covid I have stayed inside alot more then usual and it has definitely played on my well-being. Now that we have moved into our new home having a park right across the street has been a blessing, however getting three small children ready to go out in rainy or cold weather is very challenging and can take two or more hours to get ready and out the door. We are also potty training our 2 1/2 year old and our youngest has started to walk. Everyday tasks and normal child development mixed with anxiety add up very quickly. I have turned to media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Tiktok to help distract my mind, show me that I am not alone and give me something to help escape. I miss being able to take my kids to the aquarium or science world. Having playdates with friends or just visiting family. I know it’s not forever but for those who hav been completely taken out of their normal it feels like there is no end.

If your feeling overwhelmed, angry, sad, anxious it anything out of your “normal” reach out there are many groups that can help. For Postpartum Depression and Postpartum Anxiety reach out to Pacific Postpartum Society, it’s a peer to peer helpline that you can call or text. Check out their website for lots of information as well: