New Mum Anxiety, Depression and Emetophobia – 6 Things that Helped
Today I’m sharing an emetophobia related post. If you’re not sure what emetophobia is, have a read here – Introducing Emetophobia – Mum Life with a Vomit Phobia. Due to this bloody vomit phobia, I found it really tough being a new mum when my first son was born. There were all the regular new mum worries, recovery from birth, life with a newborn baby and then worrying about being sick. In all honesty I should have gone straight back on to Prozac once b was born. I didn’t though because I wanted to breastfeed (this didn’t go to plan and I ended up expressing for a while). I also felt that I coped just fine through the pregnancy (I didn’t – Eight Tips for Getting Through Pregnancy with Emetophobia) and that I’d somehow fail if I ended up back on pills. Looking back now, I was so stupid. I didn’t cope great through pregnancy at all and I’m not a failure for taking pills.
Admitting the Truth
It took me two years after the birth of my son to admit that I wasn’t coping well. I was depressed, part-suicidal and was not enjoying life. When I look back, I really wish I’d gotten help sooner and I wish I’d gone back on medication sooner. I look back and feel I wasted a lot of my maternity leave, worrying and feeling down. I just didn’t want to admit to myself that I wasn’t doing so well mentally. Again.
There are aspects of the my baby days with B that I DID enjoy and there were things that helped me. My list of positives starts here:
1. Meeting Other Mums
Meeting other mums through baby groups and baby sensory. Just getting out and about helped my mood. Although the thought of getting out and about was never appealing if I’m honest. I had to push myself a lot.
2. Meeting the Right Mums
I’d also say meeting the “right” mums is important. I was feeling pretty vulnerable through maternity leave. I was completely out of my comfort zone and I felt like I had no bloody idea what I was doing half the time. I’d say it is important to try and not compare yourself to other mums. It’s great to share stories but take some things with a pinch of salt!
Support. Having a supportive husband. I can’t say enough how great my husband has been throughout not just the baby days but pre and post baby days. He is brilliant and I honestly don’t think I’d be here if it weren’t for his support.
Getting a bit of exercise. I underestimated this but even if I had no real plans, it the weather was good, it was lovely just to get out and walk around the estate. I take for granted now how quiet little man was then, and how easily he could be soothed! It’s the same second time around. Walking keeps me sane. And podcasts!
5. Living in the Present
Taking each day as it comes. I try not to look to far ahead if I can help it. This helps me keep focused on the here and now. Not the ifs, whens, buts and maybes.
6. Daily Goals
Having daily goals keeps me focused. Going from a 9-5 job to being a full time mum can be a shock! All of a sudden I felt completely useless. I know this isn’t the case – I was looking after a new life – but I somehow felt ridiculously inadequate and I really hated the fact my husband’s life carried on as if nothing had really changed.
And this is the part where I say I really really wish I’d found blogging sooner. I wasn’t in a good place though and even though I’d had a new baby, I just felt what’s the point in life? I stopped reading, I stopped crocheting. I just didn’t care. So setting myself some small goals for each week DID help. And they may have just been super easy things – pop to the shop with the pram and pick up a red bull (my go-to as I don’t drink coffee). But they gave me some sense of worth throughout the week – that I had things other than baby stuff to “do”. I still do this now second time around. I make a huge to-do list and it keeps me focused each day and week.