I'm Pretty Sure Having a Baby Cured My Anxiety

I can already feel the rebuttals coming for this post. Before I even get started let me say— No, I'm not a doctor. No, I have no medical evidence to back this up. All I know is how I've felt before and how I feel now. This also isn't meant to attack or shame anyone for any kind of post-partum depression or post-partum anxiety. I simply have been thinking about this for the past 8 months and wanted to get some thoughts down on paper (figuratively speaking). My goal here is not to start an argument about loving your babies or PPD. This is just a very brief overview of how my world has changed in the past 8 months due to life changes from becoming a mother.




I wrote a few months ago about my issues with my chronic disease, Meniere's disease. This is different than anxiety, this is still very much present, but more or less under control at the moment. Anxiety is something I've dealt with my entire life, but it came to a gnarly head in January 2015, when I ended up in the hospital for an insane panic attack that I was convinced was a heart attack. I was at my house, by myself, when it came on. I just so happened to be wearing a heart rate monitor (I'd been working out a lot prior to our wedding) and as I watched my heart rate jump from normal to 180 and back down, I knew something was wrong. The room was spinning, I couldn't move, breathe, or think clearly. So, not knowing what else to do, I called an ambulance. Long story short and many hours in the ER later, I was sent home with a clean bill of health and a referral for a cardiologist.



From there, my primary doctor recommended I start taking Prozac to help with what every single specialist I saw (cardiologist, pulmonologist, neurologist, ENT) diagnosed as anxiety. I was kind of offended at first, but took her recommendation. And to be perfectly honest, it helped. I didn't have mini panic attacks anymore, I didn't get overwhelmed in a crowded room or break out in hives daily. For a little while. Then the medication just kind of dulled it. But when I tried a higher dosage it made me dizzy and foggy, so I settled into my new normal of half-squashed anxiety.

Jump to December 2015 when I was two months along with my baby boy and decided it was time to make some major life decisions. For the sake of this baby I knew my current work situation wasn't going to be a good fit. I couldn't spend 60+ hours a week downtown away from my child devoting my life to a company that could give a shit about me and my personal health. So I left.

My baby boy came in July 2016 — and here's where I'm really going to not try to offend or shame anyone. I am just sharing my personal experience. 

I had the opposite of PPD. Baby blues were the furthest thing from my mind. I was elated. This child was a gigantic wave of love and peace that I didn't know I was missing from my life. My heart cracked open and grew another chamber, just for him. I had the wind knocked out of me by this new, all-encompassing, deliriously fierce love. 

and it just grew, and grew.

It has become a love so huge, it overwhelms and warms and explodes with joy on a daily basis. Sure, some days are hard, some days are scary. But most days are so wonderfully perfect that I have had to embrace this new season of life in the best way possible. Who knows? It could be hormones or breastfeeding, but I truly think having my baby shifted my mindset and my chemical balance. I was re-energized, and now focused on a completely different priority list. I still work. Between working while he sleeps and meetings with clients, I work 30 hours a week. But I love the work I'm doing and the business I am building. I don't break out in hives anymore when I sit down at my office desk and say "must be the cleaner they used". After I work in the morning my day is spent with him. Holding him, feeding him, playing with him and loving him. It's the most perfect world I could have imagined.

So no, I'm not saying having a baby cured my anxiety. Having a baby cracked my heart so wide open and forced me to shift and refocus my life path and previous priorities. Ones that weren't the best for my heart and were most likely the root of my anxiety. I still worry, don't get me wrong. But I'm no longer consumed with anxiety for things that just don't matter. My heart, presence and attention are here, growing and loving this tiny human who has completely shifted my world for the better. I haven't been on any anti-anxiety medication since he was born and I don't plan on going back on it. They say having a child changes you — mind, body + soul, and I'm just trying to embrace this big love, this new life and lean in to everything it brings.

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