Possible trigger warning: I am going to talk about my Postpartum Depression and Anxiety.
To know how I started my fitness journey, we have to start at the beginning.
In the beginning, there was Anxiety.
I have let it rule me for a LONG TIME. As a child, I was scared of EVERYTHING. I think there’s a picture of me out there in the ether crying on a slide at the age of 4 or 5 because I was too afraid to go down. My mom tells me it took me something like 30 minutes at the top before I decided that I WASN’T going down. Crying and avoiding what I was AFRAID of had become a habit of mine. Unfortunately, the fear didn’t just begin and end at slides, it ended up spilling into other facets of my life.
As time went on, my anxiety and fears began to rule me. With a car accident that happened a couple of years ago, I had severe anxiety around driving and being in cars. This stopped me from driving or even being able to stay calm in a car while being driven. Fortunately, I was able to go through therapy for my driving. The therapy helped a lot but I would still be so cautious and nervous on the road, being the driver or passenger.
During my pregnancy, I tried to be calm. I had a high risk pregnancy because of my diabetes and hypertension, so I tried to remain as anxiety-free as possible. I would hear stories of home births and interventionless deliveries. I knew that wouldn’t happen for me but I was determined to stay as zen as possible. I exercised, ate right, went for massages and took every opportunity to take good care of myself. And it worked! I thought I was in the clear.
But after nearly four days in induced labour that ended in a c-section, I couldn’t imagine the anxiety I was in for. It was unlike anything I had experienced. Severe anxiety with intrusive thoughts that stopped me from eating, sleeping or functioning in my daily life. I was unable to take care of myself, let alone a new born colicky and reflux-y baby.
At my OB appointments, we discussed postpartum depression when I was pregnant and how I was at high risk of getting it given my history. But I figured, if I just ignored the possibility and continued with my life, it wouldn’t happen. But it did.
I was in denial. How could I be anxious and depressed when I worked so hard to prevent it? I must be world’s most terrible mother, to have such horrible thoughts and visions of things happening to myself and my baby. I would look down at a crying Narra, who was so tiny and beautiful and be scared to death that something bad was going to happen to her. My family doctor had given me a prescription, just incase, as he knew I was having a hard time. But I held off taking it as long as possible because I was determined to breastfeed and I was afraid taking medication would end my breastfeeding career prematurely.
One day, as I was getting Narra ready for her 2 month shots, I felt my skin started burning. Then I couldn’t breathe. My heart was racing and I couldn’t understand what was happening. You know that feeling when you’re walking down the stairs and you miss a step? That’s what I felt, for what seemed like eternity. I thought I was dying. I was convinced I was about to fall over and my heart would give out but somehow I called my public health nurse who then called 911. I was rushed to the hospital and was put on my medication right away. I was referred to a reproductive psychiatrist, assigned a reproductive mental health therapist and given the number of Pacific Postpartum Society.
My greatest fear had been realized . My dream of being that SUPERMOM that everyone, including myself, had expected of me had been shattered with three letters (PPA) and a prescription for Cipralex.
But it was this FEAR that finally led to the realization of self and making the rest of my life, the BEST of my life.
September 21, 2014 and September 21, 2015
Stay tuned for more.. ❤️