Horrible Thoughts Indicate Parental Anxiety

You're not crazy for having those intrusive thoughts, but you might want to seek help for your parental anxiety.

Adelina Vasile

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Photo by OSPAN ALI on Unsplash

Do you picture the knife you're holding falling on your baby?

Accidentally dropping your little one from your arms and watching her head getting smashed to the floor?

A car hitting you as you push the stroller on the sidewalk?

Your toddler falling at the park and breaking his neck? Or drowning at the pool?

Horrible graphic images take over your mind, making you shake your head seriously so that they go away?

You must be wondering what's wrong with you. Why can't you just enjoy the blissful moment you're living when everyone is well and happy? Everyone but you, because you can't be happy when you're so afraid…

It was October 8, my birthday, and I was sitting on a hospital bed, waiting for the neonatologist to confirm that she'd discharge my three days old son and me from the hospital on that Monday.

Instead, she entered the room carrying some blood results, and she started with, "I'm afraid I don't have good news. We want to keep you in for at least one more day…"

It felt like the ceiling collapsed on me, and I could barely manage not to burst into tears right then and there. After all, the doctor was merely trying to tell me that my baby had a more severe form of jaundice.

He was being treated for it, and they were testing his bilirubin levels while ensuring he was feeding well.

Looking back, it was no biggie, but it felt monumental. I blamed it on the hormones.

Then, after two more days in the hospital, when we finally got home late in the afternoon, I remember sitting on the floor next to his bed, crying.

For whatever reasons, I was pretty sure he would die. I was by no means capable of taking care of him, feed him, keep him alive.

I blamed it on post-partum depression. And while I'm sure that's what it was, for a long time, I wasn't aware that while I eventually got over that post-partum depression, I didn't get over the anxiety it…

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Adelina Vasile

Mother, educator, journalist, copywriter. I write about the things I need to learn myself.