By Sarah Noble
I’ve always been prone to anxiety. I thought when my son would be born, I would be unable to sleep, constantly worrying about whether he was breathing or not. While there was a little of that in the first few weeks, I was blindsided by a different kind of anxiety.
My son was very difficult to get to sleep, and to stay asleep. He would cry a lot, and often it took A LOT to settle him. I didn’t go out much in the beginning, but when I began to think about venturing outside of the 4 walls I was encased in 24/7, I felt anxious.
I was afraid that I wasn’t going to be able to settle my son if he cried.
I ventured out one day when he was asleep, hoping he would stay asleep. I was wandering around the Warehouse, when he woke up – crying. I raced to the counter, where a nice lady advised me there was a parents’ room nearby. I walked as quickly as I could to the parents’ room, Dylan still crying, becoming more and more anxious and stressed. I felt like everyone was looking at me, judging me – “She can’t even settle her own baby”, “Why is her baby crying?”, “She’s not a very good mother if she can’t settle her baby!”. These thoughts going round and round in my head. I got to the parents’ room and fed Dylan, thinking perhaps he was hungry. He fed, I put him back in the capsule and he cried again. Even louder.
I rushed back to the car to get home as fast as I could, drowning in anxious thoughts and feeling very stressed and overwhelmed.
After that outing, I didn’t go out with Dylan for weeks, other than for a walk around the block. It traumatised me. Where did this anxiety come from?