Leaving my baby results in a different kind of anxiety I’ve never experienced before. Despite being thankful for the time spent away from my daughter, I find myself rather quickly wanting to be back in her space. I find myself when I am not around her, worried that something could be happening to her.
What if she falls? Can she cry herself sick? Is she upset that I’m not with her?
In the beginning these thoughts used to consume me. I couldn’t leave her for very long and if I did, I was constantly calling her father to “check-in” on her. It wasn’t that I didn’t trust him or anyone that would watch her. I was just too overrun with anxiety. I was too afraid that without me next to her the risk of something bad happening to her was too high.
At home, as much as I loved her to sleep, leaving my baby to do even that was challenging.
I was terrified she would stop breathing. If she napped, I was awake watching her. At night I would find myself waking up to frantically ensure she was breathing and sleeping correctly. My anxiety wouldn’t be relieved until she was awake. Then new anxiety would settle in.
Therapy and practice have made things better.
At postpartum therapy I confronted my anxiety. Addressing my fears and taking small step to overcome has proven to be healing for me. I still check in on my daughter while she sleeps but I can do so and then continue with my tasks. Sometimes, I even take a nap with her. Leaving her with those I trust is now possible without as much worry. I might not be ready to leave her for more than a couple of hours but at least for now that’s enough for me.