So God Made a Teacher Collection (Sale!) ➔

This is my real face.

I am happy. I am probably—to some people—so annoyingly happy. I have everything I could ever want, pray or hope for.

I have three beautiful, healthy children and the most amazing husband. I have family that I’m close to. I also have family that I’m close to AND that physically lives close by. I have the best friends. I’m on a team of amazing women whose sole passion and mission in this life is to inspire and help others live their healthiest, happiest lives. I am healthy. I exercise six days a week. I am so freaking happy!

Which is why something called postpartum anxiety totally and completely sneaked up on me.

I mean, what IS that even!?! How could I sit here, supporting some of my friends who have experienced the same, while being so completely oblivious to recognizing the symptoms in MYSELF?

What happened?

Looking back, it’s easy to see it. The week before Christmas, the baby was five months old. Our three-year-old got croup. It was the first time I’d had to take a child to the emergency room, and I was so scared. I was worried that the baby would get it. (She didn’t).

For weeks, I had trouble going to sleep because I laid in bed and listened for any little cough from any of the kids, just KNOWING another one would be sick any minute. In February, both of the older kids got a high fever for 10 days. We suspected Influenza A. Again, I was so so worried that the baby would get it. (She didn’t).

But for a couple of weeks, I obsessively checked everyone’s temperatures multiple times each day. And sometimes through the night. I would lay in bed worrying, and even resented my husband snoring beside me, wondering how he could sleep and NOT be worried to death about the kids like I was.

We even went on a beach vacation to Florida, where I was still unable to sleep or relax.

Then I discovered a neck lump on the seven-month-old baby that required surgery to remove. In the weeks that led up to her surgery, sometimes at night I would sit up in bed, wide awake and gasping for air, feeling like I couldn’t breathe. (The surgery went well and the lump was benign, thank the good Lord)!

Let me try to explain—I’m not talking about just worrying. Anxiety is so hard to describe. And it can be different for each person. I’m talking about a constant worry that was interfering with my ability to mother. Or to live my normal life.

On top of that, I was short-tempered with the kids. And it’s hard to admit the rage I sometimes felt. I’m not talking about yelling. I’m talking about sudden rage that scared me and the kids.

I also resented the older two kids because I felt robbed of time and attention that I wanted to be spending with the baby.

I could never focus. I was so overwhelmed by the amount of things I needed to do every day and yet it was so hard to focus that hardly anything got done. This just led to feeling more overwhelmed. 

I started to wonder what was wrong with me. I tried to pray it away. But I couldn’t. I tried to keep myself busy—too busy—hoping the distractions would help. They didn’t. It made it worse. And I couldn’t exercise it away either. It helped, but I still couldn’t stop thinking that maybe this extreme worrying and the anxious feelings I had almost constantly were not normal. 

My baby was approaching nine-months-old. I wasn’t sad. I wasn’t depressed. I was madly in love with the baby and never had scary thoughts about harming her or the other kids or myself. 

But the periods of sudden rage and then the subsequent guilt were weighing on me. I didn’t know who I was. Why could I not relax? Why was no one taking care of me? Why was I so resentful? Why couldn’t I catch my breath?

Then, a revelation came. 

One day, I was nursing the baby and reading one of my favorite blogger’s Facebook pages. The more I read, the harder I cried. I was experiencing postpartum anxiety. Even less talked about than PPD.

I was so relieved to finally know that I wasn’t crazy. I immediately messaged Lauren and asked her how she knew she needed help. 

I called my doctor but chickened out before anyone answered. I kept trying to talk myself out of admitting that anything was wrong. After all, I felt like I had no right to feel the way I was feeling. My rational self kept repeating that I was happy. So how could I have postpartum ANYTHING?

That night I told my husband I needed to talk to my doctor but that I could not call. He thankfully took my tears and distress seriously because the next day he called my doctor’s office and the nurse called me. 

After more tears, and much reassurance from my sweet nurse, I had a prescription.

So, what now?

According to the American Pregnancy Association, postpartum anxiety is a mood disorder that affects about 10 percent of moms. It can present as anxiety, or a combination of anxiety and depression. Panic attacks may also be present.

Other symptoms can include changes in eating or sleeping habits, difficulty controlling racing thoughts, constant worry, an impending fear that something bad is going to happen, trouble sitting still or focusing, and even physical symptoms like dizziness or nausea.

I now know I have many friends who have been brave enough to ask for a prescription, too. But man, do I feel ridiculous for not knowing or recognizing the symptoms in myself. And even more ridiculous that I kept thinking I could out-pray or out-exercise my anxiety.

So why do I tell you this?

Because I am standing tall. This is the hardest but possibly most important thing I have ever shared. Because even though I AM happy, and filled with joy and gratitude for this life and my children, I absolutely was not being my best, healthiest self for a few months. 

I am thankful that postpartum depression is getting talked about more often. But I hope that no one has to suffer through postpartum anxiety either. I wish I had realized sooner that what I was feeling was not normal.

Postpartum mood disorders do not discriminate. I know that now. It doesn’t matter if you are happy, healthy, have a history of mood disorders or not, are a stay-at-home mom or a work-outside-the-home mom. 

I feel so much better and back to my normal self with a little help from a little pill. Will I take it for much longer? I don’t know for sure yet.

But please, if you are in any way feeling like I described, don’t put off calling your doctor. It doesn’t matter how strong you are. Sometimes we all need a little help.

Michaela Gasseling

I am a Christian mom, farmwife, La Leche League Leader, and health and fitness enthusiast. My passions are helping people to get to know Jesus, and encouraging others that having a good relationship with food and movement is worth learning! I am also a small-town Nebraska girl, a runner, coffee-addict, a certified PiYo Live group fitness instructor, an empowerer, and a rural influencer. I blog about our crazy life at http://cowgirlbootsandrunningshoes.com/.  I have a new title of SAHM and all my listed roles fill MY cup. The loves of my life—along with my farmer—are our four kids. I am learning to navigate life on a farm and at home after moving to my husband’s family’s place after 10 years of living in the city. Prayers and coffee accepted.

Children Don’t Get Easier, We Just Get Stronger

In: Inspiration, Mental Health, Motherhood
Children Don't Get Easier, We Just Get Stronger www.herviewfromhome.com

“This too shall pass.” As mothers, we cling to these words as we desperately hope to make it past whichever parenting stage currently holds us in its clutches. In the thick of newborn motherhood, through night wakings, constant nursing and finding our place in an unfamiliar world, we long for a future filled with more sleep and less crying. We can’t imagine any child or time being more difficult than right now. Then, a toddler bursts forth, a tornado of energy destroying everything in his wake. We hold our breath as he tests every possible limit and every inch of...

Keep Reading

I Don’t Have Anxiety—But My Husband Does

In: Health, Mental Health, Relationships
I Don't Have Anxiety—But My Husband Does www.herviewfromhome.com

I don’t have anxiety but my husband does.  We should have realized this years ago but we missed it. The realization came suddenly and as soon as it popped in my mind, it came out of my mouth. “You have anxiety.” I said. He looked at me trying to determine if I was joking or serious. “I am serious, you have anxiety.” His eyes left mine and found his phone. He picked it up and said, “Hey Siri, give me the definition of anxiety.” As the virtual assistant read off the definition she may as well have been reading my man’s personality...

Keep Reading

I’m Not Sure How Long I’ll Need an Antidepressant to Feel Normal…and That’s OK

In: Cancer, Child Loss, Grief, Mental Health
I'm Not Sure How Long I'll Need an Antidepressant to Feel Normal...and That's OK www.herviewfromhome.com

I tried to wean off of Zoloft and couldn’t. And that’s OK. I had never really been aware of the world of antidepressants. My life has been relatively uneventful—with the normal ups and downs that most of us go through. I knew people on medication for depression but never understood. How can you be THAT sad that you can’t just be positive and make the best of your circumstances? How can someone be THAT unhappy ALL the time to need medication? I didn’t get it. I felt bad for people going through it. Then my 2-year-old was diagnosed with Stage...

Keep Reading

To the Mom With the Anxious Soul

In: Journal, Mental Health, Motherhood
To the Mom With the Anxious Soul www.herviewfromhome.com

I see you, mama. You’re the one sitting alone at the family party. You’re the one hovering a little too close to your sweet babies at the park. You’re the one standing in the bathroom at work for just a moment of quiet. Your thoughts are swirling constantly, faster and more fearful that a “regular” mama. You find yourself spaced out at times, and hyper aware at others. You’ve heard the words “just relax” and “everything is fine” more times than you care to count. Sometimes you wish you could make everyone understand why you are the way you are...

Keep Reading

I Know You’re Exhausted, Mama—But Experts Say You NEED That Momcation

In: Mental Health, Motherhood
I Know You're Exhausted, Mama—But Experts Say You NEED That Momcation www.herviewfromhome.com

I waved as our old blue truck rolled down the road away from where I stood, planted on the sidewalk alone. There I was staring down my first solo stay away from my husband and sons, and the only thought I could muster up was what on Earth was I thinking planning a weekend to myself in the city?  Would my kids be okay without me? More like, would I be OK without them? The answer to both questions was of course, yes, but in that moment I couldn’t help but have doubt because, well, you know—”time off” doesn’t exactly...

Keep Reading

A Morning in the Life of a Mom With Anxiety

In: Child, Journal, Mental Health, Motherhood
A Morning in the Life of a Mom With Anxiety www.herviewfromhome.com

I wake up to the sound of my kids in the kitchen, the morning sun peeping through my window. I immediately cringe at the thought of having to parent today. And why? Because my anxiety and depression is so strong that I want to curl up in a ball and cry. I start thinking about all the things I need to get done, and then I remember that one child has baseball practice for two hours tonight. The other child won’t want to go and will pitch a fit. I roll over to get the sun out of my eyes....

Keep Reading

Our Daughter Hated School; We Finally Discovered Why (and How to Help)

In: Child, Mental Health, School
Our Daughter Hated School; We Finally Discovered Why (and How to Help) www.herviewfromhome.com

I wish we had clued in to our daughter’s generalized anxiety disorder a lot earlier then we did. It’s not for a lack of information available, it’s just that you don’t research it when you believe your child simply hates school. I mean our generation struggled with complicated friendships, PE class, and strict teachers too. Even our great-grandmothers had to survive the “mean girls”. So, our children will make it through, too, right? The problem is sometimes it’s more than just struggling to fit in; it’s a debilitating anxiety that leaves them feeling like they are treading in water over...

Keep Reading

What It Feels Like to Parent With Anxiety

In: Child, Mental Health, Motherhood
What It Feels Like to Parent With Anxiety www.herviewfromhome.com

When my second child was born he wasn’t crying. I immediately sat up in the hospital bed and asked the nurses what was wrong. “He’s fine. Everything’s fine.” But I knew they were lying. A mother knows, and my anxiety-ridden heart was in full-blown panic until I knew my boy was OK. He had swallowed some meconium and turned blue as he struggled to breathe. He had a rough start, but in the end he really was fine. My heart, however, was not. Having anxiety is hard. Having anxiety when you are a mom can be crippling. When you are a mom with...

Keep Reading

To the Husband Whose Wife Has Depression

In: Mental Health, Relationships
To the Husband Whose Wife Has Depression www.herviewfromhome.com

To the husband whose wife has depression,  First of all, it’s already a blessing to your wife that you have chosen her to spend the rest of your life, even eternity, with. Depression is never a battle you’d want to face alone. So having you as her companion, either standing next to her or carrying her in your arms and being that support to her (sometimes, even literally), is a gift she may not always be vocally appreciative of. But trust me, she is deeply and unequivocally grateful for it.  It’s no question that she has her “off” days when...

Keep Reading

Divorce is Not God’s Plan A

In: Faith, Mental Health, Relationships
Divorce is Not God's Plan A www.herviewfromhome.com

Divorce is not God’s Plan A. How can it be? It violently tears apart two people God himself knit together. It rips to shreds the hearts of those who once stared into each other’s eyes and said “I love you”; it makes meaningless the words and promises of lifelong love, commitment and “death alone can part us”. One day there is love. Then, something deeper and stronger takes hold of that love and crushes it until it is dead. For me, that “something” was mental illness. It stole my husband. It destroyed my marriage. He was attending seminary to become...

Keep Reading

Get our FREE phone wallpaper to encourage you as the new school year begins

It's bittersweet for a mother to watch her child grow—but you both are ready to soar.