Adrian On Postpartum Anxiety and PTSD as a Military Wife

adrian and son- military wife

Content warning: Discussion of postpartum depression, birth trauma, domestic abuse or other tough topics ahead. If you or someone you know is struggling with a postpartum mental health challenge, including postpartum depression or anxiety, call 1-833-9-HELP4MOMS (tel:18009435746)—The National Maternal Mental Health Hotline This free, confidential service provides access to trained counselors and resources 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in English, Spanish, and more than 60 other languages. They can offer support and information related to before, during, and after pregnancy.

Oh man where do I begin. It’s now been five months and I still can’t get over how my labor and delivery went. I truly believe that played a big role in how I feel now. So to start off, I am a military spouse. My husband was currently at sea when our 8.6 pound baby boy decided to come at 37 weeks.

I was in denial that I was going into labor and sad because my husband didn’t know what was going on. Mind you, he was still out at sea with no phone connection. I started having contractions Wednesday night all through Friday morning when I had him. Rewind to them admitting me, my contractions were back to back, the pain was like no other and my husband was missing everything, including my new mommy emotions.

His family thought it was okay to stay over night in my room while I’m sitting there crying and begging for my husband. Around seven centimeters, I decided to get an epidural. Of course ladies, our privacy is thrown out the window. His sisters stood in the room while my legs were spread in the air and made sure to look down there every time the doctor would check. I was furious but I honestly had no energy to say anything because I was already on an oxygen mask due to my baby’s heart dropping.

So now it’s time to deliver. I had my son without my husband and everyone came and left, which I was so happy about because I needed my alone time. Then, five pm rolls around and I’m learning how to breastfeed and all the new mommy things they teach us when his whole entire family comes in my room while I’m topless and learning how to feed my baby. I covered up quickly and still I didn’t say anything.

During this time I am waiting for my husband to finally come meet his son. Now it’s 10 pm and my husband finally arrives, but his family is still there. I wanted him to meet our son by himself but that didn’t happen. I know what I signed up for when, “I married into the military,” but being pregnant and not having your husband for the entire thing was truly hard.

My bond with my son became stronger because I knew I had a piece of my husband with me. My son was born in December 2018 and it is now June 2019 and I still feel hate, anger, disappointment, literally every word you can think of towards his family. I get anxiety when his family asks if they can see my baby. I get anxiety when people hold him. I cry if his family suggests, “Oh just leave him here with us.” I truly feel like I have postpartum PTSD and postpartum anxiety. My big question is, “How can I overcome this?” I feel like I’m not ready to let this go, but I know I do need to be the bigger person, but is being the bigger person worth losing my sanity?