‘I told my husband I couldn’t do it anymore. The fear in his voice when he told me to give Raelynn to him scared me even more.’: Mom opens up about postpartum anxiety journey

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“Postpartum anxiety was something I never expected to hit me as hard as it did.

I’ve heard about postpartum depression, but postpartum anxiety? Rage? Anger?

It was all new to me and to be honest, most days battling each of these emotions makes me feel like there’s something wrong with me.

Mom holding newborn baby girl at the hospital with her husband leaning from behind
Courtesy of Kelsey Willey

Ever since I can remember, I’ve suffered from anxiety and OCD tendencies. I even went to therapy when I was younger for my need to have everything clean.

I hit my breaking point when I found myself on the floor hyperventilating and crying because I just couldn’t take it anymore.

I missed the ease of our old routine.

I was so tired and burnt out.

I had no idea what to do with a newborn anymore, even though I’d done it before.

I missed my oldest.

I felt like I was failing my clients, my family, my friends, and myself.

I told my husband I couldn’t do it anymore. And the fear in his voice when he told me to give Raelynn to him scared me even more.

Mom bottle feeding her newborn baby girl while toddler son takes a bath
Courtesy of Kelsey Willey

I knew then I needed to let go. So I did.

I opened up to my husband and my close friends.

I expressed what I needed.

I started taking time for myself and working on who I am inside and out.

I let go of the pressures and the control.

I threw up my hands and I surrendered.

To Him.

And He put me back together piece by piece and day by day.

Mom laying on the couch with her baby resting on her chest
Courtesy of Kelsey Willey

This song, ‘Graves Into Gardens’ by Elevation Worship, has been on repeat for months, and it’s my constant reminder He came along and put me back together.

Every day isn’t easy, and I still feel the rush of anxiety.

In those moments when I feel it start to take over, I say to myself, ‘I am the best mom for my kids. I give up control, thrive with time to myself, and know my worth.’ Sometimes in my head or sometimes out loud.

It seems cheesy, but in those moments when I feel like breaking, those words are what ground me and remind me God is in control. And through Him, I am reminded of who I am, what I truly bring to this world, and His strength in me through it all.

If you are struggling, know you’re not alone. And while I can’t provide medical help, I am always happy to be a listening ear.”

Mom and dad eating at a restaurant with their two kids-a baby girl and a toddler boy
Courtesy of Kelsey Willey

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Kelsey Willey from St. Louis, MO. You can follow her journey on Instagram and her websiteSubmit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

Read more from Kelsey here:

To My Firstborn: I Hope You Know I Didn’t Forget About You

Dear Postpartum Body—Despite Everything, I Still Love You

‘The way you look at me, with those big blue eyes, I just know we already have a bond that will never be broken.’: Mom pens touching open letter to newborn daughter

Dear 20-Year-Old Me, If Only You Could See What’s Waiting For You

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