‘What if this knife lands on my baby? What if my toddler misplaces a step and breaks his neck? Horrible, graphic images held me prisoner in my mind.’: Mom candidly opens up about intrusive postpartum thoughts

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Disclaimer: This story contains details of intrusive postpartum thoughts that may be upsetting to some.

“What if this knife I’m holding falls and lands on my baby?

What if that dog off the lead comes and attacks my baby in the stroller?

What if my toddler misplaces a step on the slide and tumbles back and breaks his neck?

Quick as a flash, images, horrible graphic images, would run through my mind.

Often they would physically jolt me and then I’d get severe guilt for even thinking them.

These are just a few of the many examples I experienced postpartum.

Perfectly ordinary and happy scenarios were quickly overrun by irrational thoughts.

It held me prisoner at home for so long, as well as in my head.

I so badly wanted to be that unruffled mom but my mind was constantly painting ugly pictures around the beautiful pages of our lives, and I hated it.

It’s similar to strange thoughts like running a red light or screaming out in a crowd’s moment of silence.

They are re things you would never ever do of course, so why are they there?

I just wanted to share this because I know it’s a hard thing to talk about.

In fact, it took me a long time to open up to my husband and to see someone to talk to.

I saw an Instagram post about it from @mrsconstancehall and I said out loud, ‘That’s me. I go through this.’

And then I saw a post where @annamathur said, ‘It’s my mind playing with risk, power, responsibility, fear and the pure naked hearted vulnerability of love.’

It was so powerful knowing I wasn’t alone and could see some context being shared around such a taboo subject.

Postpartum is different for everyone, but I wanted to post this for those who have gone through it and say, it does get easier.

I don’t experience this now (anxiety yes, but I can’t remember the last time I had a thought like this).

What helped me personally at the time was acknowledging the thought, and telling myself it was irrational, reminding myself that we were safe, we were okay, and quickly replacing the thought with something else, anything else.

The thoughts had nothing to do with who I was but more so the state of where I was at.

The stress, the exhaustion, the fatigue.

Sending love to those who think they’re alone and reminding you that you’re not.

If you feel like you need to get help, then do.”

mom and baby
Courtesy of Jess Urlichs

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jessica Urlichs. You can follow her journey on Facebook and InstagramSubmit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

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