This thread is amazing. Needs to be turned into a list and handed out to expecting moms by every ob/gyn. They tell women everything under the sun about what to expect for 9 months; why not this?!
I think it’s wonderful you’re making this list for new moms. It would have been reassuring for me to know I was “normal”
“Scary Thoughts” is an expression used to encompass any and all categories of upsetting thinking that can interfere with the well-being of a new mother. Scary thoughts refer to negative, repetitive, unwanted and/or intrusive thoughts or images that can bombard you at any time (Dropping the Baby and Other Scary Thoughts by Kleiman & Wenzel, 2010). Scary thoughts are anxiety-driven, they are extremely COMMON, and most new mothers admit that have, at some time, imagined or worried about harm coming to their babies. The shame of having these thoughts can prevent women from speaking about them. In response to women telling us they feel isolated and ashamed of their thoughts, we asked women to share their scary thoughts in an attempt to help them express these distressing ruminations, so they can get relief and also help other mothers understand how universal this phenomenon is.
The objective of our PPSC project #speakthesecret is to obliterate the stigma attached to scary thoughts which are so common in new motherhood.
♥ THANK YOU ♥
to all the brave women who continue to disclose their scary thoughts.
Together, we will educate many and help reduce the anxiety and stigma. #speakthesecret
Our page is an ongoing list of the thoughts that brave women have chosen to share in the hopes of helping women know they are not alone and that having scary thoughts is common during pregnancy and the postpartum period. We will add thoughts as they are submitted.
DISCLAIMER: This list is anonymous. We do not ask for any identifying information and therefore are unable to contact you. You can contact us at any time if you want to modify or delete your submission. We reserve the right to edit or not include a submission if, for any reason, we feel its content is unsuitable for this forum and are not able to respond to individual clinical or medical concerns. We may decide to create a meme from your words which may be (anonymously) posted on various social media platforms. Please keep in mind that this forum is not a substitute for professional intervention and posting your scary thought on this site will NOT give you access to treatment. If you are worried about the way you feel, we urge you to contact a support person and a qualified healthcare provider. If you need assistance locating a provider who can help you, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- My baby was going to die in the middle of the night and I was going to find her in her crib cold and lifeless.
- Sleep deprived and overwhelmed, I pictured myself throwing my crying baby down. (This distressed me the most because I would NEVER hurt her and I felt like a terrible mother for that image crossing my brain.)
- We stayed in a vacation house with a loft and I kept picturing my toddler daughter flying right over the ledge and smashing onto the floor below.
- What if someone kidnaps my child and sells her into sex trafficking???
- Every news story about an infant or small child brought a “What if….? and an image of that happening to my daughter.
- My daughter is going to die at daycare from ___ (insert any number of possibilities).
- There was a period where everything seemed dangerous or deadly…driving, grapes, sleep, ledges, kidnapping, stairs, cancer, and so on. It was exhausting.
- I had paranoia that my baby couldn’t be around sharp objects..I knew I wasn’t going to hurt her but somehow I thought things such as forks would somehow hurt her..it was awful I remember people holding her and eating with a fork and my anxiety would be through the roof and to others who haven’t had ppd with intrusive thoughts this might sound insane but it seemed completely logical to me at the time…and that’s when I went to a ppd meeting that’s where I was told the difference between intrusive thoughts and psychosis and for once I had an understanding of what was going on…it is hard to put this out there because people can be judgmental by not understanding but I have come to the point in my life I would rather put it all out there and help save one mom so she didn’t feel alone like I did…
- Falling down the stairs while carrying my baby & dropping her while walking with her or getting her out of her car seat.
- My abuser would find us and hurt/take my children and/or me. The scary intrusive thought/anxiety/ptsd combo was hell.
- After I had my second child, I imagined putting them both in my chest freezer so I could get some sleep. That’s when I decided to get on meds.
- We were walking one day in the neighborhood. I was convinced he was going to fly out of the stroller into the ditch. I didn’t see how he would get there but I ‘saw’ in my mind him there.
- I was convinced I was going to die on one of the water log rides at an amusement park. Not my husband who was riding with me. Just me.
- Same day at the amusement park, convinced he would slide out of my arms, wiggle across the Ferris Wheel basket (?) and fall.
- If I left our son at any time our bond would be broken and we wouldn’t love each other.
- The baby being dropped on anything hard- blacktop, concrete, tile, hardwood. I’d sit somewhere tightly clutching the baby while watching the floor down below us slowly turn red and just be unable to shut it off in my head. I’d have to sit down to go up or down some sets of stairs while holding the baby. It was bad while I was holding the baby but the intrusive thoughts were often worse when someone else was holding the baby over a hard floor. They’d come out of nowhere in the middle of the night too. Knives and other sharp objects were also triggers.
- Contracting an illness or disease as a result of someone not washing their hands or being hygienic in another way. I had my first during the Ebola outbreak and during flu season. Ultimately, I would fear the worst, that my baby would end up dying from something like this because of other people’s carelessness. I was very strict about others washing hands, etc., and I avoided leaving the house at all, except for appointments, for about three months. It was extreme, looking back.
- If I fall asleep the baby will die. If someone else watches the baby while I sleep, I can’t watch them watch the baby, so the baby will be seriously injured or die in someone else’s care… Protective services will take my other children because obviously I shouldn’t be asleep when they are asleep, or awake, or allow them to be cared for by anyone else.
- I struggle daily with letting the kids out of my sight, literally. I am consumed with who, where, what may or may not be happening while I am out of eyesight.
- My husband doesn’t understand that letting him help is worse than just letting me do it all.
- I thought if I bathed the baby on my own, there was a good chance that I’d leave her in there, and walk away.
- I thought that I would leave the baby in the car on a hot day.
- I thought that if I held the baby in certain ways, with her head resting on my arm, it would only take the slightest movement and it would crush her, or break her neck.
- A few weeks before my son was born I saw a black crow smack itself against the window outside his soon to be room, this convinced me something bad was going to happen. I also saw an elderly woman in black walking down my street, saw that as a sign too (like she was a witch)
- After I delivered when he was being weighed and measured I thought to myself that I was dying and that he was going to loose his mother, I told the nurses and they checked my vitals.
- I wouldn’t let [my mother and father] drive to the shops as I was convinced they were going to be killed in a car accident. They walked but I kept making them ring me to let me know they were ok.
- Despite being calm and happy all pregnancy, Post partum hormones kicked in on top of sleep deprivation and I became so anxious. I thought my anxiety would spread to my baby so didn’t want her to be near me. I thought I was toxic and ruined. I would pump milk and my husband would feed her. I cried all the time and thought she she had chosen the wrong mum. A year down the track I can see this is all nonsense and I am one of the lucky ones who received so much help and support to recover. But those thoughts are powerful and intrusive.
- I thought anything could hurt my baby, knives, clingfilm, pictures might fall, the lightfitting could come down. And much more . It was very bad i’d even worry that id snap and kill him somehow as there was baby deaths in the news. I was a nervous wreck and rather isolated.
- If everything wasn’t just so (like a piece of clothing was out of place or a picture wasn’t straight in the wall) I HAD to fix it or someone was gonna break in our house and harm the baby.
- I didn’t want to hold my daughter while I fed her a bottle. I thought I’d have her head at the wrong angle, and she’d either suffocate or choke on the milk. I propped her up with a pillow on the couch and held the bottle. I’m a birth professional and KNEW that that was more likely to cause suffocation/choking, but I couldn’t stop myself.
- Anything having to do with SIDS.
- If everything wasn’t just so (like a piece of clothing was out of place or a picture wasn’t straight in the wall) I HAD to fix it or someone was gonna break in our house and harm the baby.
- Every time I went outside to get fresh air for my son and I, I put him in the carrier and had so much fear walking on the sidewalk thinking a car would come up on the curb or he would fall onto the road. My mind imagined the whole scene. it was even worse when my husband was pulling him in the wagon.
- Contracting an illness or disease as a result of someone not washing their hands or being hygienic in another way. I had my first during the Ebola outbreak and during flu season. Ultimately, I would fear the worst, that my baby would end up dying from something like this because of other people’s carelessness. I was very strict about others washing hands, etc., and I avoided leaving the house at all, except for appointments, for about three months. It was extreme, looking back.
- I thought if I bathed the baby on my own, there was a good chance that I’d leave her in there, and walk away.
- I thought that I would fall when walking, and somehow in the fall I would drop or throw the baby over a railing, or down the stairs.
- We lived on the junction of the 2 biggest streets in our city. Every day as I got him out of the car seat (we had to park on the street), I would have thoughts about how it would be to get hit by a car racing past.
- I had very strong scary thoughts when standing on a balcony with my second baby that I might drop her off on purpose (still hanging around that one, she’s almost 2 now), and also when I was carrying her through doorways horizontally that I would smash her head into the door jam intentionally. This is despite loving her intensely, not being depressed or particularly anxious, and not having these thoughts with first baby.
- My worst intrusive thoughts were around the SARS virus that was around in 2003-2004. In January 2004, my daughter was 8 weeks old and I saw something on the news about SARS. I became convinced that it was going to be the end of all human life, and rather than allow people to suffer, the government would provide suicide pills for all adults, injections for children, or medicine to put in baby bottles. I had visual images (not hallucinations) of having to kill my baby, and of myself, husband and baby lying huddled in bed, dead. It was horrific. My intrusive thoughts were so bad that I was later diagnosed with PTSD.
- I had really terrible trouble with this in the first year after my baby was born, particularly at night when I was trying to sleep. One started off with me imagining my husband and I taking the baby to our favorite pre-baby vacation spot in Mexico, where we honeymooned. I pictured her sitting quietly at the water’s edge, playing in the sand and looking out at the beautiful ocean in a floppy hat and cute swim suit. And then I imagined a shark swimming up and taking her. And I imagined myself running in after the shark to save her, and getting horribly maimed or killed myself.
- What if I leave her to run an errand or something and I die? What if my husband leaves for work and dies? What if we get in a car wreck on a bridge and the car falls into the water and I can’t get to her to save her? I stayed home for a long time after she was born. She is two now and I still have these thoughts from time to time.
- If I leave my house, I will get in a wreck and die and my daughter will never know her mother. If I die, my husband doesn’t know how to put her bottles/sippy cups together. I was deathly afraid of germs. I would “see” germs everywhere. I was terrified to let anyone around my baby because I just knew she was going to catch some terrible disease.
- I was scared to let my parents drive her anywhere and would envision (very graphically) her dying in a car wreck and I would constantly “see” her funeral. Our furnace went out when my daughter was about 7 months old. I had to leave work because I was just convinced I was going to go home and find my daughter, husband, and dog dead from carbon monoxide poisoning. It was a very scary, dark time during what was supposed to be one of the “happiest times of my life.”
- I’m seven years past it but the very first thought I had happened in the hospital a day after my son was born. Someone had brought a onsie in for him and my first scary thought was that it would be the last thing he ever wore.
- I had thoughts of crashing the car into trees, or driving over a cliff. Sometimes I would have impulses to do it while I was driving and I was so scared I would act on them. I also worried about dropping her in the shower, or letting her drown in the bath.
- I would see my baby in a coffin every time I looked at him while he was sleeping. I would panic while bathing him thinking for some reason I’d push his head under and wouldn’t be able to stop myself. Started having self harm thoughts, pretty much thinking of ways I could hurt myself with any object. 2 years out and thankfully those thoughts are gone.
- I had awful intrusive thoughts of dropping my baby down the stairs. So much so that I would hold him a little tighter every time I got near any stairs because I was so afraid of it actually happening.
- I had intrusive thoughts of jumping out of the passenger side of the car while my husband was driving on the freeway.
- Boiling or microwaving were the most horrifying. I had them all – everything you could think of – but those two stand out.
- What if I drop my baby over the stair railing? What if my child falls to their death from my apartment balcony? What if I sexually abuse my child?
- What if Child Protective Service comes and steals my children because I am an unfit mom? Eventually it got so bad that I thought, what if I drive away and never come back?
- What if I walk into the street waiting for a car to hit me?
- What if I would become bedridden & unable to function anymore due to the heightened anxiety causing severe insomnia. The fear of being unable to care for my kids became horrifying.
- No one else could take care of the baby, if anyone tried, they were going to hurt him, everyone became the danger.
- I couldn’t leave him, he nursed exclusively, never a bottle, feared taking him outside, because “they” were going to get him.
- Constantly looking over my shoulder to make sure no one was trying to take my baby and at the same time, I didn’t want him either, I felt detached and so far removed from him.
- I live in a car-centric [city]. We are constantly getting in and out of the car, and a majority of the year is warm weather. I was convinced for a long time that I would get hit by a car and killed while going into the street to get into the driver’s side of my car, and no one would get my baby out of the car and she would die in there in the heat.
- Knives are still triggers for me. I am HYPER-vigilant when using knives. It’s ridiculous, but it’s what I need to do for my own sanity.
- Our furnace went out when my daughter was about 7 months old. I had to leave work because I was just convinced I was going to go home and find my daughter, husband, and dog dead from carbon monoxide poisoning. It was a very scary, dark time during what was supposed to be one of the “happiest times of my life.”
- What if my husband is a pedophile and he sexually abuses her (multiple images of him doing so ensued)
- Since it’s public I am unwilling to put my vulnerability out there because I’m still kind of in the thick of it.
My scary thought is that I will forget my baby in the car and she will overheat and die. She is ten months old and I still have images and thoughts about this every day, every time I drive. I check to see if she is in her car seat back there no matter what time of day and often more than once per drive. I have completely untreated adult ADHD. I forget at least one thing per day between pump parts, breastmilk, daycare items, and food, and I live in fear that I will somehow forget her.
- I have horrible, vivid intrusive thoughts of finding her dead in the car at the end of the workday, almost every day when I am heading to the car at the end of the day to go pick her up.
- I had severe anxiety that the formula I was feeding him was poison. Like actual poison. And would spend hours on the internet to try and find evidence to support my constant, intrusive thoughts and anxiety that I was poisoning my baby and it was all my fault for being a failure. After getting help in many different ways and joining a breastfeeding support group after my second child was born, I went onto nurse her for two years but regardless of how I fed her I was able to look back and see how ppd really distorted everything with my first child. They were both fed with love and affection as infants but the depression and anxiety was distorting things and obviously making things way more difficult than they needed to be. My babies have both grown into beautiful teenagers today and I’m not only proud of them but proud of myself for reaching out and getting the help I so desperately needed.
- I couldn’t look at a knife without imagining stabbing myself with it.
- I had, (I can hardly type this), thoughts of throwing my baby off a cliff.
- Lots of intrusive thoughts while driving of driving off the road or into oncoming traffic. God, it was horrible.
- I was so scared the first few months that my son wouldn’t be able to breathe while in his infant seat and that I wouldn’t be able to pull over fast enough to help him. I got nervous hours before I had to take him anywhere.
- Pretty much lot of what others have said but I had the hardest time with germs…nothing was sanitary and I literally would not sit my daughter down. I held her for months. Other big one was that someone was always watching me or someone was in the house.
- My worst fear was SIDs. I didn’t realize I had PPOCD until my daughter was six months old. I would obsessively check on her every time she slept. It was like a ritual. I would check on her every 10 minutes after I put her to bed at night. When I was finally ready for bed I would have to check on her at least another 10-15 times before I could even relax and think about sleeping. Then I would wake up in a full blown panic attack after sleep 3 or 4 hours thinking she was in danger. I would run to her room and check to make sure she was breathing. Then it would start all over again. I still worry to this day about her and will check on her before I go to bed. But the obsession and panic to continually keep checking has greatly decreased.
- Tripping and falling down stairs with my baby, or accidentally dropping her from some other height. I still worry about this 14 months later.
- With my first baby, it was a depression, our marriage was having a hard time at the exact same time. Nursing was ridiculously hard for a good month. The first year ppd was just kind of survival mode. With my second baby, it was an anxiety. Our family was much more together, but my thoughts were not. I remember thinking the wood grains on our coffee table were making me almost nervous. We’ve since lost two, and definitely feeling the ppd just the same. However, my focus in my faith has got me through. Knowing each is just a season makes the rest of life worth it.
- I was paralyzed by the fear that I would now forever have someone else to worry about, literally have anxiety about, for the rest of my life. Without a break.
- When my son used to cry, I would think about what would happen if I shook him. I would go through the hospital visit, possible injuries, and the CPS investigation all in my head.
- We flew to Hawaii when my daughter was five months old and for weeks leading up to it I was sure the plane would crash into the ocean and I could literally picture my daughter drowning while I watched helplessly. She’s now over a year old and one of the most intrusive on-going thoughts is the idea of something happening to me. I know she’s at the age where she wouldn’t remember me and that thought makes me feel physically ill. I think about how long she would “look” for me when she needs her mommy before she would forget me and find comfort from someone else. It just makes me want to sob a million tears and I’ve thought about it since the day she was born.
- I think most of us have those thoughts of “omg I’m going to die and my baby will never know me.” It’s so, so scary.
- I would make my boss come home with me on nights my husband would work late because I was scared to give her a bath alone because of the same exact thoughts.
- What if I push her stroller into traffic? I had such a death grip on that stroller after that one.
- What if I throw her off the balcony?
- What if stab her with a knife?
- What if I go crazy and kill her and not what I did?
- Bridges, windows, washing machines…you name it. Horrible. He will be 13 soon and still gives me the chills when I think about it.
- Knives are for me still too. My mother in law will come over to cook and while she’s cooking she always sets the knives on the kitchen window sill it gives me so much anxiety ..even this many years later.
- OMG. It’s so good to hear someone else say this. I have gotten past it now, but for years after PTSD from my first postpartum issues, I had a hard time with knives.
- I forgot to add the horror that I was afraid of cooking him instead of the chicken and feeding to his dad in sandwiches. My mind was a hell. I had pelvic dysfunction and an emergency section and we couldn’t breastfeed so I pumped. I’d say any of those things alone could have contributed.
- My most horrible thought during my bout with PPD was that my baby and husband would be better off without me. I had visions of jumping in front of a truck. I really didn’t think they needed me. I also had thoughts of ending my marriage. 11 years and 3 children later we are a happy family.
- Every time I walked through the kitchen, I would imagine myself hurting her. Putting her in the microwave, the oven, or stabbing her with knives. I never actually wanted to do these things, but the thoughts were relentless and terrifying. I couldn’t make them stop.
- My daughter was going to die in a car crash, positional asphyxiation, SIDS, basically any horrible thing you read about online, I thought it was going to happen.
- I worry I’m not sane enough to be a good mother.
- I very clearly remember thinking that my baby would be better off with anyone else as his mother. I thought about leaving him at the hospital or on someone’s doorstep like you read about in the fairy tales. I even thought about up and leaving in the middle of the night, that he’d be better off with just his dad.
- I could do just drive this car into traffic with all my kids and end this pain for all of us.
- My scary thought is that my baby doesn’t love me and know I’m his mum and that I might as well be dead if this is the case.
- I had visions of pushing or throwing my three sons (then 5, 3, and 6 weeks old) down the stairs.
- Image of babies flying across the room like a football.
- My thoughts were throwing the newborn off a pedestrian bridge into highway traffic. They were smashing the baby’s head on that table…6 years later I still have intrusive thoughts.
- I had repeated flashes that my daughters mouth was a wooden nutcracker dolls mouth and that she was squishing/cracking my nipple while breastfeeding. However, I was experiencing NO physical discomfort while breastfeeding. In my imagination it was like a Chucky doll that looked like a nutcracker but with my daughter’s eyes. I also imagined her mouth like a lamprey eel’s mouth. I continued breastfeeding for several weeks while having these intrusive thoughts. It wasn’t until I hadn’t slept in 3 days and could not stop crying that I scheduled a doctors appointment to get some help.
- These are a bit more simple and trivial than the others but were so distressing at the time. I could not make dinner. Completely unable to focus to put ham on a plate, boil some potato and microwave some corn. I didn’t know where to start. The distress that caused me was huge. I was unable to put my daughter to sleep. Not in the she wouldn’t sleep kind of way, she would sleep, but I could not go through the process of dinner, bath, book and bed by myself. I had no idea what to do, how to persuade her to get into the bath. So upsetting. Tight chest. Couldn’t breathe. Pounding heart.
- My thoughts were throwing the newborn off a pedestrian bridge into highway traffic. They were smashing the baby’s head on that table.
- I am afraid I don’t like my kids. I am afraid that they don’t like me. I am afraid that I am not good enough.
- I would vividly, in great detail, imagine my own child in child abuse scenarios from the news. I would imagine my child’s face, screams, and suffering and feel like there was nothing I could do to prevent it.
- Someone (myself or my older children) falling and crushing my son’s head. If you haven’t had intrusive thoughts they can be very vivid. Even writing this now I can feel my anxiety rising and he is sleeping peacefully in my arms. Around 4 months postpartum I sought help from my midwife unlike with my previous 2 children when I just dealt with it because I wasn’t aware postpartum anxiety was a thing.
- I imagined myself just running away from it all. No note, no call, no nothing. Just one day, *poof*, where is Mommy?
- I’ve had thoughts of just covering her face until she stopped crying. Of throwing her in her crib. Of leaving her somewhere. Of just getting rid of her. It makes me feel like the worst mom in the world.
- I had disturbing images flash through my mind of me dropping the baby and her head smacking the floor. During sleep deprived rage filled moments, I would imagine myself smacking my baby against the wall or shaking her. These thoughts filled me with such shame even though they were passing thoughts and I would never really harm my children. I’m also a therapist who has worked with parents for years so I had higher expectations for myself in terms of being able to regulate my feelings and be more in control. It led to having worse shame and feelings of inadequacy. I saw what was happening and recognized I needed to talk to a professional about what I was feeling. It helped alot.
- That someone will put poison or something in my baby’s formula…..I put it in the cabinet to hide it…..I know this is not going to happen, but the thought still comes in my head.
- I’m obsessed with something being wrong with my baby. He has a congenital/physiologic issue that the doctor told me it’s fine but then wants to keep following. Why are we following something that’s allegedly fine? Does that mean he’s not ok? What if he’s sick? My ob, pcp, and ped all told me to “don’t worry.” I obsess about this 100x a day. I often can’t sleep and have true panic attacks near daily, often vomiting and crying. It’s exhausting. I can’t stop thinking about it. This is hell.
- I’d throw the baby down the stairs.That there were evil things in the house.
- I went on a drinking binge to cope with postpartum anxiety.
- It once flashed through my mind the thought of putting my newborn in the trash can, during an utterly exhausted middle of the night breast feed wake up call while trying to recover from surgery. I felt so much guilt & fear & shame that I’ve never shared this with anyone.
- I envisioned my newborn falling out our bedroom window, down the stairs, out of the crib. Falling was an unhealthy obsessive fear. And break ins. Lord have mercy.
- The tempting thought to drive into the river was the worst night of my life. Absolute worst. Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Don’t believe all the death lies. Don’t act on them. Reach out bravely (so much bravery) for help. Hope will eventually come.
- What if we both just “fell” down the stairs?
- If my husband goes to work, something really bad is going to happen.
- If I don’t wash these bottles well enough, she’s going to get really really ill.
- If I sleep, she’s going to die and I won’t realise.
- We have to watch her all the time, in case she stops breathing.
- Nobody else can hold her, because she’s mine and I should know how to look after her best.
- I couldn’t pick up a scissors that was in the bathroom for fear of what I might do to my little girl. It made me feel like a monster for even thinking it and the only one ive ever told this to is my husband. It’s still not easy to admit to a year later.
- I was so sleep deprived and alone with my twins screaming. I envisioned putting my hand over my sons mouth until he stopped breathing… I checked myself into the hospital the next day.
- When my son was a newborn (3 years ago) I envisioned myself strangling him. It broke me. My husband caught on to my depression signs, and I told him what kept running through my head. With his and my mom’s help and encouragement I got help from a psychologist. I’m much better now thanks to them!
- That I would cut my baby’s limbs off with a knife. So so horrible.
- When we had just come home from the hospital and the scary thoughts were at their worst, I was convinced that having our daughter was a huge mistake! I actually googled things like, “I just had a baby and I don’t want it anymore.” I thought about things like giving her up for adoption or leaving her at a fire station, even though my husband would obviously never agree to it. I felt so ashamed of these thoughts. What helped the most was finding out that other women have had similar thoughts.
- If my husband puts our 3 month old to bed, I have to check on him later on to see if his arms were put above the blanket and to make sure he’s still breathing. I also don’t dare to close the window in his nursery because it reduces airflow and may cause SIDS. I’m so scared of going into my boys room, looking at him in his bassinet only to find him cold and lifeless.
- I would scream when my son cried. I felt like I was the worst person in the world for him. I thought everything I did was going to kill him. I still get moments where I think he’s better off without me. I just want to run away. But I stay. Fighting these thoughts. I don’t have a strong bond with my son either. Everyone I know shares stories of the undying love and connection they feel and I never had that. It kills me inside.
- There is a baby fighting for his life in my town right now from being shaken by a babysitter. I go back to work tomorrow. The guilt I feel for leaving my child is overwhelming and I can’t stop crying.
- There are so many thoughts and it doesn’t just happen in new motherhood. I constantly think of my children, my husband or myself getting hurt. To the point it is crippling and I don’t want to leave the house. Car crashes, disgruntled emplyees shooting up the store I’m in, my children falling off the balcony or being crushed, being kidnapped putting groceries in my car.
- I hope my admissions do help someone. I’ve never shared any of this with anyone and years later still feel tremendous guilt for them, but this is part of my healing process because I know they had a cause. I had an emergency delivery 5 weeks early because of preeclampsia and my anxiety over it forced an induction which turned into an emergency cesarean. I couldn’t bear the fact that I in some way caused my baby’s early birth because I simply could not calm down. Feeling unprepared to be a mom 5 weeks early, I was now a mom of a preemie who was subject now health issues as a result of that. He had jaundice, macrocephaly, and digestive issues all potentially caused by being premature. My blood pressure caused me to be on pills I wasn’t comfortable breastfeeding with. So we did formula and he turned out to be dairy sensitive. At every turn I was a failure. I couldn’t control my emotions. He watched me cry on a continual basis. I couldn’t bear that I was such a bad mom. Everything I did from how he started this life too early, to what I fed him, to how his first sights were of an unstable mom filled me with unspeakable regret. My scariest thoughts were that I didn’t love him enough, that in my emotional instability I couldn’t properly be responsible enough to keep him alive, that I regretted having him, that I wanted to just leave because my family would be better off without me, that I couldn’t protect him from all the bad things, and mostly from me because my very existence as a “bad mom” was already ruining him and setting him up for a life of failure and hurt. Those thoughts are still painful but thankfully I can see them clearly as intrusive thoughts now. I hope this helps and else just like me.
- Most of what I felt guilt over were because of things I’ve heard from well meaning people/experts and that’s the story I want to make sure is told. We live in a culture that mom shames deeply and that does not help postpartum. We need to be aware of how even scientific facts effect someone suffering from ppd. Unexpectedly I had an emergency birth many weeks early. All I kept thinking about was the poster in the hospital bathroom I read many times that brain development continues at 39 weeks. The poster reads about all the complications that having a baby early can cause, inductions can cause, and cesareans can cause. It’s intended to discourage scheduling births, but for someone with an emergency – all that data still applies and wreaked havoc on my mind that I was ruining my child by the necessary procedure I had to have. Then there was breastfeeding. Something else having a premature baby made it difficult to do. The shame that is constant for not giving baby your best can send moms over the edge whether or not that is the intention. It’s a reality. There is so much pressure and when every little thing and every big decision is made to fall squarely on you, that can be unbearable. My scary thought was my own self condemnation but also talking to other moms that would amplify my own feelings of inadequacy. I didn’t want to hear about their helpful husbands, sleeping breastfed babies, clean houses, crunchy organic meals, fitness routines, and supermom statuses. And that was from both modern moms and old fashioned 1950s housewives alike. It made me want to cease to exist even more.
- Three days after my baby was born I Googled how to give your baby up for adoption.
- I always wonder that a witch or someone with special powers will come over to me and make me choose between keeping my baby or just go back in time to when I wasn’t a mom and erase her from my memory. I would always choose my pre mom life.
- I once put a blanket on her face when she was 1 week old but removed it after some seconds and started crying feeling the most horrible mom in the world.
- I regretted having my son until going back to work when he was almost 4 months old.
- I used to stay late at work so I didn’t have to go home and take care of my LO. When my SO asked me about it, I realized it was time to get help.
- After my 2nd son was born I became preoccupied with the logistics of a hypothetical car crash while I was driving with him. I would look at cars around me and think “if that car hit me, how bad would it be? Would I die? Would the baby be ok? If I did die, what would happen?”
- During one particularly rough, sleep-deprived day, I was nursing my fussy baby and had a fleeting thought of throwing her off of me and onto the bed. No less than five seconds passed after I had that thought and I realized I was suffering from PPD/PPA. It was the thought that finally made me realize something was not normal, and I admitted that to myself, and got help.
- I was terrified I would shake my baby until he stopped crying. I never felt compelled to do this but couldn’t remove the thoughts around what would happen if I did. I was then convinced that if I shared this with anyone they would take my baby away from me.
- My children are now teenagers and thank goodness they have always been happy and healthy. Becoming a mother was so exciting, but emotionally a complete shock to the system. Everything had been goin well with the first one, but when I had my second baby, I started to get intrusive thoughts. I told no one up until now. I’m so grateful to get this out in the open. Two images would pop in my head from time to time, for no apparent reason. The first would be me swinging my baby by it’s arm, around my head, over and over. The second, was me driving us all off a cliff, which ended up with me never driving a particularly scary route ever again. Eventually these thoughts faded and stopped popping up. But I still have the memory of this experience which haunts me to this day.
- I was out walking with the baby. I called my husband at work and said I was going to leave the baby in his stroller on the street corner and my husband should come pick him up because I was going to run away. I was convinced I was a terrible mother and that my husband and son would be much better off without me. My husband called my midwife that day and asked for help. As it turns out, I’m a freaking great mom. I just had severe PPD and needed medication and therapy.
- Being a mother is exhausting and overwhelming. Sometimes I wish I never even had my baby and now I’m pregnant with my 2nd child. I love both my children to death, but I am mentally and physically exhausted. The constant crying and tugging of my one year old, I get hardly no sleep, I don’t even feel like the same person that I used to be, I’m mean, I’m emotional, and the littlest thing’s can set me over the edge, I’ve thought about putting my hand over my child’s mouth when he screams or crys and just holding it there until he stops. I feel like such a worthless and terrible mother. I need help and I am so afraid to speak out and get real help because I am scared I’m going to be judged and they will take my babies away from the thoughts that I am having.
- Every night when baby was 2-3 week’s old I just wanted to sleep but could only think of giving her up for adoption, spanking her for crying and nursing so much or throwing her to the floor. I’m better now.
- When my baby was born I kept wondering why my husband and I chose to have a baby. “We were so happy” I kept telling myself. I would look at my baby and think “if she wasn’t here anymore I would be ok”. I felt so terrible after those thoughts. She was only a couple of days old and I didn’t feel that amazing “love” you’re supposed to with kids. Breastfeeding was terrible and I would look at my husband when he slept and felt so angry. One day I looked at my angel and knew she was my everything.
- With my first, I’d be doing laundry and imagine what would happen if I put the baby in the washer with the clothes. It scared me that I’d have such a screwed up thought, so I immediately went and held and loved on baby, cooked a nice dinner and cleaned up the house to feel like a perfect mommy again.
- The night my baby was born I thought my husband was going to take my baby from me as I couldn’t be a mother. I also had a dream that my husband came into our room crying because the baby’s neck was snapped.
- I had thoughts popping into my head continuously about taking my life. That my son and everyone else would be better off if I was dead. I thought I was unnecessary since I wasn’t breastfeeding. I thought my sister should be my sons mother and others who loved me would take care of him. I had intrusive thoughts continuously about regretting having the baby. You are not alone!
- The night I had my baby I thought my husband was going to judge me as an unfit mother and take my baby away. I also had an image of my husband coming im the room and the baby’s neck had snapped.
- I had a replay of thoughts about killing myself. That I was not a good enough mother and was not necessary to him since I wasn’t breastfeeding. I thought my sister would do a better job and my family would step in. He was loved enough and would be better off without me.
- I have had thoughts of regret on having my baby over and over. You are not alone!
- I kept “seeing” my baby’s head being smashed on our fireplace. What frightened me was that I would see it ever time I got frustrated or overwhelmed with my kids. At first I was able to push these thoughts away but they became more frequent and awful. I began to be terrified that one day I would snap and really do it. I finally told my doctor and got some medication.
- I fear my baby will die of SIDS. I elaborated imagine finding her not breathing and imagine how the funeral will be and how I would tell people.
- That I would throw my baby down the stairs. The vision is so vivid in detail it has caused PTSD. CBT therapy & medication has saved my life.
- After my baby was born and I went back to work on night shift, I called my husband every hour to wake up and make sure the baby was breathing. I would literally count the minutes until I thought it was ok to call again and check.
- I worry so much that I won’t be able to feed my baby. Every time she cries I worry she’s hungry, that I’m not producing enough milk, that she will have to go on formula, that my husband will be disappointed and upset that she had to go on formula, that the formula will make her stomach feel completely miserable. I worry she won’t gain weight appropriately. She was crying just now after I fed her and I worried that she wasn’t full, I almost threw up worrying.
- When I got overwhelmed and super stressed out from the crying, I had visions of throwing my baby at the wall. Or veering out into traffic if I was driving.
- Not even six weeks after having my first baby, my sweet girl she would cry a lot. Turns out she had reflux and possible Colic. But I would always have the hugest fear of shaking her out of stress. And or dropping her going down the stairs and watching her delicate little head splatter.
Made me obsessive to always travel outside with her buckled in her car seat.
- I constantly worry about her being out of my sight, or if she’s breathing. I need to go back to work soon for a few hours a day and leave her with her dad during that time but I’m scared of leaving her even with him because I worry too much and he takes naps and I don’t want him napping because I feel like even though she may be napping too he isn’t aware. Plus he doesn’t take all of the obsessive safety precautions that I take because he thinks “it’s fine, that won’t happen”. He doesn’t understand that there’s always a possibility and I can’t take any risks because she came out of me and it was hard as hell to make her , I need her and I can’t risk anything ever happening to her.
- My husband will drop the baby down the stairs… And I would literally listen for them to get out the door safely.
- I worry on a nighly basis that my baby will die in his crib, even writing this causes a bit of anxiety thinking that somehow putting this “taboo” topic out there will increase the odds.
- I worry that I’m going to make one small mistake that is going to negatively affect his entire life; like what if that one time we sat by loud music at an amusement park changed the wiring of his brain and he ends up with a developmental delay.
- This morning I pictured shaking my baby or throwing her binkie at her because she just wouldn’t sleep. I would never do these things, but the stress and sleep deprivation is overwhelming.
- Sometimes I want to sign my parental rights away to my husband and just drive away and hide. I feel like they would be better off if I wasn’t even in the picture anymore.
- I’m afraid my son is bonding more with my sister than with me. Simply because she keeps taking him from me and I just let it happen. But if I tell her anything I turn into the bad guy who isn’t accepting her help.
- After loosing my second child in my 27th week of pregnancy, I started having intrusive thoughts at night about harming my 4 year old. I felt like the worst mother in the world and I must be the only woman who thought this way about their child who they loved unconditionally. I told my partner and I seeked out help. Its been almost a year since we lost our son and each day is different, some are easier then others but I know I’ll get there, one day at a time, If my story helps just one mom find the courage to speak out, to know she’s not alone and that she’s not a bad mom or going crazy than I will keep sharing my story.
- That song “when the wind blows the cradle with fall, down will come baby cradle and all”… I was singing it to baby one day and had this intrusive thought that I wished she really would fall out of a tree or something and all this stress would be over. I could have my life back, I could sleep, etc. As a nurse and a human, this was so scary to me and further pushed me into myself and my depression that I was deranged and a worthless mother.
- I constantly worry about her being out of my sight, or if she’s breathing. I need to go back to work soon for a few hours a day and leave her with her dad during that time but I’m scared of leaving her even with him because I worry too much and he takes naps and I don’t want him napping because I feel like even though she may be napping too he isn’t aware. Plus he doesn’t take all of the obsessive safety precautions that I take because he thinks “it’s fine, that won’t happen”. He doesn’t understand that there’s always a possibility and I can’t take any risks because she came out of me and it was hard as hell to make her , I need her and I can’t risk anything ever happening to her.
- I fear that I will never get sleep or a break until my funeral. I fear my daughter will “turn on me.” I fear I’m the only one who can make her happy. I have thought about divorcing my husband and moving in with my dad because he is such a better help with the baby. I fear I will feel bad forever.
- I have been so afraid my baby will stop breathing and die. I shake her awake even when I can see her breathing when she sleeps. I have almost crashed my car reaching back to shake the baby when she falls asleep in her car seat. I think she will suffocate herself. I have a panic attack at night when the baby is sleeping upstairs. I have to run upstairs to check on her, even when I see her breathing on the monitor. I never let her have tummy time. Her head is flat and she needs a helmet at 6 months, and I don’t care. A friend had their baby die at daycare at 3 months because he was put down for nap on his tummy. I am so scared for my baby. I have so many intrusive thoughts. I just want to keep her safe.
- I love my daughter very much but some times I wish I could go out like before. I feel like I can’t do anything anymore or even go out.
- My scary thoughts are getting into a car accident with the baby and the baby dying in his sleep due to SIDS. It is anxiety provoking to type these worries, but I feel that sharing them will help take their power away. My husband says we do what we can to mitigate risks but we can’t let the anxiety run our lives. I know he’s right.
- Constantly thinking I’m a bad mother for needing breaks, and letting others feed, change and comfort her. Always thinking my baby will choke on her spit up and stop breathing while I’m driving or that I didn’t buckle her right and we’ll get into a car accident. Always wondering if I’ll drop her down the stairs, thinking I’ll trip and fall on the cement, thinking she’ll suffocate if she has a blanket on. The list doesn’t stop, and it’s exhausting.
- As I walked with my sleeping baby to the bedroom to lay down for a nap, I would imagine throwing him across the room. He would hit the wall and crash to the floor and lay there in a slump. I had this image in my head over and over again. I got checked for PPD and my therapist said it was just a phase.
- I struggled with blaming my baby for my c-section scar, stretch marks and “fluffy body.”
- After my 4th child came, I thought how much easier it would be to walk upstairs and pick up the gun that was in my husbands drawer than to make it through the day caring for 4 under 6. I knew I needed help. Help was hard to find when not that many people understood what I did all day and night. I knew I needed help. I now have 6 and am doing well. I still seek help and am constantly finding a balance and working towards a healthy mind and body️
- I yelled at my kids one day and then told a friend I had “lost it” with them. She asked if anyone was hurt, which surprised me because I don’t use corporal punishment. After that, I pictured myself hitting them with a hammer and them being badly hurt and unconscious. These thoughts became intrusive for a while and were scary because I would never hurt them.
- I feel completely inadequate as a mother when baby doesn’t feed properly, doesn’t sleep and basically needs holding 24/7. I feel like I’m a single mum, but I’m married! I feel like I’m going utterly batshit crazy and sometimes I think I never should have had this baby or give her up for adoption…
- I find myself daydreaming about getting so horribly hurt or sick that I would end up in the hospital… so that I could get some sleep & have time away from my daughter without feeling guilty.
- I was desperate to breastfeed because I thought it was the only reason my husband and daughter needed me around. He adored her from the second he saw her and I just did not feel that overwhelming, warm, glowy love that everyone told me I would experience. It just wasn’t there for me, but it was there for him. They bonded immediately. He was an active and involved parent which, while wonderful, made me feel useless. Like I couldn’t handle mothering my own child, so her father had to step in. He was so calm with her all the time, and I got so anxious and frazzled…clearly he was the better parent. Clearly he was the one suited for this. They didn’t need me. I could disappear, run away, or die and they would be just fine. The ONLY thing that kept me around was breastfeeding, because I was also convinced that formula would ruin my daughter. She’s a year old now, and I still feel like he’s a better parent, and she’s bonded more with him than with me. It’s a terrible feeling, and makes me struggle to find my worth and value in our family regularly.
- I thought/daydreamed about how well rested and free I was before baby was born. How happy my husband and I were- not that we’re not over the moon in love- but sleep deprivation and taking care of a baby changes everything…
- I was hospitalized for PPD and acute anxiety in 2015. It started with feeling like I wasn’t a good mom, that I was going to fail my son, then I was obsessing over making a mistake – falling down the stairs with him, dropping the carseat while carrying it up the stairs. I NEVER knew this was so common. No one, not my ob/gyn, not the nurses at the hospital, NO ONE gave me any education on this. Had I known what I was going through I would have gotten help sooner. I talked to my husband and mom and they kept saying “nonsense, you’re a good mom.” I finally got help when I imagined myself drowning my son. I couldn’t give him a bath because I was afraid I would drown him. After hospitalization, therapy, medication, and education, I have learned what I need to do to take care of myself.
- My baby is 8 months old and I still have intrusive thoughts of dropping him on the floor and seeing his little skull crack open with blood everywhere. Another one is me falling down the stairs while carrying him and landing on top of him, crushing him to death. I constantly worry I will scald his mouth and throat with his food even though I serve it to him at room temperature. I picture myself accidentally breaking his little neck while changing him. I have been on meds since before he was born since I have ptsd and both my doctor and I were concerned with me getting ppd. I can’t imagine how is be without the meds.
- I was sure that there was a man watching our house waiting for the time to break in and take my daughter. When I was up in the middle of the night with her I would avoid turning on too many lights because I didn’t want him to see us. I would go through the steps of getting my husbands gun out to protect us when this man broke in. I knew it wasn’t normal but I knew it was going to happen, just not sure when.
- My 22 month baby is a late walker. He walked at 21 month old. but he is a happy, affectionate, bright baby. he can say a lot of words and ask for things. But I’m constantly scared that he is going to fall behind other milestones and develop severe autism.
- Sleep deprived and angry because all i wanted was my baby to sleep i imagined myself hurting him, whether it be throwing him on the ground or punching him in face because i was so mad he wanted to be held/nursed.
- When my daughter was a newborn, her cries overwhelmed me so much after trying so hard to get her to stop, I wanted to slap her or shake her. I yelled at her once, set her down, and cried in my bedroom. I was so tired from getting almost no sleep, angry because she didn’t stop crying, sad that I was acting like someone I knew I wasnt, but happy I had my gorgeous baby ..I was so confused. Who do I talk to without being judged?! I know I’m not a horrible mother, I just need help calming my baby down…. fast forward to 6 months. I’ve learned to breathe and put her down. They’re ok if they cry. Control yourself first, babies pick up if your tense.
- One thought I had in the first few months, “Throw the baby out the window.” I’m thankful I sought out therapy…
- I walked out on my balcony when the baby was crying non stop, I thought to myself, I will just drop him off the second floor balcony, then I’ll be able to get some rest. I got help for my postpartum depression soon after.
- I was terrified we would be in a bank during an armed robbery. I would shield her with my body while begging for our lives to be spared. It still makes me cry after 5 years. Not because the thought still bothers me, but because I remember how terrible it made me feel. We had/have virtually no need to ever go inside a bank. It goes to show how truly irrational these types of thoughts can be.
- My heart doesn’t want to drown my children but my mind sometimes thinks it does.
- I could just drive into this light pole and it would all be over… or I’d at least be hospitalized. Everyone would know how bad it’s gotten and I’d finally get some rest.
- The sudden feeling that the person driving next to you is going to randomly shoot you through the window. Every. Time. You. Drive.
- How long would it take them to track me down if I just got in the car and kept on driving? How far could I get? Could I really disappear?
- Step by step vivid images of exactly how and in what order I would drown my children. I couldn’t even walk past the bathroom without seeing it all play out in my mind. I hated those thoughts and myself. Now I am better and I know better.
- I thought that I would lose control and suddenly drop the baby on purpose or stab the baby. I spent all day every day worrying about this and feeling like an awful mother who didn’t deserve the beautiful baby I had. I told my husband and my doctor and they were very supportive. I increased my meds and read a book about intrusive thoughts and got better fairly quickly.
- My baby would get a disease or swallow so much hair from being around my sister in laws live in dog that she’d die or get seriously ill.
- I imagined putting my baby in the dryer and turning it on. It scared me to think of how easy it would be to do something so harmful. I felt like I could never tell anyone, because they would take my baby away from me.
- I’m afraid I have made and am still making all the wrong decisions for my son, like letting him cry it out more than rocking him. He’s not a cuddler, and I take it personally. I’m afraid he won’t love me, like me, or want me to be a part of his life as he grows up.
- I imagine slamming my baby on the bed to get him to stop crying… it scares the hell out of me.
- I dont know if this counts – but i smell like milk all the time & its driving me crazy.
- I can’t sleep too far away from my daughter incase a fire starts in the house or someone breaks and I can’t get to her. I am also scared she will get cancer, stop breathing during the night, or something will happen to me and I won’t be there to protect her anymore.
- I would never hurt my son, I absolutely love him so much but every time he cries and screams I think about covering his mouth, screaming at him to shut up, or throwing him in the crib. PPD is terrifying.
- I spent the first two months after my daughter was born subconsciously trying to destroy my marriage to a wonderful kind loving man and amazing supportive hardworking father so I can move back in with my parents and help me take care of our baby girl.
- I thought a car or a lorry would mount the pavement and kill me & my children. I’m way past baby years now but I still feel anxious about car accidents and losing my children.
- I have impulses that I should just run away and never come back. Also scared to bathe him or take him out in public, which I’m slowly getting better about.
- Multiple times a day (every time I change his diaper) I worry someone (day care, my mom, my amazing husband) might be molesting my son or taking child pornography photos of him.
- I think about cashing my car into the freeway divider because I just want an excuse to not have to do it all anymore.
- I love my baby so much but sometimes I feel like this is a nightmare, and I’m gonna wake up and my life is gonna go back to normal.
- I get so nervous when my baby is about to wake up. I wish she can sleep looong periods of time.
- I dream of being kidnapped and killed just so my kids could grow up with a normal mom and it wouldn’t be my fault for leaving.
- I secretly wanted to leave my baby at a fire station and drive to California.
- I felt like my husband was a better parent and I should just leave my family because they’d be better off without me.
- Before I got meds I used to look at my arm and visualize someone cutting it open and pulling on all of the nerves and tendons in it. It was so intense that I could feel it some days. To this day, on a particular rough day I still see that image for a second before I force myself to see past it. This is the first time I have ever admitted that to anyone and its been about 4 years.
- I would have nightmares about smothering my baby in his sleep while co-sleeping. Except we never once co-slept. I would jump out of bed at all hours of the night and turn on lights, throw off blankets, wake my husband, and search for my son only to discover after several minutes that he was sleeping soundly in his crib in his room across the hall.
- My first intrusive vivid thought was when my baby was less than two weeks old. My husband was holding her while standing next to a wood stove with a large lid on top to add wood. I kept thinking he was going to open it and toss her in. I knew it was irrational,and he would never do anything like that, but it scared me to the bone. It took me days to shake the feeling.
- I was absolutely miserable for the first 2.5 or so years of my eldest child’s life. As a baby, she nursed almost around the clock, and would only stop when I pulled her off to go to the bathroom or get something to eat. I wouldn’t listen to any of the lactation consultants when they told me that nursing 55 out of every 60 minutes all day and all night wasn’t necessary. I couldn’t believe they were right. My baby always seemed hungry and cried when I stopped! Because I was so tired, I couldn’t even sleep on a bed or a couch, because one of us would fall off. Until she went to daycare, I spent my entire day and night on the living room rug, so that she and I could drift in and out of consciousness all day and all night long. But I was in so much pain from the nursing (she nursed until my nipples bled), so hungry from lack of time to eat and so dazed from lack of proper sleep that I would hallucinate. I’d wake up with a start and could swear she was missing or had fallen off the bed (even though we were safely on the rug). I’d look at the clock and couldn’t read it – I’d get the numbers all mixed up. She became a toddler younger than average and had several terrible tantrums EVERY day. No one close to me could relate at all. Strangers would approach me and tell me I needed to “get her under control”. I felt so alone through those years because none of the other parents I knew seemed to be experiencing the same thing. Sometimes I wondered if she was normal or if I was doing everything wrong. She’s much older now and looking back, I think that her tremendous need to be with me all the time as a baby and then the tantrums as a toddler were just part of her intense personality. Although she still experiences all her feelings with intensity, she’s a gentle girl, with a heart full of empathy, kindness, tolerance and generosity. ………….It was all worth it.
- I took my daughters to the playground as I often do, but ever since the Vegas shooting I keep picturing what I would do if a shooting happened at the park. I’ve looked for hiding places, wondered how I would carry both kids. I can’t even enjoy time with the kids there anymore.
- For the first ten months of my daughter’s life, I wouldn’t wear socks because I thought if I did, I would slip on the stairs and drop the baby down them.
- When I was carrying my baby I would have a vivid image of him smashing into a wall and being hurt, or of me throwing him to the ground. It took a long time but eventually these scary thoughts went away.
- Sometimes I imagine myself leaving because I think my husband should find someone who will make a better mother than me. I love my kids more than anything, but I feel so inadequate.
- on days where I feel like I am so overwhelmed with mother hood, work, and being a wife, I think that getting hit by a semi truck while driving by myself wouldn’t be so bad. I wouldn’t be able to fail my family anymore and i won’t let them down anymore.
- I used to obsessively imagine how easy it would be to go into my car in the garage, shut the garage door, roll my windows down and start my car and kill myself. I just KNEW my kids would be better off without a shitty mom like me, because I would never be good enough for them. I am so afraid of my kids growing up and realizing that I’m not all that great, and never wanting to talk to me or keep a relationship with me. It is currently my biggest fear. I obsess about what is best for my kids, and am still convinced that it’s not me because I am so unstable.
- I imagined dropping her down the staircase, letting her stroller go into traffic…I used to joke nightly to husband that I was winding up the baby catapult to fling her into someone else’s yard. It was the worst time of my life, and having a MIL and SIL talk about me behind my back and judging everything I did was the most painful thing I’ve ever endured. And believe me, that’s saying something.
- The first night my son could be away from the nursery in the hospital, I had the nurses put his bed in my room. In the middle of the night, my 6 week early, 4 pound infant started crying. As I sat in the dark room holding him, I imagine myself dropping him on the floor and wondered if anyone would know it wasn’t an accident. It only go worse from there. I was constantly worried he would stop breathing at night or simply not wake up. This all culminated with intrusive thoughts in which I would try to figure out how to kill myself, my baby, and my husband so none of us would have to live without the other. I needed help but I was afraid to talk to anyone for fear that they would take my child. I was very, very lucky that these feelings eased once my baby started sleeping longer. My husband, who was travelling extensively at the time, didn’t even know how bad things were until my older child was almost 13.
- I was terrified that I would smash my baby’s head into the corner of the wall when I was walking back into our bedroom in the dark after feeding him and it would break open and bleed all over.
- When my twins were barely 2 months old, I had a nightmare that I stabbed one of them. I awoke crying and was ashamed and scared of where my mind went while I was asleep. I knew I needed help and called my doctor the next day.
- I fear my toddler doesn’t love me anymore and that my husband wants to send our kids to his mom so he can divorce me. I fear everyone is playing a big pretend game but they’re really all planning to leave me behind.
- In the first few weeks after my daughter was born I worried that she’d slip from my arms and smash her head in the cement floor as I walked downstairs into our basement. I say “worried” but really the thought would fly into my head, terribly graphic and completely unbidden. This anxiety dissipated after awhile, but it was so strange. I never experienced anything like it before I had her.
- Shortly after I gave birth to my first baby I imagined a sharp knife going gently over my baby’s perfect skin. It was really scary and I thought there was something very wrong with me. Why would I have those thoughts?
- I get nervous when my baby is in my husbands care and he starts to cry i feel like he does something wrong and would rather just do everything hustle isntead or ask him for help.
- I had terrible images of throwing my baby intonhis cot or on the floor in a fit of rage when he wouldn’t stop crying. Despite loving him intensely and knowing I would never hurt him in a million years. I also, mostly at nighttime when he couldn’t sleep, thought that I was the worst mother as I couldn’t even get my baby to sleep. I thought my husband and baby would be better off without me. I got help early and now when something crops up I can deal with it rationally and it goes.
- I had a traumatic birth and so when I thought I might have accidentally gotten pregnant with a second child, I imagined aborting the baby to avoid giving birth again. This was a wake up call for me because I have always wanted two kids. I went to see someone.
- I am exhausted. No one understands how anxious and tired I am. I am out of shape, my house is a disaster, my baby doesn’t sleep on her own, my husband is impatient and I am the one getting less sleep!
- I am always picturing gruesome, violent outcomes to my baby whenever we’re in the car, the bed, wearing or walking her in the stroller while her crossing the street— sometimes those scenes still pop up in my head. The heart palpitations I get laying in bed after the madness of the day is over. I still get super anxious at her crying spells, and I end up feeeling like I’m a crappy mom for her constant crying. The constant pressure to maintain a “perfect” looking household, clean house, well-behaved kids, dropping all the baby weight, all on varied little-sleep. This is a Mama’s reality. I can only hope my children know that they are so loved, despite how inadequate I may feel about my parenting sometimes.
- Because of how scared I am of everything having to do with my child I should never have had a baby.
- I was terrified in the middle of the night that I would faint or trip with my baby while passing the stairs and she would fall down all of them and either die or be terribly injured. I was terrified that because I was the only one awake, everyone would blame me if something like that happened… and if I had already shared some of my scary thoughts, they would think I did it on purpose and take my baby away from me.
- That when I’m not with our son, my husband neglects him… Or the daycare workers do. Pretty much anyone who cares for our son who isn’t my mom or me. There is no merit behind any of these feelings, and the Zoloft has helped… But I still get anxious when I see my husband sitting next to our son while he’s playing and he checks his phone. I’m worried that moment of distraction, something catastrophic will happen.
- I can’t be a wife, mother and professional. If I am at work- I’m a bad mom and wife. If we go out to dinner without our son- I’m a bad mom. If I greet our son first when I come home or fall asleep on the couch at 8 pm from exhaustion- I’m a bad wife.
- I can’t have or do it all.Some day’s I don’t want to get up, some days I don’t want to be a care taker , somedays I want to be alone all day and stay in bed, but then I feel like a bad mother and I know I don’t deserve alone time, or a meal cooked by someone else.
- When ever my children has been in someone else’s care like day nursery I change their nappies straight the way when I pick them up to make sure they haven’t been sexually abused. I’m so scared when other people are in control of my children. I don’t trust anyone except their dad and then I have scary thoughts that maybe I shouldn’t trust him. Even though I know there’s no way that he would do anything like that, I’m scared that I don’t know him. You hear all the time that the mother never knew.
- I felt that no one wanted me or my baby around. I fantasized about taking him and running away where no one would find us or where we wouldn’t be a burden. He cried constantly, I tried to breast feed but couldn’t produce enough milk and he was not thriving. I switched to formula and the change was like night and day. He slept like he should have and didn’t scream because he was hungry. I was hit worse with my second child but a wonderful nurse saw I was struggling while I was still in the hospital. I had to stay longer because of a Csection. She got with my OB/GYN the next morning and I was on meds and offered counseling. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you need meds, take them. Don’t let people tell you it’s all in your head or you will get over it. I spent 2+ years the first time trying to “get over it.”
- I feel so overwhelmed. I feel like I can’t do anything now. I think I’m a bad mother. People in my house aren’t very as supportive of my breastfeeding journey. Everyone thinks I’m feeding the baby because I want to keep the baby with my self. I can’t bear the negativity around me. I don’t like my living arrangement. I don’t want to be bullied.i feel like I’m in a prison. I want my previous life my back. Sometimes I feel I had this baby because I wanted to prove I’m fertile! I hate myself for feeling like this. I don’t look forward to my baby waking up in the morning. I hate myself because of this. I feel very overwhelmed with anxiety whenever she is awake. Is she eating enough? I don’t know how to get chores done with her around. If I don’t get chores done people think I’m lazy. My baby is 15 months. I’ve to constantly supervise her. Being a stay at home isn’t very rewarding. There is constant chores and the demands of a toddler are so unbearable sometimes.
I know my baby will grow up very soon and I’m going to be hate myself for not enjoying her childhood.
I’m just not the pleasant, engaged, happy mother I wanted to be. I’m irritable, tired all the time, distracted and I don’t talk to the baby as much as I should. I don’t feel fit to patent my child and meet her demands. Feel very alone and Isolated.
- Sometimes I can’t take the noise and the nagging i just want to lock them in their room with bread and water.
- I love breastfeeding but some days when she wakes up i just dont want her to touch me and i feel like im trapped and i want to run and scream.
- While pregnant, I struggled with urges to punch myself in the stomach or overdose on Plan B. When the baby started moving, I could only think “get it out get it out.” As she grew bigger, I felt she grew more important, and I shrank into nothingness. I worried I would cease to exist. When she was born, all I could think was that I’d made a horrible mistake thinking I could ever be a mother. I stopped sleeping entirely. I could never settle down. I worried about apocalyptic events, the water being poisoned, and I had intrusive thoughts like short “movies” playing out in my mind of hurting my baby. They were so vivid that I began to think they were inevitable – that I was going to hurt my baby. My mom finally took me to the ER, and I was admitted to the psychiatric unit for 5 days. That’s how long it took them to get me to sleep. Even from this darkest place, I found a way out — with help — a lot of help. I went from Googling “I regret becoming a mother” to feeling like being a mom has given my life meaning. I didn’t love her right away, but now I love my daughter more than I knew was possible.
- On more than one occasion I had to pull over and check that I’d actually put my baby in her car seat (When she was forward facing)
- In the first month of LO’s life, I was crying every other day. I was forced to give him donated breastmilk for 1 week in his 2nd week as the LC convinced us that it is better than the FM we were giving. We were so desperate that we just agreed to it even though we knew that the donated breastmilk was not properly screened and had no idea how long it has been kept. Until today, i am worried about the possibility of diseases being transmitted to LO thru those donated breastmilk and i hate that LC to the core.
- On top of that, I was constantly worried about how clean the bottles, jaundice & even his belly button… the next 5 months was not much better as LO was always crying and needed to be held 24/7… he would also cry till he turned purple black until we pick him up… there was once when i was so frustrated with no rest, no proper meals, no me time, that i rocked him so hard that i almost fell on my bum… i was immediately filled with guilt and quickly put him down n left the room although he was still crying and wailing… i took deep breaths and went back into the room and apologised to him and tried to calm him down… I’m also worried about my LO not wanting me and doubted all those stories about motherly bonds with children as LO cries even louder whenever i hold him… i felt like i was a complete failure that my own flesh ‘n blood didn’t want me…
- I just let her cry once. I was in bed staring at the wall just thinking, I don’t care, I just don’t care what she needs right now.
- Once when I was in the kitchen I had this horrible thought jump into my head.. I could slit her neck. It shocked me to my core, I felt so repulsed for thinking such an awful thing. This thought still plays on repeat at times and everytime it comes back I feel sick to my stomach and so ashamed that my mind would ever have such a thought.
- I was worried that I would find my baby had died during her sleep. I couldn’t sleep as I had to keep checking her all night. The lack of sleep made the anxiety worst. So I got help, I talked, I developed coping strategies. It’s helped – it’s a work in progress.
- My husband doesn’t understand that I can’t possibly take care of our 4 month old son and keep the house spotless while he’s at work all day. It makes me feel so useless no matter how much I do. I feel like I’m jumping through hoops to keep him happy.
- All I could do was cry …day in day out. The thoughts oh being a worthless mother fled my mind every second of the day. If I wasn’t think about hurting or killing myself I was thinking of ways to end us all…. blowing up the house, driving in front of a semi, jumping off a cliff, taking all my meds and going to sleep forever or finding a lake and just driving in…then everything would be ok …no more crying no more pain. I finally decided to get help, it was a long journey of switching meds and probably will be but every day gets just a lil bit better.
- I would place my son in a laundry basket when doing laundry. Many times I almost cried because of how intense and overwhelming the thoughts of putting him in the dryer were.
- I was already on meds and in therapy, but couldn’t tell anyone just how much I was struggling because then I would be hospitalized, stripped of parental rights, and lose the bond with my baby. In reality, it led to a mental breakdown while I was watching my 18 month old on my own. It left me with almost 50 stitches from self harm, a two week hospitalization, and a major loss of trust with my husband. I was so worried about losing my family that I lost myself instead. Breastfeeding kept me alive during my lowest moments, but it also stopped me from getting more intensive help.
- When my first child was born we owned a gun. My husband asked if I could bring it to him so he could clean it. As I held it, a horrible thought raced through my head: “what if I shoot my baby? What if I shoot myself?” I held it for a minute and pondered: “If there is a bullet in the chamber, just one little squeeze. One squeeze changes it all. One squeeze ruins it all. I lose my life.” I urged my husband to get rid of the gun for our child’s safety. I never told him the real reason.
- When my son was a newborn, I couldn’t sleep because of how he looked in semi-darkness… I constantly thoght he looked blue and he was going to die from positional asphyxia.
- I tell my 8 month old son I love him all the time, but what if I’m actually faking it when I tell him I love him? Please God, watch over him. I don’t trust myself to be a parent sometimes. What if I can’t have another baby? (Why would I even want another baby?)
- I can remember with my first child my mom telling me “don’t shake the baby” and I thought she was out of her ever loving mind. Why would she ever say that to me, I loved my child more than anyone ever loved another. But then it happened, I was going on days without sleep and no matter what I did, I couldn’t seem to comfort my son. It was in that moment that I had the thought “I could just drop him and it would all stop”. The crying, my feelings of inadequacy in being a first time mom, all of it.
- Something terrible would hurt or kill her as a result of a mistake I’d make (looking away while she’s on the changing table, falling asleep while nursing her and accidentally smothering her in my breast). The worst part is that when I imagined these things happening, my first thought was about whether my husband would ever forgive me, not about how terrible it would be to lose our daughter.
- I’m scared that I’ve made a terrible mistake in having a baby—that what I really loved and enjoyed was being pregnant, not being a mother.
- I found myself hoping I’d fall asleep at the wheel of the car with the baby in the back. I didn’t want either of us to be seriously hurt, but I thought that if I did – my husband would have to take how I was feeling seriously.
- I had a traumatic birth and was rushed into surgery straight away. When being taken to surgery I was thinking to myself that I was definitely going to die and how sad people will think it is that I never got to see or hold my baby. I worry about everything that most people worry about, but one day from exhaustion I had a complete breakdown that came out of nowhere. I was scared about my baby waking up and that I would have to pick him up, convinced that I would drop him taking him downstairs, scared to even change his nappy. I had changed his nappy and couldn’t remember doing it. I then had awful intrusive thoughts about when if I hurt him and not even realised. I got scared that what if I’d hurt him at any point before or if hurt him again in the future and not know. I literally didn’t know what to do and just kept saying to myself that I couldn’t have another day of having those thoughts. I got help the next day, and it was only then I realised how common these thoughts are and that EVERYTHING I was thinking was normal. That alone made me feel so much better. It took me around 2 months to get over it. I was very scared to get help as I thought my baby would get taken away from me. I told my boyfriend everything I was thinking first (as I thought if I wasn’t safe to be around my baby then he would tell me) and then spoke to my health visitor who then sorted help for me. I still find myself daydreaming and imagining horrible things (imagining crashing the car etc but I snap out of it and tell myself that it is silly thinking like that) but I know that it’s ok if I feel as awful as I did before that I would just be having a bad day again and that I would get over it with help. I wouldnt have had help and support of it hasn’t spoken up – and it makes me really sad that others may not speak up in fear that they think their child may be taken from them. Always speak up, do it for you and your child 🙂
- I have often visualized driving across the path of a big truck and the car being crushed and me dying.
- I have this fear that while my baby is playing on the floor I will step on her by accident. Or I will drop her over the banister at the top of our staircase so I hold her extra tight around that corner. I’m afraid that she has stopped breathing in the middle of the night. I’m afraid to leave her alone for too long. I want to cry all the time. I hate sex. I hate when my husband makes me feel like I made the wrong choice about anything having to do with our baby.
- I’m stuck in a loop my parents are plotting to take my baby from me. My birth mother was unstable and took anger out on the kids, they never gave my husband a chance, and my Dad mentioned in passing that we shook our baby to burp him. I check over my shoulder for anyone paying attention to us in the grocery store. My fear is they’re right and I am an unfit mother.
- I was so terrified as soon as he was born, a consistent thought for the first few days/weeks was that the only way to get sleep and heal was if “he wasn’t here.” I felt like a terrible mother and was sure I had made an awful mistake.
- I thought I was unfit to be a mother and that by giving birth I ruined three lives; that of our daughter, my boyfriend and my own.
(We are all very happy now!)
- I knew that I wasn’t capable of being the mom my son deserved and thought he & my husband would be better off if I died and my husband found a good wife & mother.
- I am terrified on the highway since my son was born. The fear developed overtime and I can no longer drive on the highway, let alone handle being a passenger. I thought it would not scare me so much if my son was not in the car but it doesn’t matter. Anytime I know I will be going on the highway I am in panic-mode all day. My husband does not understand the fear at all and says I make him anxious when he is driving.
- I constantly have images of me hurting my baby. The images are so vivid and terrifying that sometimes I have to put my baby down and go to another room to cry, whenever this happens I feel that my whole body is on fire and I itch everywhere I end up turning red. I’ve tried to explain to my partner that I need help but he doesn’t get it… I just don’t feel like myself and I don’t know what to do or where to go because I fear I will be judge or worst I will lose my baby because of my poor mothering skills.
- I had thoughts of running away. Suicidal thoughts. Driving off a cliff. These thoughts were repetitive. My stomach felt like it was in knots. I asked my husband “please put me out of my misery”. I wanted the “sinking, miserable feeling” and anger to end. I wanted to die. I had rage. I hated the world. I hated my husband. Everything seemed like it was a conspiracy.
- My entire pregnancy and labor/delivery I just knew in my heart I was going to die during child birth and my daughter would grow up without a mom. 4 months pp I’m still here. I’ve never told anyone this before.
- I’d always been an anxious person but that escalated when my son was born. I’d wanted to be pregnant for so long, having had breast cancer at a young age, but then when he was born the change of lifestyle was just so abrupt that I longed for my old life back. And that longing mixed with guilt at not immediately loving motherhood was a horrible cocktail of anxiety and unhappiness. My body was a mess, my life was a mess, my home was a mess, I couldn’t see my friends or leave the house without massive organisation. I fantasized about what I would be doing if I was back in my old life & this made me feel so guilty but also so sad at what I’d lost. Then I was super anxious about keeping him on a schedule. I obsessed over doing everything at a particular time every day. It was almost like my anxiety found a home in the compulsion of establishing a daily routine. As the routine became more entrenched in my life, the monotony of the routine started to break me down bit by bit. I couldn’t fathom a time where my life would ever be interesting & carefree again.
Now he’s 4 months old & definitely things are getting easier. I love him with all my heart & I now realise that what I felt was normal & expected as a new mom. We need to speak the secret thoughts we all hide. They don’t make us bad people, in fact they make us stronger. We are amazing, all moms are absolutely amazing.
- After my son was born, I was afraid of him. Like sometimes I would look at him in the dark in the middle of the night and he would look back at me and I was positive that he was evil. It terrified me and I never told anyone about it.
- I resent my baby for being so miserable and I fear my resentment will somehow manifest a terrible tragedy or that he will die or become disabled and it will be my fault . I fear he will be a challenging child too and it makes me want to just leave him. I feel like I don’t want my kids & im wrecking them by being so inept. I want to leave them every day.
- With my first child, I was convinced that there would be a fire in the house while I was having sex, and that the baby would die in the fire. With my second, I was even more of a mess. I was convinced I was going to hurt him, to stab him to death or drop him on a hard floor. I put all my energy into maintaining a facade of happiness and normality while inside I was going crazy. Horrible times. I can’t even remember my second child’s babyhood now, I think I have blanked it out.
- I held my five day old baby girl over the bed and wondered what would happen if I just dropped her. I wouldn’t hold her for days. I regretted getting pregnant and wanted to give her away.
- Sometimes I think about running away. Just get in the car and never come back.
- I had thoughts about getting up in the middle of the night and just driving away and disappearing. I just wanted to be alone.
- When I was young my father took me to see an old Navy aircraft carrier that had been turned into a museum. I would love to share this experience with my own son, but all I can think of is him falling from the ship into the gator infested waters below. Even though I know there are barriers around the ship I can’t help but be sure it would happen if I took him.
- I have seen my son’s face turn blue. I have felt him go limp in my arms. I have screamed for the NICU nurse, certain that this time he wouldn’t come back. He’s 18 months now; our NICU days are long past. But I still wake up in the middle of the night – in a blind panic – CERTAIN that he stopped breathing. It’s like a part of me dies every time it happens. I don’t know how many parts there are left.
- I hear all the time how my thoughts are unfounded. My husband. My family. “You’re just a worry wart.” and “It’s all in your head.” they say to me.
The family next to us in the NICU with their two tiny boys. Going home with one boy. One, when there should have been two.
Don’t tell me my fears are unfounded. I’ve seen what can happen. My eyes are open. Sometimes I just want to yell! It’s all in my head?! No. This illusion of the immortality of the innocent is all in YOUR head.
- When my daughter was 18 months her father and I separated and she wouldn’t sleep for more than an hour at a time at night. I work full time and had no help with her. I started seeing visions of her being smothered with a pillow like it was a movie playing on repeat every night. After several nights I took myself to the hospital. While that was a terrible experience in its self I was able to finally take the steps I needed to get real help. Now the hard days are fewer and farther Apart. They are still there, they still happen but they don’t last for as long or consume me.
- I feel completely inadequate as a mother when my baby doesn’t feed properly, doesn’t sleep and basically needs holding 24/7. I feel like I’m a single mum but I’m married! I feel like I’m going utterly batshit crazy and sometimes I think I never should have had this baby or give her up for adoption…
- As I was in the shower I pictured that I was giving my baby a bath but the water temperature was extremely hot or extremely cold.
- I’m convinced there is something wrong with my baby. And googling things all day long does not help. I’m so anxious I have frequent panic attacks and just sometimes want my life to end.
- I have intrusive thoughts of my baby dying. I’m regularly imaging us getting in a horrible car accident, or him falling and getting fatally injured. I try so hard to push them away, but sometimes they are overwhelming.
- I’ve actually been rough with my baby during the struggle of making him sleep. All other times I seem to be doing fairly well but I just can’t take any shit at nap/sleep times. One time when my baby was fussing and I was getting angrier with rage, baby brought his finger near my mouth. And I had this huge urge to bite him I was so furious. And I was instantly glad I actually didn’t do it. But then it scared me to death by what I just felt like doing to my baby. Biting someone with anger is an instant reaction and it made me so so scared that I had this feeling with my baby. I got more depressed thinking what if I had really bitten him that day. I would have been proved mad and my baby taken away from me. So far I’ve felt this twice and hate myself for this.
- I’m afraid to take my son anywhere. I just want to stay home with him because I feel like it’s the only place I can keep him safe. But at the same time as I’m falling asleep I have to check the front door at least 4 times to make sure it’s locked, because I’m afraid someone will break in and steal him. I’m afraid of someone taking him away from me because he’s the only thing that keeps me going.
- Everytime I walk near the stairs I imagine my 3 months old baby falling of my arms downstairs. Everytime she turns her head while she’s sleeping and I can’t see her face I think she’s suffocating. All the time I’m thinking the she is gonna be sick or have cancer and we’ll be on of these families that lose their one and only child. And I’m will die if this happen to me. I’m thinking all the time that something bad will happen, just because i had difficulty to have her with IVF’s and etc. But I would give my life for her.
- When my baby had otitis when she was 55 days old and went to hospital for 8 days to take antibiotics, I thought that she will be psychotic when she grows up because of the traumatic experience…
- Falling down stairs and crushing my daughter (I’ve fallen down a curb before while holding her). Crashing the car with her in it. Me surviving but not her.
Scaring her because a symptom of anxiety I get is that I get acutely upset and panic.
- I had intrusive thoughts with all three of my children. With the first I had visions of dropping them down the stairs, with the second I imagined opening a window and dropping them out and with the third I imagined opening the lit stove and putting them onto the fire. I even imagined my husband coming home and asking Where’s the baby? Oh I put him in the fire. They were terrifying but after my first baby I learnt about intrusive thoughts and that they are “normal”. My husband also had them.
- I just found this website today and the minute I read the symptoms, I sobbed. I’ve been dealing with scary thoughts for 3 or 4 months now. My son is almost 7 months old. I’ve been obsessed with always wanting him to feel comfortable and safe. To the point that he always sleeps with me. The only time he naps on his own is at daycare.
This obsession probably stems from my abusive childhood.
But it’s led me to all of these horrible and vivid thoughts of my baby somehow being put in a situation where he is made to feel unsafe or comforted. Whether it’s by me or not. Car accidents, where he’s hurt and wants his mommy but I can’t get to him and his last moments are spent wondering where I am.
Or me hurting him and him reaching out to me to get me to stop and love him
Or some one else hurting him.
Or something happening to me and he never gets the comfort he needs from anyone else.
Once, I was holding him peacefully and out of nowhere i imagined myself flinging him across the room. I remember feeling flushed and nauseous at the image.
I read a brief article a month ago about PPOCD and felt some relief because I was worried that I was beginning to have symptoms of psychosis. My mother had it and my sister had severe PPD.
I felt relieved that there was a name for what I was feeling and I had been having a much easier time with it.
But the last few days have been bad and I had a dream lastnight that has had me in such a state all day that
I climbed on top of my son and stabbed him. And he was reaching out to me and grabbing my arms, but I wouldn’t stop.
This hurts to type.
Who imagines this kind of stuff about their own baby?!
What kind of mother am i??
I keep telling myself it will get better. That this is normal and it’s due to loving something more than i have ever imagined.
I’ve been putting off scheduling an appointment with my therapist, who I had lined up before I had my son to help prevent this.
But I really thought I had this all under control and id be able to proudly say I didn’t have PPD.
But I realize that now I need to talk about it and get help.
I finally told my fiance and we are going to get me some help.
I just can’t believe I tried to ignore this.
- While driving to help my reflux baby sleep, beyond exhausted myself, I would fantasize about driving into the lake in the middle of a Canadian winter. How that would mean we could both get some rest.
- I was awake at 3am, with my kitchen trash spread across my entire apartment, digging for tiny pieces of plastic I had thrown away earlier. I NEEDED to find every. Single. One. If I didn’t get up and count them to make sure, one could be in my son’s crib and suffocate him. And it would be my fault.
- I had, and still do, thoughts of regret of having my son. I’ve wished for my “old life” back so many times. I’ve had thoughts of “what I have done”, “this was a bad idea”, “I don’t want him anymore”, or “I never should have had him”. It makes me feel so terrible and so ashamed. I love him, I really do. I have great days with him and I am glad I had him. But sometimes motherhood is so hard and my depression and anxiety cripple me and these thoughts enter my head and I just feel so bad for thinking them.
- I didn’t plan to get pregnant with my daughter and even though she’s almost 14 months old I’m still coming to terms with it. Still!! I’m so lucky- great partner, financially stable, no infertility struggles when I know so many who have them. Yet, I still find myself wondering what would have happened if I hadn’t gotten pregnant and romanticizing that “would be” life. It’s not fair to my family and I know that but I just feel like I’ve lost so much of myself the last few years. Sometimes I wish it hadn’t happened even though I love my daughter and I have a wonderful life. Then I feel like a terrible person.
- My baby girl is 8 months old today. Since she was born I have had almost every thought described in this campaign. I have thought (and pictured it very vividly and graphically) that she’ll die in a million ways: in a car crash, fell from my balcony, killed by my neighbor’s dog, choked by any small object, drowned while bathing, kidnapped, caught a disease, or ran over by a car and a train, to name a few. It’s exhausting. I am constantly alert and constantly anxious. Sometimes I can’t sleep at night or I wake up at 3:00 am invaded by those thoughts and can’t go back to sleep again. It is hard to enjoy my beautiful healthy baby and my blessed life. I am driving my husband crazy because he can’t understand why I behave like this. I feel that I’ve become insane, I feel alone, I feel I’m doing a bad job as her mom and that she deserves so much better than me. It is pure torture. Does this ever go away? Am I going to be like this the rest of my life?
- I am anxious. There,I said it. I’ve never had an issue with anxiety and yet here I am totally consumed by anxiety. I hardly get any sleep as baby has some kind of sleep disorder (or it’s my fault he doesn’t sleep from responding too quickly or cosleeping and disturbing his sleep). My perfectionism is out of control, so much so that I’m unbearable around my 12yr old and partner. I feel so strung out and overly sensitive that I can hardly bear any stimulus at all and ask people to lower their voices. Total party pooper. I cook and clean up and research all day long in between walking, interacting with and tending baby. I feel totally unsupported physically and emotionally by my partner who I’ve driven crazy not doubt with my anxiety but who, honestly, doesn’t seem to ‘adult’ well and never (I’m actually not kidding) cooks.
- I feel that I can’t speak about my ppd to anyone as I’m diagnosed with bipolar disorder and scared they’ll take my toddler away… So I’ve kept everything to myself for two and a half years.
- I had scary intrusive thoughts about hurting both myself and my baby…smothering her with a pillow, driving my car off a bridge…they scared the crap out of me….I later learned that the fact that they scared me so bad meant I wouldn’t act on any of them.
- For a few months after my second child was born, I regularly felt like I wanted to drive my car into a wall. Not enough to kill me, but enough to hospitalise myself for a week so I could have a break. My husband was working ridiculous and long hours at the time and I have no family locally who could help out. When I broke down at the drs she said I was exhausted and needed to focus on me. I still occasionally feel like this but admitting to people motherhood sucks some of the time helps me a lot.
- Pre-partum stress is real too. I am terrified by the feeling that my body is being taken over by another living being growing inside me.
- I can’t hold my son when we take him to hockey games for fear I will drop him over the ledge into the section below.
- I had a lot of scary thoughts during the first weeks of being a new mom. Sleep deprived and stressed out, the scariest was that if I just jumped off my balcony, I’d be free of my baby. That was the lowest point and since then never thought it again.
- When I was on maternity, I thought about just leaving. Leaving the little guy with his dad and getting on with my life.
- I had one infant and was pregnant with a second when the Andrea Yates story broke. Everyone around me kept talking about “those poor children with their crazy mother”. All I could think was “that poor woman with all those children”. I spent weeks planning how I could do it and get away with it. In the end I decided I wouldn’t want to get away with it, because I would feel bad and deserve to be punished – which eventually led to maybe I shouldn’t do it – but it took almost two years before I stopped fantasizing about it.
- It is such a relief to read these thoughts and realize I’ve had so many of the same ones. When I went back to work after maternity leave, I couldn’t watch or read any news about bad things happening to other babies or children, and would immediately picture my daughter as the person in those news stories, with horrible things happening to her.
- I used to wake up in a panic, thinking the baby was somewhere in the bed, or that I fell asleep holding her in bed and forgot to put her back in her crib.
- The thought of someone breaking into our house or kidnapping her for child sex trafficking.
- One of the first nights when we came home from the hospital, we were so sleep deprived and panicking because she wouldn’t stop crying. I turned to my husband and asked, “can we give her back?!”
- I have this fear that my daughter will fall off a play structure or down a steep incline while hiking, break her head open and die. Probably stems from my own fear of heights. I am also terrified that my 7 year old will drop or harm the baby by accident and that i will hate her for it.
- I was convinced that all the stress I’d experienced during pregnancy had caused brain-damage, and that, as a result, my beautiful, perfect infant would grow up to be a sociopath; alternatively I worried that my baby could sense my intense post partum anxiety and interpret it as ambivalence, causing her to disconnect from me and disrupt our bond.
- I imagined someone putting my baby in the microwave. I also imagined her on an open field in the cold, abandoned. Then, I would cry.
- I imagined throwing my baby out of the window, or down the stairs, or in front of a car.
I imagined bashing his head on the corners of furniture.
I imagined holding him under the water while I gave him a bath.
I imagined doing sexual acts with him.
It was absolutely horrendous. I was terrified that I was a complete monster – after all, what kind of a mother imagines harming her own child?
I also had “what if” thoughts: what if my husband and I die, who would look after him? where would he live? would his “new parents” love him? what if they smacked him? I ought to write out lists of what he likes to eat and drink and describe his favourite toys and games because if anything happens to me then no-one will know how to look after him.
What if we are in a car accident and the car is so damaged that they don’t realise that he is still alive in there because they can’t see him.
What if I’m in a storm or a flood and I’m not strong enough to hold onto him and I have to let him go?
What if armed men come into our house? – they would reach his bedroom first. I wouldn’t be able to save him.
What if I had to choose between the life of my husband or the life of my child?
I don’t watch the news anymore and don’t watch many films now because it’s too hard. I just can’t cope with the thoughts that come to me as a result.
- A healthcare worker once said to me ‘i bet you cant remember your life without her now’ when my daughter was 3 weeks old and i thought yes… yes I can and it was much better than this. This is awful.
- I used to seriously fear my daughter would die in the night and i would plan her funeral in my head obssessively. I wish i had sought help.
- I had twins and used to frequently think that if I didn’t do exactly the same for each they’d develop some kind of attachment disorder.
At my very lowest I experienced intrusive thoughts that I’d walk in to find my babies dead in their cot. In my head I could see them blue and rigour mortised. It was horrific.
- I’m scared that I’ll never even meet my baby following birth. I feel disconnected this pregnancy and it hasn’t been an enjoyable time. As punishment, I think, I feel like I’m going to die or she is and I’ll never know my baby.
- I think sometimes that I am just not wired to be a mother. I wasn’t born with the nurturing instincts hat other women seem to have. My son is now one year old and my most vivid memories of our time together so far are the ones when I failed as a mother – when I was impatient, frustrated, or sad. I deal with an overwhelming amount of guilt everyday. Sometimes I think he would be better off with a different mommy. I am pregnant with our second and I am terrified of just screwing everything up a second time.
- I’m scared to talk to a therapist about the thoughts/feelings I’ve had since having my son because I’m afraid that they’ll want to take him away and send me away too. In my frustration I have been rough with my son before (like when he wouldn’t take a bottle I would force it into his mouth or when he was crying a lot and not napping I would hold his pacifier in his mouth even though he didn’t want it) , and I’m scared that a professional will think I’m an abusive parent.
On the flip side I just want someone to confirm my belief that I’m a horrible mother and that I don’t deserve to have children.
All I can think is “What kind of mother gets so frustrated with her own baby?”
- I had postpartum for 14 months with my second child. I didn’t know what was wrong with me I had NO kind of Connection with my daughter and I was clueless to why. Giving birth is supposed to be the happiest time of your life. Every morning I woke up id instantly start to cry and scream at everybody and wanted nothing to do with my newborn I wanted to die I wanted to give my daughter up. I wasn’t able to take care of her if i wanted to. Postpartum is a real scary thing and i wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I honestly thought I wouldn’t survive it.
- I used to wonder what would happen if I just dropped my baby and considered doing it just to see … I knew it would hurt her, so I didn’t do it but then I thought one day I’ll just let her fall. What was wrong with me I thought… I love her.
- I’ve been struggling since having my youngest my aniexty has got worse and depression I’d never hurt my babies but when I’m trying to sleep I have bad thoughts all the time, like she just stops breathing or she gets run over by a car or someone kidnaps her and kills her. Some of the things I see in my head are so disturbing it scares me so much. I don’t know what brings it on but id like it to leave it scares me to death wish I could take it away nothing seems to work. I never sleep I have peace of mind when she is sleeping with me then I can feel her with me 🙁
- I worry that my son will slip out of my arms taking a bath and I’ll just watch him drown instead of saving him.
- Whenever I’m alone I image what would happen to us if my husband died. I almost always settle on putting my son up for adoption and killing myself…
- The neighbors will call CPS. They’ll show up on a really bad day. They’ll take him away and everyone in my life will hate me.
- After sleeping through my first born’s birthday due to being put to sleep for an unplanned c section, latching difficulty, and my milk only coming in on one side (and promptly leaving), I have convinced myself in my head that I am somehow less of a mom for not pushing, not being conscious when he arrived, and not being able to breastfeed… and that any other responsible adult could offer my son what he needs and that I am no different than anyone else in his life. As a result, images of other moms giving birth or breastfeeding their babies trigger me into painful tears, daily, since he was born, five months ago.
- I can’t even remember giving birth to my son, i was blacking out through the entire labor process. I feel awful for asking my family questions about what happened. I’m terrified i’ll come off as uncaring if i tell anyone about my experience.
- I had debilitating ppd/ppa with my son who’s now 4. I resented him and everything he took away from me… we had the hardest time breastfeeding until 5.5 mos in and then he just stopped nursing so I had to exclusively pump for him and then I really hated him bc pumping is misery. He wouldn’t nurse and then he wouldn’t eat solids. He was allergic to dairy formula and I refused to give him soy. I don’t think I really felt love for him until he was 18 mos when my milk dried up and he started sleeping through the night instead of waking 10+ times a night. It took me a long time to get back to a good place and I felt like myself and got pregnant again bc I always wanted two. And I mostly feel ok but sometimes the stress gets me and today I had the worst intrusive thought. I was driving home from dropping my son at daycare and caught sight of my 7 month old daughter in her mirror and out of nowhere there it was: i thought it would be nice to drop by my friends house to see her and her daughter and I imagined pulling out a gun and shooting myself in the head. It was so quick and so awful. I don’t feel suicidal but there it was. A gut punch and I started sobbing. I’m a good mom. I know I’m a good mom. I don’t want these thoughts.
- I am angry and sad that my first year with my son is clouded with my regrets about how I’ve already failed as a mother. When I look at photos from this past year I don’t see the happy moments, my brain automatically begins to list all the things I did wrong. I constantly have a highlight reel playing in my head of all of my worst moments as a mother. I’m now pregnant with or second baby and I’m absolutely terrified of screwing everything up again. I want to scream because I feel like this should have been so much better.
- Not being able to feel like myself again. And that I will go crazy, and it would be to hard for me to get better. And that I’m going to be the type of person, that won’t be able to leave their house. Cause taking on the world is a scary thing. And I wish that I can just, be able to leave my baby with his dad. And have a day to myself. But I feel like I can’t cause, I need to be there for him. But when I’m near him, all I want to do is get away from him. And sometimes I feel like I’m going to stop breathing and die, cause my brain is getting the best of me.
- I began to resent my husband for all the “good” sleep he was getting and I became mean and disgruntled because of that.
- I thought I “hated” my toddler for demanding so much while I had to take care of the new baby. I was angry all of the time. I had to physically bite my own tongue so as not to yell and curse. I just want some alone time. Just a little bit like even 20 minutes to shower alone and comb my hair, but I feel like a bad mom for wanting that. I am their eveything. But I am mad and mean and grouchy and I trying to accept that my personal life is now over. I know its not true but this is how I feel.
- I regretted having her and ruining the perfect happy family my husband and I had before she was born. I hated when she cried and I couldn’t “fix” it and I would yell at her “JUST TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT”, which would turn into me sobbing that over and over until my husband would wake up and take her from me. Then I felt like I was the worst mother ever for not knowing what my baby needed. When she caught her first cold that turned into bronchiolitis it was again my fault that she couldn’t breathe properly and was wheezing. The fact I couldn’t fix her breathing issues threw me into a tailspin and I would have a panic attack just listening to her struggle to breathe. I wanted to be the perfect mother that was in sync with every need my baby had, and not achieving that was unacceptable and everyone would think I was a terrible mother and take her away from me.
- I couldn’t stop thinking I’d be hurt while my older child was at school and I was home alone with the baby. I worried I’d fall down the stairs or get into a car accident and no one would be there to get my 5 year old off the bus. That the baby would be hurt and screaming for hours before my husband came home.
- I recently saw When The Bough Breaks and realized I am only just now at the end of it.
It could have been me. How far was I from killing myself? From accidentally hurting my babies or worse? Where was my family? Why didn’t anyone intervene? Will it be easier for me to start treatment if I get it next time? Why don’t women matter?
- When my son was a baby he had terrible gas issues that took awhile to figure out. We learned he was lactose intolerant and his formula was hurting him. He would just be up all hours screaming and crying and it was almost impossible to get him to stop unless you were holding him to your chest and bending over and coming back up, over and over again. Only when he was being held and moved like that would he stop crying. I was a single mom and it was just so hard. i remember one particularly hard night, i was exhausted and just feeling so defeated and he just wouldnt shut up. The image of me swinging his head into the side of a nearby nightstand repeatedly, just so he’d shut up, played in my head. No one would have to know, we could just get some sleep, everything would be ok. I felt so horrible for the thought in my head. i of course would never and have never hurt my son but it was just so hard doing everything alone without any kind of support or support system.
As the years have gone by i periodically think if i should have ever had kids, if im meant to have kids. Ive always wanted kids its always been my dream but maybe im not supposed to? maybe im forcing it? some people arent meant to have kids, maybe im one of them?
i have never sought out treatment out of embarrassment or shame or just not having the tools or opportunity to. I’ve been much better and have really pulled myself along for a really long time. Im so ready and excited to finally be stable and be able to have more kids! But sometimes im still terrified… what if having another kids sets it all off again and its so much worse than it was the first time? what if i really go off the deep end? Maybe there is this monster inside me just ready and waiting and trying to claw its way out of me and ill do something horrible?
Recently ive been terrified someone is in my sons room hiding in his closet and waiting for me to go to sleep so he can come out and rape my son. Im afraid there are people who regularly come to watch him through his window as he sleeps. Every night i tuck him into bed and say good night and then i wait and i go in again and check the closet and under his bed and out his window to make sure no one is there to hurt him. i usually check twice a night and still go to bed worried someone is there.
- I kept feeling the distinct warmth of blood on my hands as the thoughts of stabbing my son raced through my mind.
- I feared having a knife at my disposal in the kitchen because I wondered what if I hurt my baby with it. Also fear of a househelp hurting my baby.
- Sometimes my anxiety has me so on edge that every noise has me on the edge of panic. I have a three year old and a one year old. If there is no noise something bad is happening or they are asleep, but if I’m also trying to sleep every noise on the baby monitor must mean something bad is happening. It doesn’t end, because not sleeping means my postpartum anxiety and depression is worse.
- I worry my boyfriends family is trying to take my son from me because they think I’m not a good enough mother and they want him all for themselves…
- I was afraid that I would accidentally lose control of myself in some way and kill or hurt my baby, so much that I had reoccurring dreams about it, I knew I would never do it, but I thought about killing myself to make the thoughts stop. But I was terrified that if I killed myself no one would take care of my baby the “right” way. I never got help, eventually the thoughts went away on their own but it was a miserable year or so until they did. I lost a lot of weight and became emaciated because I struggled to eat and sleep.
- I am constantly scared that my baby will get a fever. I get scared all the time that I will hurt him. I love when my partner helps with the baby but I also get jealous and fear that my baby won’t like me anymore.
- I am so scared of literally everything. My son is 8 now and I get such severe anxiety that something bad is going to happen that I send myself almost into panic attacks. I don’t want to hinder him from experiencing life because of my fears but I want to protect him at all cost. Its gets really hard and I stay exhausted.
- I’m due in less then 2 weeks with my 3rd child which was not planned or expected at all. And all I can think about is how my other children are going to hate me because I’ll be spending all my time with a baby that I’m worried I won’t be able to love as much as my other children especially because me and her father really don’t get along..
- What if im sick what if i can’t be around any more for my babies i get that scared that im always going to the doctors or the hospital
- I thought was wasn’t going to be a good mom and I was scared hold my baby at first. The couple of months were HARD and sometimes I still struggle with postpartum ALOT. Sometimes I feel like know one understands what I am going through. POSTPARTUM IS STRUGGLE IN MY EVERYDAY LIFE!!
- Someone left 18 seconds on the microwave and my first thought was that my baby would die in 18 days.
- Letting him play by himself is terrifying. Like he’ll hurt himself on something. Letting him sleep in his own room, he’ll fall out of the crib and vet hurt, or wrap himself in his sleep sack and choke, I won’t hear it. That I won’t wake from the baby monitor. If I’m looking down at my phone/cooking he’ll hurt himself. They’ll test his blood and find out I’ve had a drink and take him away from me. That I’m creating a bratty child by being home with him all the time which will ruin his relationship with his Father. That I’m doing everything wrong so God will take him from me because I don’t deserve to be a Mom (I had an abortion due to being raped and I still struggle with guilt).
- 1)That I Was Gonna Find My Baby Dead When I Fell Asleep And Some Up To Check On Her. 2)Anything To Do With SIDS 3)That My 1yr Old Isn’t Gonna Love Me And Our Bond Was Going To Be Broken Bc I Have A Newborn 4)Something Happen To Me Or My Husband. 5)My Kids Being Away From Me And Something Happening To Them.
- I broke my ankle 5 yrs ago. I had surgery to fix it. At the time I I’ll my had a 9 month old. I went home & took my meds like I was told. I had no help from no one at the time. My boyfriend work all day, my mother worked nights , & his family & I didn’t get along at that time. Well one day I was in so much pain. I took my pain meds. Long story short I fell on top of my child. At the time I was over 200 pounds. Took my child to the hospital, was told his skull was cracked. Cps stepped in right away. Took my child away. I got pregnant while cps was still looking into my life. Well they took that child away too. For 2 yrs I went threw hell. Not just with myself but with my family too. My oldest sister adopted my children. She makes them call her mom & her husband dad. My boyfriend & I are now tia & tio. Last yrs I had my last baby. My last child is 9 months I’m so scared my sister will call cps on me . I’m scared cps will step in & take my child away.I don’t trust anyone. (My older sister called cps on one of my friends& got her children taken away. If she can do it to her than she can do it to me)
- My baby sleeping and im asleep as well and she chokes on milk while she sleep and I wake up to a dead baby.
- We have a ceramic sink in the kitchen, and I would see myself smashing my baby daughters head against it. So much so I eventually wouldn’t allow myself to go into the kitchen with her.
- I frequently have a strong fear that my partner might be sexually abusing our daughter. I have no reason to think this other than my own history. It’s horrible to think such things about a man who is such a great dad.
- During this year’s horrific flu season, I was petrified of my baby catching the flu. I would barely allow my older children to get even close to the baby in case they had the flu and weren’t showing symptoms yet, and I had to wash/sanitize my hands after touching anything. Nothing in our house was clean, and I had a panic attack after my children came down with a case of the sniffles. We also had deer mice somehow coming into our house, and I was convinced that we all were going to catch Hantavirus and die.
- My baby will stop breathing or choke and I will lose him
- Whenever I go to the mall I have had these thoughts like what if my baby falls from the third floor, imagining I threw him out from a certain level, or while we’re on the escalator.
- My sweet husband is the most incredible father…he has been from day one. But that doesn’t stop me from thinking that he might harm my daughter. This is beyond disturbing and irrational but my mind keeps going there. These thoughts are so powerful that I find excuses to be in the same room with them. I feel awful about this and could never tell him – this secret eats at me.
- My imagination turned everything and anything into a weapon. I couldn’t even charge my phone without having terrible thoughts of strangling my baby. I would have physical responses to these thoughts-I would get hot and my heart would beat faster. I wanted to hold her close to protect her, and get as far away from her as possible at the same time. I was absolutely certain I was going insane. I am so glad I got help when I did.
- I was convinced my baby was going to get the flu and die. I was terrified that she would get dropped down the stairs either by me or someone else. I also convinced myself that my baby hated me and loved everyone else.
- Even though we are almost 1 1/2 years post partum, I can’t help feeling like I’m a crap mom, I’m failing my son, and he would be better off without me. Part of me knows I’m being ridiculous, but I can’t seem to stop.
- I got fired from my job this week after one day back from maternity leave. Right now I was told by my fiancé that I live a very secluded life. I feel like I could die.
- I thought I wouldn’t be a good mom and able to financially provide, so I thought of drinking bleach and leaving my husband and baby without me as a burden.
- From the time i brought her home, it started with ” what if i dropped her on the hard floor” or what if i hit her head on the wall while leaving the room” what if i break her bones while changing her clothes. then they got worse. by the time of her two month checkup “vaccinations” were the devil to me. what if she died from her shots. when i would go to google they would always say that “vaccinations is what caused babies to have sids” and i would been so much in my head that i would think shes was going to die right then and there and i would have to watch her breathe for at least 10 days before i felt calm. then i started to have really bad intrusive thoughts. ” what if i push her ribs in” ” what if i drop her hard” ” what if i kill her” THE WORST FEELINGS EVER.
- Every time I’m sitting near the coffee table with my baby, I imagine his head getting smashed by the table. I don’t envision doing it. Just the divistating injury.
- I feel so much rage and anger towards my husband since having children that I fantasize about him dying young so I can marry someone better, guilt free.
- Sometimes I think of throwing my baby from the second floor of our house down to the first floor. Splat.
- I have watched many news items of men raping months old babies. I have a vivid imagination, and I graphically imagine it happening to my daughter. By far, that is the most awful thought I have. And now, I am so terrified of being out with her because men might see her, follow us home, attack us, and do the exact thing to her.
- I wasn’t suicidal, but I had come to the conclusion that if I were to die, that would be okay. If my baby were to die, that would be okay. I was not okay.
- I would be terrifed that I’d drop a pot of boiling water on my baby when moving the pot from stove to sink, even if she weren’t near me. The fear drove me to tears.
- The day i found out I was pregnant I was so disappointed in myself. I thought of every option but having or keeping her. Then my fiance assured me everything would be okay. His mother my mother they all said it would be okay… No one listened to me. I have seizures I thought I would die. The further along in my pregnancy I got the better I felt about it. Until his mom told me she would have her son leave me and they would take the baby if I didn’t cook and clean her house. The more I spent time there the more depressed I got. 5 days before I gave birth it was my birthday, I didn’t get to celebrate it and we were kicked out by his mother. When we were at the hospital just about anything went wrong I had been leaking all day so I had to have a c section. His mother was there telling me what I was doing wrong and what I needed to do. When we were released and visited her she threatened me with dfs, all of which lead me to having ppd. I would never give my daughter up for anything or hurt her. But I think about running away often. And hiding and pulling out my hair. I love her so much now. After she was born I couldn’t look at her for days. I hated her father. And i hated the fact that nothing was my choice or even talked about. I had to go through a life changing experience that had the biggest toll on my mind and body and why? Cause he didn’t want to wear a condom. But it’s okay cause we’re getting married?
- I convinced myself that my daughter, who was only 3 months, hated me.
- I have this constant fear that I am going to violently kill my three children in my sleep. I dream it, I see visions of it, and I’m scared it will happen. It ends the same every time, we have a peaceful night then I go to sleep and wake up covered in blood.
- My kids are now almost 4 and almost 2 and I’m still scared all the time—that when we drive places we will get in a horrific car accident and I’ll die and leave them behind with no mother or that they’ll die and I will survive; I worry at the playground that they will fall off the play equipment and land in some freak way that will cause them to break their neck or hit their head; I worry that they will be diagnosed with cancer. All. The. Time. And all that overwhelming worry makes me so anxious that I get so angry, I just explode and yell at them, overreacting to small, normal kid things. Recently I yelled at my youngest and my older son went and comforted him, telling him it was ok, mommy still loves him. What kind of mother puts her 3 year old and 1 year old in a position like that? But I know they do need me, so I keep trying and failing, but hopefully failing less as time goes on.
- My baby is 1 year old & no one knows that I still think about running away sometimes because I don’t think he cares that much about me & I convince myself of that because I was abused. I believe I will somehow mess him up.
- Everything constantly goes thru my mind. Fear my child will get strangled in bed from loose clothing/blankets, kidnaping, car accident, cancer. I also worry I’ll get cancer and leave my baby without a mom.
- I used to imagine the stroller getting away from my husband by the street and getting hit by a car or someone snatching it…but when babywearing I imagined falling on her and smashing her with my overweight body. I also could not trust my dogs around her and I still don’t trust daycares. I’m starting therapy soon and even then, she will be with me.
- I’m scared i will wake up and my baby boy won’t be breathing im scared to carry him lifeless and to see him laying in a coffin i fear i won’t see him grow.I used to babywear my infant while cooking dinner and when I’d open the oven door, I’d get these images in my head of my baby somehow falling out of his carrier and falling into the heated oven and the door snapping shut and locking as I frantically tried to pull it open. I’d shake my head vigorously to make the images go away and was convinced I was insane.
- I was afraid to get into the car with my kids. Every time I closed my eyes I heard the sound of crunching metal.
- I wouldn’t open the door for anyone. I was afraid someone was going to come take my babies.
- Breastfeeding or cuddling the baby and thinking about puncturing the soft spot on top of her head.
- Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed I just want to throw in the towel. Many times I thought about it selfishly on why I had kids. I knew it would be hard but this hard?! I tend to be an overachiever and always busy never being able to relax. I have a 6 year old and a 2 year old and they don’t get along much. This is not what I wanted and I feel it’s my duty to make them like each other and love one another. My husband doesn’t understand because he thinks I am a great mom and my kids love me but I feel that they will wish I was different when they get older. I have many thoughts about “running” or “hightailing” it out of here and never coming back but I couldn’t do that to them or my husband. I don’t know how I got so lucky with someone who supportive and loving but those evil thoughts still exist. The “what if’s”, “what will happens”, “how come this is what’s going on” and “why did this happen to me’s”. I take it day by day. Breath by breath. I miss my time alone. I rarely get it. I feel so needed, touched and exhausted. I am only 1 person and I am slowing forgetting who I am besides just being a mother. I chalk it up to being even more tired than usual even with the meds I am on but I still feel so lost.
- Every time my kids get in a car with my husband or mother, I’m convinced it’s the last time I’m going to see them alive. I will worry and panic until they get home.
- I worry of myself sexually abusing or harming I worry if I’ve not cleaned myself enough, after doing anything sexual with her dad or myself I worry about being clean enough to hold her, I’ve even told my partner that I’d give up all my parental rights to him as I don’t deserve her, I worry in case I’m too rough with her when I pick her up, or when she cries and me and her dad are having private time I feel awful, I really hate feeling this way and wouldn’t want anyone else to feel this way but I kinda hope someone understands this.
- With my first child I would have a intrusive thought of snapping my daughter neck. I could vividly see it. The thought was so intense my hands would tingle. I was so afraid of my own mind. With support from my counseler, family and homeopathic dr I was able to combat my Postpartum Anxiety.
- We have a walk in shower, so we’d bathe our little one with us in the shower. I was terrified to take a shower with her without my husband because the image of me accidentally dropping her on the tile floor was all too real. It got so bad, I could ‘hear’ the sound of her hitting the tile. It doesn’t happen as often as it used to. Telling my husband I was struggling helped me take a little ownership of my anxiety so I could begin coping with the anxiety & depression.
- Had vivid sexual thoughts about my baby, could not even change his diaper…these thoughts would run over and over through my brain and make me physically sick. I was terrified to wake each day in fear of the thoughts I knew were coming. Sleep was the only time I felt peace! Terrified to get help due to not hearing of women having these types of thoughts, but I had to either get help or not be here anymore! I chose help. Thank God.
- After my daughter was born, she went to the NICU. For months after we came home, I was constantly checking her to make sure she was breathing. I would have constant anxiety and thoughts that something terrible was going to happen to her. The cycle repeated fourteen months later when my son was born. I haven’t slept through the night in almost two years. It’s just now starting to get a little better.
- I would have images and thoughts pop in my mind that my baby was going to get stabbed, other a knife would fall on her or maybe I would stab her with scissors. I didn’t want to hurt my baby, but couldn’t stop thinking about it and thinking why I was thinking about it. I hid all the knifes and scissors one day, that is also the day I talked to someone.
- I prayed going in for my csection that something bad would happen and I’d die during it so no one had to put up with me and they wouldn’t be mad at me if I did commit suicide.
- I had images and thoughts of throwing my three month old baby across the room and having him slam into the wall. I would see him slide down, lifeless and quiet. I wanted the quiet, but I did not understand how I could think of hurting my little one like that. It was terrifying. I wondered if I actually could or would act on these thoughts that I couldn’t control.
- I put off purchasing life insurance because I thought it would give me permission to off myself…
- My baby choked on his medicine. He wasn’t breathing right so we called 911. For a few minutes I thought he was going to die. Part of me was relieved he would no longer be in my life and I would no longer be a bad mom.
- I am so very scared that my mother will die before my kids will be old enough to remember her, my mom was diagnosed with dementia 5 years ago and I’m also scared that she will not remember them soon.
- I was convinced that my husband and baby would be better off without me, and thought about suicide regularly.
- Every time I closed my eyes to sleep, I could only see my hand over her face until she suffocated. She was sleeping so peacefully and hardly ever cried. I had to sleep with my mom for a week while I sought help.
- I’m terrified that will kill my baby. I feel a thrill every time I imagine holding my hand over her face until she stops breathing and I feel disgusted at the fact that I do. I want to get help, but I’m scared they’ll take her away from me if I even mention it. I would NEVER hurt my baby, but the thoughts I have.. I don’t like them. I want to get rid of them, but I feel helpless.
- When I became a new mom, I was so afraid someone wanted to come and break into my house and steal my son from my bed. It was terrifying. Now that he’ll enter school, I have terrifying images and feelings that an adult will hurt or abuse him. This anxiety I suffer from makes me feel like I have no control sometimes. They are just thoughts but I am learning how to convince myself about that. It takes a lot of time and learning the skills to control it but it’s still very hard to not let my thoughts bully my mind.
- I don’t like to talk about my birth story because I’m ashamed that I didn’t try harder. I’m ashamed that I got exhausted too soon and that I didn’t know how to control my breathing. I’m angry at myself for not making my husband practice different birthing positions and ways to reassure me. I can’t listen to other women talk about their natural and unmediated births or watch unmediated births. I feel ashamed that I couldn’t do it without an epidural.
- If I’m not playing with my baby when she’s awake or on my phone when she’s asleep my anxiety starts to take over and I can’t stop thinking about running away from her and my husband. I have to be distracted from my thoughts or I become fearful of myself and I can’t function.
- When my son was a newborn, I blamed him for my horrible labor and unplanned c-Section. I would think about taking his face with my fingernails and throwing him down the stairs. Later, when he was older and sleeping terribly, I thought about throwing him out the window.
- When I’m walking next to a road, and there’s a wall on the other side of me, I’m terrified a driver will have a heart attack or similar, and squash the pushchair and me against the wall.
- That maybe I shouldn’t have had a second kid. I love her so much yet she is so much harder then my first. My ppd is the worst it’s been and it’s to the point I wish I could just run away and never be seen again but I know I’m all they have. I’m going to start seeing a therapist hopefully soon because I know I need more help.
- When my son spends the night with his father or grandparents I don’t ever think I’ll see him alive again. I think he’ll die in his sleep and it makes me cry.
- Sometimes I miss my life before my baby. I miss the quiet. I miss the freedom. I feel guilty and selfish. On these days, I have to talk myself into being grateful for my babies and remind myself of the joy they bring to my life…some days, sadly, I still don’t believe it.
- That I’m going to die of a heart attack or some other natural cause while my husband is at work and I’m home alone with my three children. They’re too young to call 911 themselves.
- When I’m driving by myself and my 3 kids are home with my husband, I imagine something terrible faltering at home, like a gas leak or a fire, and they all die. I think about what my life would be like, how I would react, what I would do. Or what would happen if I was killed in an accident away from them. How would their lives be? How would my husband handle the children after my death?
- I lived my adult being committed to being child free.. then my partner and I wanted to have a baby. I surprisingly got pregnant easily, and started having second thoughts early on. The baby was born and I didn’t bond at all. I felt as if we’d made the worst possible mistake… as though we made the decision during temporary insanity. I grieved not being to undo it. I resented the baby, and felt like I wasn’t living my authentic life by becoming a mother. I felt it was all a sham. It’s been a tough 16 months but I finally love my baby. My partner and I wished for a way to give him back for months.
- I thought my newborn was somehow aware of and emotionally scarred by my intrusive thoughts. I was convinced he would”act out” by intetionally hurting me (pull my hair, bite while nursing) because I deserved to be punished by him for my intrusive thoughts.
- I’m not an angry or violent person but I’ve had moments of intense anger towards my son, where I’m holding him and I just want to squeeze him or throw him. Instead I cuddle him, but that moment is scary.
- I would have thoughts that I will squeeze my baby really tight and wouldn’t stop, that I would accidently drop her, or not love her when she’s born. I get so scared of having these thoughts. Scared that I might actually do it, but I know I wouldn’t. I know it’s alot of over thinking and fear, but at times it’s hard to get myself to see that just because I’m thinking like that doesn’t mean I’ll actually do it. I never think of doing it. Its more of a “what if”. I would never hurt my baby. I love her so much and can’t wait to see her and love on her and care for her.
- I am so overwhelmed by my 2 kids that I often daydream of escaping and leaving everything behind.
- I miss my life before having children. I sometimes wish I could just run and never come back home. Life without them seems more appealing. I am overwhelmed.
- I’m really sad. All the time, I love my son so much, he’s 8 months. Almost crawling, pulling himself up! He’s even usually a happy baby minus the teething. I snap over anything, I get horrible thoughts, I’d never hurt him ever but the way I think sometimes makes me feel like I am and he deserves so much better. I know I have ppd & anxiety but I’m too nervous my son will be taken to get help.
- My baby is only 8 mouths. He is very regular e peaceful. But sonetimes,when i’m tired, i would come back at my life before him.
- It’s about time for me to have another kid…I always wanted more kids. Some days, I still want more kids. But most days, I’m so afraid of living through that internal hell of postpartum depression, stress, and anxiety again. I don’t know that I would make it out alive- literally. So many days I thought- “I’m someone who shouldn’t have had any kids. I can’t handle this. This has made everything in my life worse and I regret it.” There are still some days I think that…it’s been over 2 years.
- I see my daughter falling out of my arms or someone who is carrying her, and her head smashes on the ground and is completely crushed.
- I often wonder about the sliding doors moment; what if I hadn’t gone through with my surprise pregnancy? What would life be like now?
- After I gave birth, I didn’t want to touch or hold my baby boy. I wanted to pretend that he never existed.
- I can’t stop apologising to my first born for having another baby & having less time to spend with him. I feel like the baby is ruining his life.
- Sometimes if I leave my boys as I reverse out the driveway I imagine myself speeding off and getting on a plane ans flying where no one can find me Or bother me.
- I am just so afraid sometimes that i would not love him enough. And that iam a bad mom. There was so many negative thoughts and I was trying to control my feelings and my thoughts. Now my boy is almost 18 month and it’s going better and better. So, don’t give up
- I died giving birth to my twins. Twice. And once more that night. I feel cut to the bone that I don’t remember meeting them for the first time or the first four days of their lives and so incredibly guilty that a year later I still haven’t allowed myself time to physically and mentally heal from that.
I keep hearing “if it was anything else you’d have been inhospital for weeks and on bed rest for months” why then was I feeding babies every two hours 48 hours later and discharged in a week. Why was I left for months with an open, bleeding wound and left to care for two newborns by myself after a couple weeks. I feel so resentful- words don’t help me heal, action do. Give a bottle, change a nappy, watch them so I can sleep, give me a hug and a shoulder to cry on. Or just listen to how scared, guilty and inadequate I feel.
- I couldn’t kill myself because I was pregnant. The stress and anxiety is worse than I can bear now but I can’t kill myself because “how could a mother choose to leave her baby?”.
- Dating makes me regret having my son. I want to start brand new with someone, not have baggage. I wish I waited to have a child with someone who wasn’t my abuser.
- Why do you hate me? Everyone says how happy you are, how big a smile you have, how you’re such a good baby, how blessed I am. Why then when it’s just us do you scream constantly, fight every nappy change, refuse to sleep, to feed, to engage with me? Why are you happier with anyone else but me? Or is it you feel safe and loved enough to be all those negative emotions with me? Why can’t you just smile so I know I’m doing an ok job of being your mum?
- I’m sorry you’re a twin. I’m sorry there’s no time for baby groups, or play with mommy. No time for lots of cuddles or smiles or teaching you the wonders of the world on walks round the park. I’m struggling day to day to keep you both fed, watered, clean and rested. It’s so much harder because there’s two of you needing me constantly. I feel guilty having a shower or meal when I could be spending that time with you both or separately. Worst of all I’m sorry I chose this. I chose to have two embryos transferred for my IVF. I was playing the numbers hoping this time would be the time. This time there’d be a little heartbeat. Then there were two and none of me to give to you both.
- Even though her carseat is rear facing, I am going to get rearended and she is going to be crushed to death.
- When my daughter was first born I didn’t want to hold or touch her. I had a traumatic birth and she had breathing issues at birth. I had the most intense fear that I was going to get her sick and that she would die. I also was convinced that I was going to die. I couldn’t connect with her, because my anxiety was all consuming. It became who I was. I was so afraid of germs that my hands were bleeding and raw from how often I washed. It was the darkest time in my life.
- I flip back and forth between being afraid my children will die and wanting to hurt them. I have never hurt them, but I’ve thought about it and started to act on it. I can’t understand how I could ever want to harm them when something bad happening to them is my biggest fear. My youngest is 9 months old and every day it’s constant anxiety. I’m so tired.
- If I tell someone how hard it’s been since I had my baby I can tell they’re waiting for me to say it was worth it. But I don’t think it was. Maybe I will when he’s older.
- i have bad ppd since my son was 2 months where I’m scared I’m going to suffocate him with a pillow for no reason and I picture myself doing it. It’s a horrible feeling my anxiety gets the best of me. My son is now a 16 months and i still get bad anxiety not as bad as before but still these bad thoughts of me hurting my son or how would it be or what would happen go threw my head. I still wait to get better and for it to fully go away. sometimes i even feel like giving up because its so overwhelming to deal with just about daily it makes you feel like this horrible mother because you, yourself know you love your child and wouldnt dare to hurt him.
- I’m a chef and I’m now terrified of knives. All I can imagine is the knife slipping and seriously injuring myself or others. I have to mentally prepare myself to prep food. I also make sure my son stays clear of the kitchen when I’m preparing food.
- After I had my first child he had trouble nursing and was losing weight. I felt terrible, but tried to stay positive. Midwife made me feel very bad and responsible for baby losing weight. I felt like I don’t deserve to be my baby, was afraid that he is going to die and that he will be taken away from me if he doesn’t gain weight and I will be sent to a prison or to a mental institution.
- When my son was inconsolable as an infant, all I could imagine was dropping him right where i was standing and walking away forever. I never did, but it was a constant thought.
- Sometimes I wish my husband would just divorce me so I would get a few days off each month. I am a Mama of 3, work full time, and just need a break sometimes!
- I fear that someone would steal my child out of my arms or out of his pram while we in a public place.
- When I found out I was pregnant, I was so scared and confused. My boyfriend didn’t think we were ready for a baby and my mom didn’t want me to end up like her. I had an abortion but it’s been causing me more mental stress now than ever. I regret having it so much.
- I keep thinking every little thing is something that is wrong with him. Like his jaundice is not going away fast enough so it’s going to make him seriously ill. And I keep thinking I’m going to get sick and die and leave my kids without a mom.
- Sometimes I feel like I made a huge mistake. That I shouldn’t have had these kids. That I can’t handle it. That they deserve a better mother than I. That it’s all too hard. I’m afraid I’ll mess them up. That I’ll be too anxious. That I’ll yell too much. That they’ll hate me. I’m afraid I’m doing it all wrong.
- When she cries for hours on end it’s so hard not to ‘vigorously rock’ her to sleep.
- When my first baby, my daughter, was born I went days without sleeping, 72 hours at one point, because I was worried about what I would do if she or I became a zombie. I didn’t think we would. But the absurd ‘What If’ haunted me. I also feared letting her play in her jumper by the window because of snipers (in the UK), and would move her away from the window even though I knew it was ridiculous.
- Why did we have a baby? I love him. But this is so hard. He’s ruining our marriage. I can’t go anywhere. I feel so secluded and lonely.
- I convinced myself if I asked for help, it meant I was a bad mother. When I started experiencing psychosis, it made it worse. I attempted suicide two months after my daughters first birthday. My youngest is now 3 months and I still have to convince myself needing help is not the same as weak.
I was scared to walk her (my baby). I was afraid I’d leave her stroller somewhere and walk away. I was terrified of becoming those mothers I saw on the news all the time, and I would have nightmares about what everyone would say and do. For the first four months, I was afraid to leave the house because I thought I might.
- I desperately need alone time and a break, but images of my baby being neglected in someone else’s care haunts me. I feel like I can’t trust anyone and I really need to take care of myself. I wish that my brain didn’t work this way and I could be normal.
- Anytime anyone else (but me) holds my baby, I see flashes of them tripping and her busting her head open. I see her choking on something that she was teething on. I see her drowning if they give her a bath. I see them giving her water instead of pumped milk and it killing her. I see grisly images and flashes of my baby dying, everyday.
- I think about giving away my newborn baby all the time. I research how I can put him up for adoption, and if adoption agencies won’t take him, I wonder if my husband’s parents would adopt him. If that doesn’t work out, I sometimes fantasize about leaving him at a hospital. This makes me feel like a terrible mom; who would ever want to give up their baby for adoption? The thought of giving him up for adoption makes me feel relieved and ashamed and guilty at the same time. But I can’t help but think my life and his would be so much better if I gave him away. And yet I know if he did leave my life I would be devastated. I feel so ashamed and alone.
- I feel so angry when people tell me, “This will pass.” It feels like they are minimizing the agony I am in. I feel like they don’t believe me when I say “I am overwhelmed. I can’t do this. I don’t want to do this.” Just because I am functioning doesn’t mean I am okay. I feel the only way anyone will understand how bad I’m feeling is if I check myself into a psych hospital, and then I’ll just be judged. I’m angry at everyone who listens to me say I’m not okay and they don’t help.
- I had gory, horrific thoughts about dropping my baby. I’d picture his injuries and be frozen in place, terrified to move in case he slipped out of my arms or I tripped. For months, I couldn’t do laundry without my husband watching him because I was terrified that I’d drop him down the steps.
- Every time my husband could freely decide to spend time with mates, work later, assume I was handling things I imagined leaving, with our unborn baby, so he was left with our 11 month old. Then I’d only have to deal with one not two under two and feel so alone.
*Kleiman, K. & Wenzel, A. (2010). Dropping the Baby and Other Scary Thoughts: Breaking the cycle of unwanted thoughts in motherhood. New York, New York: Routlege.
**Image1 created by Melina Stock
**Image2 created by Lisa Braun
For additional support if you do not like the way you are feeling, we recommend This Isn’t What I Expected: Overcoming Postpartum Depression. Boston, MA: De Capo Press