Breathe

I had a slight bought of postpartum anxiety after having Owen. I had heart palpitations, slight OCD and would wake up in the middle of the night startled and sweaty. I had no idea it was anxiety, however - and thought it was my heart. I remember thinking, women go through so much during pregnancy and delivery - what if it did something to my heart oh my God I need to see Owen grow up and so I went to see a doctor. He strapped a monitor on me for 24 hours to see if it was my heart...and it wasn't.

"It's anxiety", he said. I welled up and thanked him. When he asked me if I had an idea of how I wanted to move forward, I said I did. I'm not a fan of slapping a Band-Aid on things, so I refused his offer of a prescription. I cut caffeine from my diet, consciously reminded myself to breathe and take things slow, started eating a little better, went a little easier on myself and did Pilates whenever I had a free 10-20 minutes.

I think being a new mom comes with so many unexpected emotions. It's like everything - everything - affects me differently, now. Or, it affects me NOT AT ALL because it's petty as hell.

Sigh. Deep breath. OK. The Manchester bombing rattled me hard. Those were kids. Those were kids at a music event. Those were kids at a music event just like I was once a kid at a music event. Those were kids at a music event just like my Owen could one day be a kid at a music event. No. It's unfathomable. I don't think I can understand where that type of hate comes from, nor do I want to. It's just evil.

But, sadly - it's also our reality. We went walking at a park. As Owen and I rounded a turn in the trail, I saw a group of young men talking and laughing and hanging out on a picnic table. Closer to the trail, was a backpack all by itself - a good 10-15 yards from the group of guys. It was most likely one of their backpacks, but I know I wouldn't leave my bag that far away from me at a public park. As we got closer, I debated what to do. Turn around? Keep going and take a chance? Rationality doesn't really have a place in situations like this because who the hell knows anymore?! It's the argument of "Do we let terror win? Do we let it make us afraid to live? Do we let it control us and cripple us with anxiety and paranoia?"

I honestly don't know.

I guess we do whatever we have to do to stay safe, and to keep our children safe. To me, that means listening to your gut (not necessarily your heart because if you have a good one, you think good things more often than not), keeping your head on a swivel and not letting fear control you, but let it keep you smart.

Just as I neared the laughing guys who were now saying goodbye to each other, one ran over and snatched his backpack up. He opened it and pulled out his ringing cell phone.

"Hi, mom. Yeah, we're just leavin' now. See you in a little."

Breathe.