Am I too anxious to have a baby? by Sarie Taylor


Am I too anxious to have a baby?

Having suffered with severe anxiety in my early 20’s, so much so that I was hospitalised for a month, I was so petrified that if I did have a baby (which I really wanted) that I would automatically get anxious and not be able to cope.

Being hospitalised in my early 20’s was one of the hardest times of my life. I had gone from not having a clue what anxiety even was, to not being able to leave the house, and literally begging the doctor to send me somewhere as I was so overwhelmed. Initially I thought there was something seriously wrong with me, I was now forever broken, never to be the same again. This made my outlook on life, no matter how hard I tried, seem bleak, I didn’t want life to always be such hard work! Fast forward 6 months or so and I was out of hospital (still no clue how I had ended up there), heavily medicated and desperate to understand how I could make sure I never ended up there again!

It was at this point I began to train as a psychotherapist, knowing that as part of my qualification meant I had to be in therapy myself weekly for 4 years, and then hopefully I could also help others too! Half way through my training, I was able to come off my medication and decided that I was finally brave enough to have a baby. I got pregnant very quickly, so although I thought I was ready, it was still a bit of a shock and I was still worrying about what if I got anxious. Once I got my head around it I had started to accept that I may actually be OK, and in actual fact I had no choice now anyway! If it happened it happened.


When I was around 6 months pregnant my sister ended up in intensive care (she was OK eventually) and I started to feel my anxiety creep back in, I was so worried about losing my sister who I was extremely close to. Whilst my sister was still in intensive care my dad started to feel quite unwell all the time. We put it down to stress of my sis being poorly, but then sadly a few weeks later he was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given 3 months to live. Thankfully he lasted longer and my daughter was 9 months when he did pass away. As you can imagine my stress levels were the highest I think they had ever been in my life. I was constantly sick, not just with pregnancy but with the high levels of adrenaline that I was pumping through my body with worry, fear and grief.

So why am I telling you all this. When I look back I really didn’t think I was coping, being sick and crying all the time. Lying awake at night with worry. When my daughter was born I needed a lot of help as I was just so overwhelmed and waiting for my dad to die. I needed to go back on medication, I couldn’t bare the feelings of anxiety and I feared going back to hospital. I was a mess. I couldn’t cope. I was a rubbish mum.


Now I can see that this WAS me coping. The thing is, we do cope and manage, we do what is needed to keep ourselves going in challenging times. Although it may seem to us like we are not managing, we often forget that we are human beings not robots. When we face challenges, these are the times when we need to be compassionate and understanding with ourselves, not beating ourselves up, judging and criticising ourselves based on what we think we ‘should’ and ‘shouldn’t’ be doing! I realise now, that not only at the time when I was pregnant, but the anxious periods before that too, were as a result of my judgement and criticism of myself, worrying that I wasn’t enough, wasn’t successful enough, and I felt completely exhausted, down trodden and so it was no wonder I felt anxious. Anxious thoughts create anxious feelings.


I now feel so lucky and fortunate that I have been able to go on and help others see what I now see about how human nature works, that we are enough (even when we don’t see it ourselves). When I look back at myself now at that time, I see nothing but compassion for that strong, overwhelmed woman, and that I was just trying to do my best when I felt completely lost. If I had seen myself more from that place back then, I would not have experienced the same levels of anxiety. If you are someone who finds themselves constantly striving to be ‘better’ then I would love to invite you to consider what if you are just doing your best with the thinking you have at the time? What if that’s enough? It’s so easy to forget that we are human, we all work in the same way and yet when we try too hard to have it all together all the time, our mind and body will slow us down, it’s just how it works. Be kind to yourself and accept what is no matter how tempting it is to force ourselves to do more, cope more and manage better, this will only create more anxiety.

If you would like to hear more about my story I have written a book called Anxiety is a F*#[email protected]? OR IS IT? You can find that on my website along with all my free resources, videos and social media accounts. You can find me here and I would love to hear from you.

Sarie is a psychotherapist, coach and author, who knows what’s its like to suffer with extreme anxiety. Sarie now works with hundreds of people worldwide to help them see more about what it means to be a human being, get our of their own way, and fall in love with all aspects of their life.

You can find Sarie on all social media platforms @sarietaylorcoaching as well as via her website