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Why I Chose to Seek Out a Counselor Pre-Baby

February 27, 2019

Although it’s becoming easier to talk about, mental health is still considered taboo in a variety of situations.

When you’re about to have a baby, it’s scary to share with others that you’re headspace might not be in the exact place you’d hope it would be. 

I’ll be completely honest: I haven’t been overwhelmingly happy in several years.

Anxiety rides on my back and whispers in my ear while I watch unfortunate situations and stressors pile up with no end in sight. I pride myself on being organized and efficient, so when I wasn’t able to fix problems at a rate that felt comfortable to me, I decided to reach out for help. 

Asking for help is completely outside of my comfort zone, so it felt like a big step just to seek out a counselor. I asked my primary doctor for a recommendation to someone who she trusted and once I had a name, I set an appointment for the very next day.

Since then, I’ve spent the last several months seeing a counselor to work through a few things that made me anxious in order to put me on solid ground before adding another tiny person to our family.

Here are a few reasons why I felt it necessary.

I Wanted My Marriage to Be Stronger

With every large change comes hurdles to overcome in marriage. I remember wedding planning and seeing sides of Tyler I never had before. The same feelings came with having our first baby. People are so inherently different that sometimes it takes awhile to learn the other person and support their strengths and help with their weaknesses. While we learn to navigate major changes like how our firstborn reacts to becoming one of two, a newfound lack of sleep, and how I’ll handle being a work from home mom, I wanted our foundation to be as solid as it could be.

I Was Still Sad from a Loss

When my grandfather passed away, he was the first major person in my life that I lost. I grappled between wanting to keep his memory alive by doing things like taking my son to the fire hall where he volunteered for many decades and wanting to bury it all and avoid my feelings. Although I didn’t open up much about this in counseling, the coping skills I learned in general helped me to have a healthier outlook being able to honor him without breaking down.

I Needed a Second Opinion

Both my husband and I made a few major decisions over the course of the last several months that left me feeling guilty and confused. Each counseling session I entered usually focused on one of these things and helped me sort through my emotions, why each circumstance occurred, and made us both more secure in our choices. It was very important to me to give 100% of the truth to my counselor to ensure the feedback I received was honest and helpful. I’d walk out of the room and to my car feeling weight lifted off my shoulders that I was never able to remove before.

I’ve pressed pause on counseling as I count the hours or days until baby number two gets here, but it’s so nice to know that this outlet was monumentally helpful for me. I feel virtually stress-free and much more grounded than I could have imagined in just a few short months.

Sarabeth, The February Fox

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