Anxiety about SIDS & everything in between — The Bump
Postpartum Depression

Anxiety about SIDS & everything in between

This might not be the best place to post this, but I have no idea where to go with this.  14 years ago my first niece was found not breathing during her afternoon nap when she was 2.5 months old.  My Gram (a retired nurse) had found her right after she had stopped breathing and was able to recessitate her.  My niece never woke up, but lived on a ventilator for the next 11 days in the hospital before my sister made the heart wrenching decision to turn off the ventilator.  The autopsy came back undetermined, but all doctors said it was most likely SIDS, but it couldn't be classified that way since she was recessitated and lived 11 more days. 

I was 15 y/o at the time.  I have been terrified of caring for infants ever since.  My DH and I waited a long time to have one of our own b/c I wanted to make sure I could emotionally handle caring for an infant.  Now that DS is here, I am an anxious mess every day.  Whether it be SIDS, or something else I think up.  I constantly worry that something is wrong - does he have a fever?  Is he pale today?  Does he have a bowel obstruction?  Is his breathing not right and he's having an asthma attack?  Anything and everything.  But his sleep time is the worst time for me.  He is napping right now and I have so much anxiety over his every breath.  If I feel too much time lapses in between his breathing I pretty much wake him up to calm my own fears.  The anxiety increases every day as he gets closer to the age my niece was when she died. 

My doctor said if the anxiety gets too bad to call her.  But she would  want to put me on medication.  Medication is not going to change the worry.  It's not going to change the fact that my niece died and that fear and memory is always in the forefront of my mind.  Each day that I get more anxious I am starting to have small panic attacks.  I called DH at work crying yesterday and begged him to come home b/c I thought something was wrong with our son.  This isn't good or healthy for anyone in our family, but I don't know how to make the anxious feelings go away.  

I want to be able to enjoy my son and this time with him without extreme worry and anxiety.  But I don't know how to make it go away, or if it is even possible.   I know all parents worry, but I need to get some control over this and I'm not sure how to do that. 
BabyFetus Ticker

Re: Anxiety about SIDS & everything in between

  • I think you should call your doctor. I know that meds won't change the fact that your niece died, but worrying so much won't prevent SIDS either. When your son reaches & passes the age of your niece will you feel relief? I'm guessing no.

    Sadly, we have to accept how very little control we have over, well, everything. I suffer from anxiety too, so I know it's not easy. But when I realized (in therapy) that I was spending most of my life worrying about events that were never going to happen, it was eye opening. I was spending my life on high alert "preparing" for events that were very unlikely to occur. Yes, they did occur to other people sometimes, but my worrying about them wasn't providing any protection from those events.

    Medication allowed me to distance myself from the anxiety so I could function better. I was amazed at how the quality of my relationships improved when I wasn't anxious.  Yes, all mothers worry, but you recognize that the level of your worry isn't healthy or productive.

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  • I agree with the pp about calling your doctor. Worrying about something happening to your LO isnt going to prevent it from happening and it is only going to be unhealthy for you and your family. I am a big worrier and my PPD med (prozac) has helped with a lot of my anxiety. You will always worry about LO because you are a mother, but it sounds like you are worrying to the extreme which is not healthy. I would definitly ask for help.
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  • As the mom of a micro preemie (born at 26 weeks and weighing 1lb4oz), I TOTALLY understand what you are going through. After my dd spent the first 4 months of her life in the NICU, I constantly worry about every little thing. Is she too hot, is that cough a signal that she is getting sick, is she eating enough? I wake up 3-4 times a night to make sure that she is breathing. I went to see a therapist to discuss these fears and she has really helped me work through them. One thing you can get is an Angelcare monitor ( This monitors the movement of your baby and if they stop moving for more than 20 seconds an alarm sounds. This may help relieve some of the anxiety that you will miss something. Also, I am assuming that you are a SAHM, which I am as well. I always make sure DD is within my line of sight throughout the day. I let her nap in her bouncer or on the couch next to me, this way I can constanlty check her. Trust me, that as time goes by the anxiety will lessen. I am a lot more relaxed now that when we first brought her home. Good Luck!

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