We’ve partnered with our friends at Pure Barre Bloomington, who are anticipating the launch of their studio right here in Bloomington in early 2018. Bloomington Moms Blog invited owner Sara Thornbury to share her journey with Postpartum Anxiety and how she found healing through Pure Barre.
This time last year I was overcome with self-doubt and constantly confused by my desire to hide from my responsibilities. I was living a life of continued panic, though I could not put my finger on what was wrong.
On September 19th, 2016, my husband and I welcomed our third child into this world, a beautiful baby boy. There were zero complications with both the pregnancy and delivery. We happily went home from the hospital after 24 hours. I was overjoyed and excited to see how our two older children were going to react to their new brother. And, just as I had hoped, it was seamless.
Life was good… and then it wasn’t.
After a few days came the sleep deprivation. Little did I know my breast milk supply was extremely low. Therefore, my son was always hungry. Strangely enough, getting Mastitis was a blessing in disguise. It forced me to pump, which made me realize I wasn’t producing enough milk. Around this time, I remember the panic started to overcome my natural ability to be calm.
An overwhelming feeling of anxiety had overtaken my existence, just like that.
I honestly can’t say if it was my inability to produce milk that caused my anxiety, or if it was my anxiety that caused me not to be able to produce milk. Or maybe there was no correlation. All I do know is this: I constantly felt as though I was falling behind in my responsibilities in life and letting my family down.
Was this really happening? No, of course not. I wasn’t able to keep up with the laundry some days, and possibly forgetting to have my older kids brush their teeth before bed, but I was definitely not letting anyone down.
But why did I feel this way?
My three children were happy and healthy. My wonderfully supportive and loving husband was always there to help. There was no reason for me to feel like I was drowning in anxiety. Still,
- My breath randomly quickening in times throughout my day scared me.
- All of the sudden I despised going out in public.
- I was so overwhelmed that my hands would tremor.
- I was in a constant state of worry.
Admitting something was wrong.
About four months after our youngest was born, I went to dinner with two dear friends. I do not know where I found the courage to describe to them what was happening to me, but I did without any reluctance. I will never forget how they responded to my plea for help. They both casually said to me, “It sounds like you are struggling with postpartum anxiety.”
I knew postpartum depression was something women struggled with, but I didn’t even know postpartum anxiety was a thing. Then, to my surprise, they both opened up and admitted to me they too struggled with anxiety. It was this specific night of pure, honest, and open communication that helped me realize I wasn’t crazy!
The ability to put a name to what I was feeling and struggling with was life-changing.
I went home that night and researched Postpartum Anxiety and set goals to somehow combat this debilitating mindset that had taken over my life.
My first step was to accept that I indeed had Postpartum Anxiety, and the second step was to believe in my ability to overcome it. It was hard for me to not put myself last, but it was time to focus on my needs: my mental, emotional, and physical health. I remember that I started to allow myself to take naps with the baby when the two older kids were at school. The extra sleep helped me to have the positive energy to happily move throughout the rest of my day. I was able to focus on my older kids when they came home from school.
Plus, I started making delicious, nutritious meals for myself and my family by using whole foods, and nothing processed. I learned to truly love cooking, because I quickly learned how the food I was making was helping with my overall psyche and attitude. Lastly, I became more active. I took up Pure Barre.
Pure Barre and my road to recovery.
Pure Barre is a total body workout that lifts your seat, and tones your thighs, abs, and arms by utilizing the ballet barre to perform small, isometric movements. It was within these 50 minutes of movement where I could tune out my daily tasks and focus on me. I was hooked. The positive change I needed to happen didn’t come overnight, or even within a week. But with each passing day, following my new lifestyle was a little bit easier.
And, I can tell you that even through the holiday season I am not combating Postpartum Anxiety. I am proud to say that I no longer feel as though I am suffocating in self-doubt. I am no longer experiencing insomnia, or sporadic shortness of breaths, and I am not in a constant state of worry. A lot of days it was hard to stay focused. It would have been easy to fall back into the trap of a foggy state of anxiety, but I didn’t.
I am no longer combating Postpartum Anxiety.
I don’t know where I would be today if I had not had that honest, heart-to-heart conversation with my friends last year. If you are experiencing anything at all, whether it is anxiety or not, I urge you to talk to someone. We need to honestly lift each other up as moms, and women, and by doing so we can create such a strong community.
Pure Barre in Bloomington.
It was because of my own experience that I decided I wanted to create such a community for others. I wanted a community focused on lifting spirits, providing clarity, and providing an outlook to help create health, physically and emotionally. With that being said, I am so incredibly excited to be bringing Pure Barre to Bloomington! I have created a team of amazing, strong, and compassionate women who are counting down the days until they see you in the studio. We are setting goals for 2018, and number one is to lift up the women of Bloomington to their highest points. Whether you are looking for a new workout regimen, workout wear, a conversation, or a friend, the Pure Barre Bloomington team will be here for you. Let us come together through Pure Barre and start the new year strong!
Sara Thornbury was raised in the Midwest and moved to Bloomington almost six years ago with her husband, Dave. She grew up having a passion for dance, and it has been a part of her life since she learned to walk. Combining her interest in dance and strong belief in living a healthy lifestyle, as well as her desire to reach out to her community makes Pure Barre a perfect fit. After being a stay-at-home mom for almost seven years to their three children, Sara is excited to be a part of the Pure Barre franchise with her husband’s blessing and support. By opening a Pure Barre in Bloomington, Sara hopes to benefit the community by providing her clients with a higher level of balance in their personal quest to achieve a healthy body, mind, and spirit. “I passionately believe in Pure Barre, my community, and my ability to bring the two together in a very positive way”. When Sara is not at the studio she enjoys spending her time at her family’s hobby farm out in the country where they have many chickens and harvest honey. She also loves cooking healthy meals, discovering the outdoors with her adventurous children and husband, and enjoying all of the wonderful things Bloomington has to offer.