I was never claustrophobic before. I commuted on those crazy packed trains in Tokyo no problem. I’ve stepped onto packed elevators without a moments hesitation. I even liked to hide in the cupboards when I was a kid.
But one day, very early on in my first pregnancy, I was on my way to work and I got onto a very packed train. I remember thinking nothing of it, even as more and more people piled on behind me, I felt OK. Before I knew it I was crammed up against one of the doors next to three very tall (and smelly) dudes.
I then looked around and thought, wow this could feel very claustrophobic.
And then all of a sudden I was like, holy shit I’m feeling fucking claustrophobic.
Heat quickly rose up the back of my neck. I felt dizzy and I had trouble breathing, like all of the air had been sucked out around me. When the train stopped at the next stop I tried to make my way off.
But I was stuck.
I just remember thinking, don’t throw up, don’t throw up. I asked for some space and was able to at least put my hands on my knees where I then stared at my shoes and focused on my breath. I was only one stop away, I could do it.
I got off the train shaking and sweating and so close to tears. Wonderful way to start the work day, right?
The next morning I went to take the train again (I had to get to work!) and again, it was packed. Just seeing the line up of people nearly caused me to have an anxiety attack and so I waited on the platform for 30 minutes until there was a train that I could take. I may have been late for work but at least I didn’t lose my shit.
Since that day I can’t get on a packed train. Pregnant or not.
Even the thought of it makes my heart beat a little faster and my breath a little more shallow.
Have you experienced anything like this when you were pregnant? I feel like I’m way more sensitive to things like this and my overall anxiety and ability to handle stressful situations is very fragile.