Mom, Are You Doing Ok?
I am writing this post to the new mom who is struggling. It may be because of your newborn and your/their new routine. It may be the overwhelming emotions you are experiencing due to hormones. It may be for no good reason at all.
I don't divulge my story, but I hope that if I share it will help you know that it is ok. If it doesn't help you, maybe your loved one will pick up on the cues. You are allowed to feel upset. You are allowed to cry. Your entire life changed in the blink of an eye, and your hormones are completely out of whack.
I'm going to take it back to my first child. The experience was entirely overwhelming. I looked at my baby for the first time and loved her entirely. Look at those eyes! How could anyone ever be upset to have given birth to such a sweet angel?
Everyone tells you the warning signs of postpartum depression. Are you isolating? Are you crying for no reason? Are you sad? Are you overwhelmed? How's your memory? How's your sleep? Has your eating habits changed? Have you lost your libido? Do you feel exhausted? Well, I hate to tell you Karen, but I checked almost all of those boxes while I was still pregnant. Now we added a newborn to the picture. And let me tell you the books do not prepare you when you are trying to establish a routine for yourself and a milk hungry babe.
Everyone focuses on the "depression" aspect postpartum. However, you don't often hear of the anxiety. I never once thought "I don't want this baby" or was uninterested in being a mom to my little. The feeling was entirely different. I loved her more than life itself. I would often get set off by the littlest things. My husband would leave a dish out and I would go to the darkest place. My thoughts would get away from me and I would picture her dying. Yes, dying in a variety of effed up ways. Hubby would offer to take her swimming or to the park so I could rest. I would envision her drowning and me not being there to provide CPR. Or getting in a serious car accident with my husband and I would be alone. My thoughts would run away.. I could not even have a child walk by baby without thinking someone was going to jump on her head so hard.. you get the point. I have had my second baby, and sometimes get a flicker of these thoughts, but can immediate distract myself and redirect. This did not come without some therapy and medication through my first little. So if your thoughts are running away, you feel sad but don't know why, and you love baby to the fullest, ask for help! It has not been a lifetime of medication or therapy, but a few sessions to talk to a professional with my hubby helped see something was wrong. A few days into the medication, my thoughts cleared and I was myself again.
I love the moms asking other moms if they are ok after giving birth to babe. A baby is no joke. I remember not even knowing which size clothes to put on, how many layers to put on, thinking was I swaddling right, or was I feeding baby the correct amount? It is all new and each child is different. You aren't alone in your thoughts. We are all overwhelmed and tired!