When my daughter was born I was a mix of emotions. Mentally and physically exhausted from the intense 5.5 hour labor with two full hours of pushing. My daughter was in the NICU and i couldn’t hold her for a full 12 hours. I was so nervous about breastfeeding and the fact that I couldn’t feed her right away. There was so many moving pieces and changes. Baby blues was not something I prepared for my pregnancy. Honestly, I didn’t even know about it until the day before I left the hospital. I knew postpartum existed but I did not know there was something in between normal and that.
So I was in short a basket case, even though my husband was there the entire time. After I was able to hold her I was over joyed how easy breastfeeding came. I woke up every three hours and made the painful walk to the NICU. even through all the pain, I found happiness. That was until we got home and the baby blues hit.
At first I was fine at home, especially since my mother had come out to see her birth. We live in California and our entire family is in Texas. She would hold her when I wasn’t feeding her and I was able to nap as needed. We were so happy to be home!
My animals were super excited to meet the newest addition as well! The first time they met, I was nervous! I had two dogs and one of them was only 10 months old!! He did so well though especially since he is a medium sized dog. My biggest fear was jumping on her but he did great!!
Everything was going as well as it could be for two parents adjusting to a newborn. That is until my mom left to go back to Texas. The worst part was on the way to taking her to the airport my daughter started screaming because she was hungry. It was such a struggle to feed her in the car and I started to cry. I was so upset that my mom was leaving and stressed out that she would miss her flight.
We arrived at the airport and she had about an hour before take off. Saying goodbye was so hard and I never thought it would be. I cried the entire way home and thats when the blues started to creep their way in.
When The Baby Blues Hit
When she left, it all started to crumble. I would feel like I was waiting for the mom of my child to come pick her up. Being so overwhelmed and lost I thought what had I done? This was mainly because when I found out I was pregnant I was about to finish pursing my Bachelors. Receiving my degree was my most important goal. No one in my family had accomplished this.
I would pass my child to my husband and I’d go into the kitchen or our bedroom and I’d cry. I’d ask myself why had I been so careless, why don’t I want to watch her sleep or hold her the entire time, will I ever get my degree, and will I be stuck at my job forever. All these questions made me feel so selfish and that only made it worse.
Baby blues hit me hard and I wasn’t prepared. Caring for my child was not an issue but I didn’t care for myself. I went days without showering, I only wore pajamas, I barely ate, and I let myself cry alone even though I had support right in the other room.
I would beg my husband to go somewhere so that I could feel normal again. This usually never went well because my daughter would get hungry and lose it in the store. She was only about a week or two when we brought her out. Now I know what you are thinking. That is one of the worst things you can do, however I needed it. I needed to get out plus we needed groceries. We kept her car seat covered and she was always warm. Being a new mom is hard and you need to get outdoors. Fresh air helps so much but when it is the winter time, stores are the next best thing.
In the hospital they give you a small brochure saying that baby blues will happen. The brochure says if it lasts longer than six weeks tell your doctor. What they don’t tell you is how awful you feel because you are struggling with loving your child. It’s impossible to admit these things today because you think you’ll be judged. So if you’re like me, you do it alone so no one could know especially if you’re a first time mom like me. My husband eventually would find me and make me talk, which by the way sucks but helps so much.
Talking about it and knowing you aren’t crazy and all of this is completely normal. Let me say that again in case you weren’t reading, it’s normal!!! Your hormones are uncontrolled, you’re exhausted, and to top it off you and your child now have to learn a new routine together. However, if it lasts longer than six weeks or you start having self harming thoughts or can’t take care of your child, reach out and get help. Again this is normal and nothing to be ashamed of, you will survive this and it will be so worth it.
How I Coped
How I survived was mostly because my husband. He forced me to talk about it and would take our baby for four hours so I could sleep for 5-6 hours straight. Then, when I visited the doctor at 3 weeks, I thought my stitches ripped, she made me feel normal. She said it’s okay to feel overwhelmed and think “what have I done”. It took about six full weeks to start feeling like myself. However, it took about two months total to fully bond to my daughter. Thankfully breastfeeding came easy to us but had it been harder, I probably wouldn’t of recovered as fast mentally.
If you are going through this, you are not alone. Follow these simple steps to hopefully get a little light on your dark days. These steps helped me and I hope they will help you too:
- Do one thing for yourself. This could be as simple as putting on clothes as long as it makes you feel good. If you need ideas, head over to my post about self care.
- Talk about how you feel. Keeping what you feel trapped inside will not make it any better. If anything it will continue to snowball.
- Ignore the household chores! Dishes, laundry, or tidying up can all wait until tomorrow. You and you child are developing a routine, this is exhausting!!
- Remember that you and your child are getting to know each other and this takes time. It will not happen over night no matter how fast you bond.
- Tell yourself three positive things when you are in a dark place. Even if it is small like The sun is out. Positivity is powerful and one small ray of light is enough to give hope. Repeat every time you feel down
- Last but not least, LET PEOPLE HELP YOU! I get this is hard sometimes, I do, I am so independent. However, there is a reason the saying is, it takes a village!! Call a friend so you can shower or nap, people LOVE babies! Plus when they are this young they sleep the whole time!
I also recommend trying aromatherapy! I was given a couple of blends and I really wish I would have used them more! If you want to try your hand at it, here are some awesome oils that helped me get through! Lemon, Hope, and Lavender. You can diffuse them, smell them straight out of the bottle, or you can dab some on your hands and inhale. I have found that this coupled with the steps above can really make a difference!
You Are Amazing
So to all the moms out there, whether you instantly bonded or it took you days, weeks, months, or however long, you are amazing. You are doing a great job and the best you can. Get help when you need it, don’t force yourself to do it alone because you are ashamed. There is nothing to be ashamed of!
Baby blues and postpartum happen, your body is adjusting.People love to hold babies, so reach out to family or friends. Let them support you so you can take care of yourself. You deserve a little self care after spending 9 months creating your perfect tiny human.
Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed my post, if you did leave me a quick comment on your thoughts! Don’t forget to share or like!