Have you heard of the "baby blues"? I hadn't heard of them until I was in the hospital being discharged with Liam. The doctor on call stopped by my room and told me what to expect when I got home. She told me what to expect physically and then she casually said "you may experience the baby blues and if it doesn't get better in a week or two, call us". I didn't think to ask questions, so I just said "okay" and went back to snuggling Liam.
When I got home from the hospital my mom was here helping Joe and I. I was doing great and so happy. But after day 2 or 3 at home, out of nowhere, I started sobbing at dinner. I told my mom and Joe that I was so scared. I was scared Liam wasn't okay (he was sleeping right next to us), scared something would happen to him, and even scared for the day that Joe went back to work (in 6 weeks!). None of it made sense to me, but I couldn't stop crying. It's all these feelings at once, it felt so overwhelming and also so not me.
Everyone's experience is different and there is no quick fix. Heck some women might not get these feelings, I don't know. But it would have been nice to know how intense these feelings can be and that they come out of nowhere. Over the next two weeks, I cried everyday like clockwork. I would be great in the mornings, talking openly with Joe and my family saying "how insane was my breakdown last night? I don't know why that's happening because I'm so happy right now!" But by like 6pm I would be sobbing and having these intense emotions. I was so confused and annoyed because I felt so lucky to have Liam healthy and here safe.
At one point I laid in my bed crying in my moms arms and thought "why am I crying!". It got to the point that she and I sat there googling "baby blues vs postpartum depression". I didn't know what was happening, but after a few days and hearing Joe and my mom tell me it was normal, I finally accepted the fact that my hormones were raging and I had no control.
It is normal to cry and have intense feelings after giving birth. Your hormones are going crazy! I was told that it would pass and guess what - it did. Like everything in pregnancy and postpartum, it passed and with everyday I feel more and more like myself and less like a blubbering blob! While I can't stop those feelings from happening in the future or for you, below are 4 things I did and still do to try and stay positive and keep my spirits up while still in the newborn stage!
- Texting friends who've been though it and being honest about how you're feeling. They've been there! They get it and it's nice to just bitch to someone. If you need advice, ask for it! If you just want to vent, do it. Your girlfriends will get it and offer support. I am so lucky to have friends and family who have been there for me throughout this journey. It really does help to talk about how you're feeling whether it's to a friend, your mom or partner.
- Writing down one thing a day that was positive. This is something I am going to do all year. I have a note in my phone with the date and I write down something that happened that day that made me happy. So far some days literally say "Liam", while others are as simple as "walk outside" or "glass of wine". Looking back at this list reminds me that while some days are hard, each day has something good in it.
- Picking a show that isn't depressing. Lord knows I love a good mystery or thriller, but during this time you really need to binge something easy. My show was Downton Abbey. Yes, there are depressing parts in the show, but it's overall not too dramatic.
- Don't Google baby stuff. While I did just write that I Googled baby blues, this means don't Google things about your baby. Google is the scariest place for "what ifs" in my opinion. There is never a straight forward 100% accurate answer for your question. If your baby has a rash, ask your doctor. If your baby won't take a bottle, ask BumbleBaby. Seek resources that are legit or ask your mom friends.
I hope sharing my experiences helps other future moms. Becoming a mom is the most amazing thing, but it's hard as hell and I hope I can help in some small way. No feeling lasts forever and if you're really struggling, please talk to your doctor. There is help out there and all your kid needs is for you to be the best version of yourself, no matter what that looks like.