This is my postpartum journey.
I call it a journey because even though my youngest is 11 months, I’m still trying to get back to where I was. It really is a process. This is my story…
I’m a mama of four.
After my first two pregnancy’s, I always felt fine. I barely had any of the typical“baby blues” after those births.
After my third, I noticed I was angry. I was angry at my kids and at my husband. I was quick to yell instead of talking it out; which is how I prefer to parent. Looking back I think I had some postpartum depression and that’s how it manifested.
I found an herbal anti-anxiety supplement that helped me. I did have some trauma through that pregnancy. My older daughter was diagnosed with hip dysplasia and had to have surgery on her hips. She was in a half body cast for 12 weeks. My grandfather died shortly after we found out we were pregnant.
The final blow was my grandmother (someone I was extremely close with) passed away. All of these things happened close to each other. I honestly didn’t deal with them; I couldn’t. I think some of that played into my depression after Miss H.
I didn’t seek any treatment other than the supplement and wasn’t officially diagnosed.
It was definitely more than just the regular baby blues and it lasted for months. The supplements helped my anger but didn’t really help the yelling. I actively looked for suggestions on how to help that and put them into action.
When we got pregnant with #4 we were over the moon! This was our final addition and we were excited to meet him/her.
Quickly, I started getting sick. I was nauseous ALL the time. If I wasn’t nauseous, nothing sounded good. I didn’t eat and then in turn would get nauseous. It was a vicious cycle.
I weighed less by the end of my first trimester than I had since before my second child. Also, I got diagnosed with kidney stones and was in constant pain. Both ailments continued through the whole pregnancy. It made it really hard to enjoy the pregnancy and I really wanted to as it was my last. Once our little baby came it got better! I was starving and we were all happy again.
Then one day…
…randomly four weeks later it was like a fog cleared for a second and I realized I had a hard baby. Like a really hard baby! I had just been in survival mode and by that I mean we didn’t go out anywhere.
I didn’t know what day it was (it was summer shortly after our little miss was born). I felt like I couldn’t talk about how hard it was for fear that people would accuse me of being ungrateful for the little miracle I had.
But, you guys she was HARD!
She would cry for hours without stopping, and like at the top of her lungs hard. Nursing was the only thing that would help and there were times that wouldn’t help either.
My hubby would try to help but only my presence would comfort her. I would tell my other kids “don’t touch her, she’s not crying” or “don’t touch her she’s crying”. My son broke down crying one day. He “just wanted to hold his baby sister”.
We all just wanted to hold her and enjoy her and there was no enjoying. Not to say I didn’t love her, I just needed a break. My doctor didn’t seem to believe me, out of the house she was better.
She didn’t cry in his office. He would tell me “babies cry, that’s what they do”. He would tell me the same thing until finally she did cry in his office and then he gave me gas drops.
My therapist was so supportive and confided in me that she had seen a change, was worried, and was waiting for me to talk. She was glad that I did. Honestly saying it out loud helped!
Admitting that something was wrong and getting it out of my head started the process of healing. Hearing her say that she knew, she could tell something was wrong even when I hadn’t said anything honestly made me a little sad.
I thought I was doing such a good job of faking it. Faking that I felt happy and not like I was slowly dying inside. I still didn’t want to do much.
I struggled everyday but I was aware of what was going on and wanted to fix it. I told a couple of other people and they were so supportive. It felt good to know I had a tribe of people that loved me no matter what and was there for me no matter what.
I started seeing a therapist in December.
I should’ve started earlier but I wasn’t ready for it before. I was officially diagnosed with postpartum depression and anxiety. I highly suggest seeing someone; it’s a game changer to have someone that isn’t in your life to talk to – no judgment just outside looking in.
Her first suggestion was to get out of the house away from the baby.
Yes! AWAY from the baby!
It took me days to tell hubby the prescribed treatment plan. Not that I didn’t think that he would be supportive of it, because I knew he would be. But, it riddled me with anxiety to just think about leaving her. She doesn’t cry it out, she just cries.
The longest I’ve let her go is 25 min and there was no stopping and no tiring out in sight. So, to leave her for an hour made me so anxious. When I finally got up enough courage to mention it to the hubby; he was totally on board and got me out very shortly after I told him (which is why I hesitated).
My moment alone.
That first hour was a game changer. No one touched me for a whole hour! I was so touched out. 8 months of being touched every second of my life and now for 3600 seconds – nothing!! It helped that I also went and ran on a treadmill for that hour. Running is my favorite and gets endorphins going which I so desperately needed!!
By December all things that I loved had fallen to the way side.
All that mattered was mommying and the responsibilities that came with it. I came back after that hour literally a new woman. My husband and my kids could see a change and I felt like the old me was coming back.
I’m working on me still. Baby dragon is easier than she was in the beginning but is still very much a fire breather. That’s ok, it’s our new norm and I can’t change her. We’ve just learned what that means. I still have days where I can’t kick the terrible thoughts I have but I’m learning coping skills and seeing my therapist weekly helps a ton.
I still have days where I mourn all that I didn’t get to enjoy, Idon’t remember much of her newborn stage. It hurts that she is my last and the stage I usually love (my other three were easy peasy) is a blur.
I try to focus on the fact that I got lots of snuggle time in even though I don’t remember it. One positive is when she’s happy, it’s like a rainbow after a storm.
It’s beautiful and instantly puts a smile on my face, it also helps when she’s in her stormy time.
To wrap this up
I just want to say to the mama struggling for whatever reason, it’s ok to not be ok. It’s ok to have thoughts and feelings that some may judge you for. Each of us have our own journey.
What’s not ok is to not reach out to someone. I know it’s hard to say the words out loud, so write it down, text it, slide it into a DM but don’t ignore it, don’t push it down until it’s too much.
Your kids need you, your neighbors, your friends, your siblings, your cousin, and heck even your mailman. We all need you!!!This mom life is hard but I promise you can do it!!! <3
About The Author
Hey there! I’ve been a mama for almost 9 years and I would fall under the hot mess category (don’t we all?). My goal with my blog is to just help mama’s feel confident in their hotmessery (that’s not a word but totally should be!) I hope you’ll come along and join me!!