“I AM NOT ALONE, LOVE AND SUPPORT SURROUNDS ME.”
This one is for all the mammas out in the world.
Four weeks and five days ago before 3:07pm someone could have explained to me how hard it will be to deal with your emotions after your baby is born but I would not have believed them. You do not hear much about post partum depression because for some reason it is a hush hush subject among woman. It is as if a woman admits she has it that some how she is failing as a mother. Which is exactly how I felt the moment I left the hospital.
Just like pregnancy you can not put the symptoms of PPD in a box. Not one woman is going to feel the same emotions as the next one. So how do we talk about something that woman get judged for and something that is different to each of us? I do not have the answer for that even though I wish I did, for now I will share my feelings with PPD and hope that you will share yours with me. Maybe, just maybe if we can talk about it to one person than we will not feel so alone.
As everyone knows I am a girl who is an open book and wears her emotions on her sleeves. You never have to wonder what I am thinking or how I am feeling because trust me you will know. Since I am an emotional woman who leads with her heart 99% of the time and not her head, I knew I was going to be some what emotional after our son was born. Oh boy….was I not prepared for the waves of feelings that hit me the second we left the hospital. I was walking out and my husband behind me holding our son, I suddenly felt anxiety of putting our new son in the car. Most of you know when I was 9 weeks pregnant two cars hit me and totaled my car, I dealt with PTSD from the incident for about a month. Those PTSD feelings came rushing back as I saw my husband put our sons carseat in. In my head I told myself the feeling will pass and to get my ass in the car.
Once we made it home I rushed to the bathroom and locked the door. I stood in front of the mirror and the tears came running down my face. Not just a little tear or a soft cry, it was an abundance of tears and a cry were I could not catch my breath. My husband unlocked the door and wrapped his arms around me. He held onto me while I cried for an hour straight. He did not ask what was wrong and he did not tell me to stop, he knew I needed to cry.
Over the next few days we had a lot of visitors which kept my mind occupied and my husband helped so much with our son but he could tell in my eyes their was some kind of sadness. On one of our last nights together before he had to go back overseas I broke down for the second time, except this time the sadness stayed for another week. When my husband came to sit with me I kept trying to tell him to go away, I was ashamed of my body and all its new scars. I was ashamed of my thoughts for being so sad when the most marvelous gift from God was just given to us. I felt ashamed I kept thinking about myself when all I should be thinking about is our son. I felt ashamed that in that moment I disliked my husband because he had to leave us to go back overseas. My husband held me like he did before and did not let anything I said bother him. He whispered words of encouragement and love….he is my rock. My support. My best friend. My lover. My everything. Yet I could not take what he said to heart because I knew tomorrow he was leaving and he would not be here to hold me like he was. Who was I going to turn too? The whole time he was home he took such good care of James, he felt the father instinct so quickly which honestly was an answer to prayers for him but I was jealous. Jealous he had such a bond with our son when our son did not actually feel like mine.
Once my husband left all the crying became more frequent but I kept it to myself. I would cry in the shower or in the closet when I was getting dressed. A fear inside of me was if I opened up to someone they would judge me or think I was mental or ungrateful. Our society does not exactly handle different or imperfection well. One of my biggest struggles was learning to love my new body. You know that is something you hear a lot from moms but you also hear “give yourself grace..you just had a baby”. Do not get me wrong, they are one hundred percent right but for a girl like me who had body image issues for all those years and finally became confident the year before I was pregnant…this was a lot to handle. I was the girl that would wake up on 4am to work out and run because it helped me emotionally and physically, so when I got pregnant and ran into issues that prevented me from working out like I use too that affected me. For me I needed to find a balance between giving myself grace but also being determined that by Christmas when my husband comes home I will look sexy as hell.
The day before my son turned two weeks old I was on the phone with my husband asking him if something was wrong with me, I knew I loved my son and would literally do anything to protect him but for some reason I did not feel like he was mine. The guilt set in that maybe it is my fault because I chose not to breast feed. Maybe that is why I do not have a connection with him just yet but my husband kept reassuring me nothing was wrong with me. He told me to confide in my best friends and close family, he believed that if I opened up I would realize I am not alone and than I would feel close to our son.
Later that night I opened up to my sister in law, my mom and best friends. My husband was right, I was not alone. Almost every one of them told me they dealt with a form of post partum too. They let me know even though they loved their babies it took time for them to feel like the baby was theirs because after all they are new to the world and you do not know them yet. They helped me with my guilt for not breast feeding and let me know formula is just as good because our son is eating and healthy.
A little while later I received a text from a dear person to me letting me know that they were going to a post partum group for moms at the hospital and if I wanted to tag along. I swallowed my pride, pushed my fear away and said yes.
Once the first two weeks of my sons life passed, opening up to family, going to the group and making sure I have ten minutes to myself a day, I have been able to push through these feelings and whenever a sad thought comes I am able to find an even happier one. I not only feel close to my son now but finally feel like he is mine. Every time I look at him I want to cry, a cry full of love. Now that I know I can push through these feelings I have confidence that no matter where this new road to mommy hood looks like that with my husband, family and best friends I can handle anything. Nothing will make me ashamed of feeling the way I do and everyday I will work harder and harder to become the woman, wife, mother, daughter, niece, and friend that I dream of. Not going to live a life of fear and bondage. We only have one life to live, so be open and reach out to loved ones. You are not alone. You are not crazy. You are a mamma. A badass mamma.
Thank you everyone for reading this lonnnnngggg blog post. You guys truly are the best followers! If anyone ever needs to talk. I am here for you.
Love you all <333