Sunday, January 13, 2019

The Truth About "The Baby Blues"

There is so much talk about postpartum depression and I am so happy that women are able to be open and honest about their experiences.  However, I feel like not enough is discussed about the "Baby Blues" which is far more common than postpartum depression yet rarely discussed.  Even though short-lived, the Baby Blues are a real thing. Although not as severe as postpartum depression,  it's serious enough for moms to need to open up about so they do not feel alone.

The second night at the hospital is when it began.  My husband decided to spend the night home with our son, Gavin, since he had already been away from us the first night Savannah was born.  Once evening came around, the room felt so dark and sterile.   I looked around and felt so lost.  I felt alone even though I had my perfect daughter in my arms.  I missed my son so much that I was in tears in the hospital bed.  He was home with Daddy while I was recovering the hospital and "bonding" with my baby.  I just wanted to hold him, kiss him.  Somehow I felt I had lost my relationship with him because my daughter was born.  The feeling would not shake and I had so much trouble sleeping that night in the hospital room.  One night felt like a year.

Fast forward to a few days later and I was home with both kids and felt much more like myself than I did in the hospital.  A friend came over to meet Savannah and explained how she spent a lot less time with her first child when her second was born because she was "needed" more.  I started to cry.. actually sob.  I was convinced my relationship with Gavin was tainted forever.  You see, hormones after pregnancy are no joke.  I literally felt no control over my emotions.  As a person that is usually the type to get herself together pretty quickly, it was like I was suddenly this sensitive, delicate soul that people had to walk on eggshells around.

It was not me.

I felt so anxious, like I couldn't shake the feeling.  The best way I could describe it is, "out of sorts."  I noticed when it started to get dark out, I started to have this sense of anxiety and sadness.  Feeling this way also made me feel guilty for not being overjoyed or appreciative of my perfect daughter.

I opened up to my Mom and my husband and told them that my hormones felt so out of wack.  My Mom said she felt the exact same way when I was born and it was the "Baby Blues".  Then I did what every millennial Mom would do:  I googled it.  Dr. Google told me that almost 80% of Moms experience the baby blues.  How could that be?  No one has ever warned me of this or told me that they experienced this.  That is, until I started opening up to other Moms.

  You see, your body has been through a trauma at the birth of your child.  A beautiful, magical trauma but albeit a trauma.  Many women struggle, like myself, to open up because of the guilt you feel for being sad amongst one of the happiest times of your life.  Luckily, after about a week and a half, I started to feel much more like myself.   I was one of the lucky ones.

I realized that motherhood is often times a dichotomy.  Feeling overjoyed yet scared at the same time.  Exhausted but grateful for the reason you are so tired.  The journey feels overwhelming yet so simple and beautiful at the same time.

Ever After,