When you are a first-time mom, I feel confident enough to say nothing truly prepared me for what came after the birth.
I read the books, saw the videos, heard the stories, babysat, cleaned the diapers of any parent crazy enough to give their child up. And yet, the one thing nothing talked about, that one thing no one told me about, “baby blues.”
Baby blues by definition is different than PPD (post-partum depression). With baby blues, they last a couple of weeks only and go away quickly on its own. PPD more times than not require some form of medical intervention, whether through medication or therapy and can last from months to years if untreated.
With me, PPD nor Baby-Blues ever crossed my mind. It was never even a possibility for me. My pregnancy, though full of trips to the toilet to puke my brains out, was happy and content. That doesn’t mean I had no idea about PPD. I knew a couple of close family members and friends that dealt with it. For me, it never seemed to be a real thing.
Then came one of the happiest day of my life. I had my beautiful baby boy. I managed to survive pushing “the thing,” as I called him in the middle of labor, unmedicated. He came out, clean, healthy, and even more beautiful than I could have ever imagined him to be. I felt great right after surprisingly, didn’t need an episiotomy (TMI sorry), didn’t tear (again, sorry TMI), all I wanted was a shower and food. So about 20 minutes after my baby was born, the pizza was on its way, and I was requesting a nurse for a shower. This is the point where things began to change for me.
The ten steps that it took me to get from the bed to the bathroom were horrible. I was severely lightheaded and had to admit to the nurse I didn’t think I could make it back to the bed. The nurse quickly helped me sit on the toilet, told me to take deep breaths and she would give me a hand back. After that, I didn’t feel quite ‘right’ for a couple of weeks.
I got the joy of having two blood transfusions and two extra days in the hospital. My husband had to get me the baby for a good week after, because I was afraid if I stood with him I would faint.
It was hard I felt like I had just started my role as a mother and was already failing. I couldn’t get up to get my child when he needed me, and I had to rely on someone else.
I also struggled with breastfeeding in the beginning. I was an overproducer, so I was in constant pain and in fear of mastitis (which I somehow magically avoided), and my sons suction was tearing my poor nipples up.
Yes I know, all sorts of TMI here, again, sorry.
The days were long. I remember sitting on the couch, my son in his swing, calmly, being the best baby I could have ever asked for. My husband cleaned all diapers for the first three weeks. I only touched him to feed him.
I recall how my husband would ask me daily what was wrong, why was I crying? My response was always the same. I DONT KNOW. By this point, I could walk, and I was no longer reliant on him. Reality is, I didn’t know why I felt so much sadness. There was nothing I could pinpoint what was triggering the feeling of hopelessness.
So on it went, random times of the days, I’d cry for ten minutes and then go on with life as if nothing happened. Day after day, for about five weeks. Then one day I just stopped crying. The feelings went away. I no longer felt constantly sad, and for the first time I could carry and look at my son and enjoy being in his presence without the fear that I would break out in tears.
Once the fog lifted, I began to research. What had plagued me? What was this thing that was such a taboo to talk about? So I spent weeks reading and learning. It was interesting to read that both baby-blues and PPD were common that we could expect.
It’s so important to learn about baby-blues and PPD and to seek help especially when the When you are a first-time mom, I feel confident enough to say nothing truly prepared me for what came after the birth.baby-blues seem to linger.
So many mothers are criticized and judged for thinking or having these feelings, something that is so common. Rather than keep this to ourselves we should strive to talk about it, take it out of the shadows, get it out of the taboo sections. The more we embrace and empower ourselves and those we know who deal with this secret ‘ illness,’ the more that women hear about it, the easier it is to treat and learn that you are not alone.
For those of you that have ever experienced or are experiencing baby blues or PPD, know you are not alone. You are not the first person to feel like that, nor will you be the last. But know you are amazing!
To those of you who have experienced or are experiencing “baby blues” or PPD, I hope that you are aware that you are not alone. You are human, and you are amazing. And more importantly, seek help, this is not something to be ashamed of.
For more information on PPD go here.
To learn more on the difference of baby-blues vs PPD go here.