Postpartum hormones are the real deal.
The same hormones that can make birth so glorious and euphoric, have the ability to make the postpartum months…difficult.
I wasn’t depressed according to the survey performed at the birth center.
At least not right away.
At least not a terrible case.
But depression or not, it’s real.
The first month honestly wasn’t that hard. It was before the monotony of routines set in.
Everything was still new and fresh.
And brand new babies sleep a lot.
Months one and two got hard.
A week of bad sleep is okay. But months of bad sleep starts to wear on you.
I had this with Malachi and thought I could keep it from happening again.
We hired a friend to help around the house while I was healing.
Thought it was just a first kid thing.
Hoped this baby wouldn’t be as fussy.
Elimited every obligation and stress from my life before giving birth.
Said no to everything so I wouldn’t have anxiety.
And I felt guilty because there was no reason for it.
Maybe if I had had a traumatic birth. But I had my dream birth.
Maybe if there were complications with the baby. But he was perfectly healthy.
Maybe if we struggled to pay our medical bills. But we had set aside the money we needed.
Maybe if I didn’t have family and friends to support me. But I was surrounded by caring people.
It felt uncontrollable and unjustified.
That made it worse.
Nice weather, a clean home, working out, eating well. They all helped.
But it was inescapable. I couldn’t run from it even though I was doing everything “right.”
Maybe I was depressed. There were good days and bad days.
But the bad days were very bad.
I felt helpless, fatigued, impatient, lonely, anxious, sluggish, and guilty.
I had my hands full, but I was bored to tears.
I was restless, but I didn’t want to go anywhere.
I couldn’t fathom leaving the house by myself with both kids.
“At least he’s here. At least I’m not still pregnant,” I’d remind myself.
“I’d rather get up to feed the baby than empty my bladder five times a night.”
“This is definitely our last biological child!”
It helped too.
I don’t have an answer to the hormonal / emotional problem. I haven’t discovered a magic herb or healing remedy.
I’m not sure I’m completely out of the woods yet, at just 3 months postpartum.
It takes baby steps. Quality friends. Prayer. Taking risks and overcoming obstacles.
One day it just got a lot better. I was suspicious at first. It was almost too sudden.
Shiloh started sleeping in his crib a bit more which freed me from the couch.
I felt the prayers of others.
I started blogging more.
I made plans with friends and stuck to them so I had to get out of the house.
I adventured out with both kids and gained courage each time.
The first time I got out alone, I was at a park to meet a friend. I wore the baby and pushed the toddler. They were both happy.
My inner dialogue, over and over: “I am freaking awesome.”
There’s no easy answer. Hormones are truly mysterious things.
But I write so if you feel like this, you know you’re not alone.
There is no shame.
It’s okay to be sad for no reason.
It won’t last forever.
It doesn’t make you a terrible person.
It doesn’t mean you don’t love your kids to pieces.
Feeling burnt out some days doesn’t make you less of a mother.
It just makes you human.
A freaking awesome human.