AMAZING!! The only way to describe the feeling I had when I gave birth to my 1st child. It seemed like I was pregnant FOREVER! After being in labor for over 43 hours, it was a prize well worth the wait. Kyle slept well while we were in the hospital (I never sent him to the nursery) and only cried when he was hungry or needed a diaper change.
Fast forward to day 3, my husband and I have made it home with our new addition. My mom and mother-in-law are over our house visiting the baby and guess where I am? In our bedroom, upset and crying my eyes out. This is the best time of my life, why would I be crying? Well, I’m crying because I don’t think I’m producing enough breast milk to feed my baby. In my mind, I’m starving my baby and he will die because my breasts aren’t providing enough food for him. My husband tells me everything is ok but I argue him down because I’m a horrible mom at only 3 days in. My mom tells me to give him formula but that’s like the end of the world to me.
Today, as I look back on that day, it seems so trivial to me but back then, I was completely devastated that I possibly can kill my child from not feeding him strictly breast milk. Little did I know this was only the beginning of my postpartum depression journey. Postpartum depression can be explained here: PPD.
About a week in, I realize that I was really EXHAUSTED! Like not just tired, worn out. When Kyle woke up, I woke up. During the day when Kyle was sleeping, I was pumping milk. I never got any rest. I always wanted to do everything for Kyle because again, in my mind, I was a bad parent if I didn’t take care of my baby 100% of the time. I never let my husband do anything without me standing there watching and critiquing him (kudos to him by the way for all of the support he gave me). I wanted Kyle to stay with me all day and all night. I did this for about 3-4 months. Everyone thought I was crazy and I guess for a lack of better words, I was.
I was able to get through postpartum depression without harming myself, my child or anyone else. I was able to get through without medication or counseling but some people are not that lucky. Sometimes they need someone to help them even when they don’t ask for help. They might need someone to step in and help them see that they are overwhelmed and tired. Be that support system for that mom who is trying to do everything on her own. She’ll appreciate it in the long run.
A few things you can do to help cope with postpartum depression are:
- Me Time – All moms need time to themselves
- Share the load – Let dad share some of that responsibility (it took both of you to make the baby anyway)
- Get some rest – You are at your best for your baby when you are well rested
- Don’t stay alone with baby all the time – Get out and meet some other moms for a mom day out or something similar
- Communicate – Let someone know how you feel and when you feel overwhelmed.
- Know your support system – Narrow down a list of people who truly care about your well-being and lean on them for support.
Thanks for reading!