I want to have an honest conversation.
About something I think LOTS of woman experience
after they have a baby...
The Baby Blues
There is so much more emotion going on after having a baby besides happiness.
Don't get me wrong
there is a lot of happiness
But there are another range of emotions
that can hit you like a freight train.
They can be isolating
They can be small things
or big things
I can admit right now-
I am afraid
of doing something to hurt my baby
or making a mistake.
Doing something or causing something irreversible that I can never undo.
Ryan tells me this is because I love her so much.
He listens to every stupid fear and worry.
He tells me he loves me
and lets me know I can always talk to him
no matter what.
He believes the best in me
and tells me everyday what a great mom I am.
Are you struggling with emotions after baby?
Don't be afraid to talk about it!
The worst thing you can do
is hold it all inside.
Talk to your husband,
even a counselor
It was scary until I let it out.
Until I realized this was normal-
That right now with my hormones
my thinking is not always rational.
I am going to share something I never have before on this blog.
I have OCD.
No, I don't have to wash my hands a million times
But I have it
and for a long time it scared me to death.
I had panic attacks
and was so overloaded with anxiety and worries
that I had a hard time dealing with anything else.
No one on the outside could ever tell,
I hid it so well.
Except that I was kind of angry and mean.
That I wasn't happy.
I think partially because I didn't know what it was
but also because I was ashamed.
I thought something was wrong with me.
I would have intrusive thoughts
that I didn't want to have.
All people have scary or discerning thoughts
the difference for me with OCD is like this:
Imagine our minds are like and email inbox.
Most people don't open spam.
They don't open messages that are trying to sell them something
they don't want
unless they really want to open it.
I feel the need to open every. single. email.
Whether I want to read it or not I feel like I have to open it.
Why else would someone send me an email?
I am afraid that every thought I have
is true. or a desire. or a inner bad person just waiting to come out.
Ryan always tells me my mind is a scary place.
I agree sometimes.
But once I realized I had OCD
and I started working on fighting it
life was so.much.better!
It was like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders.
I still had to manage my anxiety
but the worst was over.
Or so I thought...
I had no problems at all.
Every once in a while
it would try to creep back in
in one form
but I was too good for it now
I knew how to fight it
I was strong.
So very strong.
This was in part to my own actions to deal with it
and also checking in with my counselor every month or two.
I knew when I got pregnant
that the baby could trigger new fears and obsessions.
I tried not to dwell on it.
I would face it when it came.
I would be prepared.
I talked to Ryan about before the baby even came.
We were on guard
keeping a careful eye out
and checking in with one another.
For the first six weeks
everything was a dream.
I had no mood swings
I did worry
but it was about normal new moms things.
Then due to allergy problems
and reflux we had to switch to a special formula.
My milk dried up
and my hormones began to change.
My hair started falling out
and I was worrying about everything.
Imagined worst possibilities.
OCD rearing it's ugly head.
But I told you
I was prepared.
Ryan was prepared.
I already had appointments set up with
my counselor to check in.
So here I am fighting it again.
Some days are really easy.
I am happy and calm.
I don't worry
I don't worry too much.
But some days are hard
and I get scared
but then I tell myself
this is life.
This is the real stuff.
The scary stuff you have to face that makes you who you are.
It's not the fears that define you
but rather how you face the fear.
I know it will get better.
I know that giving up to the feelings of panic and fear
won't make me the mommy I want to be.
And I also know I could never do it alone.
So if you,
who ever you may be,
don't try to do it alone.
New mothers can go through a range of emotions, fears, and anxieties
OCD, Baby Blues, general anxiety
Take good care of yourself.
Talk about what you are experiencing.
Share it with someone who will help,
and love you through it.
The more we talk about it
the less scary it becomes.
Suggestions for dealing with Postpartum Issues
01. Stay active! Get out of the house and get some fresh air every day. Stay moving. Go for a walk, pick up the house. Keep your mind busy.
02. Talk to your partner about your emotions. Knowing you have your partners love and support will do wonders for your mind. Even though you may know deep down they care- hearing it can make all the difference sometimes!
03. Take care of yourself. Even if it is just a shower. Feeling clean and good about yourself will help your mood. Set aside time everyday to pamper yourself. Have the husband watch the baby while you take a long bath or read for a little while. Investing time in yourself, is investing in your baby. Your baby needs the best mommy possible and a happy mommy makes for a happy baby.
04. Talk to other moms! This one is a no brainer. Talking to my mom about my fears made me feel so much better. Even moms who do not have postpartum blues or OCD have fears sometimes need to talk. We are responsible for another life- that's a scary but beautiful business!
05. Eat the good stuff. Eating right can make all the difference in your mood. Eat lots of fruit and veggies. Don't skip meals. Keep taking your prenatal vitamins.
06. Don't make your life all about baby. Keep crafting if you enjoy it. Go out for a girls night if you need it. Sometimes as a new mom it's easy to become obsessed about your new little life but making time for other things in your life helps create balance. Balance is good.
07. Keep your postpartum doctors appointment! Duh! These people are trained to deal with new mommy stuff. Don't be afraid to talk to your doctor about what you are going through. They were trained to handle these sort of emotions.
08. Go easy on yourself. This is a hard one for me. But you have to cut yourself some slack sometimes. There will be mistakes and it will not be perfect. That is unrealistic and you have to be able to let go and realize you are doing the very best you can. Worrying about making a mistake isn't going to make it not happen. You have to trust yourself.
09. Don't be afraid of medication. If you need it you need it. It's ok. This was also a hard one for me. As of right now I don't take medication but if it comes to that I will do it. It's not that something is wrong with me as a person, with my character. It's a chemical imbalance. Some chemical imbalances can be fixed with therapy and sometimes medication is needed. It doesn't make you any less of a good mom.
10. Enjoy your baby! Don't let fear keep your from bonding. Fight for that bond. Don't let fear of making a mistake or doing something wrong keep your at a distance from your baby. Cling to that love you have for him/her. Whenever I hold Charlie I know how much I love her. I know that it is a pure love that never ends. I know that I would do anything for her. She is precious to me and that gets me every time.