There is a subject I havnt really touched on yet, but I feel that now is the time. That subject is the 'baby blues'. The baby blues are basically a less serious/intense version of postpartum depression.The reason I am bringing it up is because for the first two months post partum, I had the baby blues. Of course I didnt want to talk about it at the time because I didnt want to admit to it. But now that I am past it, I think it's time to be honest. After all, that was the idea behind this blog ... honesty.
The baby blues started pretty much right away. I think it was really a continuation from the heightened hormones that I was already dealing with at the end of my pregnancy. I was aware that it was common to feel very hormonal right after delivery, but I wasnt prepared for it to continue past that.
It started with feelings of being overwhelmed because I was learning so much in just a few days and was trying to recover at the same time. The thoughts of going home were scary because I was afraid I wouldnt know what to do. These are all normal for a new mom.
The first few weeks I had a lot of help with the house and with James, but despite that I was still feeling overwhelmed and often cried at night. The tears would build and build during the day but not wanting anyone to worry about me, I would hold it all in. Some days I found myself watching the clock, waiting until it was an acceptable bed time so I could turn off the lights and let it out.
I started feeling guilty about the way I was feeling. I felt that if James saw me crying that he would think it was because I didnt love him, which couldnt be further from the truth! I would feel anxious and thought there was something wrong with me because this was supposed to be the happiest time of my life. I started thinking about how some mothers have depression so bad that they hurt their kids. I started feeling guilty about that too, even though I could never harm a hair on his head. In other words I was feeling guilty for things that I hadnt even done and would never do! I thought I was going insane!
Then the guilt turned towards my relationship with Josh. Because I was spending so much time caring for James and hiding my baby blues, I felt that I wasnt paying enough attention to him and was afraid he would think I didnt love him when the truth was that I needed him more than I ever had. But of course I didnt want him to see me sad, because I knew it would make him sad and make him worry. I was a mess.
I also avoided friends and came up with excuses as to why they couldnt visit because I didnt have the energy to entertain anyone. I just wanted to be left alone with my little baby. Who knew that letting them in would be the key to feeling better.
I did eventually open up about it. I told Josh and my mom how I'd been feeling and they both immediately started making me feel better. I became more honest about where I was each day and started feeling less alone, less isolated.
It was when we hit the 2 month mark that I really started feeling like myself again. I started inviting people over more, going out more and started having more motivation to do stuff :) Of course I still have my moments, but being a new mom is a tough job so it's to be expected and I am learning to be more patient with myself.
This is all normal and women shouldnt feel ashamed the way I did. I am very happy to be past it and now can just enjoy each day with my little boy! :)