*Contents in this post could have triggers, please proceed in reading this with caution. This post is not meant to upset anyone in anyway, but to express emotions and feelings on my part. Any stories in this post that bare actual resemblance to a real story are purely coincidental. I am not a medical professional, and nothing I ever post should be taken as medical advice, if you feel in anyway wrong or that you are experiencing symptoms of any ailments such as but not limiting too postpartum depression please seek medical advice immediately. *
After a baby, your whole world changes. And I don’t mean just on the outside, where everyone can see. I don’t mean how your whole world becomes diapers, and wipes and is the diaper bag ready? The baby toys, the pack and play, the swings, the bouncer that overrides your life and your home, that leaves you sitting there wondering if you are ever going to have some semblance of adult normalcy back. I mean, you change as a person. You can’t watch things on the news any more, and if you do, sometimes it’ll leave you crying and going to grab your sleeping baby to hold and kiss…and yes I mean the sleeping baby you just spent an hour trying to get to sleep and now you are waking them just to feel their skin on yours and to smell them, just to know they are still safe and sound in your arms.
When I was pregnant with my first, I remember having these moments, filled with fear. And not for them. For me. I knew that this was going to be a huge change. I just didn’t know how much it was really going to change. I felt like I was closing this chapter in my life that I wasn’t completely ready to close. And so many people would answer with ‘well you have 9 months’ like that was plenty of time to wrap up all the things I didn’t even know I needed to wrap up.
And then the baby is here.
And people no longer see the baby inside of you, and it’s like they automatically think that with the removal of the baby you’ve gone back to who you once were. And you haven’t. Your so far from who you were.
They think you’re back to normal and your really this ball of emotions and sentiment that’s tangled and messy and possibly never going to be neat again.
Then there’s this baby crying and needing you, this tiny human you love with the entirety of your soul. And that emotion alone is new, foreign, and twisting inside next to that clumsy ball of emotions you keep shoving down.
People don’t see all this mess, and they just expect you to be snapped back, to the world they live in.
It’s like the purpose in life is to find, label and sort out the colors, and place them in neat little piles, but after a baby they’ve blended into this huge incomprehensible mess, everyone keeps telling you to get started on getting it all sorted it out, but not only do you not know how, you don’t want too. You cant be bothered too. You don’t feel like your smart enough too.
That’s what postpartum depression has felt like too me.
And I think the truly worst part of it is that tabooness it incites. The looks people give you when you talk about it.
Because omg, postpartum depression automatically means you are going to be like Trudy who locked her kids in the car with her and drove off a bridge. They give you this look like you are wrong and broken and the entire time you are screaming I KNOW inside of your head.
Ive told myself many times that I am not worthy, I am not good enough, smart enough, strong enough.
I’ve asked myself what was I thinking putting myself on this path in my life when its clear I would never be ready enough.
I don’t need the looks, that you think you’ve cleverly hidden when this topic comes up.
And at the same time I have enough clarity to know I am not wrong. There is nothing bad about me.
It’s the expectations that society has placed on women. That they pop this kid out and go back to who they were and how it was, when in truth some women, like me are just trying to shift through the emotions and place them back to where they belong.
What not enough people tell you, when they instead give you this look like your bad, is that for a little while it’ll feel like your drowning but eventually you catch your breath.
This is a rediscovery of yourself.
Be patient. Take breaks when you need them. It’s ok to take those moments to take deep breaths.
And when the second baby came, I was bracing myself for all of this again. So imagine my surprise when it didn’t come. It’s different every time, for every person and every pregnancy. Which is why we need to be patient and loving to each other.
It’s that simple, and that complex
Iced coffee and baby diapers,