Postpartum Healing + Dealing
following childbirth or the birth of young.
A lot of people get the word "postpartum" confused as something negative. It's not. It's literally the process of a woman's body and mind returning to a non-pregnant state. This usually takes 6 weeks; but for me, personally, I didn't feel "back together" until around 3 months.
At my doctors office there were large posters all over the place (even in the bathroom) displaying risk factors for Postpartum Depression and what to do if you have it/think you may have it. It's obviously a very serious matter and it's important to know that it can happen to anyone. However, the thought of dealing with it seriously freaked me out - I've read stories or seen movies where the unthinkable happens. And since I did have risk factors because of my background with anxiety I was even more worried. 'What if I don't bond with my baby?' 'What if I'm just not able to handle it?' These negative thoughts swam in my head weeks before giving birth.
Although I didn't experience feelings of depression, postpartum was rough. The 'baby blues' (not to be confused with PPD) occurred immediately after birth. THESE are what I wish I would have prepared for mentally. Y'all - hormones are insane. In a previous post I said that I slept maybe 3 hours at the hospital after I had Nixon. It's because I literally could not sleep. When one of the nurses offered to take him to the nursery for a few hours so Anthony and I could get some rest, we agreed. Anthony slept, I stayed awake and cried because I missed our baby!!! I basically stared at the clock until he was back in our room. The bond was already so real.
The next 8ish days I was just a mess. When we got home from the hospital I just looked at Nixon sleeping and cried because he was so tiny and cute and I loved him so much. Anthony went back to work a few days later (my mom was still here) and he was running late and forgot to kiss me goodbye. I cried for an hour. It was crazy. Looking back now it's funny but at the time I was like 'Am I always going to be this emotional?!' Geeze. Also, when my milk came in at about 3 days PP... that was another rush of crazy hormones. I will say though that breastfeeding was a lifesaver for me. It was/is a relaxing and beautiful thing.
Once the baby blues passed, I felt like a whole new person. My energy picked up, we started getting into a routine, Nixon was a good sleeper..... and then Hurricane Irma had to come and stir up shit. It ended up being fine, but sitting in standstill traffic for 10 hours with a 2 week old is never ideal. When we got back home from Atlanta, we resumed our daily routine and started enjoying life as a family of 3.
These past few months have been more amazing than I could have ever expected. Obviously, being new (and young) parents is hard, but so very rewarding. I still deal with body image issues post baby. My stomach is no where near what it was or where I would like it to be, but I am reminded to give myself grace - I carried a baby for 9 months and it typically takes 9 months for our bodies to return back to "normal". For now I am eating healthy and getting exercise in whenever I can. I obviously want to take good care of myself/body for my baby and future babies to come (and husband of course!). Pregnancy is hard, labor is hard, postpartum is hard. Having a support system and positive mindset is key. It's totally ok to cry, being a mom is hard. It's also the greatest, most purposeful thing in life.
Feel free to leave comments/ask questions. M O T H E R H O O D is my new favorite topic :)