Happy Women’s Day! I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge all the women out there and say that YOU are enough and we are all superwoman. With that being said, it’s OK to take time for ourselves too. We are so busy and consumed with taking care of others and our families that we sometimes feel guilty if we do things for ourselves. But the number one thing we forget is if we don’t take care of ourselves first, we can’t efficiently take care of others. So take that yoga class and don’t care about being limber enough. Soak in a bathtub with bubbles and a glass of wine and not think about wasting water. Go get that manicure and pedicure and not worry about the extra dry time. Take care of YOU!
I feel like when my daughter was just born, that’s when it was the most challenging for me. During pregnancy I felt like I read every book that could prepare me for birth and mommyhood, but nothing truly prepares you. You read “horror” stories about the sleepless nights, constant crying and poop explosions and think surely not MY baby. Oh my gosh if I only weren’t so naive. I think I was ready to explode if I heard one more person tell me to nap when the baby naps. I wanted to go sit in a corner and cry when she napped. Nothing compares to the exhaustion I felt during her first 2 weeks to a month of life. If she wasn’t nursing 24/7 she was sleeping on me or I was pumping or changing a dirty diaper. New mom life right? This is just how it goes and there’s nothing you can do? This is when the phrase “it takes a village” never rang so true. I don’t know what I would’ve done without the help of my mom and sister. Just someone else to watch her so I can go shower alone. There was no trying to shower when she sleeps or bringing the bouncer in the bathroom cause that’s when she always decided that literal sh*t would hit that fan and have a poop explosion. Thankfully we were in the bathroom so nothing a quick bath won’t fix but man, what I would’ve given for a hot shower alone and I could completely wash out my conditioner before she cried.
I was also recovering from my C-section so I feel like that just made things 10x harder. I wasn’t able to even get up from the couch easily let alone walk up and down the stairs if I needed something from her room. I was in a crappy and depressed mood all the time. It was beyond the baby blues I think but I refused to think I had postpartum depression. I was so prideful as a new mom thinking I could do it all cause I was supposed to. My husband helped when he could of course but he worked all day and I felt bad asking him to help when he came home. Plus it was the middle of the night feeds that drained me and that’s not something he could help with. Gosh I remember feeding her and then pumping the other side cause I didn’t want to waste any milk. The stress definitely made my supply take a hit too which also made things more stressful. I know better now with mom groups and such but back then I didn’t know what to do or who to talk to. I felt like there was no one to share my feelings or vent to. My poor husband even mentioned that I maybe go talk to someone cause he was concerned but you know I just refused to believe anything was wrong and that this was normal. Just a normal part of being a new mom, I mean no one said it was supposed to be easy right?
I remember thinking that postpartum depression was just when you felt like you were going to harm the baby, that’s when you should get help. But it’s so much more than that. I silently suffered for so long I wish I would’ve done more research. I loved my baby so much I could never think of harming her. But man most days I would literally just sit there or lay there and cry thinking I couldn’t do this “mom” thing. I cried when she cried thinking “not again”. I remember I would just sit there and rock her and just stare into space. I had this beautiful new born baby girl and any normal person would be so happy and lucky. But I could not help this heavy feeling of sadness, depression, anxiety, fatigue and irritability. My husband could just ask a simple question and I would get angry and made a snarky reply. Oh and if he said anything in the means of I was “just at home” all day, I felt the full on Hulk come out. This lasted for nearly 3 months. To top it off I was at the end of my chiropractic schooling so I had the typical 6 weeks off then had to go back to clinic and work on graduating in a few months. I graduated when Evie was 5 months old. If I only knew that these were tell-tale signs that I needed help, but I refused to even look up the words postpartum depression. Now I know that this affects 1 in 7 women, way more common than I initially thought. If anything resonates from this blog my message is don’t be so prideful that you think you don’t need help, or it couldn’t happen to you. I mean nothing, nothing can prepare your heart for the love you feel for this tiny human you created and relies 100% on you. That baby deserves you whole heartedly, physically and mentally. Things finally did get a little easier, Evie was sleeping longer and I took time for myself without feeling guilty. Yoga helped me a lot, in that I could just quiet my mind for an hour and work on myself. It’s hard to believe Evie is 2 years old now (28 months) and toddler Evie is a whole new story. I know this was a long one today so I thank you for reading and as always, please don’t hesitate to contact me for any questions or help. Remember YOU are enough!