Postpartum Blues + Loving Yourself
10 weeks ago, I brought the most beautiful 7lb baby into this world, and after a long journey with infertility our family was finally complete! Many see pregnancy and childbirth as the most beautiful thing you can experience in your life. And while it absolutely is, people are too busy consuming themselves and being crazed over all that leads up to bringing your baby home that no one ever speaks about after the baby. Not the doctors, not your parents, not your friends. It's not until you are so far consumed into postpartum anxiety or depression, that people want to have a voice.
You see, my baby doesn't sleep. EVER. And I'm sure as some of you are rolling your eyes and thinking to yourself that all babies do is sleep, I'm here to tell you that you, my friend, are wrong. I can remember a time before my first daughter was born. My husband and I battled miscarriage after miscarriage and injection after injection. We got to a point where we couldn't even be excited for a positive line and the negative lines just ate at our hearts a little more. I envied other moms and mom-to-be's. I dreaded getting the mail in fear of yet another baby shower invite or even opening up social media to see yet another pregnancy announcement. That was a place I never wanted to go back to, yet I find myself feeling like I'm there again, only this time — it's the fear of seeing another smiling baby or having to hear a mom boast about how well their newborn is sleeping. Or better yet, talk about how they were up every four hours. Much like parenting, postpartum doesn't come with an owners manual and as much as I would love to find a Postpartum for Dummies, that just isn't reality.
Storms make trees take deeper roots.
The mirror is my enemy. I hated my body. I absolutely despised it. I was feeling irritable and angry all the time. I spent most of my energy trying not to yell at the people around me, not to burst into tears, and working to pretend to actually enjoy being present with my family. I didn't enjoy it. Nothing was fun and everything felt like work; even the really good moments. I felt incredibly alone and also incredibly out of control. Most of all, I was consumed with guilt. I felt guilty for not enjoying and embracing every moment, for not loving any moments. Being around people made me overwhelmed and the anxiety worse. I would lie and say I was busy. I was - but not in the way everyone would understand. I was busy silencing my thoughts. I was busy telling myself I was okay. I was busy taking deeper breaths.
I will not apologize, because sometimes this is my busy.
Every day I struggle with that woman in the mirror, but I choose to push through. Every day I struggle with my new found curves, but I choose to push through. Every day I struggle with those purple lines that have taken over my body, but I choose to push through. Every day I struggle with unexplained irritability and anger, but I choose to push through. Every day I struggle with being present, but I choose to push through. Every day I struggle, but I choose to push through.