Congratulations on your new baby! Labor and delivery were hard, but now you have a lovely new bundle to love. You are so lucky! What a beautiful new mommy.
Of course, you’re tired, emotional, and overwhelmed. It’s part of being a new mom. Everyone feels this way. It’s normal. It’s to be expected. Don’t worry. It will go away and you’ll get back to your old self. Take two weeks to relax.
Two weeks pass.
Your social circle goes back to their regular routine. They need to get back to their own lives. They have other responsibilities and obligations.
It’s just you and a baby in the monotony of repeated tasks and overwhelming exhaustion.
You tell yourself, “This is what it means to be a mom.”
People stop visiting after the first month.
No one asks if you need help anymore. No one asks how you’re feeling. There are no more gifts arriving in the mail. People stop commenting on the pictures you share on social media. People may even call you a ‘super mom,’ not knowing that you are struggling to make it through each day.
It’s your six-week appointment.
You have healed! Your obstetrician says everything looks great. Your husband breathes a sigh of relief and looks at you with lustful eyes. Finally, everything is back to normal.
But you aren’t normal. Everyone is acting like nothing has changed. And everything has changed.
You are STILL tired, emotional and overwhelmed. You need to figure this out. This is what you wanted. You’re the one who wanted a baby and a family.
People are bombarding you with “get your body back” and diet tips. But all you want to do is sleep. And this tiny human needs everything from you and keeps taking and taking and taking. And you start to resent the baby crying, even though you love them and you know they need you.
You know something is wrong. You aren’t yourself. This is harder than you thought. Anger is seeping into your relationships and your emotions are too big for your body.
It’s you. You aren’t strong enough. You aren’t fit for this. You aren’t a good mom. You’re stuck.
That’s how it happens.
That’s how postpartum depression takes over your life and changes you. Most women try to keep this internal dialogue private. We don’t want our loved ones to know how much we’re struggling because it seems unforgivable and weak.
It’s normal to be tired and scared … until it’s not normal.
It’s ok … until your life feels too hard.
It’s just motherhood … until there’s nothing left at all of the person you once were.
Don’t think it’s ok.
It’s not normal to have trouble making it through the days.
It’s ok to need assistance.
Ask for help.
It will get better.
Postpartum Depression can happen to anyone.
1 in 7 women needs assistance to get out of the darkness. You aren’t alone. Be on the lookout for symptoms and reach out to someone if this sounds like you.
Call your obstetrician or Midwife’s office and tell them you aren’t feeling like yourself mentally.
Find resources about postpartum depression at www.postpartum.net
Talk to a professional by accessing the resources at https://psidirectory.com/listing/online-services-available or https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/pregnancy-prenatal-postpartum/fl/saint-augustine
Tell your loved ones you need love, support, and understanding. They can make the biggest difference by focusing on the things you are doing well. Don’t dwell on your shortcomings. It will take a little time, some difficult conversations, and maybe some medication.
They need you momma.
You need YOU.
This will pass with a little bit of help.