Wednesday, December 14, 2011

the blues, part 2


With all the comments and messages I received, it's amazing these kinds of feelings aren't spoken of more often.  I really appreciate you guys reading my post and giving me feedback.  So many moms have felt/feel this way and what better way to get through it than to know you're not alone and that it's been done before.  I think people are just too fearful or prideful to admit it until they know it's normal.

I didn't go into detail about how bad it really was.  There wasn't anything sweet or pretty about it.  It was an ugly time for me and definitely a marriage tester.  I thought my life had been taken from me and, at the same time, was reading these bubbly status updates from new moms about how cute their baby was and how wonderful their life was.  I will say those first few days did feel like quite the dream ... but that went away quickly.  I could have easily pretended the first 2 weeks and said things like, "Cuddling on the couch with Colt and Duke while the fire is going ... could I ask for anything more??"  Um, yes, yes you could.  How about sleep, time, hobbies, etc.?  Yeah, it wasn't feeling too dreamy.

Now listen ... if you are the 'bubbly status update' mom, that's great!  I know this baby blues thing doesn't affect everyone so if you really were having the time of your life with your newborn, more power to you!  From my perspective, it felt like everyone loved this mom lifestyle from the start and I just didn't get it.  Even more than feeling alone, I felt wrong.  So, tag on some guilt to the baby blues and you've got quite the unstable human being.

Instead of making this new life out to be nothing but butterflies and rainbows, I decided to be real about it; not negative, but real.  My hope was that after reading it, some new mom could say, "I'm not the only one!  I feel so much better."

Now that I'm approaching the end of week 8, I can say that my baby blues were gone by that 5th week.  (Of course, I still have a rough day every once and awhile; but in general, I'm feeling great about life.)  Trust me, I wanted to get on here and just bleed all of my hopeless feelings out into the internet abyss when it was actually happening ... but I refrained.  Instead, I opened up a Word document and typed away every time I was overcome with sadness, anger, frustration, etc.  I told myself that if I come out of all of this (because it really seemed unending), I'm blogging about it.  And here I am!

So, a question for you moms ... how long did you deal with the baby blues?  Your honest comment just may be the thing that pulls another mom through it. :)

9 comments:

  1. I am already having the blues about #2 and she's not even here yet! There is something very scary about having two kids that depend solely on you, their mom. The fact that being a mom is my ONLY job can be a little overwhelming. Trying to be positive and bubbly only lasts so long. Haha. I've been through this once, Hopefully its not worse the second time.

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  2. I think my intense (i.e. gut-wrenching sobs at least once a day) blues lasted about 3 weeks. The cure for me was visits from friends, walks, and outings. Interaction improved my mood tremendously, and I credit that for learning VERY quickly how to get out and about with a baby. But I think those days still pop up from time to time. I actually had a moment this morning where Riggins REALLY tried my patience and I got so hormonally/irrationally upset that i had to leave the room before I got angry with him. So yeah...being a mom is just hard some times. For every cheesy status update there is another moment that you would never dream of posting on Facebook! (Did I mention that I almost dropped the F bomb in front of my kid in that moment this morning? Yep. I said it. Facebook that, Leslie ;)

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  3. I am still experiencing some of the blues. I have struggled more with being angry at my husband than anything. I cannot even tell you why, but all of my hormonal rages about not sleeping or having a life are irrationally directed at him. I need him to take the baby, but am terrified to leave her even with him. It is very straining on our marriage and I feel unable to fix it in my sleep deprived state. I did have a night when I had been up for nearly 36 hours straight and was so angry when she woke up again I had to just stay in bed and let her cry just to keep my distance...and I did voice a few choice words as well as have some very horrible thoughts, including running away. And like you said, add to it the guilt and it gets even harder. And yet I love that little person so much I can sit and cry just looking at her. It's so hard to have such intense, but conflicting emotions and have no idea how to direct them in a healthy way. The one thing someone told me that has kept me going was from a woman at my church. She said that one night she was up for the tenth time and was so angry at the baby and the situation and was yelling at God for not fixing it. He impressed on her heart that she needed to be thankful because there are so many women in this world who would trade her places right then, even if they never slept again. That is my constant, simple prayer every time I have to drag myself out of bed- God help me to be thankful. Thankful I have a healthy baby and that I don't have to go through this alone. This subject is so important for us to talk about- I think it will make a difference for so many, as it has for me. Keep talking to the women around you, especially those who have been there. Thanks again for being real.---Beth Ferreira

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  4. Well, I first just want to say that I think the reason that it is not talked about more than it is, is that when you experience these feelings, you are afraid of all the backlash that happens from those who have not been there and therefore, you don't want to hear that it is normal and you'll get over it.

    I experienced severe post-partum depression that extended into the first 3 years of my son's life. The messiness of my feelings, frustrations and heartache stemmed from hormonal imbalances but my mind told me that I screwed everything up and it was never going to be the same. I was so angry that I didn't get to have my perfect birth (Eli came 11 wks early), I didn't get to experience actually birthing him (had to have C-section), I didn't get to take him home or hold him right away (6 weeks in NICU) and I was flat out mad!! How could God allow me to wait for 23 years and then this?? I sought out help from friends but being an older mom, my friends had all raised their kids (ahem) and now were having grandkids so I felt I was in a league of my own (so to speak). All the reassurance in the world wasn't cutting it for me... in my mind, they had no idea what I was dealing with.

    The reality of it all was that I needed to see the opposite of what my mind was saying... I should have been so grateful (and am) that I even got the privilege of being pregnant at age 42; grateful that Eli had a healthy outcome from NICU (many don't) and joyous that I had such wonderful, supportive people surrounding me.

    I kept telling myself that I was going to write a book that basically said this, "You don't know what you're talking about until you've lived in my body!!"

    I thank you for bringing this message again to the forefront of all moms... it is the hardest job that any woman experiences and this reality for so many new moms is and probably always will be "taboo".

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  5. Thank you for sharing! I am into month four of baby #2 and I still have days where I feel absolutely insane! I want husband and wife time. I want a minute just to lay on the couch without a child show on or entertaining a little person. It makes me feel so selfish because, like you I also read the "bubbly" posts of other moms. I no longer feel like maybe I should have thought about having another baby longer and just have a lingering feeling of wanting my own time. So, it is getting better. Teething is beginning and it is no ballpark either. But, I do know that it gets better and your heart continues to swell bigger and bigger as they grown. It is very much worth it in the long run but very hard to see that while lost in the new baby fog.

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  6. I love how open and honest your posts are, Claire. I've always thought being a new mom would be hard, but everyone acts like it's the best thing in the world... I have always been a little bit fearful to have a baby, because I thought I would be the only one who would struggle. I'm glad you're my friend, so when that time comes I can talk to you about it :)

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  7. They lasted a few weeks for me, then they came up again after he was about a month old and wouldn't nap...like ever!!!!!!!

    When I would talk to my mom friends about how much it sucks sometimes, it made me feel better and we can laugh about it:) Now he's almost a year old and I can barely remember those days...except for when he's teething. Then it's like those first few weeks all over again:)

    And when he turns one, I don't think I'll cry because he's getting so big and the year just flew by, I think it'll be because I can't believe I actually made it through this crazy year:)

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  8. I'm still feeling a little down and blah after 5 months, but the irritability has improved significantly, and the crazy feeling slightly. The more sleep I get, the better I feel. One day last week I actually felt "normal". I really appreciate your post, because you are right, no one talks openly and honestly about it and it is easy to feel alone and isolated in your feelings. I couldn't even bring myself to tell my wonderdful and caring nurse practitioner about my feelings because I didn't want to complain-I mean, I have a beautiful and healthy baby! In the first few weeks if Colin would pee through his diaper and I had to change his clothes I would want to know who put the diaper on so I could blame them! Thankfully those days are behind us, but I still cringe when people ask, "Don't you just love being a mom?" I love my baby, but I do not love sleepless nights and anxiety about my little one's well-being.

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  9. I just shared this post with a blog friend of mine who was recently diagnosed with PPD. I hope it helps her in some small way. http://theheartofhomeblog.blogspot.com/2013/12/i-finally-made-it-back-to-you.html

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