My favourite part about Halloween is not the spooky stuff, it’s not carving pumpkins, it’s not even the candy. Right up there with pumpkin spice everything, my very favourite part about Halloween is family costumes. It’s typical that at our house, the girls especially, have more than one costume. Last year they had four. This year Eden had two (Joy and a witch) and Fay had three due to her last minute change of mind before it was time to leave the house for Trick or Treating yesterday (Disgust, a vampire, and Cinderella). Haha… good thing we have a few dress-ups on hand!
Let me introduce you to the emotions!
Yes, I did spend A LOT more time on photoshop than I would have liked. Am I an expert? No, obviously not. If you haven’t seen Disney Pixar’s Inside Out, then it is high-tide that you locate that, pop some corn and pull up a chair. This year I wanted to do Inside Out as our family costume because I wanted to talk about something that I’ve experienced recently. Something real life and personal, something that I feel is more common than at least I thought.
The Baby Blues. I’m not sharing my experience for kicks and giggles. I don’t need pity or judgment. I’m not trying to start-up some “hashtag awareness campaign.” I’m sharing my experience in hopes of making readers a little more aware and to share a few ideas on how to help people you know that might be sad.
*DISCLAIMER* I am not a doctor. I have not been diagnosed nor am I diagnosing myself. I’m just discussing what MY experience has been dealing with MY postpartum emotions. There are MANY different degrees of baby blues and of postpartum depression. If you think you may be suffering from postpartum depression you should make an appointment with your family physician.
Waking up often in the night is just part of the territory when it comes to having babies. On one occasion, a few nights after we brought Leo home from the hospital, I was awake in the night. My milk had just come in with full force. I was engorged and in a lot of pain. Add to that the struggle of little Leo not having the greatest latch. Nursing was excruciating. I was sad. I was sad that I couldn’t get Leo to latch better. It was my fault. I quietly went out of our bedroom to the kitchen table where I started frantically looking through all the postpartum pamphlets and papers that we had been sent home with. I quickly read through everything that had to do with breastfeeding, in hopes that something would click and that I’d be able to get it right. My husband, Josh, woke up to find me sobbing in the kitchen. He was so tender with me. He sent me to the bathroom to have a hot shower hoping that I’d be able to relieve some of the pain and discomfort.
The next day I called for the the health nurse to come help me get my baby to latch properly. Cheryl was our health nurse with the twins and I remembered how incredible she was. She did not disappoint this time either. One million praises to Cheryl. She came over twice that day to help me. I was extremely emotional that day. That seemed to be the day that my sadness started. For the weeks that followed, I turned into a basket case. I didn’t want to leave my house. I didn’t want to be alone. I felt disconnected from my two, beautiful daughters whom for six years had been my entire everything. I didn’t like to talk about how I felt. Honestly… most of the time I couldn’t put my finger on the “why” or the “what” I just felt sad. Josh reminded me often that feeling this way is pretty normal and that it’s ok to feel this way for a little while. Josh was really a champion during my sadness. He was very gentle and sensitive with my fragile state of mind. He could probably write a book called How To Be The Best Husband Ever When She’s A Complete Basket Case.
I had a friend stop by who asked how I was doing. Because of the closeness of our relationship I told her that I was having some baby blues. She then said something to the affect that she just didn’t understand how someone could be sad now that they had their baby, how come people couldn’t just be happy, like you have a baby! Be happy!
Of course, she didn’t mean what she said to be offensive to me and I didn’t take it as such. It just made me think a lot and wonder why I was feeling the way I was. I couldn’t help the out-of-whackness, hormonal disaster extravaganza that was happening in my body.
It’s not that I wasn’t happy that my baby was here, and thankfully, in my case, I didn’t have any sadness towards my baby, nor did I struggle bonding with him. I was just sad. Fragile and sad. It slowly got better with time, the evenings were hardest, and whenever Josh had to be at other places. My sweet girls would often come sit by me and ask me why I was crying. That was tough.
After approximately 6 weeks of feeling sad, I’m happy to report that I believe I am 95% better.
How can you help someone close to you that may be sad? Be gentle. Be sensitive. Be a good listener. Don’t try to solve their problems. Don’t tell them what to think. If they feel lonely or don’t want to be alone, pick a good show on Netflix and buckle up.
What can you do if you are sad? Cry. You’re probably getting really good at that lately. It’s ok! Just let it out. That was fabulous advice from my sister-in-law… which leads me to my next point… Find a person or two who you can connect with, people who get you and can actually sympathize or at least empathize with you. Take long hot showers. Try to get out of the house. … Get dressed. Not in sweats… but like… put some lipstick on or something. And for that 99% of time that you don’t want to leave your house… Netflix. Eat all the ice-cream. Drink all the water. Cry all the tears.
XOXO *sniff sniff*
The Twinnerpated Mom