Friday, October 10, 2014

My Journey with the Baby Blues

And here we are, approaching my daughter's 8 week birthday.  If someone asked me to describe in 5 words or less, what these last 8 weeks have been like...I'd only use three. 
A beautiful blur.

Since I've been on maternity leave I've become a compulsive list maker.  I make lists of super important things like what to buy at Target, crafty to-do's I've found on Pinterest along with groceries needed. 
One thing that's been on "my list" since the beginning was to share my experience with the infamous baby blues.  If I'm being totally honest, I've been putting this off for weeks. I've needed this time to translate the emotions I felt those first weeks home into words that would be helpful and encouraging to other women out there.  However honesty isn't always rainbows and butterflies. Sometimes it can scare the hell out of people.  My hope by sharing my story, full of honesty, is that I'll help another new mom not be scared in her tears.  

I remember when I was pregnant, I read any and all articles shared on Facebook that had anything remotely to do with pregnancy or becoming a mom.  There was one that discussed how a new mother felt about her colicky baby, the deep sensation of love she felt for that baby while also feeling extreme anguish and frustration because the baby cried CONSTANTLY.  This new mom spent many of those first few months in tears.  I remember calling my mom immediately after I finished reading.

 I was scared to death.

"Mom, is our baby going to just cry all day long?!?!  I can't do it! What the hell have I done?!"

Now, does my baby cry all day long?  No.  She's perfect, she mostly just whimpers when she needs something.  Rarely hysteric.  My experience has been totally different than the article I read.

  However, have I cried my eyes out many times?
Yes.  Absolutely.

But what I understand now, that I didn't understand while my sweet little baby was tucked quietly in my uterus, is that all the tears you shed are SO WORTH IT

And here's my story why.....

If you're anything like myself, when you found out you were going to have a baby, to prepare you immediately began strolling thru every store's baby section, cooing at all the adorable clothes and spent endless hours scouring Pinterest for cute nursery ideas.
Well, newsflash. 
It doesn't matter how damn cute your nursery is, prepare yourself because you're most likely going to cry your eyes out in there the first couple weeks your home from the hospital.
And sometimes, it's about absolutely nothing.
And that's totally NORMAL.
And totally OK.

I remember sitting in my little glider a couple days after we came home, giving Lara her bottle when all the sudden I just start crying.  A cry that quickly turned into a sob.

You know why?
Because I was literally so overcome with love for this new human being that I had no idea how to process the overwhelming feeling other than to cry.

And cry I did.

A few days later, I'm rocking Lara in her nursery when I come across this video on Facebook.
It was titled, "Mom's First Birthday."

I cried harder in those 3 minutes than I've cried in a very long time.
(And while I'm being totally honest, I have tears in my eyes now because I just watched it again.)

While I'm sitting there holding my new baby, crying like a fool, Jon walks in from mowing the lawn.  I told him he had to watch this video.
He was all hot and sweaty from just mowing so he says to me, 
"No, not right now."

I totally lose my shit and start 
yelling at him.

"I watch all your stupid videos of animals dancing and shit, you're going 
to watch this!!"

His eyes got really big.  He slowly walked across the room, sat down and watched the entire thing.

With the fear of God in his eyes.

Well folks, I officially had the baby blues. 
All the preparing I had done over the past 9 months did not prepare me for this. 
I was scared of myself.

Everyday I wondered, 
"What the hell is wrong with me?!"
"Was I ever going to feel like myself again?"

I loved this baby so much, I was so happy to finally have her in my arms,
but yet I couldn't stop crying.

I had heard of the "blues" but I thought it meant sadness.  I wasn't sad, I just felt like crying a lot
 Sometimes even tears of joy.

I'd cry it out, feel better.  
Then a couple hours later, same thing.

When my Mom left after spending those first couple weeks with me, I really lost it.
Full blown tears, like I wasn't ever going to see her again.

She lives 45 minutes away. 

At the time, I felt like everyone was getting back to their normal routine and I was just sitting at home, with this beautiful little human, trying to figure out what the hell to do with her.

According to the American Pregnancy Association 70-80% of women experience the blues.
If 8 out of 10 new moms are experiencing this, why aren't we all talking about it more?!?

Listen, I love sharing adorable 
pictures of my daughter.  

Pictures of her sleeping, pictures of her cuddled up on my chest, pictures of her in her swing, in her crib, sitting up in her glider, on the couch, in her car seat, in her stroller. 

You name it, I take pictures and I share them with all of you.

As much as I love sharing all the adorable moments, I think it's also equally as important that we all share the #reallife moments that motherhood 
blesses us with.

That's why I decided to open up about my experience with the blues.

After a couple weeks, I slowly began to feel like myself again.
Everyday that passed, I cried a little less and relaxed a little more.

As the weeks have passed, I'm beginning to understand my little girl and what she's trying to tell me.
Everyday I feel like I get a tiny bit better at this whole "mom" thing.

And there's nothing in life that makes me feel more successful than that.

If you happen to have the blues when you bring your little bundle of joy home, just relax and enjoy the ride.  Embrace your tears.  Let yourself feel all those emotions.  It's all a part of your journey.

If you're experience is anything like mine, the blues will pass and before you know it you'll become a diaper changin', spit up cleanin', bottle makin' pro, all while NOT crying, in no time. 

Motherhood is beautiful.  It's hilarious.  It's exhausting.  It's FUN. 
It's ever changing. 
It's life changing.  

And for me, it's the most badass journey I've ever embarked on.

1 comment :

susan.a.lentz said...

Anne, I just love reading your motherhood story! Keep the stories and advice coming ... I might not have a baby yet, but it will come in handy one day. I'm glad to hear you're getting into the mommy groove!