Monday, February 8, 2010

What no one told me: Baby Blues

I made reference to being postpartum in my first blog. It is really easy to make a passing reference to having been sad, or having a loneliness inside me that would not go away—even if my entire family and all my friends were simultaneously throwing me a birthday party and rubbing my feet. It is much harder to actually confront and talk about the huge hormonal letdown that devastated me after Elle was born. It is also hard to talk about something serious without making a joke about it.

All I wanted to do for three weeks was hold my baby. I did not want to eat. I could not sleep. I wanted to sit in the corner of the couch, in sweatpants, covered in blankets and hold my baby. I was terrified of doing something wrong. I felt like there was a hole inside me. I felt like she was so vulnerable, that I could never possibly do the right thing by her and all I wanted was to do the right thing.

For the last six months of my pregnancy I regularly talked to her in my mind. I felt like she could hear me. I did not spend a lot of pregnant time worrying about labor and delivery or even bringing her home.

When she was born, I could not talk to her in my mind anymore. I had to actually speak, but I did not know what to say. My body was very sore and my mind was very tired.

By the time I got home I was beginning to believe I could take care of her physically, but I did not know if I could take care of her mentally. I did not know if I could give her what she needed. It was a total sense of despair.

When she was about 5 or 6 weeks old, that feeling went away. It seemed like it went away as fast as it had appeared. It is like I did not even remember why I was sad. I remember being able to sleep for the first time without fear (both fear that something would happen and fear that someone would think I was a bad mom for sleeping). I started to get back my ability for rational thought.

Now, the one joke I did want to make before…Even though I could not eat that first few weeks, I didn’t lose any weight. That is lame! Now I have my appetite back and still look pregnant, awesome! I know that my kid likes me, even if I am a fat fatty!

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