I’ve been wanting to write this post for awhile, but wasn’t sure where to begin… or how to put it into words. I like to keep my blog posts focused on the positive aspects of life, but I think it’s equally (if not more) important to be honest and open.
So much changes after you have a baby – lots of joy, millions of cuddles, sleepless nights, and some intense hormone changes. I’m certainly not a professional on what exactly happens physically /mentally / emotionally to a woman postpartum, but I thought I would try to share my perspective as a mom who has gone through it twice.
Although I’m not a big fan of the term, I consider my postpartum experiences to fall into the category of “baby blues” – not depressed but certainly not myself. The best way I can describe the weeks following the girls’ births is like before you rub your eyes when you first wake up in the morning. Everything’s a little foggy; life isn’t fully in focus.
It’s not really fair. I felt like I had anxiously anticipated the arrival of my sweet girls and then wasn’t able to fully appreciate or grasp the highs of those first few weeks of motherhood.
Sure, the exhaustion of caring for a newborn played a role, but I know it was more than that. I didn’t smile as much or laugh as easily. I wasn’t as motivated or ready to take on the day. I was me, only dimmer.
I guess I feel like it’s important to share this because I want other moms to know they aren’t alone. Not feeling fully like yourself is a painful experience. My support system has been invaluable, and I know that if I ever found myself overwhelmed, someone who loved me would step in – with a good conversation, a delicious meal, an extra set of arms to hold a baby, and a chance to regain some perspective.
The biggest help? Talking (a lot) and journaling.
Finding my way back didn’t happen overnight. My “Joanna spark” brightened little-by-little and my world began to feel clear again. And let me tell you, it’s wonderful being back :)