To read part one, click HERE
How I Coped
Support and lots of it. In the beginning, it was extremely hard for me to ask for help. When people came over to “help” or stay with us I felt like I needed to entertain them, dine them, visit with them, after all they were our guests. BUT that’s not how it should be. People come over to help so that you can rest, seriously go take a nap! They should be doing your dishes, cooking you food, holding your baby so you can shower. Being a new mom is hard, it’s exhausting so if you’re reading this know that it’s okay to ask for help and that you should take it when you can. I’m also sharing this because before I was a new mom none of this came to mind, so I’m writing this to help all you friends out there without kids yet.. go help your new mom friends out, they need you and they will return the favor once needed!
When we brought Oliver home, we had a lot of support but it was still hard for me to take advantage of that so I still felt isolated, alone, and distant from the world. I was exhausted, for weeks.. and that's probably what led me to have post partum blues because even though we were offered the help, I wanted to do it all myself. I don’t know if I was trying to prove to everyone that I had this mom thing down, or if I was proving to myself that I could actually do it, but that catches up with you fast and it drains you, let me tell you. Round 2, taking Attikus home I was much more lenient to accept the help. Allow others to rock him to sleep, hold him, be with him while I took a shower or did house chores. It was also nice to have that support system to take Oliver off my hands for a while, play with him and keep him company in those beginning days/weeks so that I could bond with my newborn baby. The bottom line is ask for help, it’s okay to need/want help and it doesn’t make you any less of a mother. In fact, it makes you a better mother because you are taking care of yourself, which ultimately allows you to care for your children in a more meaningful and purposeful way because you too feel good, which leads me to my next coping strategy.
Self Care. This is a huge one and one I think that is most important to feeling like yourself, like an actual human being, like a person that doesn’t only bleed from their vagina all day and get their tits sucked on. I am still not good at this one and am working on getting better with each baby, but it’s hard to do. My postpartum blues didn’t allow me to feel as though I deserved time to myself. That I was failing my child if I took even a 5 minute shower away from them. Your kid is gonna be fine, take the damn shower, shit take a 30 minute shower! Not so funny story, I tore up and down if you can imagine how good that felt, and it was recommended to take SITZ baths daily like it is for many vaginal births (it helps with the swelling, eases the pain, and keeps your stiches soft so that they don’t crust over and start to jab you, which is what happened to me after Oliver and it only makes your healing that much more difficult and uncomfortable!) So, if you are able, allow your significant other, family member, or friend to watch the babe for a couple hours. Go get a pedicure, take a walk, grab a coffee or just take a nap! Whatever fancies your fiddle, get out and do it. You will be grateful for that time alone to feel like an adult again, a normal human being that can do more than change shit diapers and stare at your beautiful baby all day long!
My last coping strategy that has really helped my sanity is my go-to life motto “Do You”, I’m serious. Do what works best for you and your family. If you sit and google shit all day on the “right” way to do things you will loose your damn mind and start to go crazy. When friends ask for advice I of course always tell them what worked for us or what we do, but ultimately it needs to be what works for you. So find whatever that may be and go for it. If you’re a planner and need to be on a schedule THEN DO THAT! That will make you happy and your life less stressful because you are doing what works for you. If you are carefree and go with the flow kind of gal, THEN DO THAT! I like to think I’m somewhere in between the schedule mom and the happy go lucky mom. Some days I really need my kids to take their naps at the time I like them to so that I can get stuff done, but other days we wake up, pack our shit for the day and spend hours at the beach or play place and eat McDonalds for lunch and look like grungballs but it’s been the best day because I didn’t care! I just went with the flow and that’s how it works best for us! Same goes with baby products. There are millions of different baby products that are out there, it’s hard to choose which to buy especially when they aren’t cheap, but I’m here to tell you it all depends on the baby! You will learn as you go, you will find what works best for you and your baby, and you will be great. You will be a great mother and you can get through this.
Where to Seek Help
Postpartum depression affects many women and causes them to feel sad, anxious, depressed, and exhausted. After having Oliver, I couldn't help but feel all of this. I was exhausted for months, which made me feel depressed and sad and I was constantly anxious about how people would do simple tasks either to help me around the house or to care for Oliver. It was a vicious cycle that I couldn't get out of, and I honestly don't remember how I did, but looking back I wish I would have gotten help sooner because I would of enjoyed that newborn stage with him so much more.
This disorder is the real deal. You can't control it. It just happens, and it happens to the best of us. If you are feeling down or to the point where you think you may need professional help, please don’t be afraid to get it. You want to look back and remember those blissful days of being a new mom, not those hard and depressing times and resent ever having kids. The sooner you get help the faster you can get back to yourself and enjoying your new bundle of joy.
It's okay to ask for help. Take advantage of those people in your life that are willing to come over and be there to support you. Talk to your significant other, let them know how you are feeling so that they can get a better understanding of whats going on. Call up that friend and let them know that you need someone to vent to, to help bring you back down to earth, to lean on when you are feeling low.
If you or someone you know is struggling with postpartum depression please don't ignore it. Be there for them in any way that you can, but also know when to take that next step to getting help. Postpartumdepression.org is a great resource to use to find help, read real stories of other women's experience, and just a vast amount of information to help you better understand the disorder.
Not that I hope you enjoyed today's post, but I hope that you found it helpful in your journey to becoming a mother. We need to be there for one another, support one another and lean on each other, and that's my hope is to empower more women to share their stories because much of the hard stuff is not talked about nearly enough. By sharing our experiences we can relate to one another, and not feel as alone in this world. After all, it takes a village.. right!
A couple of flash backs below!
Picture on the right was when we brought Oliver home, picture on the left was when we brought Attikus home!
Real Life moments after each babe. Robe on, hair a mess, no make up, and just trying to enjoy those newborn snuggles!
Picture on the left is 1 week after having Oliver, Picture on the right is a couple days after Attikus. My postpartum journey to "getting my body back" has always been a slow process and I always look 6months pregnant after I deliver, but I know that it takes time and patience and I just need to love my body during each stage.