Postpartum blues

Baby blues, something that I didn't expect to happen to me but it did. It’s an experience that I don’t even want to talk about anymore because, regardless of how long ago it was, its nerve-racking grip on my emotions, especially as a first time mom, was the most difficult and most vulnerable moment of my life. It’s like having that dream where you walk around your high school naked… that kind of feeling but worse since, aside from the nakedness I felt, the utter ignorance of the experience I was facing is just plain terrifying. I know that postpartum blues or, for others, depression, varies from person to person. I know of a friend who had the kind where she felt resentful that she had a baby. Understandable, since one has to give-up so many things behind once given the responsibility of having a child. With me however, it was different… it was because of love. I think too much love that I haven’t experienced before and don’t know how to handle.

It was 2 days after I gave birth. My child was crying inconsolably and I felt so helpless and out of control. I was thinking, “My God! I must be a sucky mother! I can’t even console my own baby!” It was the start of it… the “blues." It felt like a dark cloud descended on me with so many questions with it. I remember, one of my most worrisome moments was when I had to go to the bathroom. Just taking a shower or going either “you know… the numbers,” I often felt panic! Every time my I cannot see Micah, fear strikes me and it strikes me hard. All the “what ifs” just gush within my brain, making it hard to make sense of it all. “What if she falls off the crib?” “What if there’s something that accidentally drops on her?” “What if she stops breathing?” I mean not even a minute apart from my child, I already feel helpless and stupid. I mean, there were nights when I wasn’t even sleeping! I was just watching her to check if she’s breathing right, comfortable…. I even anticipate her feedings to the point that it leaves me sleepless. It was horrible but at that point, I felt that there’s nothing I can do but cry to cope with my weariness.

After a month or two of living this way, I finally overcame the “blues." Now, looking back, I’m guessing that the sheer grip of this overwhelming emotion is the problem. All my life before that moment, I have never felt a deeper sense of responsibility; moreover, a deeper sense of love. Since I didn’t know how to handle it, I resorted to fear that brought upon me so much physical weariness that resulted to distress and hopelessness. Oh, did I mention that we moved a day before I gave birth? Yes, I was moving/carrying boxes the day before, which I am thankful for now because I think that was what induced me to deliver (I was already a week late), but the house was a MESS when we brought Micah home. That alone is already a stress causer. My hospital experience was not at all great either because, even though they mean well and it was a part of their jobs, these nurses just kept coming in to poke or rouse my daughter from sleeping leaving me sleepless as well. They didn’t even tell me that I can ask a nurse to take my baby for a while so I can sleep… From the moment I gave birth, I was already the one taking care of my daughter. My husband was there, but he, too, was preoccupied with everything from the move to his work (he just got promoted a few months before)... I mean, it was a TOUGH experience. Had the circumstances been more predictable, I would have had enough time to spend on the unpredictable, but since it was not the case, I was forced to adjust... and the adjustment, as I know now, was just too much to take for a woman who carried a baby for 41 weeks and was in labor for 12 hours. For sure, that day I proved that I have no super powers! (See !I can find humor in it now...).

Whew, although it was a memory that I don’t want to often visit because of the discomfort it brings me, somehow talking about it makes it easier to tell. I just hope that my story can bring people hope. That is something no one told me… that I can undergo postpartum blues. No one explained to me that it was a normal thing to feel overwhelmed and stupid and fearful and panicky… no one told me that it’s okay for me to have my “crazy” moment! I am no medical expert but after going through what I went through, I wish to offer my support to those women who are undergoing or will undergo the “blues.” I just want them to know that they are not alone and it is a normal process unless they feel that they are endangering themselves and/or their baby.

“This, too, shall pass…”

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