Hi All! I want to use this forum to also share mom’s STORIES of postpartum, birth, pregnancy and motherhood. I started this previously but backed off still unsure where I wanted to take the blog. I was drawn back into it because of this mom. I was browsing through photos on @instagram and this caught my eye.
1. What was postpartum like for you?
There isn’t a word to describe what it’s like going through PPD. It’s a very distinctive feeling that I carried round with me every second of everyday and there was no end to it.
The first 5 days after giving birth to my daughter I remember feeling quite numb. I think I was still in shock after my labour experience, I didn’t really process anything well. From the 6th day onwards I cried almost all day and was constantly overwhelmed with feelings and thoughts of “ Can I really do this ?” “Am I worthy enough?” I didn’t feel excited straight away after having the one thing I wanted for years so I felt a level of guilt. Like I didn’t deserve this blessing god had given me. I felt like my daughter and partner were better off without me, I felt like a burden because I was so depressed and carried this negative energy around me all the time.
I was constantly overpowered with feelings of extreme sadness, guilt, shame, anger, resentment, hopelessness, confusion, powerlessness, incapability, feeling lost, invisible, worthlessness, zero energy, stupid, scared, insane and the list goes on. I could never explain what or why I felt the way I did. I didn’t understand why I had certain thoughts I just knew it was there and I was sooo deep in it that it took over my whole life. This carried on for 9 months.
I have a very vivid memory of the first 7 months of my daughters life. I don’t really remember her milestones or remember any happy memories of that time. Thank God for pictures and videos! I was so deep into PPD that I wasn’t emotionally present at all for my daughter or my relationship.
2. Did you incorporate ‘self care’ or time for yourself?
Never! Anytime I thought about myself or thought about doing something for myself it always added to my guilt. I felt like I was being a bad and selfish mum for putting myself first and that was too much for me to deal with. Not to mention I didn’t really have the time or energy to care for myself the way I did before having a child. It felt impossible to have 5 minutes to myself.
3. Now you’ve been through it what would you do different?
Going through PPD I have grown to realise how important I am in the equation. If I’m not happy, healthy and well looked after I really can’t look after anyone else properly either. Now being on the other side of PPD I always make sure I do at least one thing for myself everyday. Even if it’s something small. I no longer say yes to everything in fear of upsetting people. If I’m too tired then that will be my answer! If I have a list of other things to do I have no problem with saying I’m busy at the moment but IF I have time later then yes. If I can’t do it I no longer beat myself up about it. I rest when I need to rest everything else can wait.
4. What advice would you give to others moms?
PACE YOURSELF! – you’re not a robot you cannot do it all and THAT IS OK! We’re not supposed to be able to do it all we just learn as we go on. Move at your speed not the speed you think is required of you and definitely not the speed you think other mums are moving at. You’re not them and they’re not you.
DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHER MUMS! I feel like it’s so easy to see other mums especially on social media and they look happy and like they’ve got there life together. But the thing is people will only post what they want you to see. I only ever posted happy stuff on my Instagram when I had my daughter. Everyone was shocked to find out I was struggling with PPD that whole time. It’s all about perception. Everyone’s situation is different also, some may have more support than others or some may have more or less kids and so your level of responsibility might be different. You never know! Always focus on YOU!
DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP! I always thought asking for help made me seem weak and it means I’m a bad mum and I can’t cope with my child. WRONG! We’re human. We get tired. We get worn out and we need rest! There’s nothing wrong with asking for help/ needing help. If you need a couple hours nap ask a loved one to look after your baby. It helps so much ! Nothing worse that feeling exhausted then doing everything by yourself.
YOU ARE IMPORTANT TOO! You are the most important in the chain. If mum’s down then so is everyone and everything else. Make sure you incorporate some kind of care for yourself whatever that may be for you. Make yourself feel good. Even if it’s as small as having a relaxing bath in the evening. It makes a difference.
GET OUT AND DON’T FORGET TO BE YOU! Before we became parents we were somebody! You were a individual with dreams and aspirations, hobbies, interests and a social life ! All of that doesn’t stop just because you become a mum. Your priorities are different for sure but making time to see a friend or just getting out and being away from baby and your partner is so important. Even if it’s just for an hour or two. When we stick to the role of being mum or mum and partner you tend to forget about everything else you once were and that can be dangerous. That’s how people lose themselves. As beautiful as being a mum is that’s not all we are.
Shared by Oumie Denton @_mothergram..
Did you experience PPD, did you identify it as PPD? Let me know, comment below.
DON’T FORGET YOU!