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How I am Feeling Postpartum

Understanding My Postpartum Feelings

My Postpartum Feelings

I’ve been thinking a lot about what postpartum is like for mothers (and fathers too, but thats obviously not the point of this). Everyone’s experience after having a baby is different. Some moms feel an instant bond with their baby, for others that bond may take a few weeks to develop. Whatever you feel in your postpartum journey is normal. The feelings you are feeling have been felt by someone else. However, if you aren’t sure if you are ok, or can get through those feelings on your own, seek help. There is nothing wrong with seeing a doctor or therapist for your postpartum feelings.

When I had Sasha, there was an instant bond I felt with her. This isn’t always the case with mothers and newborns, sometimes that bond takes time to form. For Sasha and me, it took time for us to get to know each other, even though I felt that intense bond. For nine months I had been predicting, guessing, wondering what she would look like. And then bam… here she was! My own little stranger, I needed to get to know.

From day one, Sasha and I got to know each other 24/7. I learned about her, what her preferences are, what her different cries mean. She learned about me – I could instantly tell she fed off my mood. When I am calm, she is calm. When I am sad, she gets fussy. It’s really been like that since day one!

My postpartum experience was fairly easy, in terms of feelings and emotions. The physical healing is a whole other story. I have the support of my family. I am absolutely in love with my child. However, in the early days, I was very afraid that I would develop postpartum depression or postpartum anxiety.

I didn’t know what to expect or what to look out for in terms of symptoms of postpartum depression or postpartum anxiety.

I haven’t ever gone to therapy, but there were days when my mood swings were more extreme, and I didn’t know if maybe it was time to seek professional help from a therapist. Scared to upset my family, I kept these thoughts to myself. When I had my six-week check-up, I was given a survey to determine if I had PPD or PPA. I thought about lying, but I answered the questionnaire honestly. I didn’t meet the criteria for either PPD or PPA, and that was it… They told me I didn’t have PPD or PPA, did my pap, and sent me on my way for a year.

I loved my midwife who I saw that day at my postpartum appointment. She and I did have a great conversation where I felt she really asked the right questions to see how I was feeling. It’s harder to lie to someone’s face. For the sake of other mothers, I wish there were more checks and conversations held with doctors or midwives postpartum.

For me, the hardest emotional aspect of postpartum is the thought of having to leave my child one day. The idea of going back to work when she is four months old is absolutely heartbreaking. I know I have a longer leave than most people and I am so grateful, but it’s still super hard. Truly, I cannot imagine what that first day away from her will be like. I remember sitting in Sasha’s room on the day she turned a week old and crying hysterically because I didn’t want to ever leave her. That feeling of ‘mom guilt’ is still there.

I know that all of these thoughts are normal and many mothers don’t want to leave their children. There are also mothers who can’t wait to get back to work. In my opinion, that’s also normal. People can want a break from their children and still be amazing parents. I have days when I just want to get out of the house for an hour or two. It’s normal… We all need a break sometimes.

Your Postpartum Feelings are Valid

Through all of this reflection, I learned the most important lesson. I can’t compare my postpartum experience to anyone else’s… My feelings are valid, regardless of what anyone else says. You shouldn’t compare your experience to anyone’s either! Your feelings are just as valid. Just know that whatever it is you are feeling, you are not alone in feeling it. Someone out there has felt it too. Wanting a break doesn’t make you a bad mom. Wanting to go back to work doesn’t make you a bad parent. If you are worried about being a good parent, it means you already are one.

Three months have passed since the birth of my baby girl. Since then, I have learned to deal with my feelings in new ways. I found my mama tribe and I have a mommy BFF. My parents help make it so that I can take time for myself, since I am a single mom. Every day I take steps to ensure that I am a happy person so that I can be a great mom to Sasha.

Postpartum feelings graphic

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