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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Truth About Baby Blues

No matter how hard I may have tried to have this baby, the baby blues still hit me pretty hard in the beginning. Thankfully not for long and DH was pretty awesome about it, but it just goes to show that no one gets a free pass when it comes to depression.

I was ashamed to admit it at first, but once I opened up to a couple of friends about it and had their support I felt a ton better!

I remember it was a week after she was born when it hit me. We were getting ready to go to my mother-in-laws, a trip I originally was not planning to go on, and I was overtaken by anxiety in the car. Initially I thought it was (just) the lack of sleep, too many visitors the previous week, being overwhelmed by requests for pictures and updates, the breastfeeding struggle and the new experience of the first trip out as a family getting to me... but it didn't stop there.

Over the next week I found myself crying many times a day, often over nothing at all. I asked DH more than once what we were thinking and often said that there had been nothing wrong with our family of two. He was able to understand her cries much before I was able to as well and this made me feel a little unsure of myself and I was terrified any time he would leave to run errands for more than an hour at a time. Not to mention the postpartum hormonal storm that takes hold of you too!

So, one day he encouraged me to go out for a bit and it made a world of difference!

It was just groceries, and I cried on the way there as well as on the way back... but I felt better. It was a much needed break from everything, baby girl included. This led to another errand a couple of days later, and another and another. I went for a walk with one friend, picked up the phone and called another, and even accepted an offer from my neighbor to come over one morning and watch the baby just so I could eat breakfast in peace.

I opened up, I got support, accepted help and now I am handling things so much better!

I still have a heightened level of anxiety over many things, but it has been mostly manageable. I make sure to be very open with DH about how I am feeling and we talk it through together, making backup and alternative plans if necessary. My usual holiday upset (which, despite what I previously expected, has not disappeared by having a child) will surely compound things, followed by DH's return to work in early January, but since he is only home for a couple more weeks I am determined to make the most of our time together.

And, most importantly, spend some quality family time together... just the three of us!