I’m sharing my experience with the baby blues for anyone who is worried about their feelings and emotions after their delivery. I had a tough end to my pregnancy and a less than ideal experience in the hospital after I delivered Olivia. I have a friend who told me because of this I should pay especially close attention to my emotions and ensure I didn’t experience anything serious like Post Partum Depression. She also mentioned before I delivered that once I had Olivia I would cry randomly over anything and everything because of the insane hormone fluctuation.
She was right.
A day or two after I got home from the hospital the baby blues started. I cried more than frequently, and a lot of the time it was over something very insignificant like a commercial on tv or something that someone said. Many of my tears came for reasons that I knew were hormone based and I knew would go away once they regulated. Those things didn’t scare me. They became slightly funny after a few tears ran down my cheek.
A lot of my tears, though, came for reasons that I didn’t know whether would fade or not. Because Olivia is our first child, I had nothing to compare it to. I cried pretty much everyday for one or more of the following reasons: I didn’t want Olivia to grow up, I didn’t want Olivia to have to go to daycare, and I loved her so much that I didn’t know how else to react. Not daily, but many times these tears were sobs, and I had trouble controlling my ability to stop the crying. I started asking my friends questions that I hoped would help.
The friend that had told me about the tears was the one that I turned to most frequently, asking her if she got sad at the thought of her girls growing up; it was to this that she and several others responded that it really just gets more fun as they grow. I also texted anyone and everyone that I know about thoughts on daycare and whether Olivia would be alright. Many times I was almost inconsolable. I started to worry a little bit about whether I was getting close to Post Partum Anxiety or Post Partum Depression. Without talking to a professional, it’s truly difficult to know if your feelings are normal, slightly abnormal, or truly something to worry about.
I didn’t have the concern about being alone with my baby or not being able to take care of her. I knew I wasn’t perfect and was very hard on myself in the beginning, but I never thought I was depriving her of basic needs. It was for those two reasons that I decided that I probably didn’t have PPD or PPA but just a bad case of baby blues. Whether or not that’s the case I won’t know, as I’ve thankfully stopped experiencing the dark feelings and sobbing that I did in the first month or two.
My baby blues tears lasted a very long time. They were very serious for a month, and then I would tear up a few times a week or more for the following two months after that. It is really just as the fog of the fourth trimester (first three months after birth) is lifting that I am starting to feel like myself again.
I no longer cry on a weekly basis. I can now think about the future with Olivia and be excited; I of course don’t want her to grow up quickly, but with each little bit of growth and development that I have seen from her I realize that the future will be fun even if I do miss the past a little. And most surprisingly, I now don’t view sending her to daycare as the true end of the world. I plan to post separately about my feelings in regards to daycare, but it has taken me three months to be able to talk about daycare without crying.
I of course can’t give professional advice to anyone that is experiencing crazy hormones after delivery, but I can say that I have been there and understand. It is really hard to be thrown into the role of a mother but struggle with your own emotions on a daily basis.
My two suggestions would be to talk to people and to get out of the house. I talked to my husband, my mom, and friends to try to understand whether my feelings were rational. And if things get really dark for you, do look into the symptoms associated with PPD and PPA and seek professional help. I can look back in hindsight and know that I am better and okay now, but I didn’t know when it would happen or if it would happen.
As for getting out of the house, I’m certain that this is another major reason that I have started feeling like myself again. Being cooped up with a baby all day and not knowing if you’re doing anything right can cause you to lose your sense of self. You also have a lot of time on your hands to obsess over things if that’s in your nature. I chose not to go out the first two months with Olivia because she didn’t have her vaccinations, but once she got those and we started getting out on an almost daily basis, I no longer spent all my time focusing on my fears, worries, and concerns.
The baby blues are real, and they’re not cute or fun like the name makes it sound. They’re also normal. The website that I referred to frequently to read about symptoms of PPD and PPA were Postpartum Progress and Parents. They also both tell stories of other women who struggled after delivery, and just knowing that I wasn’t the only one feeling this way helped a very little bit.
As time has passed I can thankfully look back on those baby blues feelings and feel removed from them. I also will know what to expect if we’re able to have another baby at some point, so I’ll be able to look back and know that the fog will clear and I will start to slowly feel more like myself again.