Hey Mama, It's Okay: Postpartum Depression & Baby Blues

When I was pregnant with Matteo I was a reading machine. I read nonstop about what size fruit he was each week, what I should be eating for him to be healthy, what I should expect while I was expecting-if you will. Then I moved on to reading about parenting styles, and the things I wanted to implement with my baby. I read like crazy about labor and delivery, breastfeeding, sleep, and of course-I read product reviews like it was my day job. I was so sure I was prepared to bring my new baby into the world. I was ready. The books told me so.

And then, my baby was born. My tiny, hairy little baby. Holding him for the first time, breathing him in, hearing him cry, it's a feeling that a book could never really make me understand. I felt so much joy and pride. We had MADE it. 39 weeks through a difficult pregnancy, 33+ hours of labor, 40 minutes of intense pushing, and there he was! This was it. Everything I had been preparing for. We got to go home the day after I had him. I will never forget being wheeled out of the hospital with my little fur ball in my arms. It was dark and surprisingly cold, but I've always lived in Southern California so cold for me is anything below 75. The dispatcher dropped us off in front of our car, wished us luck and peaced out. And there we stood, our family of 3, in the dark...realizing our car seat base was installed wrong. Naturally this is the moment Matteo needed milk. I walked myself to a bench, sat my bloody diapered up booty down and nursed in public for the first time while Andrew figured out the car seat. Hiding behind my nervous laughter was a sudden pang of fear. What had we done? We were exhausted, we had no idea what we were doing, and we were being trusted to take this 2 day old home with us and keep him alive? Oh shit. And that my friends, is when I spiraled.

I cried for about 2 weeks straight, only taking breaks to put on a fake happy face when excited visitors came over to admire our beautiful little boy. I cried over my aching boobs, I cried over the lack of sleep, I cried over the stitches and the bleeding in my underwear, I cried over the house being messy, I cried. I cried all the time. I wish I could tell you my sob fest ended after those 2 weeks, but my reality was not that. What I thought was intense baby blues was something much deeper. Something I was ashamed of. I was depressed. I was so unhappy with my new life. I found myself staring at my perfect baby, mourning the loss of my freedom. And friends, that feeling lasted a long time. Once Andrew went back to work and I was really alone, whoa. The crying was on another level. I kept thinking, BUT I READ THE BOOKS. I felt like I was living in a literal nightmare. I felt so much stress and guilt. Oh man-the guilt. How could I possibly be feeling this way? I had always wanted to be a mom. Why wasn't it what I was expecting it to be? You often hear about celebrities being so brave for talking about their postpartum depression, but truly-very much like experiencing labor-you have no idea until you're in the thick of it.

It took me about 10 months for me to  slowly start feeling like myself again. This post isn't a guide on how to overcome your postpartum depression, I am obviously in no way an expert. Instead, I'm here to tell you that you are not alone. You can feel so much happiness, love and joy over your little baby while feeling like you need to run away to a remote island stat. You can cry. You can be unhappy about this super permanent change in your life. It's okay if you aren't completely in love with your child right away. If I could go back and give myself some advice it would be: see your doctor asap girlfriend! Lean on your friends and family, ask for help, take a shower and get out of the house, and remember that it all really does pass. Mama, it's okay! I am rooting for you!

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Hey there, I'm Jess! A DIY and glitter enthusiast. Obsessed with color, my husband, our dog, and Disneyland! Here you'll find colorful DIY's on a budget, boozy sips, and snippets of my life as a newlywed. Grab a cocktail, stay a while!



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