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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

it's not all roses...

From the book The Second Nine Months by Vicki Glembocki, the author writes about how motherhood is not all roses and pretty and wonderful.

"There were moments like that. Of course there were moments. But there was so much else going on, too, things that made me feel emotions that no one warned me I would feel. I was so paralyzed by it that there was no way I could talk about it. But the feelings kept raging and churning in my head, this battle over what I thought motherhood should be versus what I was really going through. How could I admit there was a difference? I had no choice but to get it right. I certainly couldn't let anyone think I was screwing up. But the face I put on - that things were fine - only made the battle worse. Only made me feel more alone." (page 245)

I did not feel the intense postpartum feelings that many women feel, like anger and hatred toward their child, like feeling like they are in over their heads, not wanting to deal with the baby at certain moments. I was lucky enough to be spared those emotions. However, I know they are real and happen more often than we think. I also know it's normal and OK with all the new-ness and the hormones flying everywhere inside you. So if you ever feel this way, seek medical support as soon as possible.

However, I did feel a range of emotions after having Owen.
They included but are probably not limited to (except for my lack of memory): exhaustion
sadness that he was out of my belly
relief that he was out of my belly
missing his kicks inside me
scared, fearful, nervous, weird
sooo in love
in awe of my husband and more in love than ever
annoyed that my husband did not just go through labor and delivery like I did
miserable from physical pain
unsure of myself, overwhelmed

I felt defeated and stupid and guilty that breastfeeding did not work for me as I'd hoped it would. I felt proud that I was able to carry a baby to term for ten months, despite my doctors two years before after two fibroid surgeries telling me I may not be able to have children. I felt excited that our new life as a family was starting. I felt confused, how the heck am I supposed to know what to do once we leave this hospital?!

It's normal to feel all over the place. Just expect the unexpected in this department.

One thing that helped me was to acknowledge that it was not me that was crazy, it was the hormones, the lack of sleep and the new-ness of everything that I was getting used to. It also helped tremendously to talk to mom friends who had been there before. Talking to my own mother, relying on her for answers to random questions about how to swaddle the baby or how to really burp him was so helpful. Talking to random friends on Facebook or long lost peers or co-workers who seemed to say the right thing when I was struggling late at night was helpful. Just ask for help. People have been where you are going to be or are now. You aren't alone.

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