Saturday, January 12, 2013

All aboard the postpartum emotional crazy train?

There are a certain amount of emotions to be expected with any postpartum new mother, whether it is your first or your last baby- or any in between.  If you think about it, there are some huge hormonal changes going on immediately after you have a baby.  You are adjusting to the rapid, massive changes occurring in your own body including your ladybits shrinking back to a less gargantuan size, your milk supply coming in to feed your baby, and your love hormones spiking off the chart all at one time, plus many more changes.

And that's not even fully discussing that you're getting maybe 2 or 3 possibilities of one or two hours of sleep per night initially, if that in some cases.  Which- I don't know about you- but for me, would induce a few emotions by itself!

Having a few extra tears or outbursts can be a completely normal thing.

With little man, I remember being tired and teary a few times, but not having any major emotional breakdowns.  This time around?  Completely opposite.

DH has been so supportive in helping me nap throughout the day and have breaks right now, as well as little lady has taken a few longer stretches of sleep- one even that was over 6 hours before I woke her.  So, I actually feel much more rested this time around and have been adjusting really well to the decreased amount of sleep. 

But, my goodness, the emotions.

It seems like the past few days, as little lady has just about turned the corner to being one week old, I am a ball of tears.  It mainly has to do with little man.  I can't seem to even look at him sometimes without the tears welling up in the back of my eyes. 

When I look at little man, I see a huge toddler, whereas a week ago, he was still just a baby to me.  His hands look and feel HUGE compared to little lady's delicate, teeny fingers.  His body is, at 30 lbs, massive- compared to her 6 lb self.  When I look at him, I realize just how much he is not a baby.  And it only makes me think about how quickly the time has passed since he was.

Then I look back to little lady.  And I realize just how quickly the time is going to pass with her as well.  How quickly she is going to grow and change. 

And, how in a few years down the line, I'm hopefully going to be cuddling a new baby and wondering where all the time has gone with my first two children.

DH has been trying to be supportive of my emotions, but there are many times where I can't blame him for feeling confused or unsure of how to react.  We can simply be sitting and eating dinner and all of a sudden I'll be bawling after looking at little man's sweet face.  DH sometimes has no clue what even set me off, and- as a man, and an engineer- that means he doesn't know what to do to fix it.

To be honest- when the tears begin- as of right now neither do I.

I know that the best solution is going to be time at this point.  I need a few more weeks to level out and get my hormones back into check.  I need a few more weeks of having patience with myself and my emotions, being able to feel all of those feelings and give them understanding and space.  I'm not trying to pretend I'm not having these feelings, and I'm realizing that they are completely and utterly normal, and that I am normal to feel this way at this point.

The upside of all of these feelings is that both little man and little lady have absolutely been showered with hugs, kisses, cuddles, and snuggles in the past week, which makes both me and them feel more comfortable, even if they are accompanied by a few misty eyed (or sobbing- who am I kidding?) moments. 

Thankfully, I feel comfortable and confident in myself, my family, my support system, and my body, and we'll get through this in one piece.

Did you experience a rush of emotions during the postpartum period?  How did your feelings present?  How did you get through?

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  1. I'm with you on this. I had so many breakdowns this time around. I felt like a crazy person. Now I am 5 weeks postpartum and just about back to normal. I have the occasional weepy moments when I am dancing with the baby or he is smiling up at me. I don't think that's going to change, though. There's some different emotion that I just can't put my finger on knowing that this is my last baby. it's almost like I'm really savoring every bit of new baby love and it just keeps building until it can't be contained :-)

  2. I'm officially at the start of week 3, and the first two weeks were magical...and horrible! I kept crying and crying and crying. I cried because I was so overwhelmed by the intensity of my emotions (so much love for the little one, a deeper love for my husband), the fear of being a bad mother, the pain from being a first-time breastfeeder to what doctors call a "barracuda feeder," the nights when he would cry nearly nonstop for 7-8 hours, the thought that my husband had to go back to work... I'm just glad that I'm not as weepy anymore, it was exhausting! It helped to have visitors to distract me--otherwise, I would just cry as the baby napped.


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