I became a mother at the age of 17. With my first son he was the light of my life and I was so consumed in him and nothing in the world mattered. He was the center of my universe so all of the outside noise of the world never really had a chance to disturb my peace because I had found it in him. As time went on I became a mother to twin boys and a beautiful baby girl. Living my life in the fast lane. School, practice, work and just the daily motions of life.
I was a single mother of four going through the motions of life so quickly and getting adjusted to what worked for me and how I would raise my children to be the best versions of themselves they could be. I spent every waking moment consumed in the things that they needed and wanted. But because I was so young and misinformed on how to take care of myself and them I deprived myself of the things that I needed in order for me to be OK.
My children were a bit older and I had gotten used to the “mom” thing. I had got into the groove of what I felt like was a good space. I met my love, we had our first child together and things were great. I was working, I finally felt this feeling of self love and appreciation for the scars that came along with having children and I felt “amazing.” But then we found out we were pregnant with our second child. Me being me, I just knew that my body would go back to being a size five. I would have my baby and be up and moving in no time and back to my normal routine as I always done with the births of my other children. But this pregnancy hit me life a freight train. I got up to almost 200 pounds, I was in the worse pain of my life carrying around this eight pound little bundle. On top of all that finding out that my son was only born with one kidney I naturally went into a fight or flight mode attempting to protect myself from what would become the beginning of a never ending battle.
I gave birth and everything I THOUGHT didn’t exist hit me harder than any pain in my life. I had a very difficult labor, I was having issues breastfeeding, I was worried about my son’s health and I did not go back to my pre birth weight. I found myself becoming distant and irritable with those around me, I was distancing myself from my spouse, my thoughts were scrambled and I couldn’t remember the slightest thing even if I tried. I kept trying to force myself to be OK but the truth was I was not OK emotionally or mentally. I was truly falling apart inside and I was so afraid for people to know that I hid it for months. Until I just finally had a break down and talked to my doctor about the way that I was feeling and let them know I didn’t feel like myself anymore and I couldn’t understand what was going on with me.
I finally took the time to tell my family that I was not OK and I needed time for myself in order to get through what I was feeling and I needed them to understand that my reactions toward them and the way that I was feeling had nothing to do with them but they needed to be sensitive to what was going on with me and allow me to heal the best I knew that I could. I chose to put myself in therapy and I made it VERY clear for those around me not to use the word “crazy” when describing the way my behavior had changed.
During my battle with Postpartum I know for sure it was the first time I really had to deal with myself and unlearn bad habits, take in the good with the bad, and teach myself that there is strength in being vulnerable and admitting I needed someone to be there for me. It is so often that after having a baby the mother is forgotten and the baby gains all of the focus. The common misconception is that were mothers and we can handle everything thrown at us with ease when the truth is most of us are falling apart inside and too afraid to show weakness because we don’t want to be shamed. We are not always eating, we are absolutely not sleeping and we don’t feel like we are attractive to the person we love. All of those things can be a deadly combination if gone untreated or unnoticed by those around you. I urge people to show mothers love, ask if they are OK and be there when they need someone to be their strength.