There’s a lot of joyful moments during pregnancy along with advice, criticism, and things people tell you they did while they were pregnant. I must say my pregnancy journey was not a harsh one. I did not experience morning sickness, I was able to exercise whenever I didn’t feel lazy, and I worked up until five days prior to my due date. I felt good for the most part. I had good reports from the OBGY-N and my primary doctor. Our baby shower was a success and we have yet bought a pack of wipes or a case of diapers thus far. Our son latched on immediately and I gain more breast milk to put in the freezer. Things were looking good and I felt ready to take on the journey that was ahead of me. But after a few weeks of our son’s birth, I knew I had to see a therapist. My mental state depended on it.
People told me to say goodbye to sleep but I wasn’t sure how much sleep I was going to lose. During the hospital stay, I was spoiled by the nurses, they checked up on me every hour and helped me whenever I needed rest. I healed up better than I expected and I was walking around the hospital whenever I felt the need to stretch my legs. I was ready to go home, more than ever and the car ride home was not as bad as I was told.
Our first night home was eventful, we were up all night and our wonderful Yorki thought it was a good idea to poop in the baby’s room. Our son was screaming his head off and we all were adjusting to a new life in our home. My husband stepped on the poop in route to changing our son’s diaper. I had to take control and tell him we were going to be okay, let’s take care of the baby and poop and make our way back to bed. That first night turned into many sleepless nights. I woke up delusional wondering if having a child was really in the books for me. I wanted some rest of any kind and a small part of me wanted my old life back. I was later informed that those feelings were normal and that it will get better soon but I wasn’t sure when soon was going to come.
People were respectful and gave me space. We were not overwhelmed with visitor and a part of me enjoyed that. Another part of me felt alone and was wondering why people weren’t rushing to our house to see the new baby. My hormones were out of wack and after my husband’s short week of vacation I was home alone with a baby and I didn’t know a thing about parenthood. Sure there’s a lot of reading material and a boatload of advice from people that call themselves experts but this was my baby, a new human being that called the shots, a person with his own objective and it took trial and error to figure out what the heck was going on whenever he started crying.
At this point, I didn’t realize how important family involvement was. It wasn’t easy for anyone in my family to come by and stay a week or even a weekend to spend with us. They all lived hours away and in between work schedules and already scheduled vacations, many people told me they would try to make it to Maryland and I only could depend on their word. Days turned into weeks and my loneliness turned into anger. I had the support of people that loved me dearly but it’s different when it’s not coming from your own bloodline.
I tell people all the time I married into the best family God put on Earth. I But there is something soothing to my aunt holding our child, or my grandma giving our son some wisdom. It’s a great feeling to hear compliments from my family and friends. There’s something about family that makes life special, it’s an unexplainable feeling and I can’t put my finger on it, but I am sure you can relate.
My anger became worse each day. My thoughts were negative and when someone tried to help, I looked at them as if they were getting in the way. I was overwhelmed and felt like I didn’t have control over my mental state. I had to schedule an appointment to get these feelings out of me, and I knew I had a lot to express.
We all want acceptance from somebody at some point in our life…
Expressing my anger and hearing someone validate my thoughts were welcoming. We all want to hear someone say, “you did a great job,” or “you are doing it the right way.” I later questioned myself what is the right way? Why are we so subjective to being accepted to what other people think. They are living life just as we are, who are they to condone what I do with my life?
I wanted acceptance from people who were struggling with life themselves. But when I didn’t get that confirmation, I felt neglected and abandoned. Yet therapy helped me realize their acceptance is not the all in be all. I have a life that I need to live and I cannot wait for someone to say “good job” or be in my presence to make me feel good. I have the right to be angry and the authority to express my feelings and move on with life.
Therapy made me realize I had to channel my thoughts. I acknowledge my fears and now I am moving forward. I faced the challenge of expressing myself to someone who I felt I couldn’t express myself to. I listened to the explanation and decided on what I wanted to do with it. I later realized we all have choices in life, we can soak in sorrow or face our fears and move on. I’m deciding to go with the second option.
At first, I thought I was going through postpartum depression and a part of me thinks that I was. None the less the important thing I did for myself and my family was to talk to someone professionally. The good thing is I know there is nothing wrong with seeking help. I personally think everyone needs a therapist in their contact list. However, there are some people who feel they can handle things on their own despite what good can come out seeing a professional.
We Have Feelings for a Reason
During therapy, I was able to be myself and talk about the things that made me upset without being judged. I was able to get some pointers about facing my fears and I was understood by someone who walked in my shoes long before I became pregnant.
NOBODY has it all together. We all are figuring out life just like the next person, and just because someone needs an extra boost does not make them less of a human being. Having a baby is tough when emotions and unmet expectations are involved, but that does not mean we have to stop living. It took for me to talk to my therapist to appreciate the people who are in my life and those who show that they care. I’ve learned to not yearn for those who decide to keep their distance and embrace the people who stand in my corner. People come into your life and others go astray and that’s okay. I’ve learned I am not responsible for other people’s feelings and that was a HUGE hurdle I had to face.
But it’s done and now it’s something I can talk about.
Community Convo: What hurdles did you have to face recently. What how did you accomplish it?