Baby Blues & The How Are You’s
I’m one month in with a newborn and toddler, and they are exactly what I expected, but I am not.
When I had Miles I was shocked at how easily Tripp and I transitioned into parent life. Most of our friends had scared us to death about the first few months with a newborn and up until Miles existed Tripp and I pretty much had all the freedom in the world. We vacationed, we worked from home, we even lived in Los Angeles across the country from both of our immediate families. So in a lot of ways the fact that the transition was fairly easy was really shocking. My hormones were kind of amazing… I was more emotional than normal but in a good way. I happy cried a lot which was totally out of character for me. I felt so good. So happy. Happier than I had ever felt in my entire life. To those of you that had completely opposite experiences and are silently hating me right now, keep reading.
At the end of my pregnancy with Neeva (child #2) I just kept feeling really sad. Not just uncomfortable and ready to have her, but genuinely really sad. I kept blaming it on lack of sleep and my inability to work or think or be creative. I had no real reason to be sad… I just was. I had to start maternity leave a little early and I tried to push the sadness down and just assumed it would go away once I physically felt better after labor.
The first two weeks at home I had a lot of help. Tripp stayed home and attended to everything and everyone. Supportive husband, thriving toddler, healthy newborn… every reason in the world to be happy, but the sun would start setting and by 5:00pm I would feel so blue. I read a blog post that was being passed around about “2 weeks in with a newborn and a toddler”, and I was thrown off when I read that she thought having a newborn was so much easier the second time around. At first I thought that maybe Neeva is just a way harder baby, but really she isn’t… she is very similar to Miles. Now we live 25 minutes from both of our families. I have so much support. It took me a month to realize that the difference this time is me.
I am not the same. The happy hormones that I once experienced with Miles are no where to be found and it’s taking me some time to tell myself that is okay. There is such guilt that comes with baby blues and PPD. I know that I know it’s not my fault. I know that this is so common. I know that it doesn’t define me as a mom or wife. But, there is this dark quiet voice that wants me to believe it does.
It’s not easy to tell your husband that you think you might be a little broken. Or a lot broken. It feels shameful to admit that you are so lonely in a season when you have more support than ever. It feels low to admit that you’re sad while you’re holding a beautiful and healthy baby.
So I’m fighting off that dark voice and the rising shame… and even though I struggled with whether or not to share it publicly I decided to for a few reasons.
- The simple how are you’s
- Throughout this last month I’ve received so many texts from my sweet mom friends but they mostly start with, “How are you?” They know that becoming a mom, even for a second time, potentially comes with all these feelings we can’t completely explain. I didn’t fully understand that the first time around with Miles, but now the simple words “How are you” is a crack in the door for me to open up and feel a little less lonely. I’m reminded how much we need each other in this season. I wish I had been better about reaching out to my friends after they had babies and will approach this so differently from here on out.
- A gentle reminder that this is normal!
- I’m still reminding myself… but I know that the more we talk about this the more it’s okay to talk about this. We can’t let the lies, shame, and guilt drive us to be quiet. Not saying you have to air all your feelings in a blog like me, but if you are going through anything similar please talk to your friends, spouse, counselor, or anyone in your support system.
- Every pregnancy is different, including postpartum.
- It’s often talked about how every pregnancy is different but I never expected for my weeks after pregnancy to feel so different. I wish I had been a little more prepared for that but I am so thankful I already had friends who had shared experiences with me. I also think it’s important to remember when sharing stories, good and bad, that we don’t project them onto others in a way that creates extra pressure. I think I unintentionally did this in the past when I talked about my experience with Miles.
Anyway, sorry my one month update really wasn’t about sweet Neeva because I got all mental health on you! I cherish the vulnerability that you guys have brought out of me and I am so thankful I feel safe sharing real life with you. The fog has slowly started to lift and I am feeling more like myself.
Neeva is precious. She wants to be held all the time. Miles is the sweetest big brother, but he’s still a baby to me!