Hormonal changes, mood swings – baby blues and postpartum depression. 80% of all new mothers experience some mood swings after the birth of their first child. Even though it is so common to suffer from negative feelings during pregnancy and/or after birth people are barely talking about it.
During my entire pregnancy I didn’t have any mood swings at all.
1 day after the birth of our son they asked me to answer a postpartum depression screening questionnaire and I remember exactly that Mark and I were laughing about it – why would anyone have such feelings after having a baby. The only reason why I would cry is because I am so happy about the little addition to our family!
I never ever thought that I would experience baby blues! Since it came SO unexpected I was probably even more overwhelmed by that fact. During that time I talked to a lot of moms and shared my thoughts and worries which helped a lot!
I want to share those feelings with you – just so you know – it’s normal to feel that way and there is nothing wrong with you! Hormones can be very tricky – It is definitely not easy becoming a mommy, especially in the first few weeks!
5 days after giving birth to our adorable little boy I suddenly felt sadness and started to cry out of the blue. I really didn’t know why I was crying or what caused all the negative feelings – obviously there was absolutely no reason to be sad. And even though I was super happy about our little baby boy I just felt so overwhelmed sometimes – I noticed mood swings between happiness, joy, love and emptiness, weariness, anxiety and even loss in appetite. I felt lost and I couldn’t concentrate on anything. I really couldn’t believe that I felt like this – It’s so not like me, I never experienced anything similar to this and in the beginning I was so mad with myself (I even felt guilty) that I had such feelings, even if it was just once a day for half an hour. The first day I had those feelings was also the first day my husband went back to work (5 days after Raphael was born). In his job has to travel a lot and there were meetings which could not be postponed – unfortunately – that might have triggered those negative feelings inside of me. And even though I am happy that he loves his job I just hate it when he’s not home. I was so scared being alone with Raphael or leaving the house with him – all by myself! I was afraid of how our life would suddenly change and that it’ll never be just the two of us. And I felt so guilty about feeling that way. Raphael is 100 % planned and he is just perfect – He is easy going, sleeps a lot and is calm most of the time when he doesn’t have stomach issues – that made me feel even worse that I had those kind of thoughts when my hormones got me.
I LOVE him so much and every time I look at him my heart is filled with love and joy – and now looking back it’s definitely one of the most beautiful changes in our life and I am beyond grateful!
But the first weeks were really tough. It was such a big change and it was so hard for me that Mark was traveling during that time.
I had the baby blues for roughly 2-3 weeks starting from day 5 after Raphael’s birth. The first week it came every day for half an hour – I cried a lot. The second week it was about every 2 days and after that fewer and fewer. Mark and I talked a lot during those days. Even though I couldn’t always tell him the reason for how I felt or why I was crying he was there for me. Holding me in his arms and listening to me was the best thing he could have done. He also gave me some alone time to get out of the house for an hour even if it was just grocery shopping or grabbing a Starbucks coffee. That really helped a lot when I had a bad cry. He is the greatest dad and the best husband I could ever imagine and I am so thankful to have him by my side. He supports me in every single way and I couldn’t imagine to manage those weeks without him.
It’s such a big change from being independent to being fully responsible for a little human being! And having negative feelings besides all the happiness is really normal – talking about it helped me a lot!! Just know that you are not alone and it will fade out over time. Try not to be so hard on yourself, it takes time to adjust – just be patient and kind to yourself.
4 things that helped when the baby blues got me:
- Don’t blame myself for those feelings. Let it happen, cry and know that it’ll pass
- Talk openly about my feelings
- Take a long shower
- Get out of the house for at least half an hour – just by myself.
My life saver:
- Mark: husband, daddy, hero!
- Target!!! My happy place!
- A Starbucks caramel Frappuccino
Wherever you’re at – you got this mommy!