Things have been quiet around here. I’m mostly just posting to Instagram, so keep in touch with us over there. I’ve been spending all of my time focused on our new baby, B and my husband, who is on paternity leave. I’m also hyper-focused on myself and my health to ensure that I handle any tough postpartum stuff before it gets out of control.
I’ve mentioned before, but have never fully shared my Postpartum Depression experience with our first baby. Without going into a ton of detail, I sobbed every day for nearly two months and had a hard time for another eight after that. This time, I planned in every way possible to avoid it, but also had a second plan for if I experienced it again. We had very actionable steps to take depending on how things were going. I’ve been lucky so far that I am doing remarkably well. So well, in fact, that I’m happy. Not just “getting by” or not experiencing PPD, I’m truly enjoying life.
I am SO in love with both of my boys. My husband and I both had this massive amount of love exploding in our hearts for Bodhi after Ezra was born too. We knew that our hearts would just grow to include Ezra, or so we were told, but the surprise was that our love doubled for Bodhi too. Adding to our family has been an amazing experience for both of us. I find myself more patient than I was before most of the time. Obviously, a preschool age child can push some buttons, but we are doing really well.
We haven’t done much. We’re home most of the time, but I’ve realized that with B, I simply tried to do too much too soon. My expectations of life after baby were not realistic with him.
Having a beautiful labor and delivery experience, realistic expectations about life with a baby, my husband home and finally, taking really good care of myself physically has helped me to have a much more pleasant postpartum experience this time around. I have asked my husband for help when I need a nap after a long sleepless night. I am taking some vitamins that have some evidence for helping with mood and postpartum healing. I’m allowing myself to have a full cup of coffee. I denied that to myself after Bodhi. I would let myself have a half a cup at most to avoid fussiness from breastfeeding
While I experienced a very weepy “baby blues” type of day on day five postpartum, I have mostly been in really good spirits, something I simply could not say about my postpartum experience after the birth of Bodhi. There was nothing I wanted more after Bodhi than to feel joyful, but it just didn’t come for a long time. This time, I am splitting my time more between two children, but I am having amazing moments with both Bodhi and baby Ezra.
The first four days, I found myself crying tears of joy frequently. I think I was relieved not to experience the baby blues immediately like I did last time. Day five threw me off, admittedly. I found myself going down the black hole of “what ifs” and “this must mean” assuming I was definitely going to have severe postpartum depression within days. Now, three weeks postpartum, I have had some tears, but mostly, I am very content and filled with an overwhelming sense of joy and peace and love for my family.
The piles of laundry make me a bit crazy, but we find we can catch up on that within a day if we try. The dishes have also piled up a bit, but my mother-in-law frequently comes over to make that a non-issue. Do you see a pattern here? I’m letting things go and I’m accepting help.
Ezra has been a fairly content baby. He does hate the carseat but we bought a new one and have seen some improvement. I’ll be sure to share that experience here soon for any other parents with carseat haters.
Love and peace,
A sleep-deprived, but love-filled wife and mama of two
Photo by Leah Fontaine Photography.
p.s. If you or a loved one are experiencing a Perinatal Mood Disorder, there is help. I went without help with my first child and it lasted much longer than it needed to. Please visit Postpartum Support International to find help in your area. If you are local to the Twin Cities, feel free to email me and I’m happy to share a few resources I’m aware of here.