My Postpartum Experience
My Postpartum Journey
My postpartum journey with both my son and daughter was a beautiful yet challenging time. In comparison with my daughter, I had a very easy and comfortable pregnancy with my son. My recovery time after having him went well with many moments of feeling overwhelmed, being in a blur and just not knowing at times what to use as a comparison. My pregnancy and postpartum months after having my daughter, on the other hand, was much more challenging. I had horrible morning sickness, fatigue throughout and pain in my back and legs. After giving birth to my daughter and as the first few weeks went by, I became to become much more sensitive, on edge more ofter and getting anxious and overwhelming thoughts of something happening that was out of my control like a large earthquake and we weren’t prepared as a family. At the time, everything was a blur but looking back now, I realized I had a from of postpartum anxiety. These thoughts and feelings haunted me night and day for months. Small things made me more uptight and my patience was non-exsistent. I have a great counceller and she helped support me through those months. Things started settling after the first four months. I can't imagine for myself if I didn't have the support we had at the time how I would have been able to function. There were times I even felt guilty and couldn't stop thinking about how lucky I was and am to have full time help and ongoing family support since there are a lot of other mothers who don't have this or have a choice. This is one thing I will never take for granted for in my life.
Our nanny is the most incredible support for our family and household and me. She was there when my daughter was born, so my daughter has grown up to be extremely close with her. The home was taken care of, meals were prepare and the children were take care of. My husband was very busy working within the business at the time, so the full time support was just what we needed. It was also important to have family around to support where needed for our son who was in preschool at the time. Keeping him busy and happy and helping out during week night dinners really helped us keep our sanity and reassurance he was getting taken care of. I took a long time to recover after having my daughter. Sleep, breastfeeding and managing two children even though I had incredible help and support was still very challenging for me. Looking back now, I've realized I had some form of postpartum anxiety and depletion for the first 5 months where my body gets completely exhausted for 2-3 hours mid-day. I couldn't think clearly, see clearly or function with regular daily activities. In the first year I needed to calculate the energy I would put out to make sure I didn’t exhaust myself and effect the kids. I wasn’t able to workout the way I used to and my body felt and still does that its not that way it should be. Workouts are so important to me, it builds my confidence and makes me feel clear headed. Breastfeeding felt like it made the exhaustion worse and I began to feel resentful towards it which I never wanted to do. Having that support and a ‘tribe’ surrounding me was the only way I could function. The attention tends to be surrounding the newborn there is always so much attention around the newborn but less around the mothers. And there sometimes guilt or misunderstanding if a mother wants to take care of herself, its either too much work, or she has to leave her baby with others.
Lack of sleep, breastfeeding, juggling a career and motherhood (even though I had incredible help and support) took a toll on my body. Looking back now, I know I had postpartum anxiety for the first 4 months and still have postpartum depletion where my body gets completely exhausted after 2-3 hours at a time. I can’t think clearly, see clearly or function with regular daily activities. In the first year I needed to calculate the energy I would put out to make sure I didn’t exhaust myself and affect the kids. I wasn’t able to workout the way I used to and my body felt and still does not the way I feel it should. Workouts are so important to me, it builds my confidence and makes me feel clear headed. Breastfeeding felt like it made the exhaustion worse and I began to feel resentful towards it which I never wanted to do.
I now appreciate more and more that having the right support surrounding us is key to taking care of yourself, your children and your relationships. to help take care of our children and ourselves.
I've always been a strong believer in self care and taking care of your self will only make your relationships stronger, your mind clearer, and in turn, you will be stronger for your friends, family, children and your career. Its not always easy or available to live close to family, but having a community of friends and support can make a big difference to a mother's self-care journey.