When I Cried Like a Baby! After Having a Baby

The day I saw those two pink lines I was filled with a million thoughts of a happy journey ahead. I couldn’t wait to become a mom and experience everything I had heard about motherhood. I hardly remember anyone talking about ‘emotions’ but I definitely received a lot of advice. I was cautioned about how sleep deprived I would be for the first few weeks (or years). I was warned about the endless advice I would get and the confusion that would make me wonder if I was doing the right thing or not. I was told to accept any help I was offered and not be too possessive of certain things that would eventually be out of my control. I thought I could handle it all. But no one told me about the ‘blues’ or the hormones that would turn my ‘mommy world’ upside down in an instant. I wish I’d known that it was normal, that all new moms experience a rush of emotions that would leave them laughing one moment and crying the next. But how can motherhood ever make a person sad, miserable or cry?

When I brought home my precious newborn, I remember feeling a sense of nervousness. I felt a responsibility like never before and that made me fiercely protective. The baby and all things associated with baby came first - no matter what. It did not matter if I was hungry, or if I had to sleep while I sat and I soon began to worry myself over things I normally never stressed about. The first time I felt the ‘emotions’ was the night I spent rocking and feeding my newborn who was hungry every little while and would wake at the slightest movement. I spent the entire night on the couch, trying different feeding positions and all I wanted to do was cry because I couldn’t console my wailing baby. Why was it so difficult to figure out my baby’s cries? How challenging was motherhood? Because I had seen so many ease into this role so well. I should have talked right then and realized that these are very common feelings that all new moms experience in the initial phase after delivery. But as I mentioned before, not many of us want to even accept the fact that we can feel such negative emotions after the beautiful experience of giving birth to a baby.

The ‘Baby Blues’ is not something that you’ll hear about quite often. In fact you might have never heard of the term before and even if you do, you will probably convince yourself that you’ll never experience it. But in the days after birth, the surge of hormones together with the other changes like less sleep, constantly feeding baby and exhaustion can bring on this wave of emotions. The most challenging part is that while you’re unsure about these feelings yourself, those around you might not even understand or even be able to help you feel better.
 So if you’re a new mom how do you even begin to deal with these feelings? 
  1. The most important and first step in dealing with the emotions is to help yourself and never neglect your requirements especially during those first few weeks. Never miss out on meals, get as much sleep as you can (even if you feel like that’s the most unrealistic dream that everyone proclaim is easy- sleep with baby!).
  2. Talk, talk, and talk. This is something I did not do and I realise the importance now. Unless you express yourself to your husband, partner or your family, they will not be able to understand how and what exactly you feel. Your husband should realise that he is equally responsible in taking care of the baby and you should not have to ASK for his help.
  3. Taking time away for yourself can work wonders not only for your mind but your mood as well. This is never easy in most traditional households as most of us follow the strict 40-day rest period. However you can still stay fresh by just a walk in the garden, or a short time away from your baby. Never ever feel guilty about taking time away from your baby that will only make you feel worse.
  4. We’re lucky today because of the many support groups and sources that exist. Connect with other moms- friends, family or even through social media. Many cities have mom meetups, events and activities that can make a huge difference during those first few months. There are numerous resources online to help with any problem you might be experiencing right from diaper changes to feeding to sleep and exercise.

You must remember that you’re not alone although it can be difficult to really understand why exactly you feel great on certain days and depressed on other days. Just remember to always talk to someone about your thoughts and feelings rather than confuse your symptoms and assume they are abnormal. Having a good support system is very important and for some of us who stay away from home, or have no extended family support this can be really difficult and trying. In such situations, I would urge you to look to friends and online support groups for help. I have personally seen moms reach out to help new moms in distress and I have read heartwarming stories of moms who have gone the extra mile to help another mom experiencing difficulties. The feelings will eventually pass – just give yourself some time and much needed attention.