After months of anticipation, meeting my baby for the first time was surely one of the most memorable experiences of my life. In addition to the big adjustment of becoming a parent, I've also encountered a new set of physical and emotional symptoms that began once the baby was born and let me tell you, these symptoms have been nothing I've experienced before.
This is supposed to be the happiest time of my life, so why am I feeling so blue, moody, achy, anxious and exhausted? Little did I know … Postpartum depression is REAL! If you’re a mom feeling this way, trust that you are not alone. Up to 80% of women experience some form of the baby blues (an emotional reaction that can pop up days after you give birth and last for weeks) I spent my entire pregnancy feeling slightly stagnant because I could no longer physically move the way I was used to and my emotions were all over the place where I almost felt unstable half the time. I’m not much of an emotional person so crying every other day for no reason at all really struck a nerve. If you know me, you know that I am always working and am very social. I had so many plans for myself after having my baby. I was for sure I would lose weight right away, heal quickly and get back to me -- get back to feeling like myself, my brand, and curating events. Well…. Let me be the first to tell you, it went the complete opposite. After 9 months of feeling like a swollen foot blowfish, I really have to wait at least 6 weeks to 3 months (maybe more time) to fully heal. YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!
My first week home was very exciting and extremely frustrating! I couldn't believe there was a little human in my bed that I created! All I wanted to do was look at him, smell him and look at him some more. On the other hand, I was in so much pain; I could barely walk, I was terrified of using the bathroom lbs, my baby woke up every two hours and my breast milk was not flowing the way I wanted it to. I was literally a walking zombie. I am so grateful that my partner was by my side every step of the way because I was an emotional wreck.
2 weeks postpartum, I was admitted back to the hospital for 4 days due to postpartum pre-eclampsia. My blood pressure was nearly at 200! I was completely restless from having the baby the week before and even more frustrated with my health and recovery process. I had to send Baby Royce with my mom for a few days which caused me to develop separation anxiety which raised my blood pressure to go up even more. All I wanted was to be with my baby and the thought of being away from him was terrifying. I cried nonstop my entire hospital stay. A few days after being discharged, My boyfriend went back to work. I was isolated until Jamaal came home but even then, his focus was on the baby. I didn’t have any mom friends to talk to. I was sleep deprived and was going hours without eating. My days were routine and boring. I felt like I was disappearing.
As the baby gets older and becomes more acquainted with a sleep and eating schedule, I have found more time to relax, sleep and cater to myself a little more. I had to learn to pace myself and become a little more patient with the process. I know it's cliche, but everything does get better with time.
Here I am today at 8 weeks postpartum and I must say, I am in a way better space than before. I will now be taking one day out of the week to cater to myself whether its with a self care day, a walk, a date night for my partner and I, a day to spend with friends or a sleeping day. I realized the isolation was causing my mind to become idle so I started putting my time into more positive things instead of sitting overthinking everyday. Instead of feeling sorry for myself that I’m not as active at the moment, I had to realize that my baby doesn't stop my journey, my goals are and will remain the same, all I have to do is add him apart of the plan! I’ve started to explore different avenues of work and travel that I can have my baby by my side every step of the way and so far that has been such a rewarding feeling. If you’re a new mom, I definitely recommend you to find a new hobby, try to include your baby into your line of work if possible or hey, maybe even trying a new hair style but all in all, you are not alone. Know that you are beautiful, you have created the gift of life, it is okay to have bad days (I STILL DO & probably will for a while), and just know that everyone isn't able to bless the world as you could so stay positive, stay patient and instead of saying “I can't wait to get back to the old me”, try to learn the NEW and improved you and I promise you're going to love her so much more!