My Story: The photo you see is me, 1 week postpartum. I was smiling on the outside but dying on the inside. I had a c-section, which was scheduled, as my little peanut was breech.
I spent 4 days in the hospital with my husband by my side. Everything was great but breastfeeding wasn't easy. The first time I tried to get her to latch was painful and she left a mark. I had a couple nurses and lactation consultants try to help me but it still didn't feel right but I was determined to keep going.
The final day at the hospital was awful. I started crying as soon as we left. I kept thinking "Oh my god, I have no idea what I'm doing. How am I supposed to take care of this baby?!"
I spent most of my days crying and having terrible anxiety. I barely ate as I had no appetite. I was nervous about everything. I mean everything. I was scared to heat a bottle of my breastmilk in fear that I was going to over cook it. Breastfeeding in general was what really had me in a downward spiral. It was painful and stressful.
What made everything worse was that my husband was supposed to take 2 weeks off of work but his Kitchen Manager quit so he had to immediately go back to work the day after we got home. I was a complete mess. I hated being alone. I remember laying Olivia in her mamaroo and just crying, feeling horrible for not being able to give her my all.
I kept thinking to myself, "What did I do? Should I have brought this child into this world?" I felt so empty and felt guilty for feeling that way. I knew I loved her more than anything but my body wouldn't let me express it.
Finally that day (Day 4 of being home) I looked up the symptoms of postpartum depression. I had 75% of them: anxiety, loss of appetite, emptiness, guilt, hopelessness and loneliness. I cried even harder. I immediately called my friend who I knew had the same thing. I balled uncontrollably. She told me to call my doctor and not wait. She said that a lot of women go though this and I wasn't alone. It's more common than anyone thinks.
I heavily relied on family and friends for support. My sister came over every Thursday night to make me dinner and just hang out. My dad came over Thursday mornings and would drive me anywhere I wanted to go just to get out of the house. My mom had me come over on Sundays. I had friends visiting me and checking in on me to make sure I was ok. I haven't always been one to depend on people. At this point I was so vulnerable but realized this was ok. I would have NEVER made it through any of this without my family or friends.
It took me about 2 weeks to really get over those symptoms and about a month to finally feel normal. It was definitely hard having a c-section and being confined inside of my home. Being a mom has taught me a lot about myself and how much one can really handle. I would not trade it for anything else in the world. I absolute love my baby girl more than anything and would do it all over again. There is no greater feeling than being a mom.
Shannon | Mama to Olivia - 4 months