Once, while I was pregnant with Cora, a woman approached me and said something that I’ll never forget. She said it took her two years to feel like herself after she had a baby. At the time that seemed like a ridiculously long time, and I just couldn’t comprehend what she meant. Now I know exactly what she means.
EMILY 6 Months Postpartum
I wrote this post at 6 weeks postpartum, discussing the strange ways that I was feeling but not knowing if I could categorize it as postpartum depression. Since then I have found that I feel like myself more often, but that I not completely there yet.
When you become a parent you gain another identity. You don’t really lose your other identities, but often you FEEL as though you have. Certainly during those early months postpartum. There are days when I’m very aware of the fact that my identity as a mother has completely trumped my identities as a wife, a business-owner, or a friend. I was just so focused on my new baby and all of the responsibility that it bought, that I forgot about my other obligations. I don’t want to moan about this, as I have waited my whole life to be a mother, but I can’t help but wish that I had taken up my friend’s offer of looking for a doula San Jose, CA, or somewhere more local, to help with any other jobs around the house that needed completing. They are meant to be lifesavers when it comes to picking up some extra responsibility, but I didn’t take it. And this set my emotions into more of an overdrive too. But I honestly think that just being aware of these feelings is a major step forward.
Admittedly, I’m not great about talking about my feelings. It’s not that I have a low emotional intelligence, but I feel like I would unnecessarily burden others by sharing them. When I start feeling off or overwhelmed, I wait until I have calmed down somewhat and then talk with someone about it once I can more rationally think through the feelings. And once I do, it helps to alleviate this sort of internal tension that I had built up about whatever was making me feel that way.
I definitely feel like things are getting better. Easier? I’m not sure what the appropriate word is, honestly. I just feel better. I’ve been working. I’ve been scheduling time to blog and be creative because I love that. I’ve been working out at least twice per week. I’ve been making a point to talk with and spend time with friends. Nick and I have a standing date night each Wednesday with no phones allowed. And all of these things help balance out who I am so that I’m not just Mom or just Wife or just Business Owner.
I still have days when I feel Mom’d out. Touched out. Worn out. I have lots of days like this. But I try to acknowledge that and find a way to do something about it. Sometimes just taking a shower and being by yourself for 10 minutes does WONDERS for my mood.
My advice to anyone who feels like this is just step away – feed one of your other identities when you feel like your identity as Mom has completely taken over. Even if it’s just taking a shower. Or going for a walk by yourself. Or hiding in the pantry and eating Oreos – YOU DO YOU. And ask for help in order to be able to do so.
BECK 6 Months
I suppose it’s true what they say about the second child – that they’re more laid back and easy going because they don’t get 100% of your attention and therefore figure out how to appease themselves sooner.
Beck is my easy baby. My pregnancy was easy with him, he slept pretty well as an infant, he eats well and gosh dang that kid is ALWAYS happy. Cora was basically the opposite in almost every way, so I am VERY aware of how lucky/blessed/fortunate we are to have an easy baby this time around.
He sleeps between 10 and 12 hours each night and takes three to four naps per day. He eats baby food at breakfast, lunch and dinner and we also give him small pieces of banana, strawberry, cheese, rice, and overcooked carrot to help his dexterity. The dude just loves food. He also still drinks breastmilk, (I nurse him usually twice per day and he gets bottles the rest of the time), about 20 oz per day).
Despite all that eating and sleeping he’s a little guy. At our 6 month wellness checkup he was in the 16th percentile for height and the 5th percentile for weight.
He loves to people watch. He’s smitten with his sister. His eyes are dark blue. He has one dimple on his right cheek. Every night he splashes half the water out of the bathtub. He screams when he’s really happy. Flirting is his main form of communication with people.
I’ve been trying to note the little things that happen on a day to day basis. I use this Ten Year Journal that I’ve been using since Nick and I got married to document just a few lines every day. (Each page shows you ten years of the same date so it’s fun to look back). I want to make sure I remember things he does, the ways I felt, his firsts, etc.. because these are the important things that I know I’ll miss later on.
XOXO – Em