Recently I was talking with a friend and sharing my emotional experience after having my kids. I have two kids and I had the baby blues after having both. It felt good to share about my experience in hopes that it was helpful. Then the thought hit me.
I need to write about this on my blog.
Why? I think it’s important to talk about issues like this in hopes of supporting others who may be going through the same thing. I want to share this in hopes that my humble words will help someone. I don’t want to go thorough struggles in vain; I want to use them for good.
Baby Blues…What It Was Like For Me
Most of the time my emotions are pretty even. I’m a mostly optimistic person and it takes a LOT to make me upset. Before I had children I never expected to deal with baby blues since I’ve never had “emotional issues”.
I was wrong.
To get the whole story, I have to give you some background. In May 2009, my first child was born during the WORST month of my life.
I just lost my father to cancer on May 13th. It was heartbreaking. I saw my once strong athletic father wither away to skin and bones.
I was about 8 months pregnant at the time. I remember thinking “at least I still have a month before the baby is due so I can try to start grieving the loss of Dad before she comes.”
Three days after my Dad’s death my water broke. My due date was still 4.5 weeks away! The next thing I knew I was trying to mentally prepare myself to become a first-time mom to a premature baby.
My daughter’s birth was a miracle in the midst of major pain. A baby born that early usually ends up going into the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). But I believe God showed up and helped my little girl in her time of need. She was born with great color, breathing well and at a good weight for a preemie. She didn’t have to go to the NICU at all. The doctor was surprised at that. So was I.
Right after my daughter was born, the baby blues started.
I attended my father’s memorial service when my daughter was 6 days old. I literally dealt with life and death all in less than a week. That was a time in my life where I know God walked me through each day because I didn’t have the strength to do it myself.
Then the baby blues started in the form of panic attacks. Every night in the early evening I would get SUPER panicky. General concerns that I could handle through the day became horrifying in the evenings. I would panic and cry feeling like everything was out of control. I was not acting or thinking like myself.
One night it got so bad the hubby suggested we all take a walk outside. The hubby held the baby and the three of us went on a walk. I distinctly remember walking around the block in my pajamas and the only thing I could do was cry. Then after about an hour or so my emotions started to get back to normal.
These panic episodes came every night like clockwork and lasted for a week or two. Then they slowly faded away.
It’s understandable to say that I had baby blues after having my first child. When I got pregnant with my second child I wasn’t expecting to deal with panic attacks again. This time I wasn’t dealing with losing a parent. I didn’t have the same amount of stress. In my mind that equaled out to a rare chance of dealing with baby blues again.
But I was wrong. After having my son, I had similar panic attacks and it was just like the first time. Every evening, the panicky feeling would rear it’s ugly head. But just like the first time it went away after a week or so.
Becoming a parent brings out so much emotional stuff I never knew was there. My body was still dealing with an incredible amount of hormone changes and it messed with my emotions.
What Helped Me Get Through It?
God. I look back at the worst month of my life and I can’t explain how I lived through it. All I know is God gave me the strength to learn how to be a mom while dealing with grief. He had an amazing amount of grace on me. He helped me focus on one day at a time. He surrounded me with friends and family to help carry the burden.
My Hubby. He supports me during my good and bad days. He knows me well and knew that the woman acting panicky was not the real me. He’s an Anatomy and Physiology teacher so he understood the biological reason why my emotions were so abnormal. He stood by me, prayed for me, and encouraged me that things would get better.
Friends. I talked to friends and found a lot of others dealt with similar issues. They knew how to support, encourage, and pray for me and those made a huge difference.
Do You Have The Baby Blues?
If you do, I can say from experience that it DOES get better. Talk to someone about what you’re experiencing. Your hubby, a close friend, your doctor. Don’t try to battle this on your own.
I’ll leave you with some words that have brought me comfort in times of anxiety, worry, and fear. I regularly have to go back to this verse to remember that God has my back and I don’t have to worry.
“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”