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It's Ok to Have the Baby Blues

By Jeana Lee Tahnk

When you've had more than one child, you expect certain things to be similar across all pregnancies. I'm so lucky to have had three healthy and routine pregnancies, despite constant, massive indigestion during all three. There are plenty worse symptoms to have, for sure, but sleeping at a 90-degree angle for nine months straight (27 in total!) wasn't exactly a picnic. There were other similarities during each of my pregnancies that I'll spare you from, but one thing I wasn't expecting was the post-birth baby blues I had after my third.

Sure, after babies No. 1 and No. 2, I had moments of tears, but they were brief and limited to the first couple days. It was probably due more to the labor and recovery, and just being overcome with emotion after having gone through such a momentous life experience.

With baby No. 3, however, the blues didn't hit until a couple of days afterwards, and they felt different from the post-birth emotions I had before. The tears seemed a little more frequent, more persistent and more nagging. Because it was something I had never experienced before to this degree, I didn't really know what to do.

When the nurse from the doctor's office called me for my routine post-birth check-in several days after I was discharged, I didn't do a very good job of masking the tears. I thought to myself, I just had a beautiful and healthy baby. Shouldn't I be experiencing that euphoria you see in the movies? (That self-induced guilt didn't help, by the way.)

I went to see the doctor and was reassured that it was normal to have those feelings. I knew in my head that post-baby blues were a real thing, but experiencing it myself made it so much more than just a statistic. My wonderfully caring doctor said I really needed to take care of myself, accept help and just take things day to day.

And I did. Rather than try to clean the house while the baby was napping, I rested also. Even though I didn't feel like venturing out, I did. I took walks, which helped tremendously. There is no question my hormones were raging post-birth, but getting out and not shutting myself inside the house did wonders for me.

What also helped was having a supportive network to rely on - talking to my husband and best friends, accepting those meals that people generously offered and knowing that ultimately things would get better.

I was lucky that my post-baby blues didn't persist and the hormones that were causing a number on my emotions eventually evened out. But having gone through the experience makes me even more sympathetic to other moms out there who have the same issue.

Everyone has their own post-birth experience. Some women do indeed experience euphoria, while others don't at all. No two experiences are the same, but every feeling should be validated.

For those moms who are feeling the blues, know that it's OK. Talk to someone you love, or seek help from a qualified professional if you feel as though it's too much to handle. You will get through it. I did.

Read More by Jeana Lee Tahnk

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