By Jeana Lee Tahnk
When you've had more than one child, you expect certain things tobe similar across all pregnancies. I'm so lucky to have had threehealthy and routine pregnancies, despite constant, massive indigestionduring all three. There are plenty worse symptoms to have, for sure, butsleeping at a 90-degree angle for nine months straight (27 in total!)wasn't exactly a picnic. There were other similarities during each of mypregnancies that I'll spare you from, but one thing I wasn't expectingwas the post-birth baby blues I had after my third.
Sure, after babies No. 1 and No. 2, I had moments of tears, butthey were brief and limited to the first couple days. It was probablydue more to the labor and recovery, and just being overcome with emotionafter having gone through such a momentous life experience.
With baby No. 3, however, the blues didn't hit until a couple ofdays afterwards, and they felt different from the post-birth emotions Ihad before. The tears seemed a little more frequent, more persistent andmore nagging. Because it was something I had never experienced beforeto this degree, I didn't really know what to do.
When the nurse from the doctor's office called me for my routinepost-birth check-in several days after I was discharged, I didn't do avery 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 tohave those feelings. I knew in my head that post-baby blues were a realthing, but experiencing it myself made it so much more than just astatistic. My wonderfully caring doctor said I really needed to takecare of myself, accept help and just take things day to day.
And I did. Rather than try to clean the house while the baby wasnapping, I rested also. Even though I didn't feel like venturing out, Idid. I took walks, which helped tremendously. There is no question myhormones were raging post-birth, but getting out and not shutting myselfinside 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 thatpeople generously offered and knowing that ultimately things would getbetter.
I was lucky that my post-baby blues didn't persist and thehormones that were causing a number on my emotions eventually evenedout. But having gone through the experience makes me even moresympathetic to other moms out there who have the same issue.
Everyone has their own post-birth experience. Some women do indeedexperience euphoria, while others don't at all. No two experiences arethe same, but every feeling should be validated.
For those moms who are feeling the blues, know that it's OK. Talkto someone you love, or seek help from a qualified professional if youfeel as though it's too much to handle. You will get through it. I did.
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