I didn't have energy. I was sad, mad, angry, frustrated, and (most of all) disappointed. I didn't want to go out. I didn't even want to get out of bed. However, my son is the reason I woke up. He is the reason I pushed to clean, to eat, to even shower. I had no idea what PPD would be like. I felt ashamed. I thought that I wasn't fit to raise my son. I asked myself constantly, "How can someone who can't even keep herself happy, raise a son and make sure he is happy and knows that he is loved?". I felt like a bad mother and a terrible wife. I had just achieved one of the most remarkable things that I could ever do, and here I was unhappy.
It wasn't until 2 months after having my son I said to myself, "This isn't ok. This isn't normal. Maybe I need help".
You see everyone always raves about the JOYS of pregnancy and childbearing. That feeling when you first hold your baby. That excitement of their first cry, laugh, their first step, but no one tells you about the nasty, sad, dark side.
You give birth and it's a whirlwind of emotions at first, and most all of them are great. You are overjoyed about the precious baby you just brought into the world. You can't wait to show your friends and family the perfect human that YOU created! This precious bundle of joy that you made!
It isn't until you are alone, at home, with nothing but yourself, that you start to realize that you aren't as happy as you thought. It doesn't hit you all at once either. It builds gradually, like a storm waiting to explode in your mind and pour down all of these negative emotions. You start realizing that you aren't as pretty, your body is completely changed. You start to doubt that your husband or boyfriend thinks you are beautiful anymore. You start to think that you aren't good enough, or even worthy of love. That you aren't good enough to be a parent.
That's where you are wrong.
IT'S OK TO NOT BE OK!
You see, no one told me that it was ok to not be ok. No one told me that getting help isn't degrading and SHOULD not be embarrassing. In fact, it is brave. Being able to seek help when you need it, and trying to be ok for your family, is extremely brave!
You don't have to be "perfect" 100% of the time. So what if you have a messy house, if your babies are happy and fed, that's all that matters! This ideal of "the perfect housewife" is so engraved in our heads that we forget that the imperfections are what makes life perfect.
TALK TO SOMEONE!
Holding your emotions in is very self-destructive. The #1 thing that always helped me is talking to someone. Telling them how I was feeling. It doesn't have to be your husband, boyfriend, mom, or even dad. Going to counseling is sometimes better because you don't worry about judgement from someone you know.
NO ONE IS JUDGING YOU FOR HAVING PPD!
I was so scared of being judged because I had PPD. I had no idea that I had a HUGE support system that honestly just wanted to make sure that I was ok. They only wanted what was best for me. Sometimes we conceive an idea in our heads and we actually think that it is reality, when in fact it is the exact opposite. You'll be surprised at how many people understand and only want to help. The only person judging you is yourself.
IT IS OK TO TAKE MEDICINE TO HELP WITH YOUR DEPRESSION!
If you know me, then you know I don't particularly like taking medicine. Especially when I was solely breast-feeding. I wanted to make sure that Rayne wasn't getting anything that would hinder his health. I didn't want to take medicine. I wanted to try to help myself, which ended up in failure. I ended up hurting myself by waiting and trying to "fix myself" on my own.
YOU ARE A GREAT MOTHER!
I cannot tell you enough how hearing that actually helped! At first I didn't believe that I was a great mother. I would critique everything I did. " Did I clean that well enough?" "Did I love and hug my baby enough today?" "Am I doing a good job?", all of these things replayed in my mind. I finally had to realize that, "YES, I AM GOOD ENOUGH!". I love my baby more than anything. I would do anything to make sure he is fed, is happy, and is loved. I realized that he loves me. He thinks I am the next best thing compared to chicken nuggets! LOL
Do I have bad days still? Yes, of course. I am still battling my demons, but I know the healthy way to battle them. I know I can lean on my support system, I know not to judge myself, I know not to let my anxiety get the best of me.
Not every Mama gets PPD, but you should never forget that YOU ARE NOT ALONE! You aren't the only one struggling. You aren't the only one who thinks they aren't worth anything. You aren't the only one who is sad, and angry at herself.
You are the only one who can help yourself though.
Listen Mama, when times get hard, look at your baby. Take a breath, and remember this will pass and that you are AMAZING!
I really hope this can help some Mamas out there!
I love you all!
There are this fortunate few in the world who, unbeknown to them, have one of the best gifts they can receive. A soulmate. The person who ignites their soul. That one person who, inspite of all of your flaws and mistakes, loves you whole-heartedly and completely. They never judge, and you know that they will be there for you no matter what.
Luckily, I was able to find my person at the early age of 19!
You never knew this, but the first time I laid my eyes on you, my heart skipped a beat. I had never known a man who was as brave as he was caring. All my life events had prepared me for the moment you came into my life, all of the heartbreaks, all of the mistakes, all of the lessons. The Lord brought us together for a reason, and I truly believe that. You were a light when I was lost. I had no idea what I wanted out of my life. I was a college dropout, I was a waitress, I was hopeless, and I felt that I was nothing. You gave me purpose. You gave me courage to be unapologetically me. You loved me, and you proved it. From the first flowers that you picked for me to the flowers you bought me a few months ago, I have kept almost every petal. You see, they may be worthless dead flowers to most but, to me, they are history and memories. I still have letters you wrote me 4 years ago. I still have every birthday card, every valentines card, and I still have that very first Alabama t-shirt you bought me. You were the best thing I never knew that I needed.
Although, no-one told me how difficult it was going to be, I stuck around.
Here are a few of the MANY reasons I love you:
1. You are my biggest supporter.
You have always believed in me know matter what it is that I put my mind to. You constantly reassure me that you will be there by my side. Those pep talks mean the world to me when I am feeling doubtful of myself.
2. You still give me butterflies.
Marriage is hard, I'm not going to lie. However, to this day, you make my heart flutter. You still make me nervous and give me weak ankles.
3. You love my family.
It is not a requirement to love your in-laws. Let's face it, many times couples’ distance themselves from their families once they are married. Yet, despite everything we have been through, you treat my family as nothing other than family. You love my mom like mom, you get along with my brother (my best friend), you care for my Grandmother, you help whenever they need us.
4. You call me beautiful every day without fail.
I never thought of myself as beautiful. As you know, my self-confidence is as low as it could possibly get. Growing up was tough when you would hear certain things about your weight, or the way you looked from classmates or even my father. Yet, you loved me when I thought no-one would love me. You came to me when every other guy thought I was "too fat". I'll never get tired of hearing your compliments and uplifting remarks. They really do make an “ugly" girl feel like the most beautiful girl in the world.
5. You fight for me.
It's no surprise to you that my anxiety is bad. I have many, many bad days. It can send me into a deep depression sometimes. Through those times you fight to make me know that I am not alone. You may not understand it, but you are always there to calm me down and bring me back to reality. You do everything in your power to help me through it.
6. You are an amazing father.
One of the reasons that I fell in love with you was because of how great of a father you are. You ALWAYS put your family first, no matter what. You make sure to protect and provide. Those days when I am drowning, you help me. You aren't afraid to change diapers, give baths, and you actually want to do it! You play with your children. You tell them all the time how much you love them.
7. You love me.
You helped me so much in some of the hardest times of my life. You held my head for me during labor when I couldn't. You woke up every feeding. You helped me in and out of bed when I couldn't do it. You bathed me. You rubbed my feet. You help me cook. You help me clean. You always prove to me just how much you truly love me.
I am a very hard person to deal with. I don't show my appreciation nearly enough. However, I cannot FATHOM my life without you. I not only want you, but I need you. You are my very best friend and I'm so thankful to have you in my life. These past 5 years have been a roller-coaster for sure, but I wouldn't go through it for anyone but you. We are a team, we are Katie and Anthony. Without you, there would be no me.
No one said marriage or life, for that matter, was easy, but I'm glad for the trials. It means that what we have is REAL. Conflicts help us grow in each other. I know what we have will last because we know we can work through anything. Once I realized that, I realized that everything else- all the struggles, bills, worries- fade away. We are on a beautiful ride called life and I wouldn't want to be on it with anyone else, my King.
I love you with my entire being......
No amount of preparation can prepare you for childbirth. It is an anxious, scary, and exciting experience. Through all of the stress of your birth plan, how you want to go into labor, what time frame you want to have him/ her, and if you will have your doctor deliver, the LAST thing you need to stress about is if you forgot something at home. Luckily, I came very prepared however, I also lived twenty minutes from where I had Rayne. This is a list that I have put together to hopefully help you with packing your own hospital bag.
Yes, you read that right. Depends saved my life while in the hospital. After you have a baby, your body releases all of the fluids that protected your little one for nine months, pads alone WILL NOT BE ENOUGH! The hospital gives you "underwear" and they work. Me personally, I liked the depends better. Always is a brand that has comfortable, yet somewhat pretty ones. I wore these for the first two weeks after having Rayne and I am so glad that I bought them!
Having a baby can take days, as well as the hospital stay after you give birth. You are most definitely going to need to bring your chargers. I brought my laptop, so I also needed that charger as well!
The only thing you will be worried about after having the baby, except for the sweet little one of course, will be comfort. Pajamas are a must-have in any birthing bag. Personally, I brought nightgowns from Walmart and Target. They were easy to slip-on and off, and they were super comfortable. The nightgown also gave easy access to the bathroom, you most likely won't be able to bend over afterwards.
4. Baby Clothes
This is a given, but you will be surprised what you will need as far as clothing goes. For Rayne, we used nighties, burb cloths, swaddle blankets, socks, mittens, as well as onesies. We also had them put him in a monogrammed nighty for his first outfit (that was just personal preference, but it also made for cute first pictures and impressions!).
5. Antibacterial Spray
The hospital gives you a can of this in the recovery room. However, it was not nearly enough. I used 6 cans of this easily in the hospital and after we got home. This spray really was worth it. It numbs you of any pain from afterbirth. I bought mine from Walmart, it was called Dermoplast.
6. Blanket and Pillows
The hospital will provide pillows and blankets but, they weren't that comfy for me. Again, comfort will be a main priority and I promise, blankets and pillows from him will help.
While you are in the delivery room and in recovery, you most likely will want some snacks or drinks. It is much easier to go to a vending machine instead of asking someone to go get you food.
I never thought I would use my slippers (I have never been the slipper type) but, this is one of the things I was most thankful that I brought! The hospital floors were cold, and you don't realize how much you are aware of germs until after you have a baby. I just bought a pair for $10 at Walmart and I loved them. I even used them after we went home.
These are just a handful of the items that I brought that most people wouldn't think of. I hope this helps in your packing of your birthing bag. Just remember COMFORT and CONGRATULATIONS on your sweet bundle!
If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or contact me via Social Media, I always LOVE helping other moms and giving advice!
Thanks for stopping by!
Planning on breastfeeding? Not sure what to expect? Well, you've come to the right place! Breastfeeding is one of the most difficult tasks I've ever accomplished. It takes strength, patience, diligence, and will power. After much trial and error, I have been successfully breastfeeding for almost 9 months now. Here is a list of 10 tips to help you prepare for this new journey:
1. It hurts (at first)
I won't lie to you, breastfeeding HURTS in the beginning. The first month and a half were the hardest for me. My nipples were cracked, raw, and sometimes would bleed (YES, BLEED). I remember one night I was up and all I could do was cry because of how painful it was. I called my husband and told him that I just couldn't do it. Being the supportive man that he is, he told me to do what I thought was best. Looking back, I am so glad that I pushed through the pain. I am 8 months in and it isn't painful AT ALL anymore. So, I promise it DOES get better.
2. Persistence IS Key
No matter the difficulty, DO NOT GIVE UP! If you have too, periodically use a breast pump for the first couple of weeks, or months, as well as putting the baby on your breast. It gives you a break from the pain while you still give your baby the nutrients he or she needs.
3. Invest In Nursing Friendly Clothes
From the moment I had my son, I wore nightgowns. They are extremely comfy and so easy to pull out your breast whenever your baby is hungry! I also bought a TON of nursing bras. You will definitely need them while you are out of the house!
4. Use Nursing Pads
Your breasts WILL leak. It is inevitable. Mine still leak whenever my son needs to feed, if they get squeezed too hard, or even if I hear a baby cry (yes baby cries will signal a letdown). So, I bought a pack of washable nursing pads to put in my bra. They are so convenient and the ones that I bought were comfy and they had a cute design!
5. Coconut Moisturizing Cream
Whenever I was in the hospital the nurses gave me Lanolin to put on my nipples to help with cracking and pain. I wasn't really a fan of it and neither was my son. So, I went to my local Sam's Club and I found a bottle of Coconut Moisturizing Cream and decided to give it a try. I cannot rave enough about this product! Not only did it help moisturize my nipples, Rayne also liked the taste of the coconut instead of the gross, basically vasoline, cream that I received from the hospital. It is a great ALL-NATURAL alternative that truly does help.
Quick Tip: Your breastmilk will heal cracked or bleeding nipples!!!
6. Nursing Pillows
After you have a baby, your body truly is exhausted. I mean, you just finished carrying a tiny human for almost ten months and then pushed that little baby out of your body. There is a reason your doctors tell you the recovery time is at least 6 weeks! Through all of the afterbirth exhaustion it really is hard to hold a newborn for 20 to 30 minutes up, so they can eat. Nursing pillows are a great way to support your baby and give you a break. They also help position the baby, so you can focus on getting a proper latch without worrying about holding them.
7. Create a Breastfeeding Station
You are going to be spending up to ten hours a day breastfeeding. You are going to want an area that has everything you need. I had a bin that I received at my baby shower and I filled it with books, snacks, water, my moisturizing cream, my pump, milk bags, and a sound machine on the table beside my rocking chair. Make sure you keep it filled with things you like to give you something to do while baby eats. I got so bored once, I read the manual for my breast pump three times in a row! A breastfeeding station is truly convenient.
8. Look Into Lactation Consultants BEFORE Baby Comes
Fortunately, I never needed a Lactation Consultant. From the moment I first breastfed Rayne, he knew what to do. However, many women have a very hard time breastfeeding and a Lactation Consultant helps so much. Not only do they help with getting the baby to latch, they also give tips for breastfeeding, show you what different positions you can put the baby to breastfeed, and so much more! I tell all moms to talk to one before you have a baby, they are trained and know how to help!
9. HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE!
When you are breastfeeding, you burn an average of 500 EXTRA calories per day. You need to stay hydrated not only for yourself, but also so the baby can stay hydrated. Remember, the baby eats what you eat and drink! Also, if you don't hydrate, you will lose your milk!
10. Lastly, DO NOT BE AFRAID TO BREASTFEED IN PUBLIC!
I don't care what anyone says, your baby needs to eat. Remember, it is a beautiful bond between a mother and a child, don't be embarrassed. Many people don't care anyways!
Please leave a comment with your tips for breastfeeding! I'd love to read them!
Down below are the links to the moisturizing cream, breast pump, nursing pads, nursing bra, and pillow!
I hope you enjoyed this article and I hope it helps!