A Thing Or Two About Myself
by Annabelle from North Carolina
I'll be the first to admit that no matter how many freezer meals I had or prenatal books I read, postpartum was a surprise! Feeling and probably looking like a deflated balloon, I was beyond grateful that the attention was all about the new baby. I *thought* I had a pretty good idea of how things would go, especially as a type-A personality. However, putting a failed epidural, a fourth degree tear and severe newborn jaundice into my postpartum experience was definitely not expected.
I was flooded with insecurity and feelings of "am I doing this right?" or "is this normal?" and "why do I feel like this?!"
Some days, it felt like treading water in circles, trying to keep my head up and feeling so, so tired. And to be honest, I am not one of those super humans who does well on too little sleep!
First steps into motherhood. . .
During those early days, my husband was in graduate school with a rigid schedule and little mental capacity to take on more. I did all the night feedings/awakenings, the majority of childcare during the day, and for a brief (blessed) two weeks, I had help from family. In retrospect, I should have and needed to advocate for myself better, but honestly didn't know how. I was navigating something completely foreign and it felt normalized to put myself last. Adding in all of those newborn appointments, phototherapy and sleep deprivation made each day feel like survival mode.
Figuring it out. . .
Over time, I figured out a thing or two about myself and my needs. Little things, like a short stroller walk around the neighborhood while chatting with my mom on the phone was invigorating. Or, joining the local library baby storytime; seeing other new moms and feeling less isolated was a game-changer for me! I found my self-confidence and self-image grew as I made myself a priority with basics like eating a balanced meal and letting my husband know when I needed a few minutes to myself.
This blog was written by one of our guest bloggers, Annabelle.
About Annabelle. . .
I’m a wife and a mama to two girls and the sweetest dog, Duke. I have a degree in public health and a love for learning all things nutrition. My husband jokes that I don't have any one hobby because I'm constantly trying new ways to teach my family and stay busy! A few recent favorites are running, calligraphy and mentoring a youth group.
I have big dreams of making big changes in the world. However, if anything, I know that big change happens with small choices each day. By teaching and helping my girls, I hope my little corner of the world is a little better than before.
More posts by Annabelle:
Want more stories like this one? wichealth.org has a free online category of lessons called Pregnancy And Baby's First 6 Months. We invite you to check it out.
We would love to hear about YOUR postpartum experience! Post a comment below or write a post of your own! Check out our needed topics here.