My post partum journey was a struggle from the beginning to say the least. I had envisioned, like many new moms, coming home with a bubbly snuggly baby and being so excited to finally hold them, feel fulfilled, overwhelming joy...I had a fairytale painted in my head.
But it could not have been a more opposite situation.
I struggled, I mean really struggled, to even exist. I loved my baby, absolutely and undeniably, but I hated myself and I did not give my so deserving body, emotions, or heart the grace it needed to get through this time. I expected immediate results, I hated this new "pooch" below my very weird looking belly button, I hated how I felt about everything. I hated myself for not feeling better, I continually beat myself up for not being overrun with joy. To top it off, this cycle just continued and eventually, I hit rock bottom and hated everyone, for everything, undeniably.
It took me seriously considering suicide to wake up from this. I was just so tired, of feeling so awful. How do you process being overrun with joy and excitement to have your baby, only to wake up the next morning with them in your arms and feel so empty. For nine months, I was so impatient and excited, and for a year following, I lived the opposite life. Ending my life, ultimately wasn't going to fix anything. I wanted my baby to know a better version of me, I wanted my family to have their rock back, and I was the only one capable of doing that.
I started with running again. Really running, where you get lost in the music and the miles just run together. It became my passion, an opportunity for my soul to not be tormented by my head, if only for an hour at a time, but it felt good. Really good.
Running led to more positive self talk, the pooch started to fade away and I found myself being proud of every scar, mark and line on my body. I made a child, look at me!! It took months, months of really focusing on loving myself and giving myself grace, and humbly looking into the eyes of a baby who had no care in the world about my shape or look. He just loved me....I took a page from his book and tried just that.
It turns out I learned to love myself through my baby, through his eyes I believed in myself again. I would be lying if I told you there were not setbacks, there definitely were. I have fell down the barrel again having two more children, but I was better prepared, because I made myself acknowledge the gap, and work towards fixing it.
There is no magic remedy, for me it was running, someone else might be yoga, or coffee with a friend once a week. For those struggling with postpartum depression, please, I beg you, take a step back and look at yourself through the eyes of your child. You matter, your so important, and most importantly very loved. Don't be afraid to talk to someone if your struggling, most moms have been there in one aspect or another and we come judgement free. Seek help, seek love, seek your truth, and offer yourself some grace. Stay magical mamas.