I have mentioned this a few times but never really discussed it – I struggled terribly after both births.
Let me take you back to 2014 when I became a mommy. The 10 months I mentally prepared for Max were magical. I would daydream about that little boy, the time we’d spend in his nursery, things we do together, and the love that everyone told me I would automatically feel. “You’ll never feel an instantaneous love like this,” they’d say. I couldn’t wait.
When Max was born, we had a whirlwind of visitors – what a lucky little boy to have so many people that wanted to meet him and love on him. I tried to greet everyone with a smile but deep down all I wanted to do was turn the lights off and bury myself into a tiny little hole. Every time the doorbell rang I got anxious. Every time someone held Max I got anxious. Every time I left the house I got anxious. Every time I was at the house I felt trapped. And worst of all, I felt completely detached from Max. I remember crying to Kevin one day saying I felt guilty for not feeling the love that people told me I was going to feel. Even with that detachment, I couldn’t be away from him. It made absolutely no sense, but even going out for dinner with Kevin made me feel short of breath. I thought that maybe this was the “love” people were talking about so I just learned to deal with it.
The truth is, that feeling didn’t subside until I got pregnant with Hudson and Lucas. There is something so incredible about pregnancy hormones that makes me feel like I’m constantly on laughing gas – so those anxieties slowly trickled away. Until they didn’t.
Hudson and Lucas were born into stressful circumstances so when I started to feel “off” again, I attributed it to having preemies, having twins, and having 3 kids under the age of 2.
But things didn’t gradually get better, they got worse – much worse. This time, instead of never wanting to leave the house, I didn’t want to be there. I’d get chest pains on the way back from a solo store trip or the gym knowing I had to go back home. I cried a lot. A whole lot. For months.
One day things got so bad that I took my frustration out on a Costco size box of feta cheese. I crushed the thing…do you know how hard feta is to clean out of the carpet? Horrible. And its smelly. Bad move, Elizabeth.
A few weeks after the feta fight, Kevin walked into the house and I was literally crouched down in the kitchen hiding from the boys. When they saw me they cried. And when they cried I cried. So I thought if they couldn’t see me they wouldn’t cry.
He stopped, looked at me and said, “Babe what the hell is going on?”
It was then that I realized this probably wasn’t normal.
A few months ago, I put my pride aside and decided to go to the doctor – she totally understood me. She made me feel like I wasn’t nuts and that being a parent is, in fact, incredibly tough – and prescribed me some medicine to get me through this season of life.
It’s been almost 2 months and now after 2 1/2 years of being a mom I’m present. I’m finally present. Getting outside help was an absolute gift.
I only share this much because I needed to hear that I wasn’t alone when I was going through it. So if you are, sister, pick up that phone and call your doc. It’s time to get your happy back.