The baby blues are well documented on just about every single pregnancy, motherhood and parenting site out there. But when it comes to the recovery of my beaten and bruised body very little is actually mentioned. So I was prepared for baby blues not body blues.
Now before I get underway. I can already hear a number of mummies out there shouting at me. Get real there’s enough documentation on the mummy tummy for anyone to recognise your body will never be the same. To you ladies. I agree whole heartily but the body blues I refer to it not relating to popping out your bundle of joy and wondering why you still look 6 months pregnant.
For those issues there are plenty of mummy bloggers around who are happy to share how they got there bodies back. A quick scan on Pinterest will keep you loaded with before and after stories to keep you going until you little bundle has left got uni! Or feel free to hop over and follow my own progress!
What I am referring to is the tearful bouts of self morning I experienced postpartum. Which had absolutely nothing to do with my appearance. But the fundamental way in which my body operated or more specifically failed to operate after the birth of my first born.
As a first time mother who wanted to be sure she was well educated I read everything under the sun with regards to my pregnancy, the delivery and adjusting to a new life with baby. Even when I as diagnosed at 30 weeks with GD (gestational diabetes) I ensured I kept myself well informed. Going on to successfully delivered a health 4.085kg baby with forcep assistance and a unproblematic 11 hour labour. However what no one will tell you is just how much damage your body can undertake. Both externally and internally and just how you will process that. In an influx of surging hormones, sleepiness nights and pure exhaustion.
There I was so happy and proud of my beautiful baby boy. Impressed with how well both my body and mind had handled the transition. Yet whilst soaking in the numerous salt baths needed to heal the extent of the wounds I received, I would sit there and sob uncontrollably over the horrendous pain I was in. The inability to sit, stand, or walk and the fact I was limited to feeding lying down. Actually this was the only task of the day I was actually physically able to complete.
I was envious of the other new mothers I knew who all seemed to be sprinting around with their buggies and juggling the new babies like accessories with their handbags. At the time, I was either fortunate or unfortunate. I am not sure still to have two close friends both deliver babies with weeks – in fact in one case days of me. Therefore had a network of confidants in which to compare myself too.
It was most frustrating to see them going about every day activities like getting out of bed!
But I did doubt it in a very big way!
I know that things are never quite the same after you have had a baby. I am ok with that. For me it is part of the course. Of developing that part of your life and assuming your role as a mother. I know my changed body still gets a whistle and the eye of my husband. For he was there to witness just what my body and I were capable of doing. Something I am sure he will never forget.
I am happy, I’m not depressed
However as the months ticked by and I still struggled to sit, stand, walk. I could feel myself getting more and more frustrated with my body and how it had handled my injuries. I could feel myself becoming disconnected from so many things in my life. It took every ounce of my being to keep myself motivated and moving forward.
Sure it possibly could be classified as depression, but I don’t think it was that.
I loved my new role in life, loved my husband and my son. I was happy. Embraced the whole newness of it all. But my body just wouldn’t play ball. It wouldn’t help facilitate all the things I wanted to enjoy and experience in this magical moment of my life.
Where as I am pretty sure baby blues or depression cloud your head in a fog that is thick and difficult to clear. This whole experience was the complete opposite. My mind was razor sharp. I was forming plans, making dates and actively wanting to be involved in my life. I 100% loved what it all (even the sleepless nights) felt like. This was what I was destined to do. But then my body would let me down again. Reminded me I wasn’t capable of all the ambitious things I had planned.
A simple trip to the shops was hell on earth, and that would be with assistance. Forget trying to do it on my own!
I couldn’t lift my baby. Couldn’t sit and hold him. Cuddle him. Nurse him. Without experiencing immense paid. Forget venturing out of the house. The thought of lifting the car sit or the buggy itself was too much to even what to attempt trying it for real. (Having a sturdy pram proved useful as a kinda zimmer frame though)
Then there was the fact that externally, I looked normal. I looked better than normal. I held onto my healthy new mum glow and glossy shiny locks. Initially I lost my belly almost immediately. To anyone who didn’t see me often or at home. I looked the picture of health. Coupled with the fact that my injuries were not visible and mainly internal. I felt like a fraud. Like people were looking at me and say “she’s putting it on”
Emerging the Other Side
Maybe that was in my head, but I am not a sickly person, I don’t do sick people very well and you have to be really sick for my sympathy (perhaps this was my comeuppance). Having tried looking online, comparing myself to others, scrolling forum after forum, but finding very little. No one appeared to really share the emotional side of what they were experiencing. I found plenty of similar cases of injuries and long term healing processes, but not the emotional toll this took on you and your new family.
In a way I guess, it was this that resulted in my wanting to set this blog up, to share all of it, warts and all, to let other mums out there know they are not alone, that it is normal and that body blues are just as real as baby blues. Having survived, I want to reach you. Finally I am past the worst of it. There will be more complications with the birth of my next child and potential surgeries down the line. I managed to make it through the darkest moments and the sun is now beginning to shine again.
This is for you to know you are not alone, you are never alone and that someone else out there maybe just might understand the strange place you are finding yourself in.
I am here for anyone, should they wish to reach out.