As I feel the ache between my legs and on my chest, I am overwhelmed by a sense of lower back pain that tends to start in the middle of the day. Climbing the stairs seems harder than I ever imagined. I am so confused about this postpartum version of me. Even though this is not my first post-baby rodeo, there is this postpartum haze I do not remember.
I am tired.
And I am sore.
And I am guilt-ridden.
I am convinced my body is failing me, but instead I need to remember to be kind to myself. I am not sure if the postpartum haze is due to hormones, my own self-imposed guilt, or society’s picture-perfect illusion of motherhood, but I am so tired.
This is my third child, I should have a handle on this, right? I am supposed to know what I am doing, except I do not. And my baby daughter’s incessant crying and dramatic weight loss indicates an issue. After several appointments, we learn she has a tongue tie and I am now obsessed with checking her weight. Every. Single. Day.
I check her weight before a feed and after a feed, praying the numbers will be higher. I am an emotional disaster. Each day feels like eternity willing her to gain weight.
I know that formula is perfectly fine, but my conscience has convinced me that I must breastfeed. I did for the older two so I owe it to this one as well. I am consumed with the need to breastfeed and it’s drowning me.
She’s sleeping now so I must do all of the things. I must eat, nap, shower, pump, and make food for the older kids. How can I get all these things done? I decide that I prefer Netflix and put on an episode of Grey’s Anatomy.
Is this postpartum haze postpartum anxiety? Is this postpartum depression? Or is this just postpartum life?
I am convinced it’s the latter. I am convinced being alone without my partner, without proper family support, and without a village is contributing to my postpartum haze. Despite the visits from family and friends, I am still obsessed with her weight (and my own).
This is my postpartum haze:
I am fuzzy.
I am confused.
I am forgetful and I am tired.
So, when you see that postpartum mom, ask her how she’s really doing. Demand to hold her baby so she can take a shower. Insist on coming over as much as you can so she feels seen and heard. Listen and hear her when she speaks. Don’t belittle her complaints by dismissing them. Instead, offer her the love and compassion she needs so she can get through another day of her postpartum haze.