I want to start by saying that I know postpartum and baby blues are two different things. They are both real and nothing to be embarrassed about. There are plenty of women you know that have experienced some form of postpartum. It's a regular thing, and it's no one's fault. It's okay if you're not okay, don't be afraid to ask for help.
After giving birth, I was on an oxytocin high. I was so happy, so content. Nothing was bringing me down. Our hospital tay was a little longer than I expected and all I can remember about the duration of our hospital stay was that I was in a lot of pain, but I was still in good spirits.
The day we got home from the hospital, the exhaustion set in. My nipples were so tender and I was in a pretty decent amount of pain. My parents and Patrick's family stayed by my side to help me since I was still recovering from major surgery. Going to the bathroom was was extremely conformable and C-section was still extremely sore.
My mom had used her vacation time to stay home with me the first 3 weeks after the twins were born. It was amazing having her there to help us since she's done this before.
Just about everyday we had family coming over to help or visit with us and the babies. It was nice having so many hands around to help. It's a blessing to have so many family members nearby for whenever you need. It was also a bit overwhelming. Even though everyone who came by to help or visit us had the best intentions, I think it was just to much too soon. We both come from big families but I felt like I needed to be in my own little bubble for at least a few days! I pretended like I wasn't tired. I pretended it wasn't that hard. I pretended that I didn't feel sad. I was on autopilot.
I was nursing. Tandem nursing. So, whenever people would come over and I needed to nurse, it was always so uncomfortable since I basically had to have my whole shirt off. I hated it. I still had a huge, discolored belly and my boobs were like watermelons. That combination, along with two hungry and crying new borns for what seemed hours at a time, it was so much going on. It took so long to get them to both latch properly. I felt like I couldn't even keep up with all the feedings I was doing. I also pumped 20-30 minutes after they nursed so that I could start building up my milk supply.
I was obsessed with pumping and building a storage of milk. I wanted to guarantee that I would have more than enough milk for my twins to eat. I watched videos and read blogs on the quickest ways to build up your milk supply. I saw things like power pumping, different teas and remedies to stimulate breast milk production. That sent me into a little bit of an obsession. I had sent myself into total over supply. I was pumping 10 ounces or more from each breast every pumping session. Literal milk machine.
As the next few weeks went by I remained on auto pilot. All the days blurred together and I was consumed in caring for my twins. Emotionally, I was hanging on doing my best to keep it together in front of others. I cried in the shower and I cried at night. I cried so much. Most of the time, I didn't have an exact reason for crying, but I was just sad. I was so in love with my babies, but still I felt empty and sad. I was a robot.
I knew that I was probably just extremely hormonal because I was breastfeeding and had only given birth a few weeks ago. I was in survival mode. So, I just brushed it off and figured that my hormones would level off soon and eventually I would start to feel normal again.
I was happy with my life, but I just didn't feel like myself. I became obsessed with keeping the boys on super strict schedule in the hopes that we would all start sleeping a little bitter. I was exhausted, and desperate for sleep. I was still nursing and pumping every two hours still. It was extremely difficult to do both.
Nursing was so stressful. Getting both babies to latch properly was nearly impossible because of the position they liked to be nursed in. I would get the worst back cramps from hunching over to feed them. My nipples were completely raw, despite all of the cream I applied hourly. There were so many times I wanted to give up for my own sanity but I felt like I HAD to breastfeed. I believe the pressure to breastfeed and provide nutrients for my twins was one of the main components of my "baby blues".
My mood swings were all over the place, poor Patrick. I was irritable, fatigued, and always on the verge of tears. I didn't know if I would ever be happy again. I didn't understand why I wasn't happy. I thought I was going to stay in that happy little bubble everyday after becoming a mom. I was adjusting to this new life as best I could but something was different and I couldn't quite put my finger on it.
I didn't sleep, I couldn't eat. I just felt stuck.
I felt mislead by what motherhood was supposed bring. I had imagined the whimsical time of magical memories I would have with my new babies and no one told me the truth. I blamed people around me for not being brutally honest, one thought they had my best interest at heart. I learned quickly that being a mom is no fairy tale. As weeks went on I started to feel better and better. The tears eventually stopped, and other than the exhaustion, I was feeling back to myself.
Thankfully, we both have amazing families that would keep the babies here and there so we could get some kind of restore just a quick little break. I know everyone is not so lucky to so much family ready and willing to help. Our families are the definition of "it takes a village" and I thank god daily for that. All this to say, even though I had more than enough help and support, baby blues and postpartum are REAL. Though motherhood is no fairytale, it's pretty close for me. Im so happy to be a mama, it's the best thing that's ever happened to me. If you or anyone you know is experiencing symptoms ask for help, talk to someone. If you have these feelings for over a couple of weeks and start having harmful thoughts, seek help immediately. You got this.