Postpartum Emotions

Join me as I discuss with new mom, Kailey, common postpartum feelings new moms experience. It’s an important reminder of possible emotions that may present at the beginning of your new parent journey. You are not alone…

Episode Transcript:

Hi, welcome back to first breaths to first steps I’m Bev Garrison here today with my good friend Kailey. We thought we would talk a little bit about postpartum emotions. Not necessarily postpartum depression, but emotions that come after pregnancy. We definitely know that hormones are a roller coaster.

That’s usually why we are feeling a little bit off and not our mental best, but I wanted to talk with Kailey Her little baby Lucas is about 10 weeks old. So she’s fresh in the game about these emotions and what she was feeling. Kailey, I know you and I had talked, you really didn’t have much postpartum depression, but what sort of emotions.

Do you think you were really noticing that first week or so after delivering Lucas? Yeah. I think that a couple of them that I didn’t expect that half was loneliness or a little bit abandoned, right? What you don’t realize is, I had my parents and my brother came to visit, so I had them too. And then obviously Leland my husband with me. I think when you are feeding, you don’t realize that you’re going to be feeding as often as you are. Every two hours, it was back in the nursery. Even though I had my family here, I secluded is the word I was looking for. By myself in the nursery, which my mom did come and hang out with me. But a lot of the time I would sit there and feel like I was by myself. Everybody else would be in the living room , watching a movie or they’d be eating dinner. They all made sure I ate, but it was I’m in the nursery . You become a pro at one hand at eating, dropping it on your baby’s head. That’s one thing I don’t think I expected to feel.

And other one to your point, I don’t think I really had postpartum depression. But I definitely have some anxiety. And I do have underlying anxiety just in general as a human being. But yeah. Is that one thing that I didn’t expect was, it was almost if you’re in the healthcare field, sundowners, but postpartum sundowner. It was crazy because I’d be perfectly fine during the day. And then it felt like. Clockwork at almost 7:00 PM every single night, I would all of a sudden get this wave of fear and anxiousness and I guess just loneliness, which is crazy because like I said, everybody was here.

My dad, he was a trooper. He would make sure that I got sleep, but then they would take the baby for a couple hours so that I could go sleep. Still, it just was that overwhelming feeling of. I don’t know, I guess just overwhelmed in general. I have to do this. I have to feed him. It’s kinda hard to see the, end in sight because all you see is. Your day becomes increments of two. Two hours, two hours, two hours feeding, feeding, feeding, and then for whatever reason that 7:00 PM overwhelm would just come and then anxiousness.

Your home hormone moment where you’re having your feeling of overwhelm. I think it’s really important to talk about that overwhelm and know that it’s normal and know that it’s okay. And the people that are there supporting you, it’s important for them to know, because then they can grasp , oh, okay. It’s like I said, for me, it was clockwork. Not for everybody, but the 6 37 o’clock mark, I would just start crying out of nowhere or. Honestly, I’d be the opposite too, where I would , all of a sudden, feel so overwhelmed with love. Oh my gosh, I have this little human being who I just love so much.

And I didn’t know that a love, like this could exist. Then it was like happy love. And it was just a weird roller coaster of emotions that you don’t realize. I know if you take a birthing class or something, they tell you that you just drop your hormones, your peaking and then as soon as that baby comes out, they just drop.

It’s not a nice little bell curve. As I was told, it’s just a straight shoot down and they’re not wrong. It just is zero to 60. Whether it’s zero to 60 happiness tears or zero to 60. Oh my gosh. How am I supposed to keep this baby alive? When did I eat? I did correlate it. A lot of my anxiety is when I was tired. I noticed if I hadn’t had any rest or any sleep. Then it seemed to be worse for sure. But I think it’s helpful to know that you’re not alone and it’s okay to feel you’re alone, even though there are plenty of people around you. I think it’s important to explain to them what you’re going through.

So then they can. You help yourself when you might not need it. My dad at one point was like, Hey, he’s still sleeping. He’s fine. I got obsessive with the, Nope, it’s been two hours. He needs to eat mark. My dad was finally the one, no, you need to sleep. That’s just as important. Lay down for another half hour as soon as he wakes up, I promise you I’ll wake you up to feed him. I ended up, he was out here in the living room with him. I ended up sleeping on the floor. He wants me to sleep because I’m his baby. He wants me to be taken care of just as much as I would like to be taken care of. He’s , well then just lay here on the couch. I’ll sit on the other end with him.

As soon as he wakes up, you can feed him, but you need to sleep just as much as he needs to sleep. And he’s not starving right now. So. Get it in when you can. I think that’s different emotional and correlating things that you don’t really think of people joke all the time oh, I’m a hormonal mess.

It’s my mom brain. It’s funny until it hits you hard. Okay. Why do I feel this way? Why? Then you start questioning things why do I feel so anxious? I know everything’s fine. I shouldn’t be feeling this way.

It’s the DABDA, the depression, anger, bargaining, denial, acceptance. You go through that where you’re, mad at yourself because you’re like I have no reason to feel this way, but it just, for whatever reason, those hormones just let that. surge out.

Definitely real. there’s three things that you’ve brought to mind for me. Yes. The hormone thing is absolutely real. So your estrogen and progesterone just drop off the planet and then you surge with other hormones that really don’t support emotional stability, they usually make you not feel very well in effect serotonin levels. I would say it is very common for moms to feel either sad or blue or had anxious feelings.

I also feel like the nighttime thing. It’s really interesting that you call that. Postpartum sundowners, because I have had so many moms really tell me oh my gosh, I knew the sun was setting and it was all about me and I’m going to be alone. That just started that wheel of emotion, whether it was depression or anxiety, or very unsettled sort of feelings, especially when the nighttime comes, I think a lot more common in moms that breastfeed, because you really do carry the burden at night, because even if you didn’t latch your baby at all during 12 hours of night, you still have to get up and pump.

And no one can do it for you, right. And no one can latch this baby for you. So you are kind of alone. Your expression of really noting, well, I didn’t think I would feel that lonely, especially because everyone was there. Your family was there a good support system. Physically you are by yourself at night, a lot of the time. I talk a lot with my coaching clients, it’s good for us to set up a postpartum plan so that everyone has a little bit of expectation and I really encourage. Clients to ride it out. Right? You get home. You’re super tired. I know we talked about it.

Sometimes it takes your partner or grandparents to say, Hey, remember we talked about your postpartum plan and I’m going to help from five until eight o’clock. You two go get some, rest, you to eat food while it’s hot. Cut it yourself. Feed yourself, all these things, it’s good to identify a little bit of expectation for the postpartum time. I was call it a plan. It’s not a contract. It’s not. Set in stone, but I think taking that time to verbalize and talk about those things beforehand is super helpful because then you can rely back upon . Like you and I are saying your mind set, you’re frame of mind is not necessarily. The best it’s ever been. You’re dealing with all these hormones and, or the lack thereof and the surging of other hormones that make you feel a little bit off. It’s really hard to make decisions. It’s really hard to get through a plan. You knew it beforehand. Right. And I think having that plan in place to talk to your family about it too, because, you and I we’ve worked together. We know each other pretty well, but we’re pretty stoic people. Admitting that you’re having a hard time is very hard to do. It took, maybe three days of me crying at 7:00 PM every single day, because I didn’t want, I mean, your husband’s or your partner or your partner or whatever you have.

Okay, but you don’t want people to know you’re struggling, you know, because you’re young, your mom, you shouldn’t be upset, you know, you shouldn’t, you should be so happy cause you just had this baby. Yeah, I get it. I mean, it’s just, you know, you don’t want to, I always feel like sometimes when we become moms and that becomes part of your title, you kind of feel like you can.

Falter or you can’t have weakness or, you know, mistakes and I’m like, Ooh, man, y’all gotta give yourself a little grace. You know, it, it takes time. And I think talking with everyone, who’s your support system, your spouse, your husband, your birth partner. You know, family, grandparents, uncles, aunts, to your baby.

It’s super helpful to kind of inform them because then they’re looking out like, Hey, you seem like you’re a little stressed. Let me take the baby from you. I’m going to watch them from here to here. You go get some rest, please go eat. You know, that they’re there to support moms as well. Right? I do like that.

You know, you really pointed out like, this is fatigue. Like you’ve never had before. Right? I mean, you’ve got a college degree, you’ve got a nursing degree and you’re like, I have never been as tired as I am now as a parent. Then when I was going through nursing school or med school, you know, I I’m always amazed at that, but it’s like 24 7 call.

Right? You are on demand all the time, but really you’re not, you really do have support systems. And if you identify them earlier, you’re going to be good to go. Right. I do always prescribe one nap, one nap a day for both mom, dad, birth parents. Because it will make night. Time seems so much better when you get a little bit of continuous sleep, that can be so helpful in your ability to cope, but also your ability to make good decisions.

Right? So I talk a lot in that postpartum planning, you know, let’s identify some people that can help you in the morning or help you in the afternoon. And is there anyone who can stay with you over. You know, those are all good things that I think it’s worth taking that time to talk about beforehand. And when you’re expecting it’s calm, right?

Like you don’t, what else are you going to talk about? Right. Like what color the nursery is going to be. I mean, it’s all easy, but when your baby’s here and you’re in the thick of it, it’s like, wow. I’m glad that we talked about that we have a plan, we at least have something we’re going to try. Right, right.

Or even just planning for, I mean, I feel like it’s always better to expect the worst and expect the hardest of things, because then if those things don’t come great. But if they do then. You know how to respond to them. Like, you know, let’s back that up. Let’s not say, expect that that’s going to happen.

Let’s just say, we’re going to be aware. There you go. That these things may happen and that these are warning signs like this. I hit the mark of, I need help. I need some sort of other intervention, that sort of thing, because again, in that postpartum planning, unlike, Hey, you got to think about maybe some meals that you can freeze and put in the freezer.

You got to maybe think about, you know, do I have a mental health care worker that I have a relationship with that I can reach out to? If I’m really struggling, because it’s nice to know who is that person and actually have contact information because then you feel like you can reach out to them if you need them.

Right. And kind of just making yourself aware of, Ooh, these are warning signs. Maybe I need more help than just what I’m offering or what my support system can offer.

Well, that might be our cue that we’re done. Lucas is like,

Well, hopefully you found this information from Kaylee and I helpful about postpartum emotions and maybe give you some warning signs, tips, tricks, things that you can do to help yourself during that fragile time after delivery. If you would like a copy of the transcript, you can press on the link in this description.

And if you would like to work with me in helping to coach your family from first breasts to first steps, you can also reach out to me@bethgarrison.com on my website until next time ???? be well.