It's Not Okay

I've found a new blog I love: Things I Can't Say--I mean, just the title made me want to go there. I decided to link up with the site for Pour Your Heart Out. Even though it's kind of scary. But I've loved reading all the other blogger's posts, so I figured if they can be brave, I can too. Here's what I want to share with you:


My baby was only hours old at this point.  I was at the end of a long, very emotional pregnancy. I'd been through labor (which to me is terrifying), and a scary situation of hemorrhaging afterward. I was exhausted, exhilirated, hungry--everything that hits you post-birth. And I was happy. Happy labor was over and this little guy who'd been kicking me for months was finally here for me to kiss and hold.

But as the time came for us to move from our labor room into the room we'd be staying in for the next 2 days, I started feeling . . . unsteady. You know that feeling of something dissolving inside of you? It comes along with the knot in your throat and the shaking of your hands. They were pushing me out of the room in a wheelchair and something just broke inside of me. I put my head down and started crying. Not gentle little tears--the hard kind where you gasp and shake and cover your face with your hands. No one really said anything. I think one of the nurses asked me if I was okay and I said yes. But I wasn't, obviously. I was crying. And I didn't stop. They wheeled me into the room and I was still crying. They transferred me to the bed and I just kept crying. I was laying flat on my back, my hands over my face, sobbing uncontrollably. By this point Jeff was standing there, worried. The nurses were moving about the room, telling me softly that it's going to be okay. As I'm crying, I just keep saying that I'm fine, that there's nothing wrong, I don't know why I'm crying, I'm just sad.

I felt bad about it. I'd just had my precious baby whom I adored. I was the luckiest girl ever. And yet I was an emotional waterfall, crying like my heart was broken. No one really said anything to me about it. If my mom or my sisters had been there, I know they would have sat on the bed by me, held my hand and told me that crying is absolutely okay and normal and it will pass and I can't help how I'm feeling. But they weren't there at that moment, Jeff was worried but I don't think he really knew how to respond and I don't blame him a bit for that (I didn't know what to do either), and the nurses didn't stop long enough to console me.

After a little while it passed and I calmed down and ate something and started to feel stronger emotionally. When the doctor on call came by later, he asked me how I was doing. Already knowing the answer, I asked him if he'd heard about the breakdown. The nurses had told him, of course. I told him I felt better and I did. But there were moments to come over the next few months where I wanted to cry, even though I was happy. It's a weird paradox, isn't it? Having a baby can wreak havoc on your emotions and I think it can be hard to say "It's not okay right now" when everything's supposed to be okay and great and wonderful, and in so many ways, it is.

But here's what pretending it's okay does--it starts to make you feel like no one is seeing you because they aren't seeing what's really going on in you. And for all of us, feeling like no one sees us is devastating. This applies to every aspect of life, not just childbirth. Thankfully, in my case, my family surrounded me and loved me like only they can. Which is good, because not all your friends will understand (or care enough to get involved). And it can be hard to share that with people anyway. But then there are those other moms who absolutely know and can empathize and it helps in huge ways. For me, I'm actually glad I experienced those highs and lows because I want to be that mom who understands and empathizes with other women, even if our circumstances aren't exactly the same. 

And I want to be someone who's okay with saying when things aren't okay.     

16 comments

  1. Your strong for sharing this, and I enjoyed reading it. I think too often people only blog about good things, and every now and again in a world or perfect and good - it is so wonderful to know that every one of us is still human. We get sad, overwhelmed and angry - and that's totally normal.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Miki!

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  2. Great post and you did an awesome job pouring your heart out. It was great to meet you from Shell's. I wasn't really ok after having my kids either. See... blogging brings us together :)
    Kristen

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  3. loved the honesty in this post!! I think so many people experience something similar to this, so you are definitely not alone.

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  4. I found it so hard at first to admit when I needed help, when I was emotionally weak, when I was exhausted once I had my first. I categorized myself as "weak" for not being able to handle it all. However, then I realized I was not alone, and God how much better did that make me feel.
    Thanks for sharing!

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  5. Thank you for being real and sharing it. You are much stronger than you give yourself credit for. To admit that things are not ok, takes great amount of strength. I can empathize with you. There are still moments where I just want to cry - an sometimes I do.

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  6. I, too, had the baby blues...not PPD, but the blues. My midwife called it emoting, those waves of sadness and for me, they did pass on their own, but I know it's not that way with others.

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  7. You wrote this: But here's what pretending it's okay does--it starts to make you feel like no one is seeing you because they aren't seeing what's really going on in you.

    And I just heard everything around me fade into the distance because you summed up exactly how I feel and why I feel it.

    Thank you for that.

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    1. I know just how you feel, and it means so much to me just to hear that someone else understands what I'm trying to say.

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  8. I have never been OK after having kids. I always love you because you are open and not afraid to admit it.

    My moment come after I had my first baby and in a group of 6 girls at a small group coffee I admitted that I was never even in love with "this" baby at first sight. was so full of myself and all I wanted is to get back to normal..fit in my old clothes, be emotional stable.. the nurses to wash away all that blood!... blah blah.. I never cried but just felt in a lonely place. Until today some of those girls throw "judgemental" or rather what I consider Judgmental comments. like " are you still not in love with your 2 or 3 children?" Oh well.. this just made me close up and not want to share anything anymore... so with #2 I cried my heart out each day when breast feeding was proving to be a challenge and shut my door so nobody could see me -- I hate to be judged! With my 3rd one God just provided me with this sort of strength to handle criticism and I wailed, laughed and wailed & laughed without caring what anybody thought... I carefully avoided those negative moms...

    I always pray to God to be a good friend to others, understanding... not to offer hurting advise but uplifting.. just be a good listener. I know I fail miserable most of the times.. but I keep trying to be a better friend...just thro' my disappointing group experience. I also pray God to send positive nice friends my way.. I can't stand competitive, negativity!

    I am too thankful for my 19 yrs and 23 yrs old friends and sister Awino.. they listen and even if they don't say anything back, thro their eyes I can always know they understand.

    Thank you for this wonderful post.

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    1. Nancy, you are absolutely one of those moms who always understands and empathizes! And I appreciate you!

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  9. This is so brave to write. I know there are a lot of moms out there who feel the same way. I had a breakdown on the second day in the hospital with Brigs and I think everyone was like, WTF!

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  10. This is a beautifully written post.
    You captured so many things that people can relate to.

    I'm totally with on thinking that things aren't always okay...and that's okay.

    Really great post, girl!

    Happy weekend!
    xo

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  11. I think there are more of us that had this exact or similar reaction at some point after giving birth. I think the emotions and hormones running through our bodies get carried away sometimes...sometimes it's good with the happiness and love, and other times, OMG...and being someone whose emotions are always close to the surface, holy smokes, when I cried, yikes! But I cried when I was happy too, overcome with love for my Tomster.

    I tend to "pretend" and try to hide what I'm feeling from others even when I'm bawling, "I'm fine, I really am, totally fine...no idea..why...I'm crying (insert sighs and gasps in there)." We're the moms, and we think we're always supposed to be fine when it's us...it's us putting some high expections on ourselves that we would never put on any of the other moms we know - friends, family, etc.

    Great post - thanks for sharing!

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    1. I know! Something about being the mom makes us feel like we're supposed to have it all together! Impossible.

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  12. That time right after birth is a roller coaster of emotions.

    I've learned that it's okay to say when things aren't perfect.

    So glad you linked up!!!

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