I’ve been laying low for the last few weeks for various reasons – mainly to try and cherish each moment I have left of my maternity leave but also because I’ve had mom brain and haven’t quite been sure what to write about. I’m not vain enough to think people care about our every day life, nor do I care to chronicle every little detail- much of our lives, though projected through our daily pictures, is still extremely private.
When I started this blog, I meant for it to be something moms, dads or whoever could read and relate to, I wanted it to be real and raw and honest with my sick and sarcastic sense of humor tossed in, it was initially a parent blog but it took its twists and turns and seems to be about parenting still but also life in general. But like I said, I got stuck. I felt like people were reading and looking for some serious material with comic relief and I’m like yoooo fam i don’t know if I can provide.. but alas inspiration has come 🙌🏼
Last night a close friend texted me asking about postpartum.. if it was like a real thing, if I had it, and how I dealt. We talked a while today about it and real rap would you know I actually fucking forgot I had it? About 1 in 7 women suffers from postpartum depression, most of us will get the baby blues from the surge and fluctuation of hormones after we give birth but postpartum can go deeper, sometimes to the point of a parent being unable to look at their own child, like full blown they don’t like their kid. Which sounds ludicrous but it’s totally a thing.
So let’s roll back 16ish weeks.
Riley and I have just gotten home from the hospital. I’m sitting at the dinner table with my dad, pop pop and sister (no idea where Riley is, probably her little rocker thing), we are eating pasta cheech (it’s an Italian thing and if you don’t know what it is I feel bad for you – anyway) we are eating pasta out of these bowls and all of a sudden all I can hear is the clanging of everyone’s spoon against the bowl – my vision tunnels and I’m staring at this spot on the table and all I can hear is “CLANG CLANG CLANG” – like someone is fucking ringing a cowbell in my ear and I’m overwhelmed with both anger and tears – the world just feels really fucking loud and it won’t stop. I’m literally straining to keep these tears in my eyes but then I notice there are bread crumbs everywhere (and I legit just cleaned the house before I had riley) that just puts me over the edge like wooooo never been so sad and pissed about crumbs in my life and I have no idea what’s wrong with me or why it’s happening- maybe I’m just tired, I don’t know. So I take the baby upstairs and give her a sponge bath but I can’t stop crying and I’m not sure why. After maybe 20 minutes I pull it together and I’m fine, like it’s Brittany (/lexie) bitch 💁🏼♀️. I show up to her doctors appointment the next day like I’ve been doing this mom shit for years – hair and makeup done, dressed all nice like I got this on lock. That in a nutshell is my postpartum.
My hormones were insane the first few weeks, I was nervous – I couldn’t sleep some nights because what if riley stopped breathing? How would I know? I’m actually almost positive I was in full blown delirium at one point from lack of sleep. And then I fell asleep one night feeding her and was convinced I’d starved my child. It was pure insanity. But the best was that I convinced myself I HAD to be Supermom, like had to. Literally no one in my life ever said hey lex, I’m gonna need you to cook dinner for the family, clean the house, do laundry, take care of the baby and you – and do it on the reg and do it well. But I told myself I had to, I had convinced myself that I needed to be mom and dad and do not only everything I used to do but to do it better- oh and also lose all the baby weight and be a SMiLF cause like momma needs a husband (jk jk ). I put so much pressure on myself – I felt like I had something to prove, not just to everyone else but mainly to myself.
My whole life all I ever wanted was to be a mother but for almost an entire decade I was running around being a total asshole and choosing my addiction over everyone and everything in my life. And then by sheer chance came this perfect little girl, my motivation to keep my life going in the right direction, in a way, my sense of redemption. Talk about fucking pressure.
I never in a million years imagined it would happen this way, that I wouldn’t have her father to help me or to just watch her grow into her sweet little self , that I’d be working some dead end job just for her insurance or that she would have had heart surgery. I wasn’t prepared for all of that – I was prepared for my fantasy version where everything is perfect and my hair and makeup are done daily and I’m in rocking good shape (i am though 😉) and I don’t have puke on my shoulder regularly. I didn’t know I would cry my eyes out some days because I desperately want my daughter to have a “normal” life, to know her father, or that I’d lose my shit because I have to leave her with other people every day so I can work and the painful realization that I will miss so many of her firsts.
Granted it’s not as bad as it was in the beginning, those first few weeks I probably would have cried if you cut my sandwich wrong but even though those tears aren’t as frequent or as random- they’re still there and I still get stuck in them. Postpartum can last for a bit and as someone who’s battled depression on and off my whole life – it’s something I need to be honest about because I know other people struggle and don’t talk about it out of fear and sometimes even shame.
So I’m rambling a little but how do I deal with it you may ask? (Or maybe you don’t give a fuck but then why are you reading nosey ass 😂) and the answer is this. I deal with it as it comes but I take care of myself first and foremost – I workout at bare minimum twice a week because it gets my aggression out and it makes me feel good – I binge watch stuff and don’t feel bad, I talk to my friends, I get a mani or pedi when i need to- and I ask for help which means I totally pass my baby off here and there because I need a break and I don’t feel bad about it like I did in the beginning – in order for Riley to have her best mom, I’ve got to take care of myself in all aspects and stop putting so much pressure on myself otherwise I’m just one giant tear running on redbull and snarky comments.
Riley has been my greatest joy and my biggest life lesson but it hasn’t always been rainbows and butterflies. Some days it’s pure chaos like I am the tree and Riley is this little crazy kola that attaches to me and also happens to scream a lot and like biggie smalls. And those are the days I’m really tested but I am fortunate to have a great support network and people I can talk open and honestly with.
So if you’re struggling – you’re not alone, reach out – I’ll listen – we can talk shit together or cry about bread crumbs or like your lack of sex life .. like whatever works for you. But in all seriousness I do hope if anyone is struggling with PPD they reach out – and I promise you it slowly but surely gets better!
Love and light