Postpartum Support - By Rachel Olds

Being a first time mom has come with many challenges and amazing moments. However when it comes to after giving birth, everyone tells you life will change, however I was never really prepared for it. Now being ten months postpartum, I feel I am finally starting to feel like myself. 

My name is Rachel, and I am a first time mom to a beautiful daughter who is now ten months old. I had a pretty good pregnancy and gave birth to her at 37 weeks. When it came to the day I went into labor, I will admit I had a not so good experience. Looking back at it now, it really affected me postpartum. Like I mentioned before, I had a pretty good pregnancy, when it came to going into labor and delivery I ended up having preeclampsia and high blood pressure. After getting admitted, I had to be stuck in bed and couldn’t walk around or try different birthing positions, which I really wanted to try. After 12 long laboring hours, it was time to push. Her heart rate did drop and they really wanted me to continue to push. Finally she arrived and my heart was so full of love for her! 

After being in the hospital for three and half days, I took my daughter home. They always tell you the first week is hard and then you’ll get used to it. For me that wasn’t the case. After the first week, I was having a hard time not only with her, but I started to notice my mindset was going negative. I would cry every night and to top it off my husband had to leave to head back into work, which was eight hours away from home. I was grateful and lucky I had my family with me during those two long months away from my husband. I feel no one really tells you how hard it really is in the first year. 

I heard of mothers getting postpartum depression, but never heard of postpartum anxiety. When I went to my first postpartum doctor’s appointment, they gave you a questionnaire about how your mind set is after giving birth. When I answered their question my doctor was a little worried about what I was going through, but she kind of pushed me aside and said “you’re just tired, give it a month”. A month went by and I was still not feeling myself. I will admit, I had negative thoughts and did not want to get out of the house because I was anxious about other people and my daughter crying. My daughter always wanted me and always wanted to breastfeed. I was always stuck on the couch or the bed. In addition to that, I was embarrassed to let people know that there were things going on in my mind. Which brings me to a point; I feel like many moms are going through this and need to know they aren’t alone. 

I feel our society shames moms for many things. Postpartum anxiety and depression is very real. Instead of just pushing us aside, doctors need to see us and not push us away. I wish my doctor really saw what I was feeling and saw me. Yes I was tired, yes I was a first time mom who didn't know much, but I really was struggling. Even to this day, I have days that I want to give up, but now I know ways to deal with it. I also found someone to talk to and learned that it’s ok to open up about these things. When I have talked to other moms, it felt good to know I am not alone in this and they are struggling too. 

One day I was looking through Instagram and Little Mama Shirt Shop popped up. I thought how cute this shop is and all the items they have, so I decided to order a couple items from their shop. After getting the items, I fell in love, so I looked into their shop a little more. I read about their story and just fell in love even more with the shop. I love to support women and small businesses. On top of that, women who are also moms, because I know from my personal experience how hard it is being a mom and working at the same time. I love women supporting women and how amazing their background stories are. 

As a stay at home mom, I tried to find other mom’s who might be going through what I am going through. I love that LMSS is doing these blogs! It not only supports other moms who are going through life with a little one or little ones, but it’s a safe place to go to and talk about life. Like I mentioned before, my mental health has been an up and down struggle since my little one was born. Ten months with my little one has been beautiful, but to be honest I have wanted to give up so many times. But after reading a blog about a mom and her little one, it felt so good to hear she's dealing with the same things I am going through. With a little one who doesn’t want to be away from her mom, wakes me up more than four times throughout the night, and many more things. Just know I am going through it, and I am still going. 

Not only do women need to build up women, moms need to also build up and support other moms. Let’s keep these positive thoughts going! Let others know what you're going through, so you can connect to other moms. I always let other moms know I am here for them, just like other moms are! Stay strong and keep looking forward toward the future! 

This article was written by Rachel Kromka. Find her on Instagram @rachelolds_

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