My beautiful granddaughter gave birth a week ago with all the fanfare reserved for the “first”: her first baby, first grandbaby on both sides, and now my first great-grandbaby, the first of our fourth generation. But with all of that comes another first, the (almost) inevitable “baby blues.” They are defined as, “A common temporary psychological state right after childbirth when a new mother may have sudden mood swings, feeling very happy, then very sad, cry for no apparent reason, feel impatient, unusually irritable, restless, anxious, lonely and sad. The baby blues may last only a few hours or as long as 1 to 2 weeks after delivery.” I remember my own feelings of frustration when I first became a mother, when those feelings were neither spoken about nor recognized as normal.
Another new mom talks about her experience, “After my first baby was born, I was a mess. I don’t think that what I experienced was true postpartum depression, but it definitely qualified as the ‘baby blues.’
“I remember pulling into the driveway when my husband and I came home from the hospital with our son. I felt a tightness in my chest and my eyes were stinging with tears. How in the world was I going to do this? What did I really know about babies? When would I get sleep? Just reminiscing about it now I can feel all of those emotions flooding back to me.
“The first couple of days after we were home I was overwhelmed. People would come over to see the baby and I would numbly go through the motions of having a conversation while thinking, ‘Don’t leave! I don’t know what I’m doing!’ I would get in the shower and cry until I heard Caleb crying again, then I would get out to nurse him because it was all I knew to do. . . . I appreciated the concern of others, but I didn’t find the answers I needed by talking to others. Psalm 62:8 was graciously put into the Bible for me. It says, “Trust in Him at all times; ye people: pour out your heart before Him, God is a refuge for us…” In my darkest baby-blues-laden hour I would cry out to God. I was beside myself with exhaustion, insecurity and fear and I had to continually lay it all at Jesus’ feet. Did I immediately overcome my anxiety? No. My depression was a valley that I had to go through, but I did not go through it alone. God knew my heart and everything that I was feeling.”
If you see yourself or someone you know in this picture:
- Realize that this is temporary and affects around 80% of new mothers, give yourself time and don’t attempt perfection.
- Seek professional help if the feelings worsen or continue.
- Continually lay your exhaustion, anxiety, and fears at the feet of Jesus, for, “He cares for you.” I Peter 5:7
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