"I just had a baby" ten months in and I still use that line, normal? No clue but I truly feel like I just had a baby and not just in the "she's my baby forever" way or "it feels like just yesterday" way but in the "I still have no freaking clue what I"m doing" way! My doctor warned me after delivery "you'll never figure it out, so don't try...you'll drive yourself insane", well ain't that the truth! And while I have let go (mostly) trying to figure it out I still feel clueless (that's different right?). Now let me give myself some credit, there are quite a few things I have figured out and feel like such a boss doing (I do some really adult shit now, it's kind of a big deal).
Well that there was the preface to this post, you know like that random intro chapter (aka preface) in books that plays no real part. You're welcome. Now on to the real reason I popped on over here to write: my recovery. My recovery from pregnancy, from birth, learning how to parent, learning how to be a good partner while being a good mom, in short: MY POSTPARTUM RECOVERY!
I was very transparent about the struggles I dealt with internally postpartum, the initial reason for my transparency was therapy but then I realized how many others were going through it and thought they were alone or felt ashamed to talk about it...F THAT...we are gonna talk this out!!! As much as I try to hold on to the positive feedback I received and the amazing connections I created with other women, I can't quite forget some of the "you signed up for this", "motherhood is the most difficult but rewarding job", or "you should be thankful you were blessed with a child"...GIRL(S) BYE!! What I was feeling had nothing to do with my daughter, I Jacqueline Solivan was struggling, confused, hurting at times and at times in such a deep dark unknown and unexplainable place. I really beat myself up about getting into these dark places because I had so so much to be thankful for and I would get so frustrated because I couldn't explain it, not to myself or anyone else for that matter which made it much harder to "fix". It was very hard on my relationships as well, mainly my relationship with Jack...unfortunately, he was my punching bag yet my biggest support because only he saw the daily struggles and still stood by side when I'm sure I was making it more then easy to walk (actually sprint) away.
Even though I was very open about my journey (more so in the beginning) I realized nobody (other than Jack) knew the struggle I was enduring but I think that's because I didn't realize I was still going through it, it became my norm (SCARY!!). I pretty much always had a smile on my face the second I stepped foot outside; again I was so happy with my little family but also I was subconciously putting on a show..."if I put this smile on, nobody will notice"; I didn't want to deal with the back lash and the "look at your beautiful family, you're so lucky...how can you be unhappy, you're crazy!" and I didn't have an explanation, I was lost in my own feelings. However, finally ten months later I finally feel dare I say "normal"!! I don't know what the hell happened; I don't know if my hormones finally got their shit together, I don't know if my apologizing for being a royal asshole was the "magic word" but I feel better...finally! I feel like myself but even better because dude I have this phenomenal family and support system who despite it all has stood by my side day in and day out! In sharing this beautiful moment with two of my best friends they encouraged me to share my story because they have never heard of THIS SIDE in depth, they've read that hormones are wacky for about a year but they had no clue just how wacky and life changing they could be. It was their genuine interest and shock that reminded me how freaking taboo this topic is and how many women are ashamed to feel their feels because they're met with a "you should be thankful". This journey is no joke and heck yeah it is by far the most beautiful and phenomenal chapter of my life but it was/is also the most emotionally, mentally, and physically taxing! And I get it everyone is different so not all women suffer like I did, some worse, some hardly notice, and some handle it completely different. But let's not pretend this isn't part of the phenomenon that is creating life and/or discredit the dark place that some women fall into after giving birth. Let's listen, let's support, let's erase the taboo so that women can better deal with THIS PART.
It was a scary place and time but I made it and now I can enjoy my blessings without the distraction, thank you universe!! Let the happy tears flow!!!