The Postpartum Blues + What They Don't Tell You About Your Second Baby

 Me pregnant with my second, who shook my world a bit. Copyright, The Mushy Mommy 

Me pregnant with my second, who shook my world a bit. Copyright, The Mushy Mommy 

If someone would have told me prior to having my second born, that I'd have experienced bluesy days, I would have laughed at them. I was born to be a mother. I was born to rock motherhood and have babies. It was my thing, it's what I blogged about and dreamt about. 

But I am here to tell you that no one quite prepares you for the fact that having a second baby can totally and completely flip your world upside down for a bit, even if you imagined that it would never happen to YOU. 

Just when you start to find comfort in your role as a mother to one child, you get those exciting blue lines to let you know that baby number dos is on the way. You're probably ecstatic. Maybe a little scared. You probably ugly (happy) cried too if you're anything like me. And then you sat and at all the cookies because #eatingfortwo right?

Having a baby was never scary to me up until that baby actually arrived. Having a baby never seemed overwhelming or emotional until that baby was lying there. Having a baby never seemed like a reason to ugly (sad) cry...it's supposed to be ugly (happy) cry right

You can read articles here and there about preparing for a second baby and you can purchase big sibling all of the cute (and over priced) "Baby is on the Way" books from the hospital gift shop, but none of it can prepare you for the unexpected.

There's no book out there on "expanding your heart for another baby" or at least I wasn't given one. 

You see, my precious and perfect baby came and joined my world in a glorious birth. We're talking drug free, Kourtney Kardashian style complete with me pulling her out myself. Tears of joy streamed down my face because another healthy baby just came out of my body. She was here FINALLY and she was perfect. Heck, she even peed on me during skin to skin (total irony to who she is as a toddler too if you know her). 

But eventually the craziness of after birth calmed down and I let them check her out in that little clear baby box, and I stared at her. For the first time she wasn't in my arms or in my belly and I stared at this little human who I had grown to love so deeply over the last nine months. Emotions flooded my heart and fogged my mind and I was so unprepared for them.

"How on earth could I love another human as much as my first born?" Didn't I already love her? What was going on?

My first born was my world and now all of a sudden I had another daughter to make my world as well. It seemed hard in that moment to comprehend that, almost as if I was cheating on my first born. 

I hated myself for all of the thoughts and emotions that flooded me right there. I pushed them away and hoped God didn't hear them. 

We were going to be okay, or so I thought, but heck she didn't even sleep a wink that first night (again more irony). But time went on and we had a short hospital stay that ended late at night (with a truck that wouldn't start -- again irony to the days following). I didn't want to leave that hospital. I wanted to stay because I suddenly feared going home and doing this mom thing. 

You see, I wasn't technically a new mother. This wasn't my first rodeo. But in so many ways I WAS a new mother because I was now a new mother to two children. There were now TWO humans that I had to take care of, wipe their butts, rock to sleep and so on. It sounded glorious but in so many ways it sounded so freaking scary, overwhelming and exhausting. 

I was scared. I was overwhelmed with anxiety that I would NEVER be able to do this. And I don't know why. Maybe it's because my heart was still so flooded and twisted. 

I sat on top of so many emotions for a few weeks because I was afraid to admit that something was off. I felt an overwhelming fear that I just legit couldn't do this. I told no one. I held tears in each and every time I felt them coming out in front of others. There were so many times I wanted to cry to my own mother or to my husband and just say, "help me please." But I didn't because truthfully, they were already helping and I had to pretend like I had this. I was made to do this, right? 

But I didn't have this. Raising two babies all day just was going to be hard. I mean, for goodness sakes there's TWO OF THEM AND JUST ONE OF ME. 

So I kept the emotions bottled up and I just worked through it myself; I even pushed visitors away. I did everything that you're not supposed to do. I cried alone. I felt alone. I kept my mouth closed and I'm here to tell you that you shouldn't do that. 

But I've moved on since then and thankfully for me, it was only a very short season. But it's still one that I look back at and hate because I wish I could make it different. But I can't because you know what, that's part of postpartum sometimes. It's a familiar battle that unfortunately many face. 

So I'm here to tell you that it's okay. It's okay to feel these unexpected emotions. It's okay to feel like you're never going to survive this season of motherhood. It's okay to cry. It's okay to feel. It's okay to question your heart and to feel foreign from a person who you shouldn't feel that way with. 

And it doesn't make you a bad mother. 

That little girl that I looked at thinking I couldn't love the same, has completely stolen my heart. I love her fiercely and find her to be utterly fascinating. My heart is SO full because of her and because of the third child right behind her as well (and I was fine postpartum after my third thankfully). You truly just never know how your body, hormones and emotions will be following the birth of a child. It's not really anything you can prepare for or prevent. 

So mama, if you're scared of raising one, two or three or 131 humans, I'm here to tell you that you can (okay maybe not 131). I'm here to tell you that YOU WILL ROCK THIS even if you cry a lot and even if you need help. And mamas, I want you to ask for help. I want you to speak to someone because it's important; don't do what I did and keep it to yourself. Don't be the girl ugly crying all of the emotions out in the dark hallway while her husband showers a few steps away and her baby refuses to sleep. Thank gosh he didn't walk in on that way, but man how I wish sometimes that he would have. Because then, I wouldn't have been alone. 

But the truth is you're never really alone if you just let them in. There is always someone to reach out to, even if it is your doctor. There's always someone to turn to and say, "please help me." And when you feel like there's no one around, turn to Jesus. He's there and he's waiting to help you.

You're not broken, you're not a bad mother and you're not the only one facing this battle. 

You were made to do this.

Your heart will grow and expand and grow leaps and bounds with each child you have; somehow it just happens. You were destined for this role that God so cleverly saw us fit for and you will fulfill that destiny even when you feel like you can't or you won't. You may feel like a hot mess most of the time and even years later you may still ugly cry for random reasons, but you'll do far better than you ever dreamed you could. And your heart will experience the deepest love you could ever imagine. 

YOU WILL BE OKAY, I'm rooting for you. You were made to do this. Now, go ugly cry to someone and eat all of the cookies because #hormones. 

*I don't use the term postpartum depression in my post because I was never diagnosed and quite honestly don't know if it was quite "bad enough" to be diagnosed as that anyway. It was luckily a short season for me that only was touch and go after. But please seek help no matter if it doesn't "seem that bad." At least talk to a close friend or spouse and go from there. Talking is sometimes cure enough. But there's always more. Lastly, my essential oils helped me tremendously after my third and I credit them to a large reason why I was so healthy postpartum. If you'd like more info, I would be happy to help. 

Postpartum Blues and Second Baby
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Sasha Savoy

Sasha is the owner and founder of The Mushy Mommy, a natural mother and baby boutique and The Mushy Mommy Village. She is a SAHM who works hard at living as minimal and unprocessed as possible, but never claims perfection. Her mission is to inspire, encourage, enlighten and empower mothers all over to feel good about their choices, to make healthy choices and to enjoy motherhood and all of its beauty and chaos. 

We're Not Meant to Bounce Back After Baby

We're Not Meant to Bounce Back

I'm sure by now you've seen the photos of the beautiful Kate Middleton showing the world her beautiful baby less than eight hours after giving birth. Not only did she show the world her baby, but she also showed the world what only an angel must look like after just giving birth. Beautiful makeup, wavy hair, a slim figure that hardly shows any signs of postpartum pudge and the ability to stand in heels like a true goddess without her giant maxi pad falling out from under her. 

I read a quote somewhere recently about how as women we are not meant to bounce back after a baby. That quote kept sticking with me as I shoved yet another cookie into my 11 month postpartum body that still holds quite the bit of pudge. I pull up numerous photos that show me days after having my baby and I look nothing close to what Kate Middleton did. I, like so many others, was swollen, tired and slap ass worn out.  *I'm not even a fan of the way I look in the photo up above. How sad and critical is that when I should cherish the photo? We have to stop. 

We are surrounded by the concept of "bouncing back after baby" everywhere from Kate Middleton's beautiful appearance to all of the magazine covers showing which celebrity has bounced back to a bikini six weeks after having a baby. We even come across fitness accounts where moms who had abs before their pregnancy are showing their stellar abs just three weeks after giving birth. Meanwhile I am over here wondering if I accidentally pushed my abs out alongside the baby during childbirth. #theywereneveractuallythere

All us non celebs are just shoving a cookie in our mouth because #momlife is all about survival and survival means grabbing crap food sometimes to make up for the things you don't get like 8 hours of sleep, a shower, a team of makeup artists and a hot coffee. Meanwhile we are having a mental war with ourselves over these two (okay four) cookies simply because we know we haven't "bounced back" yet. We don't look like the beautiful princess or the photoshopped magazine covers. Sigh. 

Speaking of mental war, have we even begun to talk about the emotional side of bouncing back as well? Our minds are consumed with the desire to have a healthy baby while we are pregnant, that the flood of happy emotions you feel after having your child is then flooded with fear and anxiety to care for this child and give them the best. All of a sudden this human is yours to take care of and turn into a decent, law abiding citizen. Add in tons of hormonal changes and some of us are barely hanging on by a thread to mentally and emotionally "bounce back." 

But to be quite honest, do we ever truly bounce back?

Do we ever truly have the exact body we had before or the exact mentality and range of emotions as we did prior to motherhood? I'd like to give that a big fat no. Probably not. Maybe so. But more than likely something, somewhere will be different. 

You will never truly bounce back. 

Whether it's physical changes or emotional changes that stick with you after baby, you'll never be quite the same. You'll never truly bounce back to the person you were before because now you're a mother. Your body has done the tremendous thing of growing and nourishing a human, of pushing out a human or having a major surgery for this human. Your body may still be nourishing this life well after childbirth and your hormones are all over the place. Your sleep will never be the same, your ability to just get up and go to the gym will never be the same and those cookies will likely become more precious over the years as you hide in the pantry from your toddlers to indulge and have seven minutes of heaven. 

You my dear friend, will never be the same. You will forever be changed because you are a mother and it should forever be something that you fully embrace and carry on with your head held up high. You will love something more than you ever imagined and your self care will come last as you make sure that your children are well fed, healthy, warm and loved. There's even a really good chance your children will dress better than you on most days. 

Take care of yourself and be healthy, but don't hold yourself to the standards of a princess or celebrity who has so many people hidden in the background. And don't think that underneath that beautiful red dress that the princess doesn't look a bloody hot mess like the rest of us. 

Love yourself for who you are - a mother. Love yourself for what you've done, for what you do daily and for what you still have to do for the many, long days ahead. 

Don't set yourself up for expectations of bouncing back when the reality of it is that we never truly fully bounce back, whether it is physically or emotionally. Embrace who you are now and work as you can on the parts that you want to improve. But don't improve them because society says you need a six pack and size four jeans, improve it to be just the best version of you that you can be so that you can be healthy and happy. 

Bouncing is for kangaroos, and you're no kangaroo.

You're a mother. Embrace, grow and just be. 

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Sasha Savoy

Sasha is the owner and founder of The Mushy Mommy, a natural mother and baby boutique and The Mushy Mommy Village. She is a SAHM who works hard at living as minimal and unprocessed as possible, but never claims perfection. Her mission is to inspire, encourage, enlighten and empower mothers all over to feel good about their choices, to make healthy choices and to enjoy motherhood and all of its beauty and chaos. 

The Day My Daughter Taught Me to Love My Postpartum Figure

Let’s promote beauty at every stage, every figure and every weight of motherhood.
— Sasha, The Mushy Mommy
Loving Your Postpartum Body

It was a rainy afternoon and my girls were playing "family." They were pushing their baby dolls around in strollers and were being the sweetest little mommies ever. My four year old decided to announce that she had just had her baby. Since I just had a baby three months ago, my four year old has been pretending to "have a baby" a lot lately and it's nothing new to me. 

After she said that she had just had her baby, I asked, "Oh did you just come home from the hospital?" To which she replied, "Yes. I just had a baby and my belly is still big so I am going run." She then took off with her stroller running around the house. 

I laughed at first at her mimicking me. BUT then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I have completely done an injustice to my daughter. To all women. 

I completely distorted the idea of a woman's body after birth and at that moment, I knew I messed up. I prayed she would forget that unfortunate "lesson." I prayed I could show her how to love yourself no matter what. And that having a big belly after a baby is OKAY. 

Sadly I remembered the exact conversation we had when I was around 6-7 weeks postpartum and making them hop in the stroller to come jog with me. She had asked why I was running and I mistakenly said, "because mommy's belly is still big from having the baby and I want it to be small again." Or something along that line. When what I should have said was that I just wanted to be healthy or even, "I like the way I feel when I exercise." 

I look back now and can't believe that I did that. For someone who suffered with body images and food through high school, I look back and realize that could be the beginning of creating a misconception of how perfectly a woman must look and how soon she should "bounce" back. We see the magazines on the newsstands already about which celebrity had a baby three days ago and already has her six pack back; it's bad enough those headlines even exist for our daughters to one day see and compare themselves too. 

I'm embracing my womanly, motherly figure just as always. I know that with a few months of breastfeeding, some decent eating habits and a workout here and there when I can, I will reach goals. But I'd be lying if I didn't say that I don't have my sad days. Just like any woman I'm sure, I have days where I want to cry because none of my clothes fit. I have days of trying to hide my bare figure from my husband because I don't feel "perfect" enough for him and I have days of wanting to just eat any and everything so I can just be like "eff it." 

But what I learned from this unfortunate event, is to always remember that I am the role model for my daughters. I am setting the example of how they may seem themselves and their bodies one day. 

 I want my daughter to have her own child one day and look in the mirror with pride at her body and all that it is capable of. I never, ever, want her to think that she immediately has to diet or run the baby weight off. That's total bullshit. And lucky for me, I realize now how silly it was for me to even say that to begin with. Lesson learned.

So mamas, embrace your beautiful, motherly figure. Slowly try to attain the goals that you want, but remember that you JUST.HAD.A.BABY. And if you didn't just have your baby, I think we need to remember just how hard it is to sometimes fit in gym time and motherhood; the two don't go exactly hand in hand. Cut yourself some slack - us mamas have a habit of putting our children's needs before our own. It's what we do. 

So let's teach our daughters about living healthy, rather than trying to attain perfection. Let's teach them about embracing your body and loving yourself no matter what. Let's remind them that we are beautiful no matter what the scale says, no matter what stretch marks we bear and no matter how imperfectly perfect we are. We have to do our daughters justice and make an imperfect body image NORMAL in a time where teens and girls struggle daily to accept themselves. 

Let's promote healthy lifestyles, not perfect bodies. 

Let's promote beauty at every stage, every figure and every weight of motherhood. 

Cheers to all my postpartum mamas squeezing into pants that don't fit.

You're killing it, girl. 

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Sasha Savoy

Sasha is the owner and founder of The Mushy Mommy, a natural mother and baby boutique and The Mushy Mommy Village. She is a SAHM who works hard at living as minimal and unprocessed as possible, but never claims perfection. Her mission is to inspire, encourage, enlighten and empower mothers all over to feel good about their choices, to make healthy choices and to enjoy motherhood and all of its beauty and chaos.