Not Just A River In Egypt: Postpartum Denial

Motherhood is a journey I feel like I waited for my whole life. I always wanted a sweet little babe of my own to cuddle and squeeze. Diaper changes didn’t scare me and I always found breastfeeding beautiful.

Having Billy has absolutely changed my life in wonderful ways I never imagined but it has also come with a few ups and downs. Many describe parenting as a roller coaster and I agree 100%.

The first few weeks with Billy I was overly hormonal, which is completely normal but it knocked me off my rocker. Every time Billy cried, I sobbed uncontrollably. If my husband wasn’t changing Billy’s diaper fast enough and he started wailing harder, I was inconsolable. I would shake and sob in my corner of the couch while I begged him to hurry up and finish changing Billy’s diaper.

Around the third week things seemed to snap back to normal for me, I was able to keep my composure and understand not every newborn cry was a crisis…because Billy never stopped crying. At first I told myself, “Babies cry, it’s just what they do.” and sucked down the Frappacinos to try and find a level of “awake” civilization would consider normal.

I was getting anywhere from 2-4 hours of sleep per night and thought that was pretty good! When Billy wasn’t sleeping, he was crying, so I was feeding him constantly to soothe him.

I embraced breastfeeding since I was not able to complete a drug-free and natural delivery that I had ached for. I told myself, “Since I failed at that, I will succeed in this.” I assumed everything was going well and the pain in my breasts was merely my body adjusting to this new person suckling on them every 25 minutes.

Then, the time I should have spent sleeping was spent fighting a fever and night sweats.

Once I had fought mastitis twice I saw a lactation consultant to learn my son wasn’t nursing, he was chewing on me. NO WONDER it hurt so badly!

It took me two weeks to learn he was feeding incorrectly and another three weeks to accept that the constant crying and comfortless nature of my son was called colic. I was in denial all along that anything could be wrong with my method of feeding my baby and especially in denial of believing my son would have colic.

Motherhood has definitely been a roller coaster, but it has humbled me and I am thankful for every opportunity to learn how to help my baby as well as grow into motherhood. I have a new respect for my mom and every mom I see. I now am more enthusiastic than ever to give out “great jobs” and high-fives to every mom I meet.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned as a mother is we’re all in this together.


Jess Bedsole: As a first time mama in May, Jess is now glowing in the bliss of motherhood. You can read more about her home life on her blog Sparkles and Crafts while following her random thoughts on Twitter @jessbedsole

Filed under: Life, Parenting

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