Day after day, I sat on the couch with my baby, alone & crying, trying to painfully breastfeed, and wishing my husband would take a break from his work upstairs and come save me. I sat and watched Netflix, I read The Hunger Games Trilogy, and I obsessed over how much my baby was sleeping (and how much I was sleeping). I wanted to leave the house but I was afraid to leave the house. I wanted to be alone, but I felt a responsibility to my baby. I wanted to drive away and leave it all behind, but it made my heart hurt to think about it.
When my son was finally old enough to go in his Jolly Jumper, things finally started to change. I didn’t have to hold him anymore. My hands were free to do other things, and he could bounce and giggle. I made a playlist of all my old, favourite 90’s songs. I played it on my iPhone while he “danced” away in his Jolly Jumper, and I sang along to old Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears songs. My husband came downstairs that first afternoon after I made the playlist, and he said “This is the first time I’ve heard you sing in months. You sound happy.”
It took a long time for me to feel like myself again, and to be honest, I don’t think I’ll ever feel like my pre-baby self. But what time and support allowed me to do was rediscover pieces of myself that I thought I lost when my son was born. I want other new moms to know that they will come out of the haze of breastfeeding or colic or sleepless nights, and they will find new joy. It doesn’t last forever. You will find yourself again.
We’re In This Together is a photography series, coordinated in partnership with the Pacific Post Partum Support Society and the Good Mother Project, that offers messages of encouragement, hope, support and love to new parents.
For more information on how you can share your message, please visit: http://goodmotherproject.com/were-in-this-together