I’m officially one year year postpartum and honestly, it was one of the most challenging years of my life. Not just because I was a new mom and all of the challenges that come with having a new baby, but I wasn’t prepared for the difficulty I experienced within myself.
The postpartum period or “fourth trimester” is something that isn’t talked about enough. I think we talk about it lightly, but not truthfully, because it can be difficult to express all of the emotions we feel as women during this time.
I am the type of person who holds everything inside and it takes a lot for me to express myself, especially about sensitive subjects that highlight my insecurities. I finally feel I am at the point that I can talk about this and admit the amount of change that has happened to me mentally, physically, and emotionally.
I feel like as women we have these standards that we need to appear like everything is perfect all the time and all our imperfections should be hidden. Not to mention the shame we can feel from other moms who should be supporting us.
It makes me feel terrible admitting that being pregnant was not my favorite thing and my PP journey was a difficult one. I love the result, obviously, and it has been so worth having my beautiful daughter, but the long-term effects have been brutal and not enough women talk about it.
The post-partum journey has been harder for me than childbirth. The whole process is an emotional roller coaster, while also learning to live with all these physical things going on.
I think one of the bigger changes that I really have had to adjust to is realizing how much my daughter and future children are going to rely on me (saying those words make me feel crazy, I obviously knew that was a part of motherhood, I feel like it is just x1000).
I feel like my brain is constantly running and like I always need to be on top of things. My anxiety since being pregnant is constant. It has been difficult to find time for myself, which my physical self has really suffered from that. 13 months after the birth of my daughter, I feel like I am happy with my life and finally feeling like I am back to normal emotionally.
I do still struggle with the physical effects from it all. I am still breastfeeding and gradually weaning my 13 month old, so it has been hard to get back into shape when my hunger is still through the roof. All of this makes it his really difficult to feel like myself again, but not look like myself.
I’m learning to love my body at every angle and being proud in my new skin. After talking to some other moms at different points in motherhood, it seems to be a lifelong struggle.
Being a mom is the most exhausting, stressful, emotional, exciting, wonderful, most rewarding experience I have ever experienced. Nothing can prepare you for the emotions you feel for your child, but also for yourself as your grow into your motherhood role.
If you’re struggling and looking for mental health resources, please read our Mental Health Guide for more information.