Hi, my name is Katelynn. I have been married to my husband for 2 years, and we have an amazing 8 month old boy named Wyatt. I am currently a stay at home mom and I work helping young moms.
As soon as I got married I was so excited that we could have a baby. I honestly thought that was just the next step you took, sure enough two months after getting married I found out I was pregnant. I remember being afraid to tell people because I assumed they’d say we were too young. I had a fairly normal pregnancy and delivered at 37 weeks. My delivery wasn’t anything out of the ordinary but as soon as I started to deliver I knew it wasn’t what I expected. I thought I’d go in, have a baby and it would be a magical pain free experience, man I was I wrong.
The first nights I did okay. Family and friends flooded the hospital room and I was so proud to show off our tiny baby. I was in the hospital for 3 days and during those days I remember thinking how easy it was. I had been a nanny for 8 years prior so I thought I was ready for this. Once we got home it felt like I ran into a brick wall that wasn’t going to budge. My mom stayed with us the first few nights to help us adjust, which I was so grateful for. Wyatt our son had colic, reflux, and jaundice. I struggled to get him to latch and then I struggled to get him comfortable after feeds. The first evening home I really struggled. He wouldn’t latch and was very fussy. I remember thinking maybe I made a mistake and I wasn’t actually cut out to be a mom.
My mom knew I was struggling and called my three best friends who quickly came over at 7pm leaving their families to help me. They came with gas medicine, food, and helping hands. They held my baby, held my hand and reassured me, did my dishes and so much more. If it hadn’t been for those amazing ladies I can’t imagine what that night would’ve looked like. They stayed until baby and I was settled and left around 1 in the morning.
The next few days seemed to be better until we found out we would be returning to the hospital to treat my little ones jaundice. When I found that out I sobbed, I thought I had done something wrong. I felt so scared to be going back and to have to have my son under lights all night. When it was time for him to feed we could take his eye patches off and hold him but the rest of the time he stayed under the light. I don’t think I slept at all that night, I just sat and cried. We were sent home the next day and life returned back to normal. My husband returned to work, and I stayed home with the baby. Most days I just sat and cried. I suddenly felt terrified to hold him and be alone. I remember calling my husband to come home because I didn’t want to be alone. For a week I continued to struggle with that feeling.
The following Monday I found out my grandpa who was like a father to me was dying; we sat with him and watched him pass. I convinced myself I was okay and didn’t need to deal with it. It just pushed me further into a darkness. Two weeks later my nan went into hospice care. We were extremely close, and she had suddenly found out she was dying. A few days later with us by her side she passed. That was my breaking point. I was so far in the darkness I didn’t know which way to go. So I opened Facebook and found a post about a support group that met on Monday and told my husband I was going to go. The first meeting I sat in my car for what seemed like forever before deciding to go in. I finally went in but didn’t say much, I sat watching the lady holding my baby terrified she might drop him. I actually went home and told my husband I didn’t want to go back.
I began seeing a therapist once a week and that was an amazing turning point. I decided to give the group another try and ended up loving it. The weeks that followed weren’t magically better but I was learning to cope and handle the intrusive thoughts and fears better. We hit the magical four month mark, and Wyatt’s colic went away making him a very calm baby. I started to be able to sleep more which really helped my mental health. I began to see myself as a mom and gained confidence. We are now 8 months postpartum and still have days where anxiety seems great and the intrusive thoughts push through, but I’ve learned how to cope with them. I wish I could go back and tell myself during the early days to get help and that things will get better, but I can only grow from what I know now.
I’m grateful Jesus, my mom, friends, and husband met me with loving hearts rather than judgement. I can’t go back and fix the past but I’m now able to help moms that were like I was. I still struggle with postpartum anxiety and see my therapist, I’m not one hundred percent better but I can honestly say I’m getting there. I no longer feel like I was have to hide it and wear a mask. I can be myself and allow myself healing.
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