I cried at the hospital and at home. I cried at the obstetrician's office and in the parking lot. I cried in the car and at work. I cried quietly into my pillow at night, so no one heard. I cried on the cold bathroom floor and let the shower cover my sobs or the sound of the washing machine drown my whimpers. I cried because my daughter wouldn't sleep, wouldn't eat, and wouldn't stop crying. I cried because I was afraid I'd never love her. I cried and then I learned things every mom should know to survive the baby blues. I cried and then I learned that I wasn't losing my mind, but was actually experiencing something entirely normal and common.
The baby blues can manifest into various emotions, such as sadness, irritability, and anxiety, that many new moms feel immediately postpartum. While having a baby is supposed to be the most joyous and incredible experience, the baby blues swoop in and throw a wrench into that supposed bliss. While they're common (and not to be confused with postpartum depression), until very recently no one really talked about them. As a result, this very real thing that happens to so many new moms has turned into a taboo, unspoken experience, leaving new moms to feel alone and terrified.
It's difficult not to automatically feel as though there's something wrong with you when those postpartum feelings hit you, especially if you have never experienced the baby blues before (or are unfamiliar with the concept entirely). You may start to believe you weren't cut out to be a mother and that you've made a grave mistake. You may feel lost. You may regret it all. I know because I've been there. I had no idea the feelings I was experiencing were entirely normal. If I had known the following, maybe my postpartum experience would have been easier on my heart and soul. Maybe.