The hormonal tidal wave that took over my body as my milk transitioned from colostrum to mature milk was intense. I knew the things I was crying about were not entirely rational, but they took me over nonetheless. Every time someone tried to comfort my screaming daughter I broke a little inside. The idea that other people could do what I could not added to my suspicion that somebody had made a mistake in letting me take a baby home. I cried over what I perceived as my own inadequacy. I felt a rage that I could not explain whenever someone offered to take her for me. I shared my feelings with my husband, who immediately told his parents how I was feeling. With time I have come to understand why he thought that was helpful, but when my mother-in-law came into my bedroom to give me a pep talk, I was surprised by how intensely angry I felt. I never expected the shame I experienced in those early days, the feelings that I was not cut out to take care of this helpless child. That other people knew more, and could do better.
Soon, my hormones settled down, and I learned to accept my feelings of ineptness as a universal truth. We all feel like we were thrown into a cage fight with no protection. Our feelings are complicated and overwhelming, but valid. It is a wave we must ride, with willingness to seek help if it starts to pull us under.