“My name is Katricia Masse, I am 31 years old and mother to two beautiful children, Adalynne (5) and Marcellus (2). I am currently a stay-at-home mom and writing a blog called MuchoMasse. When I’m not with my children, or my husband you can find me party planning or with extended family. My children and husband are my world and I’d do anything for them.”
What was the dynamic surrounding your pregnancy?
“My husband and I were a month away from celebrating our 1-year wedding anniversary and I was finishing up my 2nd year of law school, when I found out that I was pregnant. We were 25 years old, excited, nervous and scared. We embraced the news and began to prepare for the arrival of our baby girl, which was a pleasant surprise as my husband comes from a predominantly male family. The news that we were having a girl was unreal to us, but we were elated with joy! I continued with my classes while pregnant and gave birth to a beautiful baby girl at the beginning of the spring semester of 2013!”
How would you describe your post-pregnancy/motherhood experience?
“I adapted to motherhood rather quickly and my body took a while to recover, despite having a vaginal birth. I learned what I needed to do for my baby girl quickly so that I could balance school work and being a mom, because I didn’t take the semester I gave birth off. My body was sore all over and hurt badly for a few weeks. The first moments you get to see your child after delivery, you get a sense of I can do this, and I am here for you. Then when you get home from the hospital and no nurses are around reality sets in as to how difficult motherhood actually is. Thankfully, my husband was there to help and so was our family. Our first week at home we wanted to do it ourselves and didn’t have any help. I didn’t sleep more than 3/4 hours a night and by the end of the week had a horrible migraine. It was then I realized I needed more help and my grandmother would stay with me once a week until my daughter was about 4 months old. I needed this to not only complete assignments for school but also, so I could sleep! This is when I started valuing sleep in life.”
Did you ever experience post-partum symptoms or battle with your mental health in any way? If so, how did you get through it?
“Thankfully, I did not suffer with post-partum symptoms. I did however suffer from the “baby blues.” I had moments when I was home with my husband after giving birth where I would just cry. I remember vividly one night our daughter was sleeping, we were watching a movie in the living room and it was a comedy, and I started to cry. My husband turned to me and said what’s wrong and I told him, nothing, I’m just crying. We talked about it and I was crying and laughing at the same time, no idea till this day what brought it on. I remember when I went in for my daughter’s week old visit, the doctor asked how I was doing. I said fine, a little emotional at times and she said those are the “baby blues.” I had never heard of this before. She did tell me it would pass, but if it doesn’t to come back. Luckily for me it passed. I don’t remember how long it lasted but maybe it was 2 weeks or so. I never got angry or disconnected, I would just cry about anything like, reading a text message or a scene from a movie. I think talking to my husband and surrounding myself with family helped me sort out the emotions that I was being flooded with. Along with trying to get back into a routine and having some sense of what life was like before baby arrived.”
Describe your routine and activities that you do to maintain your mental health on a daily basis.
“Having some alone time is very important to me and something I value. My husband knows this very well and will at times get the kids ready for bed so I can have some me time to do the things that I want to do or take them out of the house so I can have some quiet time to myself. My husband and I have an early bed time for the kids so that we can spend time together but also take advantage of that time for ourselves when the kids are sleeping. Going to get my nails done is something I do for me and my mental health. It’s very relaxing and freeing, especially when sitting in the massage chairs. I like to drink green tea every day, it calms me down and allows me to prepare for my day or relaxation before bed. When my kids are napping or resting, I don’t clean or do laundry all the time. Sometimes I sit quietly and watch tv or take a nap as well to refresh my body.”
What advice would you give mothers/soon to be/potential mothers, based on your personal experience?
“Motherhood is a journey and there is no wrong or right way to do it! You learn a lot as you go, be confident in yourself and the type of mother you want to be! Don’t stress out about your house not being clean. Most other mothers I know don’t have a clean house either. Spend as much time as you can with your kids, they really do grow up fast!”