Touched out. What is that? No one EVER talked about this! I have friends and family that have children. They told me about all the wonderful moments and some of the not so wonderful. Hemorrhoids anyone?
But being touched out? Nope. Not once.
I didn’t learn about being touched out until I came across a blog post about it on one of the mommy groups that I follow on Facebook. It was like finding out that Santa was real. Like heaven opened up and poured peace and love down my face. I no longer felt that I was a complete crazy person for not wanting to be touched. By anyone. Not my baby. Definitely not my husband. Not my family. Not my friends.
So, what is being touched out? Exactly what it sounds like – your body has a negative response to being touched because it has been touched non stop for an extended period of time. For me it took about three weeks of constantly holding my daughter.
See, I wouldn’t let anyone else hold her. I was afraid that they would do something to her, or they would miss something that I wouldn’t. I didn’t like the way they would hold her head, or her feet weren’t positioned correctly, or they weren’t patting her bottom they way she likes. And obviously no one can put her diaper on correctly. So I held her. All. The. Time. Also she had reflux, so I couldn’t lay her down because she
would most definitely might throw-up, asspirate her vomit, and die. I thought about a lot of ways that she could die in those first weeks – who am I kidding, three months in and this is still something that I entertain myself with at 3am…
Asside from my debilitating (and undiagnosed) Postpartum Depression and Anxiety, all of this holding of my daughter while I was awake, and while I slept, really overwhelmed my already sensitive nervous system (like I can’t wear socks that have a seam that go straight across the tips of your toes. Makes me want to cut them off.). This feeling of overwhelming physical agitation made me feel like I was failing as a mother, because all new mothers just want to hold there babies right? Holding your baby is supposed to make you feel whole and full of love and joy, right? And here I was just about to lose my shit if one more person tried to touch me, including my baby.
If just one person had said to my pregnant person, “Hey, let other people hold the baby because you may just lose your mind after being in constant contact with another human being,” I would have at the very least taken it under advisement. And someone sure as shit should have told my husband. For real. That poor man definitely didn’t sign up for all of this. His infinite patience with me is astounding everyday.
So here I am – shouting it from the roof tops: Being touched out is REAL! It’s OKAY to have some no-touchy time. In fact I highly recommend it. It will save you from lashing out at your loved ones when they want to love you.
Please tell your friends, your significant others, your family, the pregnant lady waddling down the grocery isle (okay, maybe not that last one…). Let other people fawn over the baby. Go take a shower. Lay naked on the bed (leaky boobs be damned!). Do what floats your boat. Enjoy the moments of not being touched or touching another human being. It’s okay.