The postpartum period for every mother is a huge transition. Every woman deals with different emotions and struggles, but it is amazing how many other women are dealing with the very same things. I have created this series in hopes for us all to know that we are not alone. I have asked mothers to submit their stories, so other expecting, new, and struggling mom’s can feel some comfort in knowing they are not alone. Below is the very first edition to our series Postpartum: A Mother’s Story.
Are you interested in sharing your story? If you have questions or would like to share please feel free to e-mail me. These stories can be left anonymous if you wish.
Written by Amanda
My water broke the day before my due date and I labored 15 hours and gave birth the next day on my due date to my first baby. A beautiful 7 lbs 9 oz perfect little boy. I took birth classes and had my wonderful husband and mother there with me- I felt very supported and had a great experience. I was not prepared for how tired I would be after though. I was committed to breastfeeding and the around the clock feeding was very overwhelming to get used to. After returning home I experience two weeks of postpartum depression. I loved my baby so much-it was like everyone had told me- a love so fierce you can’t explain until you have your own kids. But I had this rising anxiety inside of me knowing that this little person depended on me for everything. I felt trapped and then I felt guilty that I felt that way. My mom and husband were great at keeping me even-keel and reassuring me that this was normal and my hormones, emotions and new life would all balance out. And that’s exactly what happened: after two weeks my hormones started to even out and I felt like I could enjoy my new little baby. I think a huge part of the overwhelming feelings I had were due to how unprepared I was to be sleep deprived. I’m not sure if you can prepare yourself for that. Up every 2-3 hours nursing at night, and then it takes time for baby to fall back asleep too. My husband had paternity leave, but I don’t know how moms do it without someone there around the clock like I had. It’s funny though how you so well adapt and just get used to the new routine of motherhood. Your mommy instincts kick in and you figure out how to make it work. And not only just make it work, but love making it work. Being a mother is the most sacrificial thing there is to do, and yet the most rewarding.
My baby is now 9 months old and I can’t believe the time has gone by so quickly. I hope to have a few more kids someday. Becoming a mother feels like stepping into the thing I was meant to do.
Written by Kristina Grier
My name is Kristina. I had my first child (and only child so far) October 2, 2015. Her name is Olive, and is 17 months!
I went in on October 1 around 8 p.m. to be induced. I was already having contractions every 2 minutes on my own, but was still placed on pitocin & eventually got an epidural around midnight. I was able to sleep all night and started pushing at 6 a.m., had her at 0728! I didn’t have any tearing and did not need any stitches so thought it was going to be such a painless recovery. I was extremely swollen and sore from having such a strong epidural that I pushed for such a long time and didn’t really know what I was doing and was not pushing correctly from not being able to feel anything. I can remember those days in the hospital after she was born and bleeding quite heavily every time I stood out of bed or the chair from nursing her. I had to sit on a doughnut pillow for about a week from how sore I was. I made sure to ask for extra mesh underwear, the huge pads, and extra cans of that dermaplast and tucks pads to take home which I still used for 1-2 weeks postpartum to help with the pain.
My milk came in a day or two after we got home from the hospital. It was the worse than labor. I honestly can remember just sitting on the living room floor bawling because I was reading all these random Facebook posts about how I should not pump at all for the first few weeks so my milk gets regulated and to just keep putting the baby on my breast. Olive had a lip and tongue tie that made nursing the most painful thing as well. My nipples looked like fried hamburger and bled for the first several weeks. I hated showering because when I would step out they had such awful nerve shooting pain. I went to lactation consultants who encouraged me to take her to a pediatric dentist to correct the lip tie. The pediatric dentist told me her lip tie wasn’t that bad but she could do her tongue tie. She told me it was elective and might or might not help the breastfeeding pain I was experiencing from her. I declined the procedure because even though I wanted to breastfeed so bad, it wasn’t worth putting her through that if she did not need it.
For the first 2-3 months, I exclusively breastfed Olive and had tears over 50% of the time when she would latch on. I can remember bawling so many times that I wanted to quit and formula wasn’t all that bad (which it definitely is not), but I kept going. She is 17 months and still nurses. She is allergic to all dairy so it is a good thing I have be able to nurse this long and have a deep freeze completely full for those daycare days.
I really thought my maternity leave was going to be all fun, get dressed cute, and go out with her to show her off. We spent 90% of maternity leave in sweats, non-showered, and cuddles. What I would do to go back to those days. Actually…what I would do to go back to October 1 at 8 p.m. …. honestly, best 24 hours of a high in my entire life. The moment of her being held above me and her firmly placed onto my bare chest is something I cannot get out of my mind and heart. Ever. I can almost feel that exact moment still today & have a feeling I always will.