Postpartum. One of the least talked about parts of having a baby.
Everyone shares a lot of details about pregnancy. However, the baby comes & they totally skip over postpartum going straight to baby bliss. I’m not going to lie, postpartum hit me like a ton of bricks. I thought it was all baby snuggles & happy tears, but anyone who’s had a baby knows that’s only part of it. I’m going to try to be brutally honest for this post.
One of the most intense things I was not prepared for was the hormones. I thought there’s no way postpartum hormones will be that much worse than my pregnancy hormones because I had some MAJOR pregnancy hormones. Boy was I wrong. I was ALL OVER THE PLACE. The first two weeks were the worst. I was constantly worried about Ellie, I was frustrated, I felt inadequate, unprepared, alone, and about a million other things. I definitely experienced some baby blues/postpartum depression, which was really hard for me to admit. I didn’t really admit it to anyone except Will until my mom flat out asked me around week 5. I knew PPD was a real thing, but I didn’t think I would experience it. If you’re into the enneagram, I’m an 8 & as an 8 I just thought my mind would be strong enough to overcome it. God humbled me real quick.
My least favorite question was, “Don’t you just love being a mom? It’s the best!” I wanted to yes it’s amazing, but I’m struggling. Since that doesn’t seem like an acceptable response I just smiled & said, “Yeah it’s amazing!” I would’ve much preferred someone to say like, “Being a new mom is so hard. How are you handling it?” Then I might have felt like I could actually share some of my struggles.
I felt really ashamed for some reason. Admitting I was having PPD felt like it somehow took away from how much I loved my baby, but it absolutely doesn’t. It’s just a lot to adjust to while your hormones are literally all over the place. Plus, it was temporary. My hormones have leveled out & I feel like I’m starting to get a handle on being a mom, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get overwhelmed at times. When that happens I have learned now to ask for help. Nobody expects you to do it all on your own, so reach out & ask for help.
Postpartum hormones are one thing, but add in the isolation of having a baby during a pandemic & it can be a recipe for disaster. I still feel sad about the fact that we weren’t able to have family & friends over every day helping & loving on our baby. The only people who came over in those first two week were our moms. And even then, they didn’t come every day. They probably came every 3 or 4 days. I felt extremely isolated & alone. I can count on one hand the amount of times most of our sibling have met Ellie. We haven’t been able to show her off & watch our friends fall in love with her. Coronavirus definitely has the ability to take the joy out of this journey if you let it & I let it in the beginning.
Another part of being a new mom that I don’t think we hear enough about on social media the struggle of breastfeeding. Oh, breastfeeding. Either nobody warned me about how hard it would be or I just didn’t listen! So, let’s talk about it. I know this is not everyone’s experience, but breastfeeding was extremely frustrating for me. Especially those first two weeks, but to be honest it still is sometimes & we’re 10 weeks in. I don’t know if it was partially because Ellie was a premie or what, but we had many many tearful feeds…and Ellie wasn’t the one crying. She had a decent latch right away, but she was a very sleepy eater in the beginning. She would eat for a couple of minutes & then fall asleep & it drove me nuts. Mostly because I was so worried about her eating enough & gaining weight. We would tickle her feet, rub a cold washcloth on her, strip her down to her diaper, etc. It felt like it was going to be like that forever, but after a couple of weeks she got the hang of staying awake & getting what she needs! Now that we’re dealing with some reflux we still have some bad feeds, but they are much less common these days. And if we’ve had a bad feed or two & I need a little break, we will give her a bottle of milk I’ve pumped & it helps me stay sane.
I was extremely opposed to the occasional bottle feed at first because I felt like it was my job to feed her & if I couldn’t do it that meant I failed. Let me remind you, we were giving her bottles of pumped milk, so it wasn’t like I wasn’t providing her food. Those hormones tricked me into believing I was failing at being a mom if we gave her a bottle. During one particularly bad feed around week 2 Will finally said we cannot continue like this (this being me getting frustrated & crying). He convinced me that it was okay if I wanted to just pump & give her a bottle sometimes. Now we give her about 2 bottles a day & it has helped all of a lot. Plus, I love knowing how much food she actually got! So, I breastfeed about 4-5x & then we give her about 2 bottles. That’s what works for us right now.
Next topic, physical recovery. This is where it gets a little ugly. Now, I was fortunate enough to deliver vaginally & I’m so thankful for that, but recovery was still rough! I tore during delivery and ended up with a few stitches in 4 different places. After the high of meeting my baby girl wore off a little the pain set in. My…um…lady parts were so sore, which I 1,000% expected, but I also had TERRIBLE tailbone pain. Moving around was so hard. And the blood! So much bleeding, which I also expected. It was really hard being in so much pain while learning how to take care of a newborn. I expected to feel a lot better within a week of delivery, but I didn’t. I mean, obviously I felt better, but not as good as I wanted to. I would say the 3 week mark is when I really started feeling like I could move around well. My bleeding mostly tapered off after 2 weeks, but then it started back up again. Google will tell you that’s not normal & to be concerned, but unless you’re hemorrhaging, it’s normal. I continued to have bleeding until about 5 weeks postpartum, but it was really light after about 3 weeks.
Here are some of my suggestions for physical recovery:
To wrap it up, bringing a new life into this world is the most beautiful thing, but it’s HARD. I thought labor & delivery would be the hardest part, but I think postpartum is harder. My faith was tested to the max & I grew so close to my husband because I had to lean on him so much. If you’re dealing with PPD or just a little bit of baby blues you are not alone. I would definitely say that acknowledging it & talking about it with Will helped me so much. At first I was trying to convince myself that I was fine, but once I finally admitted that I was feeling some PPD it felt like a weight lifted off of me. Also remember that it is temporary & it is SO WORTH IT. Give yourself grace, You’re doing great mama!
Hi, guys! I’m so happy to share my fashion journey with you. My goal here at The Sale Snob is to help women like me stay on trend & on budget! Follow along as I share my favorite sales, the best deals, and my favorite products. To learn more about me & my blog, head to the ‘About Me’ tab! Enjoy 🙂