20 May Postpartum: Blindsided. part one
Warning: topic involves PPD and PPA. This is a very personal story, I hesitated to put it out there but I think it is an important topic to talk about. It is so common, but people feel as though it is taboo. Well, I will start this conversation because if it can help even one mom, it is so worth it.
I think we all know that once we become moms, postpartum life is hard. When I was pregnant I was so focused on the pregnancy, I was blindsided once B came into the world. My first postpartum experience was tough. I really didn’t feel well for a long time. Sleep when the baby sleeps? Are you kidding me? Sleep was nowhere to be found, even when I did get a little sleep I never felt rested. It didn’t help that B was difficult, to be honest she didn’t sleep through the night for the first year.
I was so relieved when, at five months postpartum, I was diagnosed with postpartum thyroiditis. Thank God it wasn’t all in my head! There was a medical reason for my jitters, anxiety, fatigue, my struggle to make it through every day.
So when I was pregnant with Isla I was determined to be on top of my shit. I had my OB, my functional medicine doctor, and endocrinologist all monitoring me. I signed up for Mother’s Keepers to help me after baby came. I prepped food, I even signed up to have someone come in to help me keep the house somewhat clean. I was going to rock this postpartum!!
Isla’s birth was so much easier on me than B’s was. I didn’t go through the 26 hours of labor, 2 hours of wanting to push, only to end up with an emergency c-section. I wasn’t a good candidate for a VBAC so I knew when I would meet my sweet girl Isla. It was so much calmer this time and as much as I dreaded the recovery, it was actually easier than I thought it would be, than what I remembered. I had planned to breastfeed, I made it 18 months with Byron so it should be no problem right? I noticed in the hospital it was really painful when she latched, and I knew it shouldn’t be. I figured that once we worked on getting that right we would be good to go. So we did, we tried, with help from lactation and the nurses but fuck me it hurt!
Still I thought, we can do this! I wasn’t able to have the birth that I had wished for and knew to be better for her, but I could give her the best nutrition possible. D (we will call my lactation consultant angel) visited me I swear every other day trying to work it out. But it didn’t get better. I had plenty of milk but nursing was so excruciating I dreaded it. I would take her off early because I couldn’t stand the pain anymore. I was crying daily and was so frustrated. What. The. Fuck. It got so bad that I had skin hanging off and she would have blood in the mouth. Keep in mind I was also recovering from major abdominal surgery. I realized that I couldn’t take much more.