Postpartum Story: The Real Story of KayLaa

There is power in sharing stories. When the story involves the birth of a mother, it becomes even more wholesome. Every week, I’ll be sharing an interview of a mama and her real postpartum stories. Sometimes these stories will be vibrant and uplifting. And sometimes, they’ll be heartbreaking and tearful. Most of the time, they’ll be both. That’s the beauty of postpartum.

Kaylaa, tell us a little bit about your postpartum experience.

My postpartum experience was really scary. My son and I had a Rh incompatibility so it was tough. My body was basically rejecting my child. I was 17 when I had him and my family though the best way to teach how to be a mother was take him from and let me live a normal teenage life. Wrong! They told other people I was mentally incompetent to care for him. I grew resentful towards my child and I tried to hurt him and myself. That’s when I knew I had hit rock bottom; I was already deemed “crazy so I didn’t want say anything. My postpartum lasted for almost a year and half. It kind of ran into my second pregnancy as I was depressed when I was pregnant with my daughter.

 

Do you think the birth experience of your baby influenced your postpartum in any way?

Yes I think the birth of my son influenced my postpartum, because it wasn’t what I expected.

 

What was the absolute best and absolute worst in those first few weeks postpartum?

The worst was not knowing how I was going to take care of a child. The best was that knowing he was alive and stable.

 

If you could give only one piece of postpartum advice to a new mama, what would it be?

One piece of advice I can give is speak to someone, write it down, step away. It’ll get better with time and patience

-Kaylaa

 

Postpartum Story: The Real Story of Amy

There is power in sharing stories. When the story involves the birth of a mother, it becomes even more wholesome. Every week, I’ll be sharing an interview of a mama and her real postpartum stories. Sometimes these stories will be vibrant and uplifting. And sometimes, they’ll be heartbreaking and tearful. Most of the time, they’ll be both. That’s the beauty of postpartum.

Amy, tell us a little bit about your postpartum experience.

My postpartum experience was a mixture of emotions. I look back on it fondly, because I basically lived in a cocoon with my tiny little baby for the first few weeks. But the reality is that I also faced pre-bedtime blues: knowing that I was going to get little sleep and be awake when no one else is, in the dark. I also had night sweats, and general anxiety about taking my baby out in public in the first couple of weeks. Not to mention I was having to figure out how to take care of my own body, what to wear when you’re in recovery, etc.

 

Do you think the birth experience of your baby influenced your postpartum in any way?

I had a positive birth experience, which definitely set the tone for the first few days. I felt safe and happy in the hospital, but that first ride home was a major shock to my system. As soon as we were settled in at home, and surrounded by our close family, we were back to the happy little bubble.

 

What was the absolute best and absolute worst in those first few weeks postpartum?

The best part of the first few weeks postpartum was snuggling my little baby and feeling very present–like time stood still. The worst part was the impact of sleep-deprivation and the anxiety I had to overcome to start getting out with my baby to run errands, etc.

 

If you could give only one piece of postpartum advice to a new mama, what would it be?

My #1 word of advice for new mamas is to trust your gut while pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Those first few days I would coach myself into getting out with my baby to do one small task at a time, even though it scared me. Soon enough I was walking him around the neighborhood, getting coffee, and feeling like a human again.

-Amy Jackson of www.BestfortheMoment.com

 

Postpartum Story: The Real Story of Janice

There is power in sharing stories. When the story involves the birth of a mother, it becomes even more wholesome. Every week, I’ll be sharing an interview of a mama and her real postpartum stories. Sometimes these stories will be vibrant and uplifting. And sometimes, they’ll be heartbreaking and tearful. Most of the time, they’ll be both. That’s the beauty of postpartum.

 

Janice, tell us a little bit about your postpartum experience.

After being released from the hospital, my husband and I fussed about with our baby’s car seat for 30 minutes just to make sure it was in right. Then we drove home really slowly! I breastfeed for the first month or so exclusively then did a combo breast and bottle. My husband worked out an amazing schedule with me; I slept from about 9pm until 2am (unless it was an emergency) and in that time my hubby was in charge. I was lucky my daughter was a good sleeper but some nights got a little crazy.

 

Do you think the birth experience of your baby influenced your postpartum in any way?

I think my birth experience and postpartum were more influenced by my mindset at the time. I mostly went along with what other people told me. I think without that influence, I would have enjoyed it more because I would have appreciated it rather than listening to everyone else just complain about how hard it was.

 

What was the absolute best and absolute worst in those first few weeks postpartum?

The best thing about the postpartum weeks was keeping a low profile and just relaxing and bonding with baby. The worst was not knowing what to do with myself and wondering if I was doing everything right.

 

If you could give only one piece of postpartum advice to a new mama, what would it be?

The one piece of advice I would have for a new mama is to really think about what you want for this very special limited time. How do you want to feel, what do you want to do or not do? Be intentional about it so you can enjoy it fully.

 

Janice Hoult, @healthypregnancymadesimple

Postpartum Project: The Real Story of Brittany

There is power in sharing stories. When the story involves the birth of a mother, it becomes even more wholesome. Every week, I’ll be sharing an interview of a mama and her real postpartum stories. Sometimes these stories will be vibrant and uplifting. And sometimes, they’ll be heartbreaking and tearful. Most of the time, they’ll be both. That’s the beauty of postpartum.

Brittany, tell us a little bit about your postpartum experience.

My first postpartum experience was a challenge. I had an emergency c-section and thus had to stay in the hospital for three days. After getting home things were okay but then my baby started having issues with breastfeeding. I spent a lot of time pumping, at the doctor’s office, and getting sick from one of the milk supply medications she suggested.

By my fifth postpartum experience, things were great. A lot of that was shaped by the fast labor and that I just knew what to do and how things worked. My husband and I still tell people that when we brought home our fifth baby… nothing changed; life went on just with a new member of the family.

 

Do you think the birth experience of your baby influenced your postpartum in any way?

I think there might have been some things about my birth experience (emergency c-section) that may have influenced my postpartum, just the physical toll and not being able to move around and lift things made the beginning not as enjoyable. I’m sure the medications didn’t help my breastfeeding experience nor did the fact that I couldn’t breastfeed for the first few hours (I was still under general anesthesia). But I think most of my postpartum experience was shaped by my lack of knowledge and the breastfeeding issues we had.

With another baby, my birth went the way I wanted it to which meant I felt *relatively* great and was able to get out of bed instantly. Our childcare lined up well with this baby so I didn’t have to feel rushed to get home. I also think I was more used to how things went for us so even when a few issues arose, like my husband not being able to drive me home from the hospital and instead we had to have a friend drive me, I didn’t have any meltdowns.

 

What was the absolute best and absolute worst in those first few weeks postpartum?

The best part of my first few weeks was probably just simply being able to hold my baby. I knew I loved babies before having kids but I didn’t realize how much more I’d love my own. The worst part of those weeks was the feeling of doing everything wrong; I didn’t get the birth I wanted, I had to give up breastfeeding one month in because my baby was failure to thrive. I remember crying as I made my first bottle of formula.

For my fifth, the best part of the first few weeks was snuggling my new baby and settling into our own rhythm. The worst thing was maybe just that I still had to multi-task as a mom. By my fifth kid, I knew to prepare in advance and made sure I had lunches frozen for the kids (or easy things like mac & cheese), I also knew that in the first few weeks postpartum, my kids will watch a ton of TV. Would I rather them not watch as much? Sure! But I also knew that life will run smoother while the baby and I adjust if I don’t have kids fighting with each other or asking me what they can do. It’s a give and take.

 

If you could give only one piece of postpartum advice to a new mama, what would it be?

My one piece of postpartum advice would be to research and read up before the baby comes (especially if you lean more towards natural parenting). I knew I wanted a natural birth, I knew I wanted to breastfeed…. but I didn’t really look into what options there are for when things don’t go according to plan. I couldn’t have changed my emergency c-section (although I could have waited the full 42 weeks instead of being included at 41w3d… I always wonder if I had waited a bit longer if things would’ve ended differently). But I could have looked more into making breastfeeding work instead of just going with the one suggestion of my mainstream doctor and it not working. I’ve had five kids now and was able to exclusively breastfeed the last three after figuring out that my body needs a bit of help to make enough milk.

Bonus: another piece of advice that I give new moms is to have dad (or a friend if dad’s schedule makes it impossible) give you a 30 minute break once a day. When my husband would come home from work, he would take the baby (and the other kids after we had more) and I would go take a bath. Yes, I could still hear the craziness coming from the living room but I knew I could get a mini break at the very least. 30 minutes alone will do wonders.