Postpartum Struggles

The first time I met my OBGYN was 2016 when I got engaged to my husband. I started transferring my care to my new hometown. Having a baby was far from my mind. We weren’t going to be married until a year and a half later and even then I wanted to wait until after our honeymoon so that it wasn’t overshadowed by potential morning sickness (a good thought because I had morning sickness for 20+ weeks during my pregnancy). However, it was decided at that first meeting that a c-section would likely be the safest, best bet for any future children. I didn’t think twice about it and it helped me to accept this fact throughout my pregnancy.

Flash forward to October 24, 2019, the morning of my c-section. Of course, I did not sleep but two hours due to nerves, both good and bad. I was incredibly excited to meet my baby, to hear her voice, to see what she looks like. And I was scared. I was going to have a needled plunged into my back and would be cut open. That wasn’t my greatest concern, I was far more concerned that my little girl was all safe, snug, and warm and she would suddenly be plucked from that environment and surrounded by light, varying temperature, and feelings. My heart ached to meet her, but it also ached for her and her experience.

Her birth story and my c-section experience are another story completely. Today, I am focused on my own postpartum journey because I am on the precipice of making a huge change in my diet for my own health. The 8 months that have composed my postpartum journey have been filled with infections, fevers, body aches, lack of sleep, deep connection, love, immeasurable love, and so much learning for both me and my daughter. I cannot tell you if my postpartum experience would be different if I hadn’t had a c-section, gave up breastfeeding, or decided to work full-time. But what I can tell you is that I have felt such deep loneliness as my muscles ached, the inexplicable unwell feelings washed over me in waves, and as my temperature rose and fell like the tides.

I remain grateful that, at least for this postpartum period, not experienced postpartum depression. This is a small miracle for me. I have a long history of anxiety, specifically OCD. My postpartum body and loneliness mixed with that history has, for some reason, not melded to form PPD. I did experience a resurgence of my OCD (again, another blog to share), but for the most part my struggles have been physical. Going into a c-section I figured I would be sore from my incision. I had heard that breastfeeding would be a challenge, and that I would be tired. However, I never anticipated I would feel like my body was betraying itself for months on end. Every few days I will feel okay, but then a few days later I am achey, I may or may not run a low-grade temperature, and I feel like I’m stuck in the thickest, muckiest sand you’ve ever been in.

This story is a long one, so I will be breaking this up into multiple posts. This post is simply my hands in the air, I’m waving my white flag. I’m being honest with myself that I am at a point where I need to admit aloud that I am struggling. Postpartum has been incredibly difficult for me physically. I want to enjoy my baby, my time at home, and my new role as a mom. My intentions are clear. I’m here to tell my story. I’m here to try something new.