My Postpartum Life...


I've been debating whether or not I was going to share my thoughts & struggles on postpartum life because I feel that, when it comes to the weight gain or the mentality of it all, it can be a pretty controversial & opinionated topic.

But the thing with postpartum, and just like pregnancy, is that it's different for everyone. I delivered two babies and after each of them, postpartum life was different between the two. I'm not coming on here to give you advice or the answers to questions or to compare and contrast. I'm here to share what it has been like for me and for you to know that you're not alone.

This post is real & raw, and I know that every mom's journey is different from the rest so it's ok to feel the way you do during postpartum. I mean, our bodies experience drastic changes in a short amount of time & then afterwards we suddenly adjust to a new routine that's way past our comfort levels. So remember that it's important to talk to your spouse, a friend, a family member, and/or your OBGYN/Dr./Therapist/etc.

Postpartum with my first, Ryleigh:
It has been a while (over 7 years to be exact) so things are a little hazy, but with Ryleigh I ended up gaining a lot of weight with her during pregnancy. I had already been going through a lot at that time, with being a young mom (read here for the back story), so I was already mentally & physically exhausted. Throughout those nine months, I'll admit, I felt depressed and was struggling with all the different changes that come with being pregnant. I ultimately gave into all my cravings and gained over 60 lbs in the end! After Ryleigh was born I was still 35+ lbs over my pre-pregnancy weight. Since I'm relatively a small & petite framed person, nobody ever really believes me when say that, but it's true.

The extra weight gain did have an affect on my mental health. I didn't necessarily think about it during pregnancy, but afterwards is when I really started focusing on it. I didn't like what I saw when I looked in the mirror and, like a broken record, I kept thinking about the extra weight. It definitely distracted me from enjoying those little moments with having a newborn, and unfortunately I won't be able to get those back.

I was having a hard time breastfeeding with Ryleigh too. She could latch on, but it was painful and at one point I had mastitis and ended up in the ER. I also couldn't produce enough and felt like a failure that I couldn't give her what she needed through me. Ultimately, I ended breastfeeding around 3 months.

(please know that, whether your baby is breastfed or formula fed, a fed baby is best! I absolutely hate hearing stories of other moms shaming others for not breastfeeding, when they don't even know the whole story of another moms breastfeeding journey.)

After I was finished breastfeeding, I took on dieting and working out excessively. I was determined to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight, and in the end I did and actually weighed less. Unfortunately, since I spent a lot of time thinking about my weight, I started to develop a bit of body dysmorphia. I still didn't think my body was good enough and was critiquing every inch of myself. But thankfully, with my husband and that little voice of reason inside my head, it kept the dysmorphia from getting worse.

During the postpartum period, I was still struggling with all the other physical, hormonal, & routine changes. Just to name a few I had hair thinning, extreme tooth sensitivity, stretch marks, and I even experienced phantom kicks for a month or two. But as days became weeks, and weeks became months, the hormones settled down, things were starting to come together & I was able to find a stable rhythm in life with a newborn.

Unfortunately I don't remember too too much of the first two weeks postpartum after delivery with Ryleigh, but I will never forget the recovery from after her birth. It definitely was not pleasant, and I kind of hate that not many people talk about it. I know that it can vary, but I wish I was a little more prepared with knowing what you can expect. I did create a blog post of recovery items HERE that can add more relief to it all.

Also, I found this article of a timeline on how Postpartum Recovery works and what you may expect.







Postpartum with my second, Leighton:

To read about my delivery and the first 2 weeks after Leighton was born, READ HERE.

I've received this one common question from people, "why did ya'll wait so long to have another?" I'll be completely transparent with you all, there were multiple reasons, but I did have one reason that was pretty personal...and I hate to say it, but...I didn't want to go through the same things that I went through with my first pregnancy. I was terrified. And honestly, I have talked with other moms who gave a similar reason, but I think we're ashamed to say it out loud. Again, this wasn't the only reason why we waited so long, but it was one of MY reasons. I had to give myself time to mature and understand that all pregnancies are different &, with certain things, I can control some aspect of it.

My postpartum period with Leighton has definitely been like night and day compared to Ryleigh's. I think that with my experience the first time around it had helped me realize a few things and know what to expect. I did gain quite a bit of weight & still weigh over my pre-pregnancy weight, but not to the extent like my previous. I've had good days and bad days on how I feel about it, but I have come a LONG way since. I now realize that eventually I'll get back to working it off, but I'm in no rush (especially now since COVID). On the days where I'm feeling down or not in a good headspace about my body,  I just look at my kiddos and see a whole new appreciation for my mom bod.

I did however become more emotional and cried over every little thing & feeling I had. I was taking things way to personally, & felt like my feelings were constantly getting hurt. It's a weird thing too because, in my mind I knew I was taking it to an extreme & would tell myself to stop, but I just couldn't. Didn't help that I was (& still am) pretty sleep deprived. FYI it does get better!

As a few weeks went by, we were having a really hard time with Leighton constantly crying. We would do everything we could to try to soothe her, but nothing would help. She was crying constantly throughout the day for no reason and I just felt defeated, like I couldn't help my baby. There were multiple nights where I would cry from pure exhaustion, but there was one night in particular, while Justin was out of town, that I just sat by her crib & bawled my eyes out because I didn't know what to do to soothe her troubles. It's literally the worst feeling. We looked into what was going on with Leighton & understood that she had symptoms of colic.

Eventually my best friend reminded me of Chiropractic care & how it can be beneficial to colicky babies. I started taking her once a week for a month, and we started seeing a decrease in fussiness after 2.5 weeks. Now she is a super happy baby that naps & sleeps on the regular. I'm still tired & fatigue has definitely got the best of me, but just seeing her smiling, laughing, and happy with excitement every time she looks at one of us, makes up for all that!

As for breastfeeding with Leighton. This time around it was so much easier, & I was so happy to see that I was producing enough for her. But unfortunately this too came to an early end (again 3 months). Didn't help that once she was born, we had to instantly begin supplemental feeding (read why HERE), but as time went on I started noticing a decrease. I tried supplements, pumping more, having her latch on for longer periods, but nothing was helping to increase. Of course this also happens right around the time we began quarantine & when schools closed. During all of this, I'm stressing out with homeschooling, forgetting to eat, not eating enough because I'm trying to balance everything while at home, and just overall mentally exhausted. I had to come to the decision to stop breastfeeding and begin only bottle feeding.

I'd be lying if I said I don't feel guilty for doing so, because I do feel pretty bummed about it. But like I mentioned before, a fed baby is best & she is growing normally & on track, & that helps keep my mind at ease.

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Overall, postpartum is tough! Like a follower of mine mentioned to me, is that there are a lot of bright spots & beautiful babies that come out of postpartum, but for a lot of mamas it can be ugly & painful. That's why I wanted to share my story. I know that we see a lot of the beauty in our life moments via social media, but behind the scenes there are a lot of raw human feelings and emotions that are not picture perfect. And know that, even though you're emotions are all over the place, doesn't mean that you love your babe(s) any less. We are mothers & we need to remember to give ourselves grace & not be so hard on ourselves. So stay strong mama!









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