I just had to reblog this from Moments of Exhilaration. It makes me feel so vindicated that other women feel the same way that I do and so frustrated at the state of postpartum care in the U.S. My favorite quote from the article.
One New York mother summed up her recent postpartum experience this way: “You’re not hemorrhaging? OK, peace, see you later.”
Exactly! This is my comment on her post.
I cannot begin to tell you how much I agree. I was just telling someone, when you are pregnant you are checked and checked and checked to make sure everything is ok. Then you give birth, are sewn back up (in many cases), and sent on your way with a “see you in six weeks.” Not only are you physically recovering, but you are suddenly responsible for another human being. Of course they check the baby at 2 days, 2 weeks, 1 month, etc. It’s not just difficult, but it sends a message to new mothers that they just don’t matter anymore once the baby is born. I had postpartum anxiety and depression after the birth of my first. I really and truly believe it was at least partly caused by this scenario. After my second was born, I had a wonderful support network of friends in my neighborhood who made sure I was taken care of, as I did for them after their second babies were born. It made all the difference in the world. Thanks so much for posting this.
via Postpartum Culture.
I had to wait until tonight to post this, but it’s a doozy. Today, after waiting 40 weeks and 4 days, my lovely niece Little Miss H, or Buster, joined the rest of us out here in the world. I have to say that this was probably one of the longest and most anxiety-ridden days of my life. Being so far away and relying on snippets of information via text every few hours and quick conversations with my mom in the waiting room, was hard. Even after I had a photo and knew they were both fine, I didn’t really exhale until I spoke to her on the phone and knew that they were both really ok.
By all accounts my sister was an absolute rockstar! I knew she would be. She’s one of the most amazing people I know. Things may not have gone as expected and were definitely harder than anticipated, but she powered through it all and gave birth to a 9lb 8oz, 22in long ball of beautiful!
Now the magic begins. I get a whole new person in my life to love and get to know and help grow. My heart gets to expand once more to welcome another child into my family, minus the sleepless nights. (Sweet!) I finally get to buy all those lacy-butt tights and sweet little dresses and sparkles and ribbons and, well, you get the idea. My boys have a little cousin. Declan is already in love. He spent ten minutes tonight with my phone in his hands, looking at her pictures, saying “baby” with a huge smile on his face.
But best of all, my sister, my best friend, gets to be a mom. She and her husband get to be a family all their own and they get to feel that love. They’re going to get to figure out how to do things their way and learn more about themselves than they thought there was to know. My sister and I get to go through this amazing, wonderful, difficult, heart-wrenching, exhausting, soul-changing thing called motherhood together. I know the beginning isn’t easy, I think I remember that, but it’s just the beginning and it only gets better and better.
You should join in on the happiness. Here’s how:
- Write about something that makes you feel optimistic. Whatever it is, write from your heart.
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- Link over here and invite friends to join in.
- Encourage the person who linked up before you. Kindness is contagious!
One year ago today I had a nightmare that I was in labor and had to fly to London to give birth. When I woke at 4am I discovered that the contractions from my dream were in fact real, but since I had been having contractions for the past 11 weeks I told myself to go back to sleep and I did. Throughout the day the contractions got stronger and more painful and around 4pm I noticed that that they were fairly regular so I timed them. They were 5 minutes apart. So I called my doctor, called my sister-in-law to watch Brady, and called the husband to get his ass home.
I showered quickly, grabbed my bag, and off to the hospital we went. They got me in around 8:00 and at 8:30 checked me. I was 1cm! I nearly threw up from frustration. I thought I would never make it if these were 1cm contractions. The resident went to call the OB on call and while she was gone I had a massive contraction and my water broke. The husband ran to tell her and instead of going to walk, I got to go into a room.
Fifteen minutes later, my contractions were much, much more painful. My amazing and wonderful nurse had me sit in the rocking chair because I was having back labor and it really helped. I was in so much pain that the resident came in to check me. I was 5cm, yes! So back to the rocking chair I went. About 20 minutes after that I had to push and when I say ‘had to’ I mean ‘HAD TO”.
The resident ran back in pulling on her gown and booties telling me not to push until she checked me. As she tried to check, I couldn’t help but push. Once she said I was fully dilated it was go time! About 10 minutes later, at 9:48pm,Declan was born. One of the most amazing moments of my life. I realized I had just had a baby with no medication whatsoever and felt like I had won a marathon. I had asked for an epidural in there somewhere, but Declan had other plans. They handed him to me and the husband and I just stared at him for awhile.
There was a moment the next morning, around 7am, when I sat in my hospital bed looking out at Manhattan with the sun shining and nursing my new little boy, when the world felt perfect. The joy that Declan has added to our lives is amazing. I never imagined I would enjoy him so much. He is calm and smiley. He is mischievous and sneaky. He is a terrible sleeper (most of the time). But I can’t imagine my life without him.
It’s hard to believe in one short year, he’s gone from this
And with his new haircut he looks so grownup. Sometimes I miss my teeny baby, but I also love the little boy he’s becoming. I love you, Smoosh. You’re the best.