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The ugly truth about the postpartum journey

Updated: Apr 19, 2021

The #postpartum journey is not pretty. It’s a little scary and emotionally and physically exhausting.

I cannot believe I’m #6weekspostpartum and recently I had my follow up appointment with my OBGYN. I went in with a lot of questions. Some nerve racking, embarrassing and exciting. I asked about clearance for sex, regular exercise, baths. About hemorrhoids, when to expect a period, whether I’m passing antibodies from the COVID-19 vaccine to my baby and talked timeline for when my husband and I can start trying naturally for baby #2.

I opened about this with my online community and got an overwhelming response from women and moms who could relate. It feels good to know so many can empathize with the healing process after pregnancy and birth. I wish more people opened up about the real and rawness of these life experiences.

To summarize my progress, everything looks great, body is healing well. I’m officially cleared for sex (scared) and regular exercise (excited) and baths (unwind time here I come). Of course when it comes to working out I’m going to be mindful and happy to be working with a mommy coach for the next 10 weeks to make sure I’m working my deep core muscles and strengthening my pelvic floor.

Sadly, hemorrhoids come and go and will be hard to know my long-term outcome. Oh, the joy. Worth it for baby boy, so I’ll just deal. In regards to passing the antibodies from the COVID-19 vaccine to Ranger, my OB said to assume I am. If I want to do a test to make sure, I need to ask our son's pediatrician at his two month check up.

Regarding trying to conceive again, my OB said to continue to let body heal and recover, but agreed we can start trying again at the nine months postpartum mark. Our goal is to try naturally for two-three months, hoping that works for us. If not, we will move forward with IVF again. Obviously I will need to have a period by then. Some women get their period while breastfeeding while others don’t, so it will be interesting to see when mine starts again. I also heard the period comes back with a vengeance. Mentally preparing for that.

If I don’t get my period by September, most likely I will ween off breastfeeding. If I continue to produce at the rate I am now, I will have a very large supply to continue to bottle feed my son with my breastmilk. Plus he will be eating solids by then so won’t need around the clock milk.

Mentally, I'm pushing forward. I do feel blessed I haven't experienced any postpartum depression. In the beginning my anxiety was high though. It was hard for me to be apart from my baby so night time was the worst. I didn't want to put him down or go to sleep fearful I'd miss something or something bad would happen. As he's gotten older, bigger and more receptive to his surroundings, that has eased up a bit I know my body is still raging with hormones so I'm being patient and kind with myself as I continue to adjust to Motherhood.

Overall, I had a great postpartum followup. I'm looking forward to continuing to grow as a person and as a Mother and to experience all the new joys life has to offer through the eyes of our precious miracle.

I'm also excited to set some goals for myself to motivate me to continue to take care of my mind and body. We have some beach trips coming up this summer, my goal is to feel confident in a bikini on the beach. I know it's going to take hard work, discipline and patience but I'm committing to feeling good inside my skin.

If you can relate to this post, thank you for reading. Sending you a virtual hug. We are stronger together.

<3 Ashley

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