This is me a few days postpartum. I never thought my life would change so drastically after giving birth. Specially when my pregnancy was so healthy. My hormones made me a bag of weird symptoms, moody, and weak. But my desire to take good care of my child, to enjoy my life and my growing family pushed me to search for answers…
Having my son in my arms was the greatest blessing I’ve experienced. I felt like God gave me the best thing and this life could not get any better. But when time started passing by, and the tiredness and the pain from the c- section should’ve been gone, I still felt like I wasn’t going back to my energized self. I even thought that I couldn’t be left alone with my baby, because I felt like I wasn’t fit to be a mom. I was blessed beyond measure and thanked God everyday for it; but something was wrong inside me.
I started my pregnancy at 114 lbs and the day before my c-section I weighted 131 lbs. Three months after delivery, I was 95 lbs and counting down. My family was very worried and they thought it was all due to breastfeeding. But I felt and knew that breastfeeding wasn’t the reason. I even wrote in a Facebook group of mothers and they suggested that I should be tested for allergies, to find out if maybe I wasn’t getting all the nutrients I needed. I even went to a pneumologist because I had fatigue and he diagnosed me with asthma. But no. That wasn’t it either. Fortunately, my allergist found out that my thyroid gland was swollen and I was tested for thyroid disease. Bingo! The results came out with a hyperthyroidism diagnosis due to graves disease.
How come a woman’s body changes so much after pregnancy? I felt relieved about knowing what was going on with my body, but that was just the beginning. Present time me has been treated with several different doses of an anti thyroid medicine, in order to normalize my overactive thyroid. Today I feel great, but I also have developed eye problems that could probably be associated to my hormonal issues (will be going through some tests soon) and I still have to deal with the uterine fibroids that grew while I was pregnant and shrinked right after my baby was born. I don’t want to complain about my health here; but I want to make a point. Women go through a lot in their bodies while pregnant and postpartum, but society mostly in social media and corporations have many of us silent.
Because right after a baby is born they make us feel like giving birth is a piece of cake, (but thousands of women die after delivery in less developed countries, and others suffer from side effects of medications to relieve the pain of delivery or c-section). Plus, postpartum is a challenge that last more than 8 weeks, even more than a year. Our bodies take time to heal, our minds and our spirits too.
I have faith that my healing is coming and that with a proper nutrition and medical help I will heal completely. But I have the duty to say to you all that postpartum takes time and that period is different for each of us.
If it’s your physical image that was affected by pregnancy, and you want to record your journey towards a better figure (for your own satisfaction) do it. If you want to tell about your postpartum depression journey to help your friends or the women in your community, speak up! If you need to vent about how your back hurts because of that epidural and how you’re skin is not the same and you’ve had to invest in treatments to get better, say it. Or maybe your sex life is not the best because it’s taken you longer to adapt after an episiotomy, even because taking care of your child takes all of your strength and you want to be an example on how to cope with it, go ahead and let the world know! You know what? Because postpartum is not an 8 week challenge. And it doesn’t look the same for each and everyone of us. My battle may be your battle or any other mama’s battle, and we could help each other. It’s okay to share our motherhood’s cute pictures with our beloved children and partner; and to recognize the blessings that come with a growing family. But its imperative that we use our struggles as a school to improve our lives and to help others in believing that it is temporary for them as well. This too shall pass for me and you.