Lola’s Postpartum Hormone Crash.

These are the facts and I present them in no particular order.

  • I have been a mother for less than 72 hours.  I just had a very uncomplicated, relatively quick (11 hour) labor and an unmedicated birth.  The result was a beautiful, perfectly healthy, tiny baby girl.  She is currently sleeping on my husband’s chest as I take an hour to do something that makes me feel normal.
  • We got back home today.  I am so glad to be home.
  • Last night (our 2nd night in the hospital) was both good and bad.  I wanted Oatmeal to be able to sleep some (he was so exhasuted) and so I kept Poppyseed with me all night.  We’d nurse and snuggle, nurse and snuggle.  It made me feel like I got to know her better and more confident that I can meet her needs.  Around 5am Oatmeal woke up and missed her, so he wanted to take care of her and told me to get some rest.  I tried, oh did I try, but too many nurses came in with too many different demands and questions.  Every 10 minutes another face comes in needing vitals or questions or dropping off advil or food or needing to weigh her or to check my battle wounds or to make sure that we aren’t sleeping on top of her and smothering her to death or check to make sure I was feeding or to weigh her diapers.  After 48 hours of this I finally broke down.  I snapped at a nurse who wanted to check Poppyseed for jaundice and told her she could check my baby for whatever she wanted but that she was the last one who could touch her before we left because I was at the end of my rope.  She acted confused that I was so livid and I tried to explain that for the past 2 hours neither she nor I had been able to sleep due to the constant parade of people.  Then she said, “Oh I’m sorry I didn’t know you were like that.”   Like what?  Am I really the only mother on this floor who feels this way?  So the tears began.  I cried, and then for the next 3 hours I could not stop.  I cried when the OB came in to discharge me.  I cried when the lactation consultant walked in and told me I was a walking red alert for mastitis.  I cried when the pediatrician came in to discharge Poppyseed.  I cried when my inlaws showed up to see us off and help us home.  I cried in the car on the way home.  I texted my friend who also had a baby the same day as me, just to see if she was crying, and she was.  I felt a little better because I felt less alone.  Then I was home and I cried because I was so relieved to be home, and now I finally feel like a somewhat normal person again.  So… I have officially learned… the postpartum hormone crash is absolutely no joke.
  • Breastfeeding is hard.  HARD.  I will probably write up an entire post just about this topic in the very near future.  Before the birth I did all I could to prepare – reading books and buying supplies and talking to other breastfeeding moms.  But, when push comes to shove it is just something that has to be figured out and worked through.  It is painful and I actually had 4 separate lactation consultations before leaving the hospital just to see what I could be doing wrong.  Only 1 of them was offered by the hospital and the other 3 were orchestrated by me and involved non-hospital consultants visiting us in our room.  I think I am doing okay, and I think it will be a lot better by this time next week, but yes… it is hard.
  • I have no idea what a typical day is supposed to be like with a newborn.  Right now I just sort of stick to feeding her, then trying to keep her awake for a little while which sometimes happens and sometimes doesn’t.  Then she tuckers out, fusses, and we swaddle her and snuggle her until she falls asleep.  Usually I am doing the feeding/snuggling early on and Oatmeal is doing the swaddling/snuggling/changing.  We both love taking little cuddles/naps with her and so we trade off.  When he’s the one snuggling with her, I’m either eating, napping, scanning books to review breastfeeding info, or checking my own battle wounds to make sure I’m healing.  But if I’m supposed to be doing anything else besides feeding and cuddling with sweet Poppyseed, I have no idea and someone should probably clue me in.
  • I already started crying while typing this because OH THE HORMONES.  I love my husband so much.  He is making this so much easier on me than it could be.  He loves Poppyseed so much.  He is taking such wonderful care of us both.  He changes her and snuggles her and swaddles her and asks the nurses/doctors questions and runs our stuff back and forth to the car and he literally comes over every time I need to latch her on and helps me do it because I am so awkward with it now and feel like even an octupus would need an extra hand.   I am scared to death of him going back to work next week.  Okay I have to stop typing, I am literally a crazy person right now.  A very lucky, blessed crazy person with a perfect husband and a wonderfully amazing little baby girl.

I think I need to stop.

Whew.

2 Day Old Poppyseed – headed home from the hospital!

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Comments

  1. i had the same experience of no sleep and constant interuptions in hospital. sorry you had to go through that. its the primary reason i considered a home birth this time around but i decided to go the hospital route again. your emotions are totally normal. if it gets too overwhelming definitely tell your doctor. you are doing everything right…snuggling and breastfeeding is all you need to do for the next month or so….then the baby will start becoming a little social with smiling and y’all can have playtime. enjoy your sweet baby!

  2. Cindy Hockenjos says:

    If I had been a blogger my first blog would have been very similar…just a much shorter labor! It is very HARD to figure it all out! I thought because I was almost 30 years old when I had my first child, I would have fewer of those issues my younger friends had….NOT…at one point I threatened the nurses, had a sign put on my door, and had the phone off the hook so I could rest…and….a dear friend came in to see me….and….yep…I was hormonal-horribly mean to her for interrupting me. She said she saw the sign on the door but knew it was the only time she could come in! I scared her just with the mean look I gave her when she walked in! Fortunately she was a real friend and forgave me!
    You WILL figure it out. and you WILL find your special way of mothering is exactly what Poppyseed needs! You are doing exactly what you need to do for now. Feed, snuggle, sleep and fall so deeply in love with her that you can build up a storehouse to get you through her teen years!
    Do not hesitate to seek advice but always follow your natural, God-given mother’s instinct! The tears will stop…but you now have a “new normal!” Everything is new! Some of it is incredibly wonderful and so full of love you think you will burst. Some of it is down-right frightening! BOTH are part of a mom’s daily life….you have joined the ranks of Motherhood! Welcome!
    CIndy Hockenjos

  3. Tori Brister says:

    You are completely normal, Laura! I can totally relate to your emotions. The transition from pregnant lady to new mother is a hard adjustment. For me, it didn’t matter what advice I got or books I read, I just had to find my rhythm with my baby. Don’t get me wrong, I’d have been much worse off by not preparing myself with all the books and such; it can literally feel like hitting a ton of bricks. Keep cuddling, nursing, and getting to know her. That tiny newborn will grow fast… As difficult as these first weeks are, you will miss that tiny baby when she grows 🙂

    Congratulations to all of you! You are doing great!

  4. Aunt Fran says:

    Laura, there is no typical day for newborns! Everyone feels their way thru blindly on the first child especially. No book, no friend, no doctor can prepare you for what to do because each child is so different. Just from reading your post, I’d say your tears are a combination of absolute exhaustion and absolute joy. Let the baby make its own schedule. Then sleep every minute you can in between. Eat right, take vitamins and don’t overanalyze or judge yourself when things don’t seem to go right. My kids still make me cry out of joy, frustration, guilt or just a general feeling of helplessness when I can’t seem to help them. I’m a control freak and kids prove that you just can’t control every detail in life. Tears are purifying. Let them roll. Hormones will settle down. Violet will decide on her own what a typical day is, you two will get in synch and things will smooth out. It sounds to me that you are doing everything right. Snuggle, hug, feed and love. Thats all a baby needs. Just make sure the baby doesn’t sleep in bed with you. The risk of rolling over and suffocating them is real. My ER experiences branded this into my brain. Nurse and then place them in basinet or basket next to the bed if you want them in room with you. If your nipples end up giving you too much trouble, remember you can use the pump. It doesn’t irritate or hurt or at least it didn’t for me. You can at least use it while your nipples recuperate. I didn’t have much luck with either of my boys nursing despite many experts coming out to help. It made me feel horrible especially since your mom had been such an expert. Now I look back and realize that they didn’t suffer any horrible consequences from ending up on a bottle. It actually stopped the bad consequences of my total frustration over the problems we were having and the enormous guilt the league of breast feeders were laying on my doorstep. It was kind of like when the lady gave you a hard time about drinking decaf. Their way was the bible & I needed to do it their way or be branded a terrible mom. Despite their dire predictions, both boys grew up strong, healthy, smart and they love me despite all my imperfections as a mom!

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