PostPartum Diaries

[5 Weeks Postpartum]

 

Hi!
So i've thought about what to write for this post longggggg and hardddd. To this day this is one of the hardest and most intimate posts I have ever written. Before we get into the deets, I need to give my husband a shout out. As we started this shoot, I all of the sudden felt overwhelmed and asked myself why I was exposing myself like this. Chris always knows how to comfort me and put a smile on me. He encouraged me to not stop because this is a reality more people need to be aware of. If you go back to the pictures, I am tense at first and eventually loosen up! Thanks Babe! 

Today I want to open up about two tricky subjects! Weight and PPD!

First, The Weight

I am currently 6 weeks PP. 
Before pregnancy, I weighed somewhere between 109 and 112 lbs. We were newlyweds and ate our weight during our honeymoon. Those are the last numbers I remember on the scale as we got pregnant shortly after the honeymoon. The last week of pregnancy (Week 39) I weighed 156 lbs.  During my postpartum stay at the hospital, I went up to 162 lbs because of a weeks worth of IV fluids.  So I gained a total of 44-51 lbs! I am currently weighing 131 lbs. 


Why am I talking about weight?
After THIS post and THIS post on Instagram, I received lots of sweet compliments and how great I was already looking after having a baby. Ironically this made me feel a little bad. Not because of the compliments --Those are always nice! But because I felt like I wasn't being honest and was scared that anyone going through what I was going through would be just as hard on themselves behind closed doors. I want to clarify that in those pictures, I am wearing a waist trainer underwear and it definitely helps that my Agnes & Dora leggings are form-fitting and tucking my PP bump.

I know what it feels like to feel like a stranger inside your body! I cried everyday during our week-long stay at the hospital when it was shower time! I would just stand naked in front of the mirror and wondered how I was going to get my body back! I would love to take the high road and say how I don't care that I gained weight and that my new found curves make me feel more like a woman. Nope. Because weight is now a controversial subject too, this is tricky to talk about, and while you should appreciate every size (and I do) I do not currently love mine! Weight has been a contributing factor to my PPD and If you feel this way, you are not alone!

Second, PostPartum Depression

Everyone tells you that the beginning of motherhood is hard and it's an adjustment but that you then JUST LOVE being a mom! I did not feel like that right away. In fact, no one said just how HARD it was going to be at the beginning and I wish someone would have stayed on that subject a little more so that I didn't feel crazy or like a bad person and a bad mom.

I'll cut to the chase. I did not feel like hurting  the baby. However, I did feel like...
...Nothing was going the way I planned.
...I did not feel that magical connection I felt with my baby at the Hospital.
...I felt like I was not cut out to be a mom.
...Leo was better off with a different family.
...I wanted to disappear and hide from the world.
...I was scared of anything and everything.
...I felt like I was a crazy person in a white room with no windows or doors.
...I LOATHED my body!
...I felt like I was not in my own body because of pain, weight, and recovery.
...And though my husband is not just help, but a great dad and super supportive, I felt alone.  

...Lastly, there was times I thought about jumping infront of a moving car because I felt like I wasn't good enough to be a mom or a wife and that I was going crazy.  

Then, I felt guilt because of all of the feelings mentioned above. Isn't this what I wanted? To be a mom? I struggled with infertility for years because of endometriosis. How dare I feel anything but grateful. All of these feelings went on for the first two weeks of being home from the hospital. The crying continued everyday (EVERYDAY) for two more weeks! How did Chris not leave me? 

I know that the way my labor & delivery went down probably put me at a bad start. I labored for almost 30 hours + plus had an unexpected and very unwanted C-Section + plus 2 panic attacks + plus a major cold afterwards (Read about my labor HERE). On top of that, once we got home, I got a UTI and Mastitis TWICE. Add a colic-acid-reflux newborn baby to the mix.....We barely got sleep! 

At times I felt so overwhelmed that I would forget to eat. I used to make fun of moms that would say that! Like..... HOW do you forget to eat? It's true! You do! Serves me right! So naturally because of the lack of eating, I lost 24 pounds in two weeks! Loosing weight this fast affects your hormones. Correction, It attacks your hormones! Those were the worst two weeks of my life. 

We are living proof that lack of sleep and lack of eating makes you crazy. I have found my phone in odd places like the laundry hamper, the pantry, and my favorite... the dishwasher! And Chris has come back from work and left our car running for 8+ hours! Now I know how parents accidentally leave their babies in the car! THE STRUGGLE IS REAL BABY! 

Because of the physical hardship, my mental state was not okay. Depression started to creep in, my anxiety was getting worse, and my OCD was out of control! I felt really scared to talk to anyone about this, specially because in my culture, (Venezuela), depression, anxiety, and OCD are all things that are swept under the rug and not acknowledged .

The worst was getting asked; "Don't you just love being a mom?" "Yes!" But no. How can I explain?! I never not loved Leo. From the minute our little boy came into this world, I have been obsessed with him and have loved and adored him. But no, I did not LOVE being a mom the first few weeks. Cue the guilt. And when I explained my experience, I would get the typical follow up question "But wasn't he so worth it?"..... My son is worth more than you will ever know but NO I would not want to go through our horrible labor experience and those crazy weeks ever again. Baby Romrell #2 has been postponed for Summer 2026.

Hating my labor and my new mom experience had nothing to do with my love for my son but it seems like a lot of people didn't know how to separate the two.  This just made me resent myself even more. 

Things To Know

  • Postpartum can start as soon as the adrenaline of labor & delivery goes away.
  • Your body will start the process of reversing everything it changed during pregnancy and it is a very uncomfortable, painful, and yucky process that can last up to 8 weeks or more.
  • Reality of being a mom will most likely not kick in until you leave the hospital and are no longer surrounded by the help of doctors and nurses around the clock.
  • If you feel PPD after 8 weeks, it doesn't necessarily mean that you have chronic depression, it could just mean that you still have a hormone imbalance.
  • PPD is more common than you think!

Conclusion, It DOES get better!

For those of you going through a similar experience to mine and reading this, I want to end this on a good note for you. It does get better!

My husband is graduating from Psychology this year, so I like to think that he knows a thing or two. Chris helps me talk things out and helps me help myself put things into words. Like you would with a toddler😂. It really does help when you are able to recognize that your emotions are heightened because of your hormones. That DOES NOT mean that what you're feeling is not real, nor that you are crazy, nor that your feelings shouldn't be validated because you're "hormonal". Wether or not your feelings and behavior would be different without the extra hormones, what you are feeling now is real to you and that is okay! ..... I know, you normally wouldn't be easily bugged, on edge, or cry-me-a-river super sensitive at all times. It's all because of your hormone imbalance due to giving birth and part of your body regulating itself after stocking up on so many hormones and many different kinds of hormones to help cook a baby. 

Mom life truly is so sweet! You may not feel like it right away and THAT IS 100% OKAY AND UNDERSTANDABLE. Don't let ANYONE tell you differently. I WILL punch them for you. It might take you more than two weeks or maybe even the whole 6 weeks, or longer! I can't say that my PPD has absolutely gone away and that I'm all of the sudden in mommy paradise but the cloud that was hanging over me is practically gone and little by little I am feeling like my old self again. I feel like that beautiful connection with Leo back at the hospital has come back and growing bigger and stronger everyday! And little milestones like leaving the house for the first time on your own and with baby are things to be proud of all the way!

From here on out, we are new women. Pieces of the old you may come back to help you navigate through this new journey, but there is real empowerment to being a mom and you should own it. Don't let ANYONE make you feel inappropriate, inadequate, or wrong about your choices and your parenting style.  -Yes- it's okay to ask questions and listen to advice. After all, It takes a village to raise a kid, but it starts with you and it starts at home with very personal decisions. So long as your child is healthy and you are sane, that is ALL that matters. 

I am so grateful for such a loving husband who already surpassed my expectations of being a dad! I am thankful he educated himself on PPD before the baby came and has been supportive and understanding of my crazy. I am truly grateful for supportive friends who let me open up and not judge me, because this is vital to help you come out of that PPD cave. And I am eternally grateful  for all the love and help we have received from everyone through this new journey!
 

PS: You might find these three articles very helpful!