postpartum

‘I’ve been on maternity leave for exactly 6 weeks. I couldn’t imagine heading back to work today.’: Mom insists it’s just ‘not enough time’ to ‘connect with our babies’

“In 6 weeks that I’ve been home, I haven’t slept more than 4 hours at a time. My days revolve around changing diapers, nursing and pumping, and trying to figure out why my baby is crying. And while my motherly instincts are loud and clear, we are nowhere near a daily routine yet. I couldn’t imagine going back to work right now.”

‘She may never walk again,’ my doctor said. ‘Like hell,’ I thought. I was 17. I’d been in a car accident.’: Single mom overcomes crippling car accident, alcoholism, daughter’s autism diagnosis, says ‘don’t count yourself out’

“I was about to move out, but I found out I was pregnant. I was running on fumes. I felt like I’d made a huge mistake becoming a mom. I wasn’t good at this. I drank to cope. My marriage ended explosively. I finally decided enough was enough when my daughter started copying everything I do. She reached for my beer, and I remember deciding, it was time to be done. For good. That was 8 months ago.”

‘My daughter arrived on 9/11. I woke up to see the first tower falling. I thought my family was watching an action movie.’: Mother gives birth on September 11th, ‘I was not emotionally OK’

“My OBGYN came in to check on me while not knowing where her own husband was at Ground Zero. I was in a hospital where they were calling in extra nurses and doctors for the casualties that should be arriving, but never came. Everyone knows where they were on 9/11, but I lived that day in a strange reality.”

‘Why did you cut her?! She didn’t give you permission to do that.’ My blood boiled. He just stared, his face blank.’: Doctor performs episiotomy on mother without her permission during childbirth because he had ‘somewhere to be at 7 p.m.’

“Snnniiipppp. My doctor used scissors to cut me open ‘down there’ to make it easier to push the baby out. ‘What did you do?!’ I asked the male, 50-year-old doctor, with fear in my voice. Even the nurses paused. Just 30 minutes before, my doctor told me, ‘I have somewhere to be at 7 o’ clock, so you better be able to push this baby out soon.’ My husband’s rage was rising. I squeezed his hand. ‘We can’t do this now.’”

‘I felt the doctor reach inside me. Blood spilled out. I couldn’t bring myself to open my eyes.’: Mom survives ‘near-death birthing experience,’ admits to ‘physical, emotional trauma’ 10 years later

“My son was limp and blue, an umbilical cord choked around his neck. My face was so swollen my eyelids were turned upside down. I heard whimpers, more gushes. I called out to my husband. His voice weakly managed, ‘I love you’ as I was wheeled out of the room. He was left sitting on the hospital room floor, in a pool of my blood. The family my husband and I had always dreamed of was now painfully impossible.”

‘Mama, please!,’ my daughter cried. She got in the tub, held me in silence, patting my back, giving me kisses.’: Daughter’s intuition picks up on mommy’s ‘debilitating anxiety’

“My husband swiftly removed her multiple times, as I said, ‘Mommy will be done in a minute baby, I am right here.’ I need someone to look me in the eyes and say, ‘I know you’re not okay.’ My daughter did just this for me. I try to hold it together for my child, but she knows. We sat like this for an hour. It was one of the most beautiful gifts anyone could give me.”

‘I didn’t remember I had my shirt off. ‘Mama, can I take a picture of Bowie?’ I vaguely remember shifting him on my hip so she’d see him better.’: Mom felt ‘disgusted’ after postpartum photos, says it’s ‘normal to mourn your body’

“Alas, a picture was taken. I scrolled through the 50 she took of us and I was not thrilled with what I was looking at. Why? Because of my stomach. The little house this baby grew in was the reason for my disgust. It took me 3 days to even look at those pictures again.”

‘I have stretch marks, saggy skin, a weird fat fold around my C-section scar. I don’t really love myself. This has to stop.’: Mom insists weight does not define us, cannot keep letting ‘my imperfections consume me’

“I can’t pass this on to my daughters. I can’t have them looking at their bodies in search of flaws. I don’t want them to put all of their worth in what they see in the mirror. I want them to know, what I still am trying to convince myself. We might have fat, but we are not fat. This is not WHO we are.”

‘We have to deliver this baby immediately.’ Everything went black.’: Single mom goes unconscious during birth, wakes up to ask, ‘Who is this baby?,’ after life-threatening HELLP syndrome diagnosis

“I didn’t realize until that moment that something was terribly wrong. My OB came into the delivery room and sat next to me. ‘I promise you; everything is going to be okay.’ The next morning, I looked over and saw him in the bassinet beside me. ‘Who is this baby? Where did he come from? What happened?’”

‘I saw my kids dead, over and over. It was my constant fear.’: Mom suffers severe PTSD after losing daughter to Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood

“I lived in terror after my daughter died. I had to turn on the light every 5 minutes to check on my kids, because I knew for certain one of them had stopped breathing. I didn’t realize I had PTSD. I just felt like I was losing my mind. I was so stressed, the panic just kept coming. Many people think PTSD only happens to soldiers. It doesn’t.”

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