A Different Side to Postpartum Recovery


This ain’t my first rodeo. I have been in this “childbearing” phase for the last 10 years. I now have four children, one of which was just born. With my first baby, I remember reading everything there was about pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum recovery and raising children. I thought I knew what to expect for the most part on all of those things. But I remember, after my first was born and I was home with a newborn, that I had no idea what to expect. The physical recovery was something I never thought would be so painful. I thought that once you went through childbirth, the physical pain was mostly over. But that physical recovery (thanks to an episiotomy) was something I will never forget. Throw in pain from being a breastfeeding beginner and a shrinking uterus, well I was in my own hole of painful despair.

When it came to the recovery of my second and third baby, although they weren’t any easier of an experience, they were much easier to get through because I knew what to expect. I knew that pain was just a part of recovery and that time (and some Vicodin) would always get me through. But now here I am in the “postpartum recovery” stage of my fourth (and possibly last) child and I feel like I was thrown a curve ball this time around. I feel like this time, not only do I have to deal with the physical pain (seems to be worse this time around) but I am also dealing with an emotional recovery.

Not many people like to talk about emotions, especially the sad ones. It’s just not fun. It’s uncomfortable. It’s something people try to avoid. But recently, I have read stories about women with postpartum depression who have either found their way out through family support and professional help or sadly, didn’t see a way out. Now, before my family and friends think I am in a depression, let me assure you, I am not. But I do think I have a case of the baby blues. And that’s something I have NEVER had to deal with with any of my other kids. Sometimes, I wonder if it has to do with the fact that I had a girl and the hormones are just a bit crazier this time. I don’t know. I’ll google it.

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Right now, at 6 days postpartum, I would classify myself as a crier. I cry over everything. I cry because sometimes the pain is unmanageable, even with good drugs. I cry because although I have so many amazing people in my life, my world feels very lonely right now. I cry when I don’t have time to shower. I cry because I can’t hold my 21-month old the way he needs because my milk-makers are so sore and engorged. I cry because I am sick of wearing an adult-sized diaper. I cried when I came home from the hospital because I missed ordering my meals from a phone and having them brought to me in bed. I cried because this is most-likely my last child. I cry because my husband had to go back to work after four days and I was genuinely petrified because I didn’t know how I would handle them all on my own. Then I cry when I think about my husband and how he must never know what the right thing to say is. I cry because my 1 year old can be a bully and is the most stubborn child yet to be. He laughs when I try to discipline him or just completely ignores me. Tears. I cried because I felt like a loved one was mad at me, but probably really wasn’t. I cried when I opened a handmade gift from a friend for my new daughter, because it touched me so much. I cried when I saw my daughter looked NOTHING like me. I cried when I stepped on my son’s lego (but really, that crap hurts). I cry because I miss my best friends, some who live near and some who live far away.  I cry because my newborn sleeps better than two of my other children combined. I cry when the sun comes up too fast. I cry because I feel fat, ugly and a mess of a person, and I cry because literally none of the clothes I own right now fit.

But guess what? I can see the light. I know this will not last forever. I know that even though I wasn’t prepared for the emotional postpartum recovery, I am still making my way through it. Most of the things I cry about, in my mind, seem very reasonable. But to some it might seem weak. But I am OK with that. Because I know there is light at the end of this sleep-deprived tunnel. If you are dealing with the same emotional recovery, It’s important to know you aren’t alone, that you aren’t the only person feeling sad in what should be one of the most joyful times of your life. It can happen to the best of us and it won’t last forever. Don’t try to be supermom and hide your feelings. Talk about them, write about them, and get through them.


  1. Love this. So real. So true. I remember feeling all of those same feelings, but also very much alone. Think that is a mom of boy thing too. My last was a girl and I remember the feeling of guilt because I couldn’t take time out because they all needed me. The hardest thing for a new mom is to take time to rest and recover. You are no good to yourself or anyone if you don’t take some time to recover and rest.
    Blessing to you sarah! You are an awesome mom! Those kids love you no matter how mch you cry!

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