Saturday, May 5, 2018

A Truthful look at Postpartum - 9 Months In/9 Months Out with baby #9

9 months ago we welcomed our ninth baby, a beautiful baby girl

My body has carried and delivered 9 babies and 1 angel baby in 13 years. I am proud of every stretch mark and excess fold of skin. I had hypermesis gravidarium in 6 out of my 9 pregnancies. I have had countless bags of IV fluids, Zofran pumps, iron infusions and 2 blood transfusions during my pregnancies.

Just like every pregnancy can be different so is the recovery. This postpartum recovery has been my hardest. I had physical postpartum issues that I haven’t had before. Thankfully my midwife suggested pelvic physical therapy which healed all those issues for me (see previous blog post). My youngest 3 kiddos were 2 and under which I think also added to a difficult recovery.

Emotionally it has been hard. Our sweet 9th is our last baby and I hadn’t anticipated how hard all those “lasts” would be. I suffered from postpartum depression for the FIRST time after baby number 9. It took me awhile to figure out what it was. Not having it before, it was not on my radar that I would have it this time. I am on a low dose of medication and feeling much better. Postpartum is beautiful and transformative but is also challenging and messy. The hardest part about postpartum issues (physical and mental health related) is that as moms we have to diagnosis ourselves, acknowledge it and seek help, all while taking care of our kids. One of my challenges was once I figured out I had postpartum depression, I didn't have a primary care doctor to go and see. My OB office had been my "primary care" doctors for the past several years. Thankfully I found a wonderful nurse practitioner who helped me. I wish there were more postpartum resources and care for moms in the U.S.

Being a mom of 9 doesn’t mean I am super human, I make mistakes and learn new parenting things everyday. 

After I healed from my physical postpartum issues I hit the gym. Working out is definitely my sanity. With a husband that travels often, going to the gym may be the only hour I have that week by myself and to shower. The gym I go to has a fantastic child care center. The other change I made was in my eating. I was struggling with low energy and extreme fatigue. I was desperate to try anything that would help. I did Whole30 in March and I could feel a change in my energy level almost immediately. 

Being an only child I am still in awe of this beautiful family we have created. Thank you to my amazing hubby and friends that have helped me through these past 9 months. 

Moms are AMAZING. We need to lift each other up, cheer each other on and support one another.