Postpartum:adj. of or noting the period of time following childbirth; after delivery.
In my last blog “Memoirs of a Postpartum Part One”, I left off with Day 40. Now we will be exploring what happened past day 40. If you haven’t read Part One, please do before reading this. You can find Part One here.
Having such an amazing first 40 days, I thought I would be ready to “hit the ground running”. Oh, I “hit the ground” alright, and fell flat on my face emotionally. I couldn’t believe it. How could this be that I felt so limited physically and emotionally after resting for 40 days?!?!?. I mean I did it all right. I had an amazing birth, I focused on my myself and baby for the first 40 days, I should be back to normal, right??? Uh, WRONG!!! Or, at least, NOT YET. The Postpartum time doesn’t just up and end after 40 days and then you’re back to normal. It takes time to find a new normal. And when I say time, I mean T----------I------------M-----------E. I was not being gentle with myself AGAIN. I tried to push the limits of my body. I mentioned illness on Day 23 & 24, Well that was only the beginning. My body decided to do a massive detox and healing crisis. Soon I was oozing bacteria, a virus and fungi out of my body. I became extremely discourage with my body and my ability to heal. After all, I hadn’t done much of anything for forty days and though most things were taken care of, I still had some things to catch up on. However, with my body screaming “SLOW DOWN!” I listened. I didn’t trudge over my emotions, like a bulldozer. Instead I listened to myself.
Here are some of my Journal Entries, reflecting myself during that time: “The first 30 days postpartum were wonderful for the most part. Now as I slowly try to find my new normal, it’s still been a struggle. Homeschooling, taking care of the home, being a wife, my studies, midwifery service, and new baby just is overwhelming right now.” “My body decided to go through a massive detox. I’ve struggled with a bacterial, viral, and fungal infection all in the last two weeks. I hadn’t even been out of the house. My intuition is telling me that these were dormant in my body, just lying low and now surfacing and coming out to be healed. I ‘m glad they’re making their way out, but it’s annoying at a time like this.” “Just going through feelings of loss, sadness, being overwhelmed, and feeling somewhat unsupported. Hoping today will be better.”
“I want the FULL life God intended, not a BUSY Life.”
Learning to listen and be gentle with ourselves is not an easy task to learn and, apparently, one that I can still struggle with. As I stepped back and slowed down a bit, my body began to re-adjust. The healing crisis, mostly resolved itself with NEW FOUND health and strength. My body is still cleansing some remaining miasms that came to the surface to be healed. I found this is part of the beauty of the postpartum. Postpartum is truly a time where you can accelerate your health for better or worse. Even though I STILL tried to do things too fast, I was quicker to recognize it and adjust myself accordingly with some trial and error. The last two to three months were not easy, my old self transformed into a new mother. Growing pains, feelings of failure, shame, and tiredness haunted me. Falling into old patterns of burying my emotions was very tempting. I would lose more of my old self and feel frustrated, then on a new day I would discovered a part of my new self. Today, over six months later, as I write this I can say how grateful I am for taking those 40 days of restoration. I am more healed, whole, honest with myself and my needs (also thanks to a supporting husband), I am more energized, and healthier than before. It’s not perfect, but neither am I. Just a work in progress towards wholeness.