Monday, December 5, 2011

{Unspoken Words} Pregnancy & Afterwards

During the pregnancy I received more than enough advice from friends and strangers, and yet there are still things that people don't share. So, let me share the things people left unsaid.

{*WARNING* TMI alert}

1. Get an enema before labor. In Jenny McCarthy's Belly Laughs {hilarious book} she advises to get an enema {if you don't want to poop on your doctor during labor}, but she didn't explain that the first time you pass stool post delivery is the MAIN reason you would want an enema! I was in the restroom for 45minutes the first time {almost 5 days after delivery} that I had my first bowel movement, and I contemplated calling 911! {TMI?} Constipation during pregnancy was rough, but DANG, nothing prepared me for what was going to happen after delivery. And warning for all you future c-sectioners: you can't use your muscles to sneeze, laugh, and much less push anything know what I mean?!?

2. Humility. Labor can make any woman humble, but having a c-section takes it to the next level! Modesty goes out the door during labor, which I was prepared for. What I wasn't prepared for was learning humility during my c-section recovery. In the hospital I needed help getting out of bed, to go to the restroom, to shower, to change clothes, and more. It wasn't easy to accept the help of others for these simple tasks! My mom was amazing during my recovery! It was a bit awkward at first, but it was either being in excruciating pain or humbling myself. My mom helped me shower, get change, stand up, and more. I'm so grateful that she is my mother and that even as an adult she still takes care of me!

3. Heartbreak. Not being able to have a "normal" birth {vaginal} was tough. I felt like I missed out on apart of typical womanhood. But, what happened next was worse. I had planned to breastfeed Caleb, because the slogan from everyone is: breast is best, but it seems like nothing is going to go as I planned. Caleb latched on perfectly during breastfeeding and the lactation consultants made me feel like a breastfeeding superstar...they were impressed that I got him to latch on so easily being a first time mommy. That high didn't last long. My milk never came in. I would breastfeed, then pump afterwards to help my milk come in. Generally, your milk comes in 3-5 days after birth, but mine never fully came in. I produce on average 1oz of milk per feeding {newborns eat 2-4oz}. The pediatrician put Caleb on formula in addition to breastfeeding and I felt like an utter failure as a mother. To be honest, I'm still not ok with it. We've tried everything to encourage my milk production. I pump and breastfeed, I drink more than enough water, my diet is good, I stopped taking my pain meds as soon as my milk wasn't coming in, I'm taking brewer's yeast, and fenugreek. My doctor said that not every woman can produce milk and I shouldn't be hard on myself. I still feel like I'm not a good mommy because I can't give birth the normal way, and I can't give my child food. I feel like I just wasn't made to have babies. I don't know 100% what God is up to in all of this, but what I can see is that His plans are different than mine. The c-section was a blessing because my mom was able to stay with me for almost 3 weeks {that's the longest we've spent together since I moved out of town 6 years ago}, but I'm still having trouble coming to terms with my lack of milk production. {and I severely suffer from milk envy--I'm envious of anyone that can breastfeed}

I wanted to share these things with my family and friends, because people don't always share the uglier side to things and I wanted to be brutally honest about what has happened. I'm thankful that God has blessed our family with a healthy, beautiful, baby boy, and I pray that in His timing He will reveal what He is up to by counteracting my plans. 


  1. Aw Viv! Just because you can't breastfeed or were unable to give birth the natural way in NO way means you are a failure as a mother or not a good mother. You're not the only one who can't produce milk or has had to have a c-section. Although I obviously have no idea what you're feeling or going through being as that I don't have children of my own but I know you as a person and I know your heart and you are a WONDERFUL mommy :) Love you lots! Chin up!

  2. I am also envious of any mother who could/can bfeed. My milk never came in either and it was heart breaking! I remember ONCE I pumped 1 oz and texted a pic of the bottle to my hubs bc I was so happy! I started an SNS (supplemental nursing system) day 3 at the hospital bc she was losing so much weight...and after doing that for 4 weeks, pumping, adding meds, etc. we just came to terms that her being a "formula baby" is alright too. Caleb will be just as healthy as a bfed baby! Don't be too hard on yourself. You're a wonderful mama and he is a lucky little boy.

  3. Thanks guys! It's been a rough journey, but I'm slowly coming to terms with it. <3

  4. Well Vivs, you just proved to me that YOU are a great mom. A good mom loves her children more than she loves herself. All good moms feel just like you do; incompetent or a failure. We think we failed our kids because the plans we had for them or for our lives didn’t go as on schedule, there is always a better way to discipline, a better way to feed them, a better way to teach them to write or read. And the mom next door has more fun with her kids than you do with yours, or they keep their house cleaner, she is more organized than you, more creative than you, etc. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you love your child. And you will try to protect him/her, care for him, and do everything in your power for your child to succeed in life. You will keep him safe, and you will put your life on the line for him/her. You will pray for your child, for him/her to know God every day of his/her life. Don’t compare yourself to the mom next door, or the one you read on the books. Be yourself & try your best. Be the mom God is molding you to be, the mom your children need. Your children don’t know that they don’t need a perfect mom; they only need a mom who loves them, every day of their lives. Even when they’re 80 yrs old.

  5. I love your vulnerability here, and I am so fortunate to say I understand in everyway the feelings you have experienced . Everything from the c-section pain, poop and all to being unable to breastfeed and being devestated over it. I was a 1ounzer too. :( its hard to imagine how this period will look a few years from now, but I can tell you when I'm consumed with the life of my 3 yr old that I no longer beat myself up over not being able to give birth or breastfeed. Motherhood becomes such an enomous role, that those things are small in hindsight. Caleb is beautiful and healthy!


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