At 6 weeks postpartum, I left my baby for the second time. The first time I left him to go grocery shopping for about an hour and a half. The second time I left for my 6 week postpartum appointment and my 2 hour glucose test.
On a chilly Tuesday morning, I went to the hospital and did my two hour glucose test. The drink was disgusting and I didn’t enjoy sitting in the waiting room for two hours. The entire time I texted friends, checked in on my baby as he was getting babysat by Grandma and Grandpa and thought about what I was going to have for breakfast the moment the test was completed.
Thankfully, my glucose test came back normal and I no longer had any form of diabetes. I then had an hour to kill before my OB appointment. I enjoyed a salad and sandwich at the nearby cafe and continued calling my mom to check on my baby. To my surprise he was doing great. He played, took a nap, and ate just fine. For a moment or two I was able to sigh with relief knowing he was being taken care of and I could take a moment to enjoy some time by myself.
At my 6 week postpartum appointment everything looked great. To my surprise, I had lost weight since giving birth. The scale showed that I now weighed 9lbs lighter than I did when I first got pregnant. I was put on birth control and made a plan to continue my anxiety meds. I was also told my abdominal muscles weren’t completely fused back to where they were pre-pregnancy and I needed to take it easy when it came to strenuous activity and working out.
After a long 4 hours I was finally able to see my baby. I missed him so much. It was a huge milestone for me to leave for a little while and trust others to take care of my baby, but I did it. ❤️
I’m 6 weeks postpartum. . My skin is stretched, my joints are loose, my hips are wider and I have stretch marks that serve as battle scars from my pregnancy, labor and birth. . But postpartum isn’t just about the body, it’s about the mind and heart too. I am forever changed by the journey I endured of growing, and birthing a little life. Just like how I was forever changed after I lost two babies. . In the last 3 years I have been pregnant 3 times. I’ve had surgery, became anemic, was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism and Endometriosis. I’ve suffered with grief, anxiety and depression. I’ve lost 2 babies, went through an anxious pregnancy after loss, fought covid during pregnancy and birthed a beautiful, healthy baby. . In the last 3 years I’ve cried more, I’ve loved more deeply, I’ve grown stronger and I have transformed.
I’m 6 weeks postpartum and I am changed yet again. . I never knew I could love someone so much… but now I do.
I never knew I could be so afraid of losing someone and stay up late thinking the worse case scenario… but now I do.
I never knew my anxiety could get 10x worse and I could have postpartum anxiety… but now I do.
I never knew another human life and I could have a strong unbreakable bond… but now I do.
I never knew I would look in the mirror weeks after giving birth and not recognize the woman staring back at me… but now I do.
I never knew that looking into my son’s eyes and seeing the way he looks at me would give me the strength to keep going… but now I do.
I never knew how emotionally and physically tiring life with a baby could be… but now I do.
I never knew how lonely postpartum could be… but now I do. . Postpartum isn’t just about losing weight or fitting into your pre-pregnancy jeans. It’s about remembering the person you once were and finding the person you have become, between being a new mom and being a woman. This is my story and the journey I am taking. 6 weeks postpartum is only the beginning and I’m going to continue to embrace the changes and learn as I go. I’m still finding the person I’m meant to be and I’ll continue to transform. ❤️
This post was written following my second pregnancy loss. I do plan to write a follow up post very soon, about my postpartum journey after the birth of my son.
Hour glass figure, hips, tiny waist, big boobs, clear skin, luscious hair, big eyes, big butt, long legs, small feet, no stretch marks, straight teeth, and perfection. If you are a woman, odds are you have grown up hearing these unrealistic expectations, These expectations and many more, are what our society deems as perfect, beautiful and sexy.
Growing up, I was never completely confident in my body image. I struggled with acne, I was short, blessed up top and down low. I had to have braces, wear glasses and struggle to figure out how to make myself look presentable. I had to overcome the awkwardness of being a teenager, and transition into young adulthood
BEFORE I GOT PREGNANT THE FIRST TIME, I STRUGGLED WITH STRETCH MARKS, NOT REALLY ON MY STOMACH, BUT IN OTHER AREAS OF MY BODY.
In my first few weeks of pregnancy, I started to develop stretch marks on my stomach and around my belly button. After I suffered my first pregnancy loss, I felt completely horrified by the shell that once held my baby. I had gained weight, developed stretch marks, and had suffered postpartum hair loss as my hormones began to drop. I felt like a teenager all over again, as I struggled to look at myself in the mirror. I know body image can be a struggle for many women postpartum after birth, but nobody really talks about how it is a struggle for women postpartum a miscarriage.
Last summer, I took the initiative in getting back to a healthier me. I focused on my physical and mental health, as well as dedicated any spare time I had to selfcare. I started intermittent fasting, going to the gym a few times a week with my bestie, and started eating healthier. These little changes in my lifestyle helped me start to feel better. At the end of summer I went to a doctor appointment, and I was so disappointed to find out that despite my dedication to these lifestyle changes, I wasn’t losing any weight. I had gained 3 lbs. instead.
For a few more weeks I continued this lifestyle, even though I felt highly discouraged. I tried researching, online reasons why it may be challenging for someone to lose weight and become healthier after a miscarriage. To my surprise, I couldn’t find anything. I continued to feel discouraged, and not interested in even trying to be healthy any more. I figured, what was the point? I started to have the mentality of, my body is ruined, and I don’t even have a healthy baby to show for it.
When I was about ready to give up, a conversation with a dietitian encouraged me more than any conversation I had with anyone else. I went to a WIC appointment after my second loss. The dietician asked me questions about my diet, physical activity and mental health. I explained to her that I try to eat right, do intermittent fasting, excericise, struggle with hypothyroidism, and still have yet to see any results after both my pregnancies. The dietician listened and was very understanding. She disclosed to me that she too has hypothyroidism, she has had a miscarriage and a healthy pregnancy and also struggles with anxiety. She explained to me that unfortunately it can be very challenging after a pregnancy whether you give birth or suffer a pregnancy loss to lose weight. It is often hard for women physically because of the hormones that linger after pregnancy. It can also be challenging to lose weight in general if someone struggles with anxiety, depression or grief because our bodies like to hold on to the extra fat, almost as a protection. She encouraged me not to give up and that it can definetly take a while, especially if I am struggling with all these things. She also suggested eliminating late night snacking, drinking more water, and getting plenty of rest.
I’ve learned a lot about body image since my first pregnancy. For one, pregnancy affects a lot of things in a woman’s body. Anything from a woman’s mood to her thyroid, weight and blood pressure can be very effected. I’ve also learned that weight gain isn’t always your fault. Sometimes as much as you try to lose weight, there can be certain factors that affect how fast you lose weight. Learning this eased my anxiety and discouragement. For weeks, I was beating myself up about my weight, when in reality I was truly doing all I could do. So if you are a woman and you too are struggling with postpartum body image, please show yourself some grace. It’s hard losing weight, but it can be extremely hard when you have other physical and mental struggles going on.
SO, DON’T GIVE UP. EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT SEEING RESULTS, AND EVEN IF THE SCALE IS DISCOURAGING, IF YOU ARE INTENTIONALLY TRYING TO BE HEALTHIER, AND PUTTING YOUR HEALTH FIRST… YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE.
This month is Thyroid Awareness Month. As many of you know, I have struggled with my thyroid since my first pregnancy. I didn’t realize I had thyroid problems until my second loss. My TSH was elevated and I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism.
During my second pregnancy, I was put on thyroid medicine to regulate my levels. The medicine worked, however my second pregnancy ended in an additional loss.
After experiencing two losses, I continued the medication for about a year. I got my blood work done every 3 months and noticed some change in my every life. Before taking the medication I had dry scalp, dry damaged hair, dry skin, consistent fatigue, obesity and slow metabolism which resulted in gaining weight and low energy levels.
After about a year of being on the thyroid medication, I ran into some issues with my pharmacy and not getting the meds I needed. After about three months without the meds, I had blood work done and my levels were still very stable. My doctors had different opinions at this point on if I truly had hypothyroidism or if I had another auto immune disease disguised as thyroid problems.
Fast forward to my third pregnancy, when I had my levels checked in the first trimester. After not being on the thyroid meds for over a year and a half, I expected my levels to be elevated. Surprisingly, my levels were great and ideal for pregnancy. In the third trimester my levels were checked again, and my thyroid was off. I was considered to have normal thyroid numbers when it comes to the average person, but for pregnancy they were considered elevated.
At this point I was put back on the thyroid meds and considered to just have thyroid problems related to pregnancy.
I share all of this with you because thyroid problems are quite common. Hyperthyroidism, Hypothyroidism and thyroid problems related to pregnancy are very common, even though they aren’t talked about very often. It amazed me the first time I find out I had thyroid problems. I never realized how much the butterfly shaped organ can affect the everyday function of your body.
If you have problems with your thyroid, or suspect you do, I encourage you talk to your doctor and search for different resources. There’s a lot of things out there that can help.
Are you a first time momma, who is planning out your postpartum care and recovery? Then you’ve come to the right place! As I write this I am currently 36 weeks pregnant, but I am hoping that once you read this I will be at least 2 weeks postpartum with my baby boy.
After getting pregnant, a friend told me about these things called padsicles. Padsicles are literally a combination of a pad and a ice pack. I have heard great things about padsicles from other mommas as not only are they cold but also are incorporated with witch hazel and aloe vera.
After hearing about padsicles, I searched Pinterest and the internet for different recipes. I found so many great ones, that I decided to make my own!
Here is the How to on making padsicles.
Extra Long Pads or Depends Adult Diapers
Aloe Vera Burn Relief Gel
Witch Hazel (the most natural kind)
Large Ziploc Bags
Spray Bottle with Water
For reference, I bought all of my materials at Walmart. Some recipes suggested adding the essential oil lavender. I didn’t add this to mine, but you can if you want. I also chose to use Depends over pads because I didn’t want to have to worry about any sort of leakage while trying to recover and care for my newborn baby.
How to make Padsicles
First, open the Depends or pad and try to make it as flat as possible.
Next put on a glove, to help spread the Aloe Vera and witch hazel.
Next, use the spray bottle, to make the inside of the pad or Depends very wet. This will help it freeze.
Then gently pour the witch hazel across the inside of the pad or Depends. Try to cover the whole thing, not just the middle.
Squeeze the Aloe Vera onto your glove and spread it evenly.
Finally, spray the pad or Depends one more time, fold and put it in a Ziploc bag.
Once you have finished making all your padsicles, make sure to seal them tightly in a Ziploc bag and place them in a freezer. When the time has come and you are ready to use them, allow them to thaw for 2-5 minutes, put them on and enjoy..
A few other things I added to my postpartum recovery stash include Tucks, which are used for hemorrhoids. I thought this would be something good to have on hand in case I need them.
I also bought a big bag of epsom salt to use when I am cleared to take baths. This is actually something I have been using since the third trimester, but also thought it would be nice to have on hand postpartum.
Have you gone on a postpartum journey recently? What are your go to items when it comes to postpartum recovery?
Recently, I had a very important appointment with my OBGYN. In the past I have had a variety of good appointments, and a variety of traumatic appointments at my OB’s office. However, this time was different, and surprisingly I had a very positive experience.
I made the appointment with my OB to discuss family planning and how to be a healthier me. It had been over a year since I had suffered my second miscarriage. So this appointment wasn’t a follow up physical and mental health appointment, nor was this appointment a pregnancy appointment. This appointment was just a let’s sit down and talk about how to be healthy appointment.
At this appointment my doctor seemed happy to see me. She was impressed that I graduated college, have a full time job as a teacher, have become more active and lost 20lbs in the last year, and that I have found ways to better manage my stress.
Throughout the appointment we discussed family planning and trying to concieve. My husband and I aren’t actively trying to concieve but rather, allowing it to happen if it does, and not preventing it if it does. We also discussed adoption and how this is the first avenue we plan to pursue.
In the end my doctor was very positive and hopeful that someday I could have a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby. But for now she is 100% supportive of my decision in getting healthy and working towards a child filled future.
Some things my doctor encouraged me to do as we plan for a family, include the following…
1. Start taking prenatal vitamins daily
2. Start taking my anxiety meds daily
3. Have my thyroid levels checked and managed regularly,
4. Continue to be active daily.
5. Strive for a better BMI, by starting with small goals, such as losing 10 lbs.
This semester, I decided to take a class for my health. Since last spring, I have been striving to do better, and become a healthier me. One of the ways I have been doing this is by taking a yoga class.
At first, I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this class. This class was not required for my degree, or needed for me to graduate. Therefore, I was afraid I may not be motivated to go to this class, and even look at it as a obligation, instead of a reward or opportunity.
In my first yoga class we learned how to find our breath. We did some deep breathing, learning how to be still and and relax. I felt like the class was very simple and didn’t notice much of a change in my mind, breath or body. However, a few hours later, as I made pizzas at work, I felt different. Even though I was physically tired from the day, mentally I was great. My mind was clear and I felt very zen.
Throughout the first few weeks of the semester, each yoga session has gotten a little more challenging physically, but has also had me feeling very calm, peaceful and zen. Even on the days I don’t have yoga, I find myself finding my breath and taking a moment to rest my mind.
I am truly looking forward to this semester and how my yoga class will help me in any challenges I may face. Namaste 🙏
The following post is my story of how I experienced my second miscarriage. In this post I show vulnerability in retelling my second loss. I also share details in my miscarriage, so I do want to offer a TRIGGER WARNING before anyone begins reading my post. Please feel free to stop reading, and take care of you if my words, and my story are challenging to read.
At 12am on Sunday September 29th, I was startled awake. Something was wrong. Something was very wrong. I had just gotten home from the ER a few hours prior. I was advised by my doctors and nurses to get some rest. I had only been asleep for a few hours when I woke up at midnight. I was confused. My heart was racing. I was sweating and I felt really uncomfortable. It’s just anxiety. Calm down. Relax. Baby is okay. I tried talking myself down from my minor panic attack.
I nudged Charles awake. He held my hand and we both fell back asleep.
I woke up again around 2:15am. I woke up sweaty and gross and had to go to the bathroom. I was scared to see I was still spotting and it was getting worse. I was now seeing bright red blood instead of light pink. In wasn’t a lot of blood, but it was getting darker. I prayed, prayed, prayed then fell back asleep.
I woke up at 4am in pain. Cramps radiated from my groin throughout my back. I couldn’t get comfortable. I held my belly, then curled up in a ball. It wasn’t taking the pain away. I got out of bed and tried stretching my legs and my back. I was so confused. What was going on? Why was I in so much pain? After a few minutes of stretching the pain died down. I laid back down. Fifteen minutes later it happen again. Sheering pain was radiating through my core. I tried stretching, pacing and slowly breathing, at that moment it dawned on me. Oh my gosh… I know what this is. Cramps that are painful that radiate throughout my back. Uncomfortable positions. Pain every few minutes. This pain wasn’t just cramps, these were labor pains. I was in labor and I was going to lose this baby.
When this realization hit me, I wanted to throw up. Part of it was the pain, and part of it was my mind and emotions trying to catch up with what my body already knew. I had cramps every fifteen minutes, then every ten minutes, then every five. I paced through my apartment, tried laying in bed and tried sitting on the toilet. Nothing helped with the pain. Around 5:15am, I found myself laying on my bathroom floor sobbing.
I felt scared and alone. I considered waking up Charles, but Ididn’t. I didn’t want him to be scared.
At 5:36am I cried out to God. I pleaded with God to help me. I knew my baby was already gone, and my body had a job to do. I knew this was completely out of my control. I knew the end was coming, but I couldn’t bare to think about it. I asked God that if this was it, if I was truly going to lose my baby, then could He just please make it quick. Ten minutes later at 5:46am, I felt my baby leave my body. I felt blood pour out of me and I felt my heart shatter yet again as I said I’m so sorry to my baby, and left the bathroom.
I went into my room and woke up Charles. I sobbed and told him what happen. He was confused and saddened. He held me and we cried together. That was it, it was done. My second pregnancy and my Rainbow Baby Chase were gone.
The next morning we woke up and tried to wrap our minds around what had happen. I took it easy that day, since my body was truly drained. I reached out to family and friends and let them know what had happen. They sent their love and condolences. I couldn’t believe it. We lost another baby. Why? That afternoon, Alli and Andrea sent us some flowers that read: In Loving Memory of Baby Chase. Reading this made me cry, and after that I didn’t cry for awhile. I didn’t feel like I should.
Saturday September 28th, was supposed to be a very relaxing day. I didn’t have any plans that day except for studying and relaxing at home. I spent the morning in my pjs, drinking decaf coffee and catching up on some reading. Charles headed to our university’s football game and hung out with friends. I felt completely fine, except some cramping around my pelvis and cervix. However, I was convinced that this cramping was completely normal in early pregnancy.
Around 1:30pm I made myself some cheesy potatoes for lunch. I then went to the bathroom for probably the tenth time that day. When I went to the bathroom, I felt completely normal and pregnant. When I went to wipe though, I froze. Blood. There was blood. I was bleeding. I was spotting. Oh no! I instantly started to panic. It wasn’t a lot of blood, and if I were to describe it…. it was like the color of pink lemonade. Regardless, it was enough blood to scare me.
Why was I bleeding? This can’t be happening! Not again! I can’t handle this! I can’t handle another loss! I frantically started praying. God please, please keep baby Chase safe! I don’t want to lose him!
I immediately called Charles. Once I started crying, I couldn’t stop. I told Charles what was going on and he immediately headed home. While I waited for Charles I called my friend Andrea. She prayed over Chase and I. I also called the midwife on call. I explained to her how I was feeling, and what I was seeing. The midwife explained that unfortunately it did sound like another miscarriage, but I could always go the hospital to get checked out if I wanted to. When Charles got home he hugged me, and reassured me things were going to be okay. Then we headed to the hospital.
Going to the ER on a Saturday afternoon, I knew there would be a wait. However, I didn’t anticipate a full hour wait. When we were finally called back, I was able to relax and rest in bed. My cramps were still mild and the bleeding hadn’t gotten any worse. I was thankful for that. I explained to every nurse and doctor I saw my symptoms and medical history. I had a variety of tests done including CBC blood work, urine test, pelvic exam and three ultrasounds.
One nurse that particularly stood out to me was Doug. He was the best male nurse I have ever had. He went above and beyond to take care of me, my baby and my husband. He was funny and very willing to answer my questions. He also disclosed to us that his wife has had three miscarriages, and currently has two sons at home, and an infant in the NICU of the hospital. One thing Doug said that truly stood out to me, was this: At this point we don’t know if you are going to have a miscarriage or have a healthy pregnancy. But just try to take care of yourself and rest. Know that you have done nothing wrong. Sometimes it’s just not meant to be at this time….
Don’t be scared, because your body knows what to do, and it is going to do what needs to be done. So, take care of yourself and be there for one another because this affects both of you.
Based on all my tests, everything was completely normal. My blood work showed that my HCG was in the 2000s which was higher than I ever had with my first pregnancy. My hemoglobin, and thyroid levels also looked great. My urine was fine and no UTI. My pelvic exam was normal besides some uterine bleeding. Lastly, my ultrasounds all came back fine. The reason I had three ultrasounds is because the doctors had a hard time finding the fetus. The ER doctor first used an ultrasound machine beside, which apparently has a difficult time picking up a fetus smaller than 12 weeks. I was then sent to an ultrasound room where I had another test done over my belly. The tech also had a hard time finding the fetus, so I had to have an inner-vaginal ultrasound. During this test, the tech and Charles were able to see the baby. Baby was only measuring at 5 weeks and 2 days… which was strange since I was supposed to be two weeks further in my pregnancy. However, the doctors said it was a possibility I had ovulated late. Besides that, baby was still attached to the uterus and everything seemed normal.
That night around 6:30pm we were sent home. I called and texted family and friends to let them know what was going on. When we got home, I forced myself to rest and take it easy. Shortly after arriving home, I had to go to the bathroom again. Though I was hoping the bleeding had stopped, I was still anxious by what I saw. I was still bleeding and it was getting brighter and thicker. Even though I was cleared to go home, I still feared I was going to lose this baby. Charles took the evening to hold me, and reassure me that it was going to be okay. That night when I went to sleep I had peace and faith I was going to wake up in the morning, with no bleeding and feeling so much better. I was convinced my baby and I would be fine, until I woke up at 12am the next morning……
It is officially November 1st! I can.t believe it. Time is sure flying by! It will be Thanksgiving before you know it. 🙂 Since it is November 1st, I have decided to write 30 things I am thankful for. Here we go……
Towards the end of summer, Charles and I started talking daily about kids and trying to conceive yet again. We stayed up some nights having long conversations about every possibility. What if we can’t get pregnant? What if we have another loss? What if I have to have surgery again? What if I have to go on bed rest? What I have an ectopic pregnancy? What if we have twins? How will we afford baby? When will we move to a bigger place? How will I take care of my mental health during pregnancy?….. Literally so many questions we would contemplate and ask each other daily. After many, many, many conversations we finally came to this conclusion. We can’t control everything. Anything can happen this next time around. So the real question was, can we as individuals handle it, and is our marriage strong enough to handle it.
We decided we wanted to start trying again at the end of summer, however we also agreed to keep each other accountable and not be obsessive about it. Our goal is to put our complete trust and faith in God, and what ever happens… happens. I decided to stop taking birth control at the end of July. I did this because I know birth control can stay in your system for awhile. It really wasn’t expecting to get pregnant again for at least a few more months. But we knew it was possible. We didn’t technically start trying yet in the sense that I wasn’t totally tracking my ovulation or anything, we just were no longer using protection.
During this time as well as all summer, I was doing everything I could to have a health trying conceive lifestyle. I wanted to be as healthy as I could for my next pregnancy. I made a lot of changes in my life including, limiting caffeine, faithfully taking my prenatal vitamins and thyroid medication; eating healthy such as healthy greens, working out regularly and teaching myself coping skills on how to better manage stress. With all these changes I knew I wasn’t going to be perfect, but also knew that making an effort wasn’t going to be for nothing.
One last thing I did at the start of our journey of trying to conceive was positive affirmations. I realized through friends and family that I have had quite a negative mindset since my last pregnancy. I am not very kind to myself and say things that should not be said to another human. I realized through reading books and talking to others that I needed to be kinder to myself, and I needed to have a positive mindset. For example; instead of saying things like “I will never be a mother.” I would say “I will be a mother someday soon, when God blesses me with another baby. Or “I’ll probably not be able to get pregnant or lose another baby.” AI would say “I am going to get pregnant and have a happy and healthy baby.”
It may sound silly but these positive affirmations were really useful in changing my mindset and giving myself hope. I was starting to get excited to pursue this journey of chasing our rainbow baby. Even though I didn’t know how long it would take or what the future would hold, I had faith that things were going to happen just the way they were supposed to happen.