Thirty-two years ago my son was a happy breastfeeding baby, but in order to return to my job as a flight attendant I needed to wean him, rather abruptly. As a result my hormones went crazy, and coupled with the stress of getting back to work, I found myself spiraling out of control. I couldn’t sleep or eat and eventually became delusional and was hospitalized. Fortunately, a week in the hospital with medication helped me get the deep sleep I desperately needed and I was able to bounce back to normal… juggling a new baby and busy work schedule.
When my daughter was born three and a half years later I decided to hang up my “wings” and quit flying. She nursed until about 15 months and everything seemed perfect. We even built our first home. No postpartum.
A miscarriage and five years later my third baby was born. I figured I had all kinds of help, having done this twice already. It never occurred to me that everyone needed me! My baby was jaundice and needed monitoring in one of those portable bilirubin beds. My husband almost missed her birth due to food poisoning, so he wasn’t much help. By the time Lauren was a week old I was physically exhausted, but never saw the signs of postpartum – fortunately my husband did. Again I was hospitalized, while a friend cared for my baby, and once again the deep sleep I needed helped to restore my mind and body.
Surviving postpartum and not just becoming a statistic has given me a passion to share what I’ve learned and experienced with new moms. Perhaps I can help them avoid the some of the consequences of “untreated” postpartum by sharing my story and the resources now available. Postpartum Health Alliance is such an awesome support network, and just knowing they are there is a huge comfort.
Submitted by Donna Kole