Part Two: The Trauma Room
I opened my front door, my little boys running to me giggling, baby sister is home! I had been sick throughout the pregnancy, often feeling helpless.
It was the easiest of my three deliveries but the life-threatening Postpartum Hemorrhage after birth me landed me in what I've been referring to as 'The Trauma Room' it would ultimately necessitate a five day stay in the hospital and at least a month of bedrest.
With a supportive husband and my mother to help. All hands were on deck.
I thought I was out of the woods.
I filled three puke bags in the hospital before I began active labor. I had been sick like this during my entire pregnancy. The nausea, which many women experience during early pregnancy, lasted all day for nine months. As debilitating as food poisoning, I couldn’t keep water down and was kept hydrated by IVs.
I was ready to take care of myself and get my own glasses of water. After needing some form of assistance for nine months, I could have asked for help but my husband was busy and my mom had the toddlers.
That’s when the dizziness hit. I felt like my body was moving in slow motion. I slid along the wall, attempting to gather myself. Ultimately, ending up with my cheek pressed against the cool bathroom floor. Staring at the grey dots on the tile, I tried to convince myself I was fine.
“Honey?” I called quietly.
I knew he was working on something and I wanted to be patient.
“Are you OK in there?” My mom asked from the living room, busy toddlers running around.
“I’m fine, I can wait.”
By the time he arrived, my blood pressure had sky-rocketed. I was in a panic.
I got to my room on my hands and knees and crawled into bed. With my midwife on her way from the hospital, I realized I had been too eager to move beyond the stage where I needed help.
A friend texted me the next morning inquiring if she could pick up anything for us. My first instinct was to say I had everything I needed.
Buffalo Liver. Beets. Liquid iron. Chlorophyll.
All things I was told would help my body recalibrate. Items I didn’t want to ask a friend to pick up. Upon finding out she was already at the health food store, I gave her a call. I read off my list and she eagerly grabbed what was needed.
As mothers we so often push off help, we’re strong. If we let on that we need help, it reflects poorly on our motherhood.
After three babies, all under the age of four, I’m realizing accepting help is OK. Motherhood is hard. Postpartum is hard. Women deserve all the love and help they can possibly soak in.
Thirty minutes later my friend arrived with a box of obscure items. Buffalo liver and BloodBuilder in tow.
I already have more support than most postpartum mothers. My mom stayed with us the first two weeks. My mother-in-law came a week later; home cooked buns and baby snuggles to the rescue. Yet I still needed help.
My story is not unusual, many new mothers are sent home alone with other kids to care for and a newborn baby added to the mix.
Beginning in 2021, The Postpartum Resource Group will be launching the Network. A resource for postpartum women in the Flathead Valley. An initiative that sends trained postpartum doulas into new mother’s homes. Bringing a range of help to women in the Valley who have just given birth.
If you would like to be part of this effort either as a volunteer postpartum doula or as part of the Network Support Team, please contact us at postpartumresourcegroup.org