It's been two weeks since Clark's birth. Two whole weeks. Fourteen days. 336 hours. 20,160 minutes. And every single one of them I've spent thinking about our little Clark in some capacity. Missing him tremendously. Missing carrying him. Missing hearing his heartbeat on my doppler. Missing seeing him on the ultrasound screen. Missing making plans for his late February arrival. Missing everything about him.
This is the postpartum no one talks about. Rapid weight loss because literally nothing sounds good and you have no appetite. But your boobs are full — full of milk — milk that isn’t going to your babe, but to another one. A sore, tender, fourth c-section scar that aches now more than ever before, almost like it knows its occupant was vacated 17 weeks earlier than he should have been. Meds to help the pain, but merely dull it, because nothing can actually fully take away the lingering ache in your belly. Dark circles under your eyes from not sleeping...longing to have just one sleepless night due to a hungry, screaming babe but instead you’re restlessly awake, mind racing and yearning for what could have been. Tears that flow like endless waterfalls, triggered by the littlest of things that sets you in to an emotional tailspin.
And that 4th trimester, that postpartum period for mom is rarely talked about -- because everyone's focus is on the new baby. Heck, you usually get ONE follow-up visit at 6 weeks after birth with your OB...and that's it (and how many times does baby go to the doc that first month to be checked upon?! Like 3+ it seems.)...but don't get me started on the horrific postpartum care women get in this country. But what about when there is no baby?! You're still dealing with all of the hormonal shifts, the night sweats, the leaky boobs, the extreme fatigue and soreness yet there's no baby there to take care of, to have your energies focused on caring for that 9 pound little one, but instead you have a tremendous hole in your heart, and every possible postpartum feeling is exacerbated times a thousand because that's all you can focus on.
Postpartum after loss is quite possibly hell on earth.