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Khushboo Sharma

IWB Blogger

Maternal Mental Health: This Postpartum Story By Kayla Gonzales Shows The Struggles Of Motherhood

  • IWB Post
  •  May 15, 2018

While a birth is always a celebratory occasion there also is the other aspect of the story that doesn’t get as highlighted as it should be: postpartum blues.

Some time back Kayla Gonzales, who is an international award-winning documentary birth and motherhood photographer, shared a very powerful picture of herself struggling with a bout of postpartum blues. Clicked by Heather Gallagher, the image is the exact definition of the term “postpartum blues” just in case it had you puzzled.

Kayla shared a picture on Instagram which was taken right after the birth of her fifth child. “This image of me by @heathergallagher.photography accurately sums up the first 48 hours,” she wrote.

Recollecting the day when she gave birth to her fifth child she wrote: “An intense hormonal shift had begun, and I too had spent much of the day crying. I was missing my older girls immensely. To compound these struggles, a 72-minute labour isn’t easy to recover from. My hip felt like it was broken and walking was near impossible.”

She explained in the post how the postpartum blues can hit you out of nowhere leaving you absolutely jaded: “My beautiful baby seemed unfamiliar – smaller than my others, and unexpectedly male. He seemed strange and foreign, and I was struggling to bond with him the same way I had when my other children were born. My milk hadn’t come in yet, and he was getting hungry and impatient. In this moment, I just wanted to shower.”

Explaining the exact moment when the picture was clicked she wrote: “As the shower warmed, I sat down to pee, slumping into the weight of all the heavy feelings before pulling it together enough to make use of the limited time I had before he would need the comfort of my chest again.”

“The clock is always ticking. This is postpartum,” concluded Kayla.

Here is Kayla’s Instagram post:

This image of me by @heathergallagher.photography accurately sums up the first 48 hours. While the birth was mine in every way, the absolute height of feminine power and womanhood, postpartum swung me in the opposite direction, to the darkest depths physically, emotionally, and mentally. Having 4 other children, I was prepared for this. I have support. I have realistic expectations. But these days are fucking hard, there is no getting around it. This day had been long and very stressful. My toddler woke up realizing that the new baby was, in fact, staying. She had cried most of the day. We had unexpected bills due on a very short deadline. An intense hormonal shift had begun, and I too had spent much of the day crying. I was missing my older girls immensely. To compound these struggles, a 72 minute labor isn’t easy to recover from. My hip felt like it was broken and walking was near impossible. I had soreness in muscles I didn’t know existed and pain that radiated down my right thigh like lighting. The cramping was so intense, it felt like I was in transition all over again. As soon as the labor had begun, it was over, before I even had a chance to realize what was happening. My beautiful baby seemed unfamiliar – smaller than my others, and unexpectedly male. He seemed strange and foreign, and I was struggling to bond with him the same way I had when my other children were born. My milk hadn’t come in yet, and he was getting hungry and impatient. In this moment, I just wanted to shower. I was alone only because my partner had taken our daughter out of the house, a needed distraction from the distressing sight of me holding another baby when all she wanted was to be held herself. It was the first time I had put him down-we had been skin to skin since birth. I worried that he would not be content long enough for me to wash my tired, aching body of the horrible day we had endured. As the shower warmed, I sat down to pee, slumping into the weight of all the heavy feelings before pulling it together enough to make use of the limited time I had before he would need the comfort of my chest again. The clock is always ticking. This is postpartum. #igm_033

2,878 Likes, 264 Comments – Kayla Gonzales (@austinbirthphotos) on Instagram: “This image of me by @heathergallagher.photography accurately sums up the first 48 hours. While the…”

 

 

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