Alice is the mother of Marthe, 3 months and a half. After her delivery she took 2 slaps, in the face, that of love and that of postpartum. She would have liked to be informed, she would have liked to be told that postpartum can be so hard, hurt so much. Alice gave herself up with an open heart for the Journal d'Élhée and tells us with fair and poignant words about her postpartum but shared with so many other mothers!
My postpartum and that of all mothers
” Marthe was born on December 14, 2020. The slap. The punch in the face. The sun in my life. His crooked smile, his wide eyes filled with wonder, almost as much as ours. Its smell of orange, its smell of milk and all the indescribable things, all the things that go through my body, my head. Joy, real joy.
The arrival of a baby and the tornado that follows. Emotional. Physical. If I didn't expect to feel so many new things, love, pure, gut-wrenching, visceral, which sometimes hurts my heart as it is so lively, which makes hot tears flow in a bedroom. hospital, I did not expect either the sufferings which follow a childbirth. Postpartum. To everything that I had not been told, everything that had not been told to me.
I spent hours glued to Marthe, in our room in the maternity ward, trying not to let her feel my pain too much, not daring to tell others, smiling when I was in so much pain. I did not know. I did not know that one could have such discomfort trying to get up after a cesarean, I did not know that I would not be able to urinate after the anesthesia, that I would wear a urinary catheter for three days, I I knew what trenches were, that you could still have contractions after childbirth, I didn't know that the fall in hormones could be so violent, so sharp. I didn't know you could have sore breasts while breastfeeding. That the cracks could be such. That distress, sometimes, gives way to dark days and that we wonder when we will resurface. I spent hours feeling guilty for not knowing anything, stupid, alone. Hours of being scared. Long minutes of looking at myself in the bathroom mirror, not understanding this belly that still looked like that of a pregnant woman, looking at my mesh panties, and all this blood flowing from me. I wondered why no one told me, why my mother didn't tell me, why women don't talk about this among themselves.
After giving birth, I had pancreatitis. Inflammation of the pancreas due to cholelithiasis. It's rare. What is less rare is the voice of women that is not heard. My crises were immense. In the chest, in the back. I went to the emergency room twice. The first time, an intern huffed when I tried to tell him that I knew something was wrong. When I tried to tell him about the fire in my body. The second time I was told I was having panic attacks. I had to insist. Talk to my GP. To say that I was on all fours in my bathroom. That I felt like I was dying. That I was going to die if we didn't do something. I was finally hospitalized, far from Marthe, far from her smell, from her warm skull, far from her skin and her breath, I lived for twelve days with a nasogastric tube, I had my the gallbladder. I felt like I had lost my body.
If pancreatitis is a personal experience, what is common is the absence of psychological help, the difficulty of the medical world to listen to women who say they are suffering, the abandonment of mothers during their postpartum period. I met caring people, wonderful midwives, magical nurses, my spouse, my parents, my friends were of immense help, but I was alone, terribly alone.
I don't blame women. Not to my mother. Not to my friends. Not to all this army of warriors who are asked not to talk too much about their suffering, to whom we make it clear that we do not know what to applaud, when they are at home with the children, when they take care of of them, when they feed them, wash them, change them, educate them, to whom we make it clear that now that they have given birth, it's time for the baby, that their needs are less, that their health will wait. To them I send all the strength I can. To them, I say, let's talk among ourselves. Let's talk about our maternity, our maternity. Let's talk about postpartum. Lets fight. ”
Find Alice on @alicepostpartum and discover the power of his words.
Credit photos : Legendre & Dève ©