Pregnancy

POSTPARTUM DIARIES

[5 Weeks Postpartum]

 

Hi!
So i've thought about what to write for this post longggggg and hardddd. To this day this is one of the hardest and most intimate posts I have ever written. Before we get into the deets, I need to give my husband a shout out. I don't know if you can tell, but at the beginning of the photo shoot I'm pretty tense. Then towards the end it, it gets more fun. I was so nervous about photographing my PP body but boy did my hubs cheer me on and made me laugh!


Today I want to open up about two tricky subjects! Weight and PPD!

First, The Weight

I am currently 6 weeks PP. 
Before pregnancy, I weighed somewhere between about 109 lbs. The last week of pregnancy (Week 39) I weighed 156 lbs.  During my postpartum stay at the hospital, I went up to 162 lbs because of a weeks worth of IV fluids.  So I gained a total of 44-51 lbs! I am currently weighing 131 lbs. 


Why am I talking about weight?
After THIS post and THIS post on Instagram, I received lots of sweet compliments and how great I was already looking after having a baby. Ironically this made me feel a little bad. Not because of the compliments --Those are always nice! But because I felt like I wasn't being honest and was scared that anyone going through what I was going through would be just as hard on themselves behind closed doors. I want to clarify that in those pictures, I am wearing a waist trainer underwear and it definitely helps that my Agnes & Dora leggings are form-fitting and tucking my PP bump.

I know what it feels like to feel like a stranger inside your body! I cried everyday during our week-long stay at the hospital when it was shower time! I would just stand naked in front of the mirror and wondered how I was going to get my body back! I would love to take the high road and say how I don't care that I gained weight and that my new found curves make me feel more like a woman. Nope. Weight has been a contributing factor to my PPD and If you feel this way, you are not alone!

Second, PostPartum Depression

Everyone tells you that the beginning of motherhood is hard and it's an adjustment but that you JUST LOVE being a mom either way ! I did not feel like that right away. In fact, no one said just how HARD it was going to be at the beginning of it all.  I wish someone would've talked more about the hard part so that I didn't feel crazy or like a bad person and a bad mom.

I'll cut to the chase. I did not feel like hurting  my baby. However, I did feel like...
...I had zero routine which drove me insane.  Nothing went as planned. 
...I did not feel that magical connection I felt with my baby when we were at the Hospital.
...I felt like I was not cut out to be a mom.
...Leo was better off with a different family.
...I wanted to disappear and hide from the world.
...I was scared of anything and everything.
...I felt like I was a crazy person in a white room with no windows or doors.
...I LOATHED my body!
...I felt like I was not in my own body because of pain, weight, and recovery.
...And though my husband is not just help, but a great dad and super supportive, I felt alone.  

...Lastly, there was times I thought about jumping infront of a moving car because I felt like I wasn't good enough to be a mom or a wife and that I was going crazy.  

Then, I felt guilt because of all of the feelings mentioned above. Isn't this what I wanted? To be a mom? I struggled with infertility for years because of endometriosis. How dare I feel anything but grateful. All of these feelings went on for the first weeks of being home from the hospital. The crying continued everyday (EVERYDAY) for weeks! How did Chris not leave me? 

I know that the way my labor & delivery went down probably put me at a bad start. I labored for almost 30 hours + plus had an unexpected and very unwanted C-Section + plus 2 panic attacks + plus a major cold afterwards (Read about my labor HERE). On top of that, once we got home, I got a UTI and Mastitis TWICE. Add a colic-acid-reflux newborn baby to the mix.....We barely got sleep! 

At times I felt so overwhelmed that I would forget to eat. I used to make fun of moms that would say that! Like..... HOW do you forget to eat? It's true! You do! Serves me right! So naturally because of the lack of eating, I lost 24 pounds in two weeks! Loosing weight this fast affects your hormones. Correction, It attacks your hormones! Those were the worst weeks of my life. 

We are living proof that lack of sleep and lack of eating makes you crazy. I have found my phone in odd places like the laundry hamper, the pantry, and my favorite... the dishwasher! And Chris has come back from work and left our car running for 8+ hours! Now I know how parents accidentally leave their babies in the car! THE STRUGGLE IS REAL BABY! 

Besides my physical hardship, my mental state was not okay. I started experiencing depression, my anxiety was getting worse, and my OCD was out of control! I felt really scared to talk to anyone about this, specially because in my culture, (Venezuela), depression, anxiety, and OCD are all things that aren't in the realm of possibilities unless you're psycho-killer-crazy. 

The worst was getting asked; "Don't you just love being a mom?" "Yes!" But no. How can I explain?! I never not loved Leo. From the minute our little boy came into this world, I have been obsessed with him and have loved and adored him. But no, I did not LOVE being a mom the at first. Cue the guilt. And when I explained my experience, I would get the typical follow up question "But wasn't he so worth it?"..... My son is worth more than you will EVER know but NO I would not want to go through our horrible labor experience and those crazy weeks ever again. Baby Romrell #2 has been postponed for Summer 2026.

Hating my labor and my new mom experience had nothing to do with my love for my son but it seems like a lot of people didn't know how to separate the two.  This just made me resent myself even more. 

Things To Know

  • Postpartum can start as soon as pregnancy!!!! Like before you give birth!
  • Reality of being a mom will most likely not kick in until you leave the hospital and are no longer surrounded by the help of doctors and nurses around the clock.
  • If you feel PPD after 8 weeks, it doesn't necessarily mean that you have chronic depression, it could just mean that you still have a hormone imbalance.
  • PPD is more common than you think!

Conclusion, It DOES get better!

For those of you going through a similar experience to mine and reading this, I want to end this on a good note for you. It does get better!

My husband studied Psychology, so I like to think that he knows a thing or two. It really helped that he was educated on how the body and mind work, and it also helps when you are able to recognize that your emotions are heightened because of your hormones. That DOES NOT mean that what you're feeling is not real, nor that you are crazy, nor that your feelings shouldn't be validated because you're "hormonal". They are very real. Whether or not your feelings and behavior would be different without the extra hormones, what you are feeling now is real to you and that is okay! I know, you normally wouldn't be easily bugged, on edge, or cry-me-a-river super sensitive at all times. It's all because of your hormone imbalance due to giving birth and part of your body regulating itself after stocking up on so many hormones and many different kinds of hormones to help cook a baby. 

Mom life truly is so sweet! You may not feel like it right away and THAT IS 100% OKAY AND UNDERSTANDABLE. Don't let ANYONE tell you differently. I WILL punch them for you. It might take you weeks or even the whole first year! I can't say that my PPD has absolutely gone away but after getting help, I have started to feel a little bit more like my old self again and started to feel like we can all survive this. I feel like that beautiful connection with Leo back when we were the hospital has come back and growing bigger and stronger everyday! And little milestones like leaving the house for the first time on your own and with baby are things to be proud of all the way!

From here on out, we are new women. There is real empowerment to being a mom and you should own it. Don't let ANYONE make you feel inappropriate, inadequate, or wrong about your choices and your parenting style.  So long as your child is healthy and you are sane, that is ALL that matters. 

I am so grateful for such a loving husband who already surpassed my expectations of being a dad! I am thankful he educated himself on PPD before the baby came and has been supportive and understanding of my crazy. I am truly grateful for supportive friends who let me open up and not judge me, because this is vital to help you come out of that PPD cave. And I am eternally grateful  for all the love and help we have received from everyone through this new journey!
 

PS: You might find these three articles very helpful!

 

HOSPITAL BAG MUST-HAVES

Robe C/O Pink Blush Maternity
Photography by @Chris_Romrell

 

Remember when I was freaking out about my hospital bag? Well, ironically it is now the most popular question I have gotten! "What did you end up packing in your hospital bag?!" 

First off, you should know that I took the minimalistic route which is totally not like me! Like, I cant even pack a small weekender bag. I always pack more because "Just in case". But in this case, I decided I wanted to be simple about it and it worked out for the best! 
I broke it down in two lists for you! Mom-Haves and Baby-Haves!

MOM MUST-HAVES

Robe
This was THE BEST thing I packed!  I lived in my robe the whole time. Nurses come in and check on you all the time, and you are constantly trying to nurse so it makes it so much easier to just be in a robe. If your experience is anything like mine and you have to be kept on an IV, they prefer for you to stay in a hospital gown or a robe either way. Plus, you automatically look decent for visitors! My robe is from Pink Blush Maternity.

Loose Sweats
I packed leggings but leggings would have been ideal if I didn't have to have had a C-section. Leggings sat tight on my incision so I ended up wearing no pants. I think it's better to be safe and prepare for both case scenarios. Go for some cute loose sweatpants.

Casual Dress or Tunics
Luckily I packed tunics for tops. This might even be a better option than loose sweat-pants. You will literally want as little  clothing touching you from the waist down.

Sports bras
I packed sports bras and nursing bras but only ended up using my sports bras. I got THIS kind which made it nursing friendly too because the straps are convertible and they were easy to just pull down. They are also wireless so it made it comfy to sleep in.

Adult Diapers/Depends
You read that correctly. The mesh underwear and dog training pads they give you are a joke. You will feel so uncomfortable. So many of my girlfriends suggested Depends. I packed a package, and I wasn't really planning on using them but after trying the mesh underwear+hospital pads, I jumped on the adult diaper wagon. 

Personal Products
Lip balm, Tooth Brush, Tooth Paste, Deodorant, Facewash, Moisterizer, Razor, Lotion, Shampoo + Conditioner, Hair spray, Hair Ties, Hair Brush. All in mini-travel size.  
If you are planning to nurse: Nipple cream and nursing pads

Cozy Blanket
One for you and one for hubby cause the hospital ones suck.

BABY MUST-HAVES

Onesies
Lots of onesies. I didn't like the ones that the hospital provided because they were just shirts, not onesies and they fit weird.

Mittens, Socks & Beanies.
It's true, babies come with nails so those mittens are yours and your baby's friend. And socks and beanies are to help keep them warm.

Baby Lotion and Diaper Cream.
Baby's skin is so dry at first because of the amniotic fluid. Leo had raw cracks the 2nd day! And diaper cream for their little bums.

Going Home Outfit & Blanket
The hospital provides receiving blankets while you are there but you are gonna want your own for when you take baby home. And a Going-home outfit cause, why not?!

EXTRAS

Phone Chargers
Camera + Charger
Play Station or Laptop [For Hubby & Netflix]

Though this list may seem crazy small, the hospital will provide everything else! Diapers, Pillows, socks, Booger bulb, pacifier, baby wipes, baby shampoo, bottle + formula, breast pump, was all provided during our hospital stay. Some stuff we even got to keep and take home. It made it so I could pack light and lots of our stuff was saved for when we got home!

BIRTHING PLAN

We didn't have one. I just asked my nurses to walk me through every step of the way and double check with me about any decision. 
 

 

Hope you like!
I'm totally enjoying your labor & delivery questions so keep them coming!
Xoxo

 

LEONARDO ATLAS ROMRELL

Leonardo Atlas Romrell • Born June 20th at 7:40am • 8lbs/ 1oz/ 20 Inches Long
Labored for 28 hours + a C-Section.
 

We are officially parents!
I am so excited to share Leo's birth story with you and answer all your questions! CAUTION:
I am not sure what counts as TMI on labor & delivery subject, so just know, you might run into some TMI! 

This whole day started on Father's Day!
I was exactly 39 weeks and it was 3am ish and I woke up because my water broke! I ran to the bathroom and I wasn't sure if it was my water or pee but after it happened again within a couple of seconds, I just knew it was my water. I ran back into our room, and I said to Chris, "Babe my water broke" and though he was dead asleep, this woke him right up and he asked "Really?!" and I was like "Yup" ! We both started giggling frantically! We were so excited!

In my prenatal class, our coach suggested that once you go into labor, to labor as much as you can at home cause your first time could take anywhere from 12-18 hours or more and it is 100 times more comfortable and faster to labor at home. In this case, if your water breaks, you are supposed to head to the hospital right away. My coach also suggested to have a somewhat light meal, cause once you are admitted, they don't let you eat. You CAN'T eat meanwhile you are putting your BODY THROUGH THE WORST STRESS OF LIFE! INSANE! ....So I had cereal before we left to the hospital. I wish I would have had a burger!

We got to the hospital at about 5am and I had maybe 3 contractions on the way there. Once I was admitted, I stopped having contractions and was only a finger tip dilated. At around 7am, my doctor came in and put me on pitocin because I was literally not having any contractions  and had only progressed to 1cm dilated.  The pitocin definitely gave me contractions!!!! I labored as much as I could and for several hours without an epidural. I tried to sleep a little and even had a warm bath provided in my labor room.  This made the pain a bit more bearable. Once my contractions were 3 minutes apart, my doctor came in again and asked me why in the world I would not take an epidural?!// In my prenatal class, we learned that an epidural would slow down labor and since I was already moving at the speed of a turtle, I didn't want to delay it even more.// My doctor explained that, it would only delay it if I was progressing on my own but I wasn't. So I was like.... "What are we waiting for? Bring me that epidural!" After the epidural, I was able to get real sleep and then it was all a waiting game from there! Our parents and siblings filtered in and out the whole day. It was really nice to have them keep us company and keep us distracted.

At around midnight, I had dilated to a 4. It only took 21 hours and the maximum dose of pitocin! TWICE!  At around 3 am the next morning, I had dilated to a 6 and started getting a fever. So the nurses did everything they could to bring my fever down. I stayed at a 6 for 4 more hours ...So 27 hours after my water broke. At around 7am, my doctor came in the room again and said it was birthday time and that a C-section was the way to go. They said they would come back for me in an hour but they came back in 20 minutes and prepped me immediately. 

I was DEVASTATED! I started crying! I was way crushed. This was not the way I pictured one of the biggest days of my life and No amount of Grey's Anatomy binge-watching prepared me for this turn of events. I wanted to experience vaginal birth more than anything and more than anything I am scared of surgeries.

They took me in the OR and as soon as we entered the OR I started having a panic attack so they put me on oxygen. Chris came in the room shortly after and right as they took the baby out. Somehow the nurses thought he was in the room until I asked, "Where is my husband?" and then someone ran out to get him. Close call !!! 

Once they took Leo out, the doctor showed me Leo! I will never ever forget the first time I saw that cute little face and those big dark blue eyes! He was scrunched up like newborns do, his head tucked in the doctor's chest, his little hands already in his mouth, and he was looking up from the side and I saw his beautiful face and his beautiful eyes. Just thinking about it now makes me tear up! They wrapped him up and put him in my arms. The whole time I was holding him I kept thinking;
                   "We made you, you are ours"! 

I was surprised at how big Leo was! And even though Leo was born through C-section, he had a cone head! The doctor said that Leo was obviously in the birth canal for a very long time, and his size is what made me stopped dilating! Doc said, "By the size of you vurses the size of your baby, there was no way he was going to come out any other way"! 

Unfortunately, I couldn't hold him for long because I started shaking uncontrollably from head to toe. The anesthesiology informed me that he would give me morphine and that It would make me shake a little but my body lost control. Soon the shaking made EVERY MUSCLE in my body hurt! Chris was trying to comfort me by kissing me but I kept telling him to just hold me really tight and use his body weight to hold me down so that I could stop shaking. Im pretty sure that at one point I yelled at a nurse to let me have water cause I was so dehydrated, it felt like I was choking. This made me go into panic mode again and started hyper-ventilating so they had to put me on oxygen again. The nurse gave me a 3rd set of drugs for the shaking and then I was out. I don't remember much after, just being transferred to the Mother & Baby recovery room! 

Once we were in the Mom & Baby wing, the chaos slowed down a bit. We stayed in the hospital for a week because I got a really bad cold which delayed all the milestones of progression my doctor wanted to see before he sent us home.  At one point, I weighted more than during pregnancy cause I had to have an IV on me the whole time.  

We are still a work in progress here and recovery has been.... not what I expected. But we are so so so incredibly in love with our little boy and we feel so changed. Having a baby introduces you to a new kind of love and I don't care to know what life without him would be like. We are so blessed with Leo and so thankful with everyone's love and support!

PS: Shout out to my sister-in-law, Rachel! She was our photographer and she stuck with us the whole time and even slept in a chair to make sure she would capture one of the most important days of our lives! I love her!

 

Q&A

Where did you deliver?
American Fork Hospital. I definitely recommend this hospital if it's close to you! Such great staff and service!

Were you able to snack?
Kind of. I was able to have water, broth, light soda, juice, jello, and Italian Ice. And it doesn't matter how much you try to bribe the nurses, they wont give you real food.

What does water breaking feel like?
It literally feels like water is coming out. It does not come out the same place from where you urinate. It comes out from where your monthly comes out of. At the end of my pregnancy, I wondered a couple of times if my water had been leaking or breaking. Know that if you are wondering, it's probably not it, cause once it happens, you will have no doubt. Also, know that only 1 in 10 women experience their water break on their own. It's not a rule like what you see in movies. 

What do contractions feel like?
They feel like my period, only timed, but I have endomitriosis.

Are contractions and endomitriosis cramps really similar?
Yes. For me they absolutely were. The only difference was that during labor, the cramp/contractions were closer together and non-stop. 

Did you feel anything with an epidural? Nope. My legs went absolutely numb and I could feel pressure when I had a contraction but no pain. It wasn't till the very end that the epidural started to loose its effect, but I was on it for almost a whole day so it's to be expected that the epidural starts to loose effect no matter how many times you click that little button. 

Did you feel anything during the C-section?
I felt lots of pressure and I felt things being moved around, but you do not feel pain. 

How much weight did you gain?
I started at 112 lbs.  
The last week of pregnancy ( Week 39) I weighted 156 lbs. 
During my postpartum stay at the hospital, I went up to 162 lbs because of a weeks worth of IV fluids.  So 44-50 lbs!
3 weeks postpartum, I weigh 131 lbs.  

Did you get stretch marks?
Luckily I did not. I used Vaseline Coco Butter Lotion AND Coconut oil: Twice a day-Religiously-Throughout my entire pregnancy-From beginning to end. 

How big is your scar?
Big enough to make me cry. It really isn't big and it's super low. I would have to be wearing a toddler size-low ridding bikini for it to show, but I've never even had stitches and even though my incision was closed with surgical glue,  the look of it terrifies me!

What did you end up packing in your hospital bag?
I am writing a whole blog post on this just for you ;)

 

MATERNITY

PHOTOGRAPHY BY: COURTNEY G PHOTO | @CourtneyGPhoto_
HAIR & MUA: Julie Holbrook of @HeadRushDesignsByJulieAnn
FLORAL CROWN: Mila Adams
DRESS: SheIn via Amazon *Dress is Non-Maternity*

 

So.... 38 Weeks now!
Don't be fooled though, I was 32 weeks when we did this shoot.

This might be my last post during this pregnancy, as I am getting my membranes stripped this upcoming Wednesday. So what better way to go out with a bang than with this amazing maternity shoot done by Courtney G Photo! I am eternally grateful to her talent and for putting this whole shoot together, including the team that made me look super glam ;)

This post was a hard one to write. Like, I have a knot in my throat as I'm writing this and trying to put together my thoughts and feelings on this new journey we are about to embark on.  I've never been more terrified and excited. I've never been more emotional and humbled.

How did this happen to me? (I mean, we all know how) but "How?" ! In my first marriage, I struggled with infertility for years because of endometriosis. 

And one day my life changed. I am re-married and to my high school sweetheart/ love of my life, we are newlyweds, and not long after that, we are pregnant! 

Timing is a funny thing but it's also everything!

I had "prepared" my self for years as best as I knew and could and now I feel like I am so far from being prepared. I have this constant battle within me of "I'm gonna be the best mom and I won't accept anything less from myself" to "Nope, I'm gonna be an Okay mom, and that's reality".

I have a constant fear of the unknown, and what my life is going to be like after baby arrives, but then again I have never been so anxious for this moment.

I want us to be the most loving parents, best teachers, his guidance, his biggest influence, best role models, super heroes, his confidants, his rock, and the type of person he looks up to. I want to be the best version of myself for my son.

I am incredibly thankful for my parents and their example, as well as my friends and family and their example. I am so glad that my son will come into the world surrounded by those amazing people who have not only cared for us but influenced us for better.  Most importantly, I am blessed to have his dad as my forever companion.

We want to say thank you to everyone who has been so loving and supporting through these exciting times. Seriously, your love and friendship has been a blessing.