Tri Mama Community Story shared by Leslie Howell on her postpartum journey as a new mama

The Greatest Marathon- By Leslie Howell

Postpartum-the period of time following birth, 6 months to be exact. Is it though? 6 months? Our lives and bodies are forever different, changed, morphed into a new version of yourself you didn’t even know could exist. Postpartum is the greatest and most rewarding challenge in my life so far. My mind shifted from thinking about myself and FOR myself to every thought consuming YOU. I was exhausted, my insides were on fire while my outsides were cold. Literally-chills, an unmedicated birth that took every ounce of mental exhilaration to check out of my body and into euphoria to let go and do the work of getting you earthside. It’s hard to explain in words. It’s a feeling. Because it’s hard to explain, people cannot grasp the depth of what you just endured. 

This exact moment was when postpartum hit me-HARD. I was angry at my husband for not being able to do more-even though he was in his own postpartum fog (a separate and equally important topic people should talk more about). I was anxious to let my family get near you or hold you. The incredible pain of breastfeeding. How do I feed you and feed myself? Where is my water? I have to pee again-but it hurts to sit down. The list goes on: phantom cries, insomnia, blood, smells, hemorrhoids… My body had just run the greatest marathon of life.

The dichotomy of feeling such immense joy and love for this angel and also feeling lost in my own body. Physically here but mentally distant. I felt like I had known you my whole life, an extension of myself. Yet, I was meeting you for the first time. Postpartum is full of so many new challenges, like the big ones of how do we return to work-to the small ones, like how do we actually clip these tiny nails? 

I am almost 9 months into my postpartum journey and my body and mind are slowly healing. My anger has faded into love, my anxiety has softened into trust, the line down my belly (Linea nigra) has disappeared and I am learning to love this new and beautiful version of myself. Postpartum is truly a journey full of highs and lows and in my opinion, lasts a lifetime. 


With love and solidarity, 



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