For so many of us, the postpartum struggle is real. And Little People, Big World‘s Audrey Roloff isn’t mincing words: Two weeks after the birth of her daughter, Ember Jean, Roloff is struggling to keep her head above water — and is worried that she’s failing as a mom.
Roloff took to Instagram on Sept. 24 to share a photo of Ember captioned with poignant words many of us can relate to. The post has received over 104,000 likes from her 647,000 followers.
“I won’t sugar coat it… these past two weeks have been HARD. The first 24 hours with Ember were bliss, but after that it was as if I went back into labor again… I was well prepared for the pain and suffering that comes with childbirth, but I was not prepared for the pain and suffering that comes afterwards,” she wrote.
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Our little Ember is two weeks old today!💗 She's likes cuddling on our chests, swaying, and when her daddy sings to her. While I am overflowing with love for my daughter and husband, I won't sugar coat it… these past two weeks have been HARD. The first 24 hours with Ember were bliss, but after that it was as if I went back into labor again… I was well prepared for the pain and suffering that comes with childbirth, but I was not prepared for the pain and suffering that comes afterwards. I got all the things… the common "TMI" postpartum hurts, along with severe engorgement, too much milk, not enough milk, blisters, bruises, clogged ducts, and mastitis. I can't believe I'm saying this, but the pain that I've experienced while breast feeding has been comparable to unmedicated labor contractions. Inevitably, all of this has left me feeling like I am failing my baby, frustrated, discouraged, and heart ached. But even though the tearful sleepless nights persist, so will I. I will continue to pour myself out in sacrificial love for this baby girl who makes every hurt worth enduring. And not by my strength or striving, but in Christ alone. I've been humming the these lyrics while I nurse and pump through the nights, "Lord, I come, I confess, Bowing here I find my rest, Without You I fall apart, You're the One that guides my heart, Lord I need you oh I need you, Every hour I need you, My one defense, my righteousness, Oh God, how I need you…" Motherhood is already refining me so much and I am blessed. #journeyofjerandauj #emberroloff pc: @juliagreenphotography
Breastfeeding has been a nightmare for Roloff, who shared that she’s been struggling with mastitis (infection and inflammation of the breasts), clogged milk ducts, blisters and “severe engorgement from too much milk.”
Roloff didn’t hold back about her postpartum struggles as a first-time mom. “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the pain that I’ve experienced while breast feeding has been comparable to unmedicated labor contractions. Inevitably, all of this has left me feeling like I am failing my baby, frustrated, discouraged, and heart ached,” she continued.
Still, Roloff is determined to press on despite the pain and exhaustion, saying, “Even though the tearful sleepless nights persist, so will I… I will continue to pour myself out in sacrificial love for this baby girl who makes every hurt worth enduring.”
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Our precious baby girl – Ember Jean Roloff – is finally here!!! 7.13 lbs 20.25" long and born on September 10th. Wow. Natural labor was the hardest thing I've ever done, but holding our baby for the first time was undeniably the most empowering and rewarding moment of my life. Of course, I wrote "always more" on my hand when I went into labor, but never have these words carried more meaning. The whole time I just kept reminding myself of the MORE that was within me through Christ – that I could keep enduring, surrendering, trusting, and pushing more and more because of Christ's strength within me. The second she was out of my belly and into my arms, the tears of pain ceased, and Jeremy and I looked at our daughter and each other with tears of uncontainable joy. We are in complete awe of the miracle of life, and feeling so blessed to be entrusted with such a beautiful daughter. Sweet little Ember, may you always be a light in the darkness, glowing in all you do, enduring, feirce, and hard to extinguish;) May you always believe in the more that is within you, and when stoked and kindled by your Creator – may you be able to burn and glow even MORE than you ever could on you own 🔥 We love you so much Ember Jean Roloff. Thank you for making us "mom and dad" 😉 💗pc: @juliagreenphotography #journeyofjerandauj #emberroloff #alwaysmore
But it’s not all tough news; on Sept. 16, Roloff tweeted to fans a sweet dilemma.
But if I "sleep when she sleeps" I miss all the milk drunk cuddles… it's a dilemma 😅
— Audrey Roloff (@audreymirabella) September 16, 2017
Fans were quick to offer support on social media.
“Mastitis is no joke,” wrote one commenter. “Dreams of what it was going to be like bringing our daughter home were replaced with pain. It was overwhelming. We need to remember to make our plans in pencil and give God the eraser. It will get better.”
And as for the milk cuddles, one fan had some solid advice we agree with wholeheartedly.