Audrey Roloff on Postpartum Emotions: I Feel Like I Am ‘Failing My Baby’

Audrey Roloff is smitten with her newborn daughter, Ember. “She likes cuddling on our chests, swaying and when her daddy sings to her,” the Little People, Big World star wrote in an Instagram post published Monday, September 24. But it’s not all lullabies and snuggles. The first time mom, who is married to Jeremy Roloff, revealed that she’s struggling with intense postpartum emotions that have left her feeling like she’s failing her baby girl.

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

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“I won’t sugar coat it . . . these past two weeks have been HARD,” Audrey began. “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.” The barre instructor, who is breast-feeding, went on to share that she has battled “severe engorgement from too much milk,” blisters, bruises, clogged ducts and mastitis — an infection of the breast tissue.

“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,” Audrey shared. “Inevitably, all of this has left me feeling like I am failing my baby, frustrated, discouraged, and heart ached.” But Audrey assured her more than 647,000 followers that she won’t give up. “Even though the tearful sleepless nights persist, so will I,” she wrote. “I will continue to pour myself out in sacrificial love for this baby girl who makes every hurt worth enduring.”

Audrey’s post received nearly 3,000 comments. “This is exactly what happened to me. Mastitis is no joke. 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,” wrote one mom. Added another: “Your body’s hormones are adjusting so be kind to yourself . . . Good luck you are doing amazing.”

Audrey and Jeremy welcomed Ember on September 10, as Us Weekly exclusively reported at the time. “Audrey did amazing,” Jeremy gushed to Us. “Natural labor is no joke. I have a renewed appreciation for her strength.” 

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