Little People, Big World star Audrey Roloff’s mastitis is no joke, but that’s not the only health problem that the new mother is facing.
After welcoming Ember Jean into the world, that is just a small part of a larger complication that Audrey is struggling with, and mightily.
The one bright side is that Audrey has loving relatives to pitch in and help out, including Tori Roloff. What else is family for?
We had already heard about Audrey’s mastitis.
As you can probably guess from the word, Audrey’s experienced painful breast-swelling linked to lactation.
But breast-feeding is supposed to help relieve symptoms and resolve it, so we’d all hoped that Audrey’s post-partum issues would resolve themselves.
Instead, we learned through an Instagram post of Audrey’s that things are so much harder on her than she’d imagined.
The post starts off positive, though.
“Our little Ember is two weeks old today! She’s likes cuddling on our chests, swaying, and when her daddy sings to her.”
That is so nice to hear! But … obviously, it’s not all good news.
“While I am overflowing with love for my daughter and husband, I won’t sugar coat it… these past two weeks have been HARD.”
Becoming a new parent is never easy, but Audrey’s experience is above and beyond what’s normal.
“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.”
Okay, so those are postpartum contractions. Basically, she’s having hormonal imbalances after giving birth that are giving her a slew of problems.
“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.”
What your health class probably never mentioned is that there is a huge amount of bleeding after childbirth and a high chance for various types of tearing.
Plus, you know, childbirth itself is such an ordeal under the best of circumstances.
“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’s not failing Ember and she knows that, but knowing and feeling something are different experiences.
“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.”
As you might imagine, Audrey is drawing upon her particular religious faith in this crisis.
“And not by my strength or striving, but in Christ alone,” she writes.
“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…'”
I’ve never heard that one, but I’m glad that she’s finding comfort.
“Motherhood is already refining me so much and I am blessed.”
Tori Roloff just gave birth herself — four months ago. She left a supportive comment under that post:
“You’re a warrior mama! Love you so much, sister!”
Tori also shared via her Instagram story that she’s baking lactation cookies for Audrey.
Before your mind goes to a dark place, human breast milk is not a standard ingredient in lactation cookies.
They just have specific yeasts or whatever that are designed to encourage lactation.
We hope that they help!