Baby blues, hmm. It is quite a tough word to even put together. This is a world where people try to get pregnant, keep their babies as healthy as possible, pray for the good health and well being of their child. And here I am holding a perfect little healthy baby girl writing about the baby blues.
But the reality is that this is a phase which I think every woman would go through. My intention through this blog is to let you all know that you are not really alone. You are not the only one who went through this difficult phase in their life. This is just normal and it is okay… You will definitely get past this and become a super mom. The only thing you need is a little bit of “Me” moment.
Postpartum mood swings
Baby blues are less severe than postpartum depression and would last only for few hours or weeks. This is a psychological state right after the childbirth where you feel like crying, sudden mood swings occur, feel sad and cry for no reason. You may feel irritable, anxious, lonely and sad.
” I want to be a good mother.”
“I want to be a good wife.”
“I want to be a good daughter”
“I want to be a good daughter-in-law.”
Can you achieve all these in one shot?
Of course, this is a change in the life.
Baby comes with added responsibility.
Motherhood is an enormous revision of your life,
adjust to it,
one day at a time.”
So after having my precious little one, things started changing a little bit. Or maybe it was the same; just that the new member needed some extra care and time. I repeatedly tell this on all my blogs that the 33 hours of labor that I had was all worth it seeing this tiny person.
Mine was an emergency c-section, much against my expectations. I had a very healthy pregnancy but my baby wasn’t in a right position to come to this world. I cried a lot when doc suggested a C-section. But then I wanted her healthy and went ahead with her decision.
I was happy seeing her in the swaddle in the hospital crib lying next to my bed. My hormones were at ease and kept making me feel good and contented. I spoke to my family, friends, and relatives with a lot of confidence and joy. “You can pull this off,” I told myself. I was at peace until the pregnancy hormones kicked in and started messing with my thoughts.
A big responsibility
I still remember the day when we got discharged from the hospital. Avi baby was finding it tough to get settled in the new place – her new home. That is when I realized this is a big responsibility! This new life wants me throughout and I can’t spare a little bit of time for myself in her growing stage. Her food, her shelter, her safety, her happiness – this is what I should focus on for the rest of my life. There is no perfect plan to raise a baby. It just evolves right? You make a plan today, you may need a different plan tomorrow. Every day is a new day.
A newborn feeds at least 3- 4 times in the night. My mother used to wake me up each time Avi started crying. I wasn’t always able to soothe her or calm her down. She cries out loud and my patience just vanishes. That’s when I pondered- where are my maternal instincts? What happened to me? Am I going to be like this forever? Why did my maternal instincts not kick in and wake me up for the feeding time? Am I a bad mom? And you know what – my hopes of being a good mom shattered. All of this may seem dramatic to you. But this is what I felt during the initial few days.
Problems with breastfeeding
My baby blues became worse. My baby wasn’t breastfeeding well. She had tongue tie. I had to suffer a lot of pain while feeding her. With the help of our pediatrician and doing an in-office procedure of removing the tie, made it a lot better with the feeding part.
Something wasn’t right. I felt like crying all the time, lacked happiness in doing tasks and stopped talking to family members. It was annoying to them.
I constantly kept thinking about how I am going to raise this child. I had the best support system. My husband was helpful and understanding. My parents flew down from India to help us in taking care of our baby. The first week was quite tough. The “mood swings” was crazy.
I loved cuddling with this tiny person, capturing all those beautiful moments of her and filling up my phone memory with my little one’s pictures.
My brain kept working overtime. It needed some rest which I wasn’t able to give. I couldn’t get out of the vicious cycle. One thought led to another. I used to feel lost. I felt like no one understood me, my wishes, my fear had no boundaries. Heck! I couldn’t even realize what I was afraid of at one point. Well, the baby blue had set in.
We decided to discuss this with our ob-gyn in the two weeks postpartum checkup. She told that these feelings are completely normal and it would just go away in a couple of weeks. It is just a change which you have to embrace. I just have to give myself some time and pace it slowly. Moreover, there is no response from this tiny person in the first few weeks. She just wanted to sleep, to be fed and change soiled diapers.
When things started looking up
Slowly things started to change. I realized that I needed some alone time. Maybe a ride through the countryside would cheer me up, going to the grocery store for running errands was a bliss. A little bit more of attention from hubby would elate the whole situation.
You know what? When Avi baby started smiling, it was therapeutic and beautiful. I had kept her down after burping and immediately she gave a cute smile which just pumped up my energy. That day was beautiful. My parents kept telling me to talk to the little one. It stimulates their response system. This is completely true.
I started reading to her, reciting lullabies and poems and she started enjoying more and more. It started becoming a fun task to take care of her, dressing her up each day, deciding what outfit (OOTD) should she be wearing etc.
Well, the message that I wanted to give here is that it just needs some time. It may take a month or two. I am sure you will evolve into a good mother. There is no reason to be ashamed of yourself. You will find the changes in the first few weeks to be overwhelming. Over a period of time, you can take a hold of the situation.
You wouldn’t know why the baby is crying. You wouldn’t be an expert in soothing her. Babies are fragile. Dressing her up might seem tough. These problems are not permanent. Children grow very fast and will start reacting to your voice, give a beautiful smile, nod their head or even try to talk to you. And those are going to be the best moments of your life.
What you can do
Here are some ways which new moms can try out. Again, these are just few things which I tried and felt it helped. Each of you would have your own styles and perspectives which you can implement.
Get educated on baby blues
The best person to talk about is your Obgyn or even your kid’s pediatrician will be able to help you out. They can talk to you about the situation and help you sail through. I read a lot about baby blues in baby centre app and articles were really useful.
Find a friend to talk to
It can be your husband, your close friend from school, college etc. Basically, a trustworthy person! Mine was my husband. He was able to ease me in any situations and am so grateful to have him in my life.
Find time for yourself
Find time to be away from the baby as little as 15 minutes a day. Binge watch some shows on Netflix, a spa, a nail day at a salon or even sitting on the patio and sipping a cup of coffee can keep you at peace.
This too shall pass
Keep reassuring yourself that this is a short season. When you have a rough night with the baby, just remember that this baby is going to grow and she may not even need your help in few years. This is the utmost time and cares you can give to your baby. Once the baby grows, you would not want to regret that you have very little time for your baby in the initial stages.
Watch Netflix’s documentary on baby blues
This is something I found on the Netflix a few weeks back. This is a documentary called “When the bough breaks” where few moms who underwent chronic postpartum depression (PPD) talk about their situation and how they overcame the situation. Their issues were so big and complicated that you will find yours really tiny. They talk about PPD which is pretty severe.
Go to yoga class
This is something I regret that I did not try during the pregnancy days. Yoga can definitely help your mind to be at peace. So try some yoga classes during the pregnancy period. Meditation can also be a very good technique to try.
Finally, just think ” there is no bigger gift than having a beautiful healthy baby” and you are blessed to have that. So cheer up! Enjoy the motherhood.
This story was previously published in Snap Savor Scribble.