Never had I imagined writing about motherhood since we were never keen on having a baby. Both of us being more career-focused never planned on extending our family. Six years passed, many questions were asked, parents, relatives and everybody we knew were extremely concerned though I still don’t understand why. Maybe I will have to write a separate article about it. Anyway, we decided to have a baby when both of us felt we were ready and here I am, penning down my thoughts while my 4-month-old is asleep.
Four months ago, I was lying on the operation table while two doctors pushed my baby out from the incision made for c-section. My angel arrived with a loud cry, tears rolled down my cheeks, just started my journey of motherhood. Wrapped in a white towel saw my princess for the first time, remains fresh in my memory to date. Must say women are really lucky to experience this heavenly happiness, I don’t think anyone other than a mother can experience it. Hubby and parents were extremely delighted, relatives kept coming to have a glimpse of my baby doll, with the effect of epidural still present everything felt like a dream, except for the pain due to C-section. Spent three days in the hospital and we were back home. We finished small rituals since hubby had to head back to a different city for work. Everything happened really fast and there I was at my parents home with my 5-day old princess. Relatives still kept coming, listing their do’s and dont’s. I was slowly getting used to the baby’s schedule. Sleepless nights sometimes and with so much of suggestions pouring in from all over, got me really irritated at times. About two weeks passed and I was slowly settling with my little one, but deep within I felt some emptiness, almost felt choked at times. I was an active working person at office and home until the previous day of my delivery. Suddenly felt my life had paused and I had reached a dead end. I think this mostly happened because I was confined to my house and routine activities. Never had I missed my office so much, the mind was in a constant loop reassuring myself that I would get back to work soon, I missed my old self. I was getting healed physically but I was sure my mental health was not ok. I loved my baby and still do but the sudden changes in my life were too much for me to handle along with the hormonal changes that gave me mood swings. Added to all this was the forced confinement to my room due to breastfeeding. I come from a conservative family and breastfeeding in the living area was something that everyone signalled to avoid. In no time I felt like I was being jailed in a room, thanks to new age feeding shawls I broke this tradition and slowly started breastfeeding in the living area, I felt more breathable but still, there was something bothering me. I had spoken to so many people during pregnancy but none of them had spoken about mental stress after delivery but thankfully I had read about postnatal depression or post partum but never ever thought I would actually experience it. There were times when I would just break down and I just couldn’t explain why. Was I missing my hubby, my work, my independence, couldn’t figure out. About a month passed like this, I was sure of one thing, I was going through a bad mental phase but didn’t want it to take over me. The only relief I had was that I knew it, slowly started to do things that I used to before my delivery. I started half an hour of walk, tried to do my chores other than just taking care of the baby. That way I felt more energetic and not helpless, keeping myself occupied helped a lot to combat my mental stress. Sometimes too much of assistance also may not work for you and that was my case. I now started to listen to people only if I felt I needed to. Relatives need to understand that bombarding a new mother with tips and advice throughout may be of much help, give some time for her to transit to the new phase, I am sure all of them can do it gracefully. The more independent I was in activities and decision making, the lesser I felt helpless. In addition to this even though I was at home all day I began grooming myself, had a new haircut, exercised a little, went grocery shopping, and I did all this without feeling guilty, and that’s the most important thing. I used to feed my baby put her to sleep and then do these small activities which helped me re-energize myself. There were people who were astonished when I did all this but I think this is actual motherhood which no one talks about, it’s embracing the little one along with your old self without having any guilt for doing so. It’s very important to do all activities that you were doing before you had a baby, and talk about depression if you are facing it talk to a person who can totally understand. In my case, it was my spouse and a friend who helped me in tackling depression. Everyone has a unique way of expressing, writing is one way of expressing oneself and I started to spend some time writing my thoughts. the more you accumulate in your heart the more frustrated you will get which will eventually show up on your loved ones especially the little one. Having a baby can be overwhelming, motherhood is not sacrificing, let’s not go through motherhood but let us start experiencing it. I plan to rejoin my office in a couple of months and I don’t feel guilty about it. I love my baby and I love myself.