Post pregnancy blues and blacks and greys and whites

I love kids. Adore them to be true. So when I read about post natal depression(PND) in blogs and newspapers, I thought it would never affect me. When I do not get bored playing and babysitting other’s kids, and in fact resent that I have to hand them over to their respective parents, I figured this PND is something which affects some, not all.

During the eighth and ninth month of my pregnancy I came to live with my parents. I relaxed, watched movies, surfed hoards of blogs and internet articles, on labour and pregnancy. Bookmarked exercise routines to do to lose the post pregnancy weight. In short, did everything to prepare myself mentally to deliver the baby. As destiny would have it, I was not to go through the rigours of labour. Because of dangerously low-level of amniotic fluid, I was scheduled for a c-sec. I went inside the operation theatre happily, thinking I am in safe hands. Surgery was certainly safe, what could go wrong. The folks around me had assured that the surgery would be over in minutes and I would be wheeled out soon. Things happened as expected and I was staring at Moo in my groggy state in half an hour after my operation. Because of the surgery, I could not sit up and hold Moo.

That was the first blow. I could not hold my baby in my arms until the next 24 hours. I could not feed her even when I had milk. Eventually when I held Moo, engorgement happened and she could not latch on. So the first two days of her life, Moo did not drink my breast milk. The third day also she did not latch and out of sheer frustration, I started pumping milk directly into her mouth. While I was being discharged from the hospital, the head nurse warned me that Moo will continue this way unless and until I work upon the technique to make her latch. I tried my level best during every feed to do the same, but seeing the tiny little baby screaming her lungs out every single time, I used to resign and pump. The stitches made it difficult to easily sit up if I was lying down. It took me two to three minutes to hold something and sit up to feed her. I felt wasted and useless. I could not feed my baby and when she cried I could not be up in jiffy to soothe her.

The ninth night from the day she was born, I found myself welling up and could not control my tears. I started weeping which startled my mother. Exactly as if on cue, Moo started crying for milk. So there I sat, pumping milk with Moo in my lap, with an aching back and free-flowing tears. And to my horror, I found I could not express at that time. Was it because of crying? I never heard of anyone not able to express milk because they were crying. And then it hit me. My mental state was not allowing my milk to come. Was it hormones? Hormones could do such a thing? Who knows…so basically, now I could not even cry out because if I do I cannot feed Moo. Wow, what a situation to be in.

At her 14 day check up with her pediatrician, we found Moo had lost 500 grams of weight. According to her birth weight, she should have lost only 300 grams. This was the second blow. Her pediac started talking on how each and every gram weight loss is detrimental and how we need to start on formula for her immediate recovery. My already sad state of mind could take no more and started blaming me that I am responsible for Moo to be in this position. The pediac was explaining how and when to feed her formula when tears started streaming my face, shocking the nurse and my parents alike.

After coming home, we started formula which Moo absolutely hated. After an intake of two tiny spoons in an interval of two hours, she started crying which lasted for 6 hours. She cried, got tired, closed off her eyes and again started crying. We did not know what to do. I felt helpless, utterly helpless. I was determined, come what may, I will not let her suffer. And against the doctor’s instructions, I chucked away her formula and went back the old route, hand expressing breast milk into her mouth. Wonder of wonders, that night she latched on when I took my hand away to get a towel lying besides me. After about fifteen minutes, she was full and drifted off to sleep. And since that day thankfully she latched on every single time during her feed.

I thought every thing was back to normal now. Moo is feeding, my stitches do not pain me any more, I am on a maternity break, so finally I am out of PND. But no, that was not the case. I felt bounded all the time, with dietary restrictions and my limited mobility. To be inside the house all day was starting to feel claustrophobic. At my 6 weeks post partum checkup I was given a go ahead to start walking and exercising. But whenever I got ready to step out, she would cry out. If one day I thought I could figure out her sleeping and feeding pattern, the next day it would go for a toss. Not good. Not at all good for a person who loves to walk, who loves fresh air and most importantly a person who loves to work, be in office work or household work. And yes, somedays I felt I should leave Moo and run away, to my old life, to my older self.

So what did I do to kick myself of all the negativity? First of all, I started writing. I could not use the laptop much, if I was to avoid the death stare of my father. So I started chronicling my pregnancy, hospital experiences, Moo’s check-ups, basically all things medical into a diary. When that got over, I started writing in Hindi, just to see if I still remembered the alphabets. I wrote a decent length and was happy to note I had forgotten only one alphabet πŸ˜€ The smartphone was used for what it was purchased, taking pictures and using the internet. Social media engaged me very well, Twitter was as funny as ever and Instagram was addictive. And then when I finally started using the laptop full time, I binge watched F.R.I.E.N.D.S, and then comedy videos in YouTube. Also, I looked up the internet and charted out an exercise routine which I can do every day. Fifteen minutes during the evening. Even if Moo is hungry, I can feed her and get back to my routine. To an extent, exercising helped a lot. I tired out at the end of each session and then went on to get a power nap of 15 to 20 minutes, enough to recharge me through the night.

Things are back to normal now, I can say I am having the best times. Cooking, baking, exercising, Tv watching, internet surfing comprise my days, along with taking care of Moo. I love dressing her up, perks of having a daughter! But, cooing to Moo tops everything πŸ˜€

30 thoughts on “Post pregnancy blues and blacks and greys and whites

  1. Hugs hugs hugs and more hugs..I went through all this and perhaps even worse thanks to the pathetic delivery I had which was vaginal but went horribly wrong because the doctor misjudged the timing….I was under depression for more than 6 months…I am glad you overcame it with sheer determination and positive thoughts..

    One thing my pediatrician told me, that the milk never comes from the breast, it always comes from the brains..more stress you have, lesser milk you keep being happy and enjoy the motherhood…big hugs

    • Oh my God, you underwent so much pain RM, hugs re!!

      Your pediac is so true, the times when I was happy, there was no issue at all in the milk supply.

  2. You have had a really tough time and you braved it all for your lovely doll of a daughter πŸ™‚ Made my eyes well up, that’s motherhood. Congrats Visha! Stay blessed, you deserve this break and relaxation.

  3. Many congratulations. First things first, I missed out on the baby announcement so my heartiest wishes to you and little Moo πŸ™‚ God bless the little one. Post partum depression is what I have gone through too and I can understand how it feels. Great that you have come out of it well and enjoying every part of motherhood now. I remember feeling like dumping everything and running away. Well I feel that now too sometimes πŸ˜› part and parcel of being a mother. Just one thing. Do not feed Moo immediately after you exercise. There should be at least an hour or two’s gap as the milk otherwise tastes sour. I am an exercise junkie so take my word for it πŸ™‚

    • Thank you Jas πŸ˜€

      Well, thats comforting to know that even after many years, the running away feeling does not go away πŸ˜›

      That is such a useful tip, never knew about it..ofcourse I will take your word, started implementing it from the time I read your comment πŸ™‚

  4. Hugs and loads of love to both of you. Are the restrictions because of the C-section? I had the twins through C-sec too but was told to walk around and do everything. I was up on my feet the very next day carrying both of them…sigh! The only thing my doctor told me not to do was any kind of tummy toning exercises as the twins had totally destroyed my uterus.

    Take good care of yourself darling.

    • Naa re..even my doc asked me to walk around the next day. The restrictions were from the customs followed in our families, like no stepping into the kitchen for 45 days, no going out of the bedroom for the first fifteen days, etc..etc.. Even when my doc asked me to use the staircase, I was not allowed to..

  5. Hugs Visha!!
    I went through almost similar situation during and after my delivery… I did not get the right support from the doctor, nurses or even my family.. only pressures and completely opposite advises from everyone around.. I sometimes even hated my family and felt like yelling to everyone to just leave me alone.. I cried buckets every day and night….
    Really glad that you came out of all this with your positive attitude..
    Hugs again dear…

  6. Hugs Visha! πŸ˜€ I never wrote of my PND somehow but I had a bad month! I was in labour for a good 30 hours and then landed up in emergency C-sec. The good was they gave me the baby rigthaway or I would killed everyone. Luckily I even walked in 8 hours,
    The issue was the the feeding. i didn’t realise it but she didn’t latch on for 2 weeks! Plus I refused to give her formula. And her weight dropped like crazy! From 3.14 Kilos to 2.4 and I hated myself so much that it was horrible.
    A month later things got better. I was told not to exercise for 6 months. I went back to work after 4. Podgy, unkempt and tired. But it helped. I had all the help but I hated everyone πŸ™‚ Except for The Dude who would take my side. I felt everyone only cared about the baby, and on a look back, was I ridiculous!
    The funny thing is I felt exactly as you did, that this will not happen to me and when it did, I wanted to escape it too.Looking back is easy, but when you go through it, it’s horrible!
    Enjoy the time girl, I already miss it πŸ™‚

    • So glad they gave you the baby immediately, I was stuck up in my bed while I saw everyone cooing to the baby for one whole day.

      Haha, I too felt the same. Main star attraction is the baby. Nobody asks for the mom.

  7. First of all Hugs!!! It takes lot of courage to share such experiences Visha..Am glad that you are back to normal now..Not only that, you also have shared how you battled PND!! A mother is indeed a CEO cum Major General!!

  8. More power to you girl for having handled everything wonderfully and have emerged a winner.
    Writing does wonders and I can vouch for that. So have a blast with darling Moo and if any depressing thoughts ever dare to raise head just tell them to shoo away.

  9. Hi, This is my first time around here and just loved what you wrote..

    I am also little behind you as far as pregnancy and motherhood are concerned, but then I am way ahead considering that i just had my second baby πŸ˜›

    I faced a lot of latching issues with my son, and had to use a nipple shield for my daughter. I can understand the frustration you faced and I was really happy that this was my second kid which kept me away from PND.

    Would be bugging you more in future πŸ™‚

    • Hey Liz, welcome here!!

      Ooo..many many congratulations for the new arrival πŸ™‚

      I was told to use the nipple shield too, tried it just once, the scream which Moo made was enough to deaf me out completely 😐

      My pleasure πŸ˜‰

  10. I am not a mom yet so reading your post was a bit scary as to this is what happens after pregnancy but I also admire your courage, determination and positive attitude. Your blog is adorable πŸ™‚

  11. Hi…. You know my heart goes to you. But be brave, you did not every one can do! All mothers on this earth are brave. I some how avoided reading this post. It scares me to death. I know I am stupid πŸ˜›

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