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 😀 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 😀


Announcing the arrival of Moo

Moo made an entry into this world last Saturday at 8 shattering atleast 20 peoples prediction that Moo would be a boy. Would you believe, my moms best friend waiting outside the hospital room with my parents and many other friends, commented ‘its a boy’, hearing the loud wail of Moo as soon as she was pulled out. I am told she was more shocked than surprised when she held Moo because she has a track record of her predictions going always right. Also, 90% of my extended inlaws family had told I will have a boy seeing my tummy in the baby shower function. I feel happy thinking that now I can finally tell them gleefully that ‘see, I told you I am carrying a girl’ 😈

People, our Moo has already started being a rebel.

On the eve of my due date, my doctor found that Moo has not descended yet and still was sitting very high up. She gave us three days to wait, after which my amniotic fluid levels were found to be very low. Waiting for few more days was a risk which she was unwilling to take. And I had to be admitted for an operation. I had a very jovial anaesthesiologist who continuously asked me stuff like what’s the difference between medu vada and dahi vada. The head nurse brought a wrapped bundle with a funny cap to me when I was getting stitched up and said, here is your daughter. I kissed her feet and said wow to myself.

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Its been a week with Moo and I am slowly learning to understand my daughter. Her cries are different when she is hungry and when she has peed. She likes to hear us talk to her in evenings and raises a storm if we just leave her alone. While sleeping, she looks like a calm and happy squirrel but other times she is a monkey. Her nails are so sharp already, she has scratched me twice.

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My dad is furious that I am not sleeping when I get time ( meaning when Moo naps ) and so he took away my laptop. I am typing this post from phone and it is going to be like this for a while. I have not been online for a while and my reader must have at least 100 unread posts. So tell me, how are you doing? Missed me? 🙂

Latest samachaar

The waiting game has officially begun.

The due date is May 14. My gynec says Moo can enter the world 15 days earlier, also I can be overdue for a week at least.

The summer heat is making my evening walks difficult. Its the only time of the day when I step out and my already limited set of clothes courtesy the expanding belly has exhausted. Since 2 days I have been stepping out in cotton maxis without a care of what will people say ( and where I live, people say a LOT). I waddle like a penguin so I am prime time entertainment for the little ones in the society and seeing them ape me, I laugh crazy.

I have been drinking all kinds of juices to keep myself hydrated in this heat. Only aam panna is left to be relished. Should make that soon.

The society ladies are having fun predicting the gender of Moo by virtue of their God gifted full anatomical X-ray which they do and seem to be adept at. One look is all it takes and they are ready to place bets. I maintain a stoic smile throughout, which makes them add that Moo will be a quiet child 🙄 😯

At last, finally, finally I got hooked on to a book. Matthew Reilly is an old love which I recently found lying quietly in my room in a forgotten shelf, gathering dust. So happy to re-start reading with him.

I had earlier written here about how I would blog daily, but it looks too much of an effort to switch on the laptop and type a post and publish it when there is an alternative option of being in deep slumber like a hippo. So when I get these sudden bouts of energy like today, I will make you read what all is going on okie.