Monday, July 29, 2013

Baby Blues

They say almost every mother is bound to get some form of the baby blues during her post-partum period... and in some cases it could even lead on to a more serious case of post-natal depression.
 
The first time round, I found myself breaking down in tears in front of a near-stranger in my house. I thought it was probably because I was a new mother, everything was new to me and I didn't know what to expect. So naturally I would have lost my grip on things a little.
 
But this time round, I would know better. I would not allow myself to fall into any pitfalls of depression and the blues. After all, I am a strong, experienced, capable, well-rounded woman. There is no need to get all mood-swingy and hormonal over a few petty issues, right? I shall not become one of those women who make the baby blues a fallback excuse for letting myself get all weak and lazy. It's really just a case of mind over matter.
 
So now, here I am again.
 
Things are indeed somewhat less hazy than they were the last time. I was able to fall into a familar flow of feeding, changing diapers and soothing baby to sleep. But then one night I found myself alone in the dark, holding my beautiful new baby, in tears. Seriously, what's up with me?
 
So perhaps I had to admit, the baby blues are a real phenomenon.
 
This list is a feeble attempt on my part to put into words, all the craziness that's going on inside me (and probably with some other fellow mothers out there as well)...
 
Why do I cry…
Because it hurts. Physically. The stitches, the soreness, the muscle aches, the cramps. It hurts to sit down. It hurts to get up. It hurts when I move and even when I'm lying still.  It stings when I pee. And hell, it hurts when I poo. I'm popping pills every few hours like mentos. There is no escape, just bearing with it as best as I can for now.
 
Because I am tired. On average I am getting 30 minutes of sleep at a time... on a good stretch, maybe one or two hours at most. They say REM sleep is essential to being able to function normally during the day. Well, say good-bye to that for next few months. People always tell me, just switch your brain off, close your eyes and go to sleep. How can I with an active toddler bouncing off the walls? And how can I when I'm continually kept on the edge of my seat with a baby that could wake up again anytime... whenever when I let my guard down, there she goes again.
 
Because I look (and feel) like shit. And here come the guests. But I didn't have time to change my clothes, or comb my hair, or shower, or do anything with myself. And well-meaning friends say "You look sooooo tired, you should rest more". And then they wonder why I start laughing hysterically like a crazy woman.
 
Because caring for baby is a lonely business. In the middle of the night, long after everyone has finished playing with the baby and gone to bed, it's just me on my own with baby. Midnight feedings, changing diapers in semi-darkness, wondering why baby just will not go to sleep. And believe me, as peaceful and content a baby seems during the day, at night they are a totally different creature. And nobody else knows it but me.
 
Because I don't know the answer. Why is baby crying (again)? Is she hungry (again)? Is it naptime again so soon? Why? Why? Why? Everyone turns to me, the capable, experienced, knowledgeable mother who supposedly has all the answers. Maybe it's a growth spurt, or a wonder week, or gas, or just one of those days. But the truth is, I really don't have a clue why.
 
Because I don't feel like myself. After nine months of pregnancy when my body has been going through all those alien changes, you would think after baby pops out, my body should feel like it belongs to me again. It doesn't. Physically, my insides feel all different and hollow. Coupled with the pain, everything about me feels different. Even I myself feel all different. Where did I go? When will I start to feel normal again?
 
Because I don't know why. Sometimes there is no apparent reason why. Everything just seems comes down hard on me all at once and I simply break down.
 
[Next post: What helps for times like these]

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Linking up to #MummyMondays

12 comments:

  1. Oh man, I feel you :( I hope you'll feel better soon. I found that babywearing really helped me cope in the first few months after baby #2. Having the baby so calm in the daytime (and sleeping longer!) allowed me to rest a bit too. Then the nighttime struggles were easier to cope with.

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    1. Hi Adriana... babywearing is definitely one of the things I use to help me cope. We're slowly getting there.

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  2. sending you a big hug across the ocean and hoping the people close to you will be able to offer support and shoulders to cry on - whenever you need it most. and as my boss says.. don't hold it all in and try to be strong all the time, cry out for help!!

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    1. Thanks the hug WanWan... really helps knowing I have your love and support at this time, even across the ocean.

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  3. I am sending my love and prayers across to you. I know exactly what you mean. I felt all this when I had my no. 2....also a girl. She would not settle at night and hardly slept. I was so frustrated and i would cry alone in the room. My husband and my boy slept in the other room so that we would not disturb them. Sometimes i had to get my husband to just hold her while i got myself together and calmed down. I will say this to you....it DOES get better as time goes by and when she grows up a little bit more. Hang in there. You are doing great!

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    1. Thanks for the kind note. It's always good to know there are others who can relate with what I'm going through. Somehow the lonely nights don't feel as lonely knowing that there are other mothers out there sharing my nightwatch.

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  4. Wow, I love your list! I've never thought about just exactly what it is that makes us cry like we do after having a baby, but you are so right! I bet it was somewhat healing to think through the reasons. At least if we can label something, we have more understanding.
    *HUGS* on all the emotions you're going through, and I hope things are better now. :)

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    1. Yes, it definitely helped so much to be able to put all I was feeling down into words like this. And things have gotten much better since that rough patch at the start. Thanks!

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  5. Nearly three years on and I still cry and your meme still holds true. Motherhood is a wonderful, amazing adventure but man they mess with your hormones, big style! But seriously, it is tough. It is incredible how you can be so high about this amazing little being and how you made them and now they are here, in your arms, and you are required for every little need and whim, yet you can also be so low because you are sooooo tired and empty of energy. It is tough, it will continue to be tough, sleep whenever you can, that is priority one.

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    1. Hi Amie. Yup, those hormones are real. I used to think that it was all just in my head and constantly told myself that it's just a matter of mind over matter. But the truth is, it's all one big roller coaster ride. The best we can do is just hang on, enjoy the highs and hold tight in the lows!

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  6. I can completely relate to this post and I thank you for sharing it with me. I'm worried about baby number two, I too tell myself that I'll be strong and that because I've been through PND I'll now how to deal I things better but it's still a fear. I hope you're doing ok too.

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    1. Hi Eva. We can only take it a moment at time. It took me by surprise with baby #2 as well because I thought that experience would everything just flow easier second time round. I'm doing much better now. I think the biggest hurdle for me is getting through the first 3 months. Hope you manage to find your own way through your journey with bub #2

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