Postpartum Diaries- Week 1- Pregnancy is cakewalk!

30 April 2019

She's been here a week now. 3 words. Pregnancy is cakewalk. Nothing can prepare you for parenthood, nothing. Its whole another ball game. My motto of 'Ignorance is Bliss' sort of did not work. I wish I knew a thing or two about babies. Before Blueberry/Aiza, I had never even held a newborn in my arms. Everything is so new. Everything is so different. Everything is chaotic. Its an experience like no other. Its overwhelming to say the least.

As mentioned in my birth story blog post, I moved into our local birthing unit 3 hours after delivering her at the hospital. No males were allowed there, so I was alone with Aiza the very first night she arrived. The plan was to stay at birthing unit and learn the baby ways for 3 days but I only stayed there for 2 nights because it got very challenging to take care of her alone, specially when you are clueless about newborn ways. I figured two clueless parents is better than one. I also wanted to be home so I could get some sleep. I hadn't slept for more than 2 hours a night since labour started. It was 9 straight days in zombieland. Even when I caught a moment to sleep, I just couldn't. Monkey mind was running in a thousand directions. I'm not a good sleeper per se. It takes me a while to fall asleep. By the time I get into the sleep-zone (20 minutes or so), Aiza needs feed. I tried those meditative music videos on YouTube. They helped me catch some 30 minute naps.
If you think you can survive on no sleep, try parenthood. I'm told the first six weeks are the hardest so I'm keeping my hopes alive.

I learnt breastfeeding and did a lot of it at birthing unit. I was taught doing it sitting up. I didn’t think much of it then, even though I was bleeding down there and obviously very sore from the sutures (5 people worked on those stitches, it was bound to get bad). Come Day 6, I had throbbing and piercing pain down there. Turns out one of the stitches was getting infected, pus and all. I had to take the hard decision to get on antibiotics to avoid matters escalating. It was too painful to even move and thus all breastfeeding happened while lying down, which is so much easier. I wish the midwives at birthing unit encouraged me to do so. It might have healed my stitches better and saved me a lot of pain and medicines. Apart from that, there were no complications. My uterus has gone down and I can feel my tummy receding back each day as uterus attempts to reach its previous location.

I checked my weight for the first time today and looks like I lost about 6 kg with birth. I still have about 5-6 kg more to lose so I could reach my pre-pregnancy weight. I’m hoping breastfeeding would do the trick, as everyone says.

The first 3-4 days with baby were the hardest days of my life- Sleep deprivation, exhaustion, jiggly postpartum body, bleeding, baby needs, round the clock breastfeeding, the general clueless-ness, longing for past life & carefree days and lack of food. This powerful realization that we are parents now. This huge responsibility that overwhelms you and hits you with a force, in most vulnerable moments. I find myself googling Postpartum Depression and no surprises there, I actually identify with a few symptoms. Apparently, it is normal to feel Baby Blues for first few weeks. Me and Sunny talked it out with each other and I actually felt better after acknowledging it. You see your life changes completely. Now there’s a new person that needs you 24/7. And the little person cries. She cries a lot. You wouldn’t even know why. It’s frustrating. Breastfeeding every few hours. Holding and calming the baby, all the burping and spit ups, engorged breasts, broken sleep cycle, lack of time for your own meals, shower or even brushing your teeth. Everything about you is secondary.
I am no way implying that I'm not grateful for the healthy, beautiful baby I had, in the most natural way. I feel on top of the world, but I also feel overwhelmed by all these responsibilities. It isn't easy to keep a little one happy.

I moved from birthing unit to home after 2 days, in search of sleep, but that was not to happen. At birthing unit, I had nurses on buzzer. I could get water & snacks when I needed. They would also take Aiza for an hour or so overnight so I could get some form of rest. They would serve me fresh food 3 times a day. At home, even though we stocked up our fridge, both me and sunny struggled to get some food into ourselves. There was no time left after feeding, calming, changing, bathing and putting Aiza for naps.

There’s also a lot of people wanting to come see the baby. People want to come in at that very time when you can’t sit, are sleep deprived, frustrated and hungry. We declared her birth 3 days late and I also kept my pregnancy secret for its entirety, so there was bound to be a lot of curiosity. It is stressful to deal with any kind of visits when you are not well both mentally and physically. Only new parents would understand this.

We struggled to form a routine, but things are looking to get better with time. Aiza needs feed every 2 hours or less (day or night is irrelevant). She has started doing 2-3 hours of sleep at a stretch and even though I don’t get into that coveted deep sleep , things are certainly better than those first few weeks. Oh! and she sleeps on me. Not on the bed, not in her pepi-pod. On me. So naturally, I can't risk falling asleep and dropping a tiny fragile baby.

It would have been impossible to deal with all this if Sunny didn’t take leave from work. His 2 weeks off work were a life saver. We did everything together. We shared cooking, cleaning and baby things. I’m quite proud that we both did it alone. My in-laws come from India end of next week so I’m happy we had this time with Aiza. We bonded with her. We got to know her and hold her first. She heard our voices and no one else’s . There was no stress and there was no one to judge our non-existent parenting skills. Even though this week has been hard and we’ve both cried a wee bit (blame the hormones, I cried more!), we’ve gone through this together and come out stronger. Our relationship has taken a back seat but we have so much more respect for each other.

I make this blog sound so taxing and weary. All about me and nothing about that wee creature that I brought earth side. That creature is special. Aiza is so so tiny. She cries a lot because all this is new to her too. We are learning to be parents and she is learning to be our daughter. She comes from my womb where she felt snug and secured, where there were no harsh lights and all she could hear was my body sounds and heart beat. There was no concept of day & night there. She could sleep and get up whenever. She is now out into this big world, where everything is new and big and scary. Hence, she craves that closeness to her mum. She craves for that comforting heart beat. Even though her mum hasn't seen sleep in over 10 days, Aiza would still insist to sleep on her mum so she could feel safe and secure. Mum knows this so she keeps her close. My precious!

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