Postpartum depression might seem like the end of the world but sister, you aren’t the only one! The best of us have faced these blues and that is precisely why we bring Mini Mathur herself, to your rescue. Here is what she has to say on Postpartum anxiety in her own words...
The fall from grace, from being the much pampered princess-in- waiting to fat frumpy, grumpy cat, has got to be the worst downward spiral known to womankind. A kind of reverse MDMA. A dopamine sucker!
So after the initial euphoria of birthing a baby with the perfect number of fingers & toes (how that has been a sign of perfection for centuries fails me. What if it’s an ill-tempered baby with the perfect count of paws), you get home. There is no nurse, no pediatrician, no call bell above the bed. The MIL is attending to neighbors walking in with silver coins, offering them coffee & samosas and the husband is busy taking black & white photos of the baby with his Nikon; very politely cutting you out of the frames. Then he flops on the bed and passes out. Hospitals are testosterone sappers you know.
And you are a plumpy pig with your engorged breasts and delivery ouches who is holding the baby that needs to be fed, burped, cleaned, changed, and rocked to sleep. A far cry from the baby shower queen of last week in the pastel pink, flowy number with lip gloss in the instagram pics!
Let’s not even address the older kid who is insisting you kick a football with him or the heaps of laundry that needs to be soaked in separate hygienic loads by the new help who looks like they misplaced their IQ the moment you entered the house.
A couple of days of this and your hormones plummet down the space mountain. You feel depressed, anxious, angry, unloved, puffy; it’s a big anticlimax! This is not how motherhood is, in all those baby soap ads. You should be fresh and smiley dammit!
Welcome to the baby blues girl! We all got it. But no one factors it in. No worries, here is what you do.
Expect it: I have two kids. I was crushed with post partum depression the first time but sailed through with my second because I was forearmed & prepared. So when I started feeling the pure, unadulterated melancholia and maudlin tears welling up, I loudly announced to myself and the baby – “It’s here! I got it!” It is a big coming out party. Embrace it!
Even though they are generally useless at this stage of baby care, the husband is a handy object here. Of course he will need to be told that he will have to hug the hell out of you. Even the most emotionally defunct ones will drop what they are doing and help once its S.P.E.L.T out to them.
Rely on the sisterhood: If you are lucky enough to have your mom staying with you, leave the socializing to your MIL and use mommy to look after your baby while you take that extra nap or step out for an ice lolly. You can replace mom with a good friend who has been through it as well if she is not the “know it all, sermonizing” kind.
I read a beautiful quote by S.A.R.K “The circles of women around us weave invisible nets of love that carry us when we are weak and sing with us when we are strong”. Use the network! Laugh at your state. You’re screwed. It’s fun.
Don’t judge yourself: The last person to run you down should be you. You are not a nasty mom, for not feeling instantly bonded with your little baby. You are overwhelmed by the responsibility of keeping it alive and well. It’s pretty amazing what you’ve pulled off already. Give yourself a break and don’t feel guilty about two hours of uninterrupted sleep and a hot garlic naan with butter chicken once in a while.
Once the happy hormones return, go back to your salad & quinoa. Use modern comforts like diapers and breast pumps. Cloth nappies are a pain. I know women who have pinned their baby’s foreskin to the nappy with that large safety pin just because they were exhausted. Use diapers for a while if it eases the workload.
Step away from it: It is my way to deal with everything. I compartmentalize the bad vibe and put it away for now. Then I step out and look at what is going on from the outside. You will realize you need to get this part over with and the faster you wear you military fatigues (with the breast flaps open of course!), the faster you will finish the obstacle course.
Go soldier. Its mind over matter!
Nothing lasts forever: You might be feeling like a milk machine but remember your ‘breast friends’ Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Courtney Cox; women who look like they got their shit together have been through baby blues. And have come out richer with the experience. Enough to start blogs, profitable websites and talk at seminars about it! Lie back and let the blues run their course. Ask for medication if you can’t cope. But know that post-partum anxiety will take a back seat soon because life evolves around you and makes it better!
Mini Mathur is a popular TV host, a self professed badass mom of two who loves travel & humour. A grammar Nazi, a culinary enthusiast, a SCUBA diver and a passionate tea brewer.. she loves the funny downside up to parenting.
Source for banner image: Rediff.com
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