I have been trying to write for the past month. Dissatisfied with whatever I penned down, I realised there is nothing that can describe what I feel at the moment. Every day I would think, “let me type something, something that would describe my emotions”; but each day is a new day. New feelings, new things, new topics to learn. In the midst of this how this little boy is growing up is unbelievable.
The crazy life of motherhood has finally dawned upon me! Ironically, a wonderfully weird feeling is what I have. It is something no mother or parent can describe for I haven’t loved anyone like I love this little boy. This love overpowers any other love that I’ve ever had for anyone. Apologies to past boyfriends, husband and even parents coz’ this is something else altogether. He came, with a little difficultly, enamoured everyone around and now sits collecting love from one and all. And why not? First of many and undivided attention from all.
Undivided attention and more- it gets too much sometimes. For quite a while I felt that everyone was obsessing over him, so was I. I am a possessive mother and probably will be. I wanted him to be around me every second of the clock. There were those kind of days as well when I would just sit and stare at him, teary-eyed and think, “what the hell what I thinking? I could’ve waited for a little longer”. Thoughts like these are normal I guess. The initial days are blurry with the highest and lowest of emotions I have ever experienced. This was Month 1 and I felt as if I knew it all. However, I still get crazed out when I get 10 different notions on the same subject.
But you know every mother and child is different. What suited you may not suit me and vice versa. The journey of motherhood is for you and your baby. Discover, falter and you will learn. Every mother does and that is what makes it so beautiful. On the way you will develop a sixth sense that will tell you what the baby wants at different hours of the day. In the first two-three days that I was back from hospital, I had major issues with breastfeeding (by the way, breastfeeding can become a matter of concern with mums who underwent caesarean surgeries). I was one of them and Arhaan, my son, was losing weight (note, he was born underweight). I was the culprit, wasn’t I? I felt it so. Guilty as charged. In hindsight, the fault is no ones. But I did fret over it for we take it as our sole duty to feed our children, provide them with the best nourishment. It has not worked the way I had planned it in my head- breastfeed for atleast six months, lose weight (as apparently breastfeeding makes you get back to shape), and freeze any excess that I could produce, blah blah. I have friends who were lucky to be able to follow this step by step. With all hearsay and the confidence that I had in myself, I had bought the milk freezing packs which obviously I had to return. No such luck here!
So we had to turn to formula milk which my baby loves. But hey, there is nothing wrong with this alternative. So many grew up taking this option in hand. Don’t let this feeling defeat your strength and take the essence of motherhood out of you. The problem becomes when breastfeeding becomes a chore and you can’t wait to get past the crucial 6 weeks to get out of it. Go with the flow, obviously giving feeding from the breast priority. However, do not forget that there is a second option to turn to. It is absolutely okay to do so. A new mother’s peace of mind is of utmost importance. I can say this as it whacked me out emotionally till good guidance calmed my nerves down, only for the better. Slowly but surely, pace picks up and you can always come back to breastfeeding when you can comfortably.
But you know what crazed me out further? One question that people take the liberty to ask- “Are you breastfeeding? I hope you are”, or “Try this food, or that laddoo, or this seed or that leaves”. Literally, a milking cow is what I felt like; chewing on some leafy greens only to produce ‘the milk’. I didn’t take this very well. Especially when I was not able to breastfeed the way a mother is supposed to. I don’t see why someone needs to push themselves into a space that I’ve made quite comfortable for both my baby and me. Women new to motherhood need someone to lend a soothing ear and words so they don’t feel lost in the process. Women, on one another, can become very overbearing at times. With such vicissitudes raging in a woman, peer pressure can act catalyst to onset of post natal depression. Be careful in how you deal with a new mum. I was on the brink of turning into a witchier witch. Turning towards a hands-on mother in law, caring mother and supportive husband helped.
Month 2: And so my baby is not exclusively breastfed, but is breastfed. So peace was established here. I am calmer, we are in a routine* and he’s growing up quickly right in front of my eyes. Because there were a lot of people around me, post natal depression was best avoided. Keep family and friends close and don’t shy away from asking for help. Having your own mother around, there couldn’t be anything better than that. Fortunately, I had that luxury. No complains there. A new chapter in life has just begun and (touching all wood around me) it’s safe to say that I’m enjoying being a mother. For now, aim is to lose weight, get back to work, see Arhaan grow and exchange unconditional love! I have found a new best friend who responds to me in his own language (funny enough, I think I can understand what he says). He recognises me and I can see the love right there. We’re keeping up with each other and the madness awaits!
Aastha K S