I Love My Baby Dearly, But My First Few Days As A New Mom Were A Nightmare For 9 Reasons

Posted: February 16, 2019

As a new mother, only my mom was my support, no-one else. Even my feelings were invalidated, almost making me invisible as a person. 

This may sound weird to you coming from a new mom. But “Why are these guys happy?” was my first thought when I looked at the happy faces of my family outside the operation theatre after my delivery.

After what I had gone through in the labour room, I didn’t see any reason to be happy, in spite of the fact that I just had a baby.

I wasn’t prepared, neither for the pregnancy, nor for the delivery

I got pregnant immediately after my marriage. It wasn’t planned, I wasn’t prepared. It took me months just to digest the fact that I was carrying.

On came a series of issues like dependency on others, bodily changes, health issues, lifestyle changes, lack of confidence in playing this new role, empathy from everyone including strangers etc. By the time I managed all these, I was already in the labour room.

After 12 hours of intense labour, my obstetrician thought it best to go ahead with C-section. And hence, I entered into the labour room but came out of the operation theatre.

And the answer to my initial question came after a month, when I came back to my original self after I overcame the baby blues. As the name suggests, baby blues is the sad feeling that takes over the new mother after the birth of the baby.

The antidote for it is family support, which I didn’t get

And the support I got was:

A husband asking me in the labor room, like a parent to a child in his classroom, “Is anyone else around screaming?”

A father-in-law who was in extreme distress because it was going to be a caesarian.

A mother-in-law who expected me to waltz out of the ICU, because someone else did.

A close relative who suggested epidural is of no good.

Amid many such bitter scenes, I found very little solace, that too in tears. My single mom was my only pillar to lean on. My blues went up and up before subsiding only after almost a month.

The reasons being:

One: “She couldn’t do it”

With family and friends dropping in to see the newly born, (yes, newly born and not me), a basic intro of “She couldn’t do it” about not having a ‘normal’ delivery was given.

There was no acknowledgement of the pain and trauma I have been through, instead, it was invalidated, nay nullified to ‘today’s girls’. I felt worthless.

Two: Free advice

Anything from taking care of the baby to my own food habits to improve breast milk, everyone had a advice ready with them. Well, not one was coinciding with others. I was confused.

Three: Lack of family support

You might have already got a glimpse of the support I received from my in-laws. And almost similar, mostly advice, was the support from my maternal end. Only my mother was running pillar to post to manage everything.

Poor mom, she did much more than her capacity taking care of my baby and me. I felt alone and helpless.

Four: Illogical superstitions

The initial days were an absolute nightmare! While some said do this, others said something else altogether. No one had any logical explanation for any of this advice;. no doctor had ever suggested them.

I was forced into following these. I blindly obliged.

Five: Loss of mental strength

I used the phrase ‘There’s no turning back’ earlier in my life with an enthusiastic attitude that suggested, ‘This should be done, NOW!’ But now the same phrase shows a loss of confidence, like ‘I am stuck, I have no option but to do this’.

I felt hopeless.

Six: I don’t exist for them; I’m just the mom

It’s all about the baby now. I am expected to eat, sleep, dress, travel, work as per the convenience of my baby without even considering my comfort. It appears as though my mere existence is just for the baby.

I love my baby more than anything in this world, but I love myself too. Seems, it is not the case with others. I felt unimportant.

Seven: Bodily changes

Everyone wanted a slim mother and a chubby baby. Their former expectation was met, as I dropped many kgs after my delivery. But my body is not the same, and I am overwhelmed by these changes. I am not the same.

Coming to the latter, they weren’t content, though the baby is healthy.

Eight: The expectation of a ‘motherly instinct’

I somehow believed that I was not being a mother good enough, a symptom of postpartum depression. No one ever said, “You’re doing your best”, which made me feel worse about it. My role as a mother felt more than a burden. I felt guilty.

Nine: Branded selfish for thinking about my career

Now that I am a mother, my career is at question, because the full responsibility of my baby is put on me. I understand that she is dependent on me initially, but later I would want to continue in my profession. For this thought, I was branded selfish.

How I coped with it

This post might seem negative, but I have gone through all that. And my blues go down just at the sight of the beautiful baby in my arms. It took me more than one month to be my usual self, and in the process of coping I have done /understood the following:

  • Read about child care so that every small thing won’t alarm me.
  • Involved my husband in the activities related to child care.
  • Had minimal expectations. If I am responsible, that means something is under my control and supervision. So, all the decisions are mine.
  • Though no one can replace my role, others in the family will eventually try to fill in some gaps. With love, grows responsibility.
  • I followed the suggestions of my pediatrician and of other parents. And sometimes I myself judged the situation well.
  • With time, my health recovered. Hence, I am able to manage stuff better than earlier.

Now, my baby is 5 months old and I feel stronger than ever. I am a freelancer and planning to take on a full-time work-from-home job soon.

Image source: maxpixel

Liked this post?

Register at Women's Web to get our weekly mailer and never miss out on our events, contests & best reads! Or - get a couple of really cool reads on your phone every day - click here to send us a Whatsapp message.

Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views. Individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times. If you have a complementary or differing point of view, you can request to be a Women's Web contributor too!

I am an egalitarian and strive to see it around me as much as possible.

Learn More

What People Ask Single Moms In India?

Comments

Share your thoughts! [Be civil. No personal attacks. Longer comment policy in our footer!]

NOVEMBER's Best New Books by Women Authors!

Get our weekly mailer and never miss out on the best reads by and about women!

Are you #BreakingBarriers?