Peace Be Upon You
Before you continue reading this post, let’s catch up with the first two posts in the trilogy of Isa’s birth:
They say life is full of surprises. So let’s start off with the not-so-nice surprises that followed the afterbirth: the hormones, the recovery, the loneliness and isolation.
t h e HORMONES.
// you go from carrying a baby one minute, to becoming an empty vessel the next. All those hormones you used to help nurture and grow your baby is left in your system floating all over the place – you are all over the place. One minute you’re hyper, the next minute you’re sad and utterly depressed.
Ultimately, I blamed my hormones for everything, it provided me with some form of relief and comfort to “just get over myself” and “get on with it”. It helped rationalise everything, knowing the over-reaction isn’t just all me and that there was some form of chemical imbalance 😛
t h e RECOVERY.
// you hear about all these wonderful birth stories and they make it sound as if it wasn’t that hard or painful – well they make it appear that way. But for me, it felt far from the truth. It doesn’t help when you have social media sharing glossy, near perfect images of their afterbirth. I know that social media is a reel of our lives, hence why I think it’s important to have a social detox during this period; focus on the now and being with your baby – learning and recovering.
I had a c-section, recovery was not what I imagined. In all honesty, I didn’t think or plan my recovery in detail – it was definitely an oversight, which was such a big mistake! Please be your future friend and plan, if not prep for your recovery; from visitors, to stockpiling and prepping food!
When it’s your first born and your first experience into motherhood, recovery from a c-section is very difficult to handle, especially if you don’t have additional hands on deck to help, because a) you don’t know what you’re doing and b) you’re constantly up and active with minimal sleep – which in turn I think led to the failure of my breastfeeding attempts. Going back, I would decline ALL visitors who just wanted to visit and see out of curiosity and keep them pending until further notice, however, I will welcome honest help.
Help in the form of time. Friends and family who know their way around my place without feeling uncomfortable and who can offer their time, so I can take in the moment, bathe, sleep, cook, eat, relax or have 10 minutes to myself. The last thing I want to do was overly socialise, entertain guests and host – I appreciate the sentiment and love they offer but during this recovery phase, focus your efforts elsewhere and recover!
t h e LONELINESS AND ISOLATION.
// I didn’t have the option of having a family member come round to stay or help, I had zero help with a newborn and no supervision or family guidance in breastfeeding, which made the ordeal terrible. Ultimately, I felt like a failure as a human, female and mother – a being that could not feed her baby. It’s something that you beat yourself over as you assume it’s a natural motion, however, it wasn’t as easy as it seemed.
Due to issues of their own, my family made my pregnancy experience difficult and unenjoyable, so to some extent I cut them out for awhile so I can focus on my studies, work, safe pregnancy and delivery. But it was after birth where I cried the most, this was so unexpected. That was the time I needed them the most. Bless my OH, he was amazing throughout, no faults or complaints about him, he’s a soldier. But sometimes you just wanted that maternal help, that comfort and guidance and I feel like that’s were I missed out and struggled to get on with things.
I understand why they weren’t there and I couldn’t have been more upset – and the sad thing is I didn’t reach out or ask for help, I felt like I couldn’t – given the circumstance. I just felt alone through my pregnancy, no support, no maternal advice – the excitement wasn’t there. Even when I finally did get an ounce of excitement, the moment was quickly snatched.
My advice to new mothers-to-be, who cannot get this maternal help, is to join mum-related forums and groups. So many advice, assistance and guidance can be found under one page, it’s a godsend.
Despite all of the negative aspects I share on motherhood, all the joys it brings along definitely trumps the bad. I guess I don’t share a lot of the happy and merry moments, purely because I don’t want to give nazr (evil eye) on what’s going good already, Alhamdulilah for everything. Motherhood is all about adjustment and compromise. I feel like when the crunch-time comes, as female human beings, our innate instincts guide us through the journey.
The loveliest of all surprises is seeing your little one grow and learn, start calling you mama and those little random just because cuddles and kisses – nothing beats those moments.
Overall, motherhood is the biggest life lesson and surprise. It teaches you to respect your own mom and reminds you of the sacrifices they had taken to raise you. It also spurs you to be better and raise confident, respectful, well-mannered little humans, to love and co-exist peacefully.
With that said, here’s where I finish off the final surprise:
I hope you all enjoyed this lengthy and delayed post (sorry, took me some time to edit!) and feel free to follow and subscribe, well because it’s free!
Until my next post xoxo