Postpartum: Painful yet delightful - GulfToday

Postpartum: Painful yet delightful

baby mother hug 1

The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

Pavithra Ramesh

Motherhood is a blissful experience any woman wants to live. With its beauty, it brings along a responsibility that could weigh heavy on the hearts of new mothers of the current generation. I have become a mother at 26 and how life has changed is unbelievable. While I had a very healthy pregnancy, I tested positive for Covid right on the day of my delivery. I built the courage to deliver my baby boy naturally but what took me to utter shock was my postpartum journey. It gave my body a mental and physical hit, something I least expected.

The smile on the face of the baby could light up my world but the sleepless nights and my tired body was screaming for help. The sleeplessness eventually led to a rollercoaster of emotions, a lack of clarity in my thoughts, and a drastic impact on my health.

While I was facing a completely new dimension of my life, I felt lost. Though holding my child made me very happy, I knew I was not feeling normal. I did not know if I was going through postpartum depression.

I was scared of everything, especially as my baby tested positive for Covid as well. I was not allowed to feed the baby for the first two days as he was under observation in the NICU. The feeling of not being able to hold the baby for two days after the long wait was pathetic.

Eventually, when the reports came normal, I had to feed him with a mask on. Breastfeeding by itself was a new experience, but I was advised to maintain some distance from my baby for at least a week.

It was a struggle to get the baby to latch and for a week I was not able to breastfeed my baby. He would wake up multiple times while we would feed him powdered milk.

This phase was challenging, but I knew there is no better feeling than that of being a mother. The selflessness, the sacrifice, and the unconditional love just comes naturally for your child.

But what about the lingering restlessness that I felt? Postpartum depression is not a flaw in a character. Not all mothers are best at handling the changes a baby brings along. There is a lot of anxiety, and mood swings mixed with a fear that doubts if you would be a good mother.

The real test is to not lose yourself. At a time when you are trying to take on a role you are not trained for, the energy demanded could be draining.

At this point, I knew I had to get back to doing something productive to keep my mind in the right place. As a published author, I had already worked on my second book. This was the time I knew I should use for publishing my book. I had to make sure that I had started taking steps to get back to normal.

I published my second book as a kindle e-book especially understanding the relevance of e-books with the pandemic phase. It is a fiction novel with a blend of Romance, Friendship, and Revenge. I felt great that during the phase when I felt unsure and insecure about myself, I took a step to rediscover myself. I was widely appreciated for my second book.

My major source of support was my family. I spoke to other new mothers and understood their journey. One very important aspect we need to take into consideration is the impact of the pandemic on the minds and hearts of new mothers. The whole pregnancy and postpartum journey have taken a completely new dimension with the restrictions and distancing.

All I knew was instead of waiting to heal, I should move toward healing. On Women’s Day, I was invited as a chief guest to speak for my college. While I spoke to the girls, it made me realise I am much more than what I have been experiencing.

I just want to reach out to all my fellow mothers to let them know that it’s fine to be vulnerable. I had to overcome the problems myself. Women are now strong and independent; we know to take our own decisions and do not shy away from being ourselves. As a mother, the kind of bodily and emotional changes we go through is indescribable.
Be so confident in your being that they cannot tarnish what you have. Do your job, be a role model to your kid and be happy. When peace is the goal, you would eventually come to terms with yourself and achieve more than you could imagine.

The amount of strength a woman has is unbelievable. A mother is an all-rounder, after all, we strive to set the best example for our little ones. I know how I fell during my low times, but I also know only I could lift myself again. Give yourself that chance and you would experience nothing but happiness.

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