A little over a month ago, I gave birth to our dear JB. I have been meaning to give birth especially during the latter part of my pregnancy because of all the discomforts of a bulging tummy. I was telling myself that life would probably be easier when I’ve given birth already. Little did I know that my complaints before are nowhere near to what I will go through after I give birth.
My pregnancy was relatively easy. Delivery day wasn’t as traumatic as I thought it would be. Everything was well within what we hoped for (i.e. I had a normal delivery to our healthy baby boy). The hospital was a happy place for me as friends and family visited everyday. Everybody was happy for J and I. J proved to be the responsible husband and new father as he took care of everything and took good care of me when I can’t even lift myself up from the bed. I went home 2 days after giving birth while JB was left in the hospital to recuperate. On his 4th day, we were finally able to bring him home…and things started to get tough for me from then on.
The every 2-hour feedings, diaper changing, sleepless nights and figuring out what this little one needs took its toll on me. I would find myself crying for a lot of different reasons. That I will be all alone in taking care of JB when J goes back to camp, that I can never travel again without worrying how my baby is doing, that I will never be the spontaneous girl I was before. I feel like I was losing my identity from the overwhelming responsibility of motherhood. You see, I was never the domesticated type. And I thought that when our baby comes out, it would bring out the homemaker in me. But it didn’t.
There was a time, I was nursing JB and my mind was tracing my steps as to how I was led into this situation. Why with just one wrong decision, I now have to give up my comfortable life before. I felt guilty. To even think this way when this baby is a blessing to us. When a lot of people are praying for their own child and I can’t even appreciate mine. I was afraid to admit it at first until I got tired pretending… loving JB didn’t come easy for me. I was feeling more of a prisoner than that of a mother. Our room seemed more like jail to me and JB as the big ball and chain on my feet. I am blaming baby powder and diaper commercials for my high expectations.
I hit rock bottom when JB had one week of crying fits from 12MN to 5am. On the 7th night, I was feeling dizzy and out of breath. As if I was drowning. It was probably combination of fatigue, lack of sleep and my extreme sadness that bottomed me out. As I searched the net the following day, “depression” found a whole new meaning for me. Except for the “thoughts of harming the baby and oneself” and “has suicidal tendencies”, I pretty much have all the symptoms of post partum depression (PPD). I learned that what I had on the 7th night was a case of panic attack.
With the newfound knowledge of my symptoms, days that followed aren’t exactly easy but at least I have a clearer understanding of what I’m going through and whenever I sense a panic attack on its way, I take necessary actions to somehow get me through it.
THE ROAD TO HEALING
I don’t know if it was the first time that I went out of the house and was away for a couple of hours with a friend or when one morning, JB was staring at me and suddenly gave me a big smile that I started to feel good again. I realized there were less difficult days and I regained the energy I lost during the first month. I was getting to know JB more. He is no longer the unsettled, unresponsive, cranky little man.
My medical condition needed medical attention, but my therapy was way way better than any psychologist could give me. I have a very strong support system from my family and my friends. Every time I’d start feeling low again, there’s always somebody whom I can talk to about my emotions. Close friends visited the house every so often which helped a lot in my recovery. According to my research, little alone time should be spent when dealing with PPD.
There are still difficult days but I take comfort in knowing that it will also end. I’ve come to realize that having JB is not a roadblock for me to do the things I enjoy and to reach for my dreams. He is now my inspiration to achieve more in my life. I can still travel and continue with my adventures. It will actually be more exciting now since I have my baby with me to experience it. Mala-Dyan Castillejo ang drama ko nito. =)
When I look at my baby now, I no longer feel trapped. My love for him finally came and I can now truly say that I’m enjoying motherhood...every moment of it. =)