Like Duck to Water, thats how I have taken to life :). This blog is the saga of love and adventures of a small duck in a large water body called LIFE....

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Eating my own words..

So why go through this lengthy ordeal?
Why withstand the pregnancy pitfall?
Its because a soft warm baby in my arms
Is finally going to be worth it all..

I think these words are going to come back to haunt me again and again for a long time. Now I think when I first wrote the post, many moms who read it would have had indulgent looks on their faces, the same look that my mom has given me most of the time, that says "You think you know everything, just you wait" :-D. On a parallel note, she also has this other look (plus a wicked grin) that says "Now you know what I went through when I had you" :-D. Well, what I mean by this whole paragraph is that having a baby is not easy, but life certainly doesn't get any better after that.

In fact, life changes, does such a 360 degree turn that leaves you wondering whether this is your life or whether you are suddenly living somebody else's or whether you are in a dream(not really a nightmare but not a sweet dream either). The past couple of weeks have been a set of blurry days and nights full of feeding and changing diapers, where I have felt everything from joy to panic, from depression to outright happiness. I had heard from friends about the sleepless nights/the tiredness etc, but I felt the magnitude of it all only after having Snuggles. Yup, I had under-estimated most of it.

Before I had Snuggles, I was given lectures about post-partum depression in my childbirth class as well as later once she was born, exclusively by a nurse. I kinda had laughed it off. I mean, who could be unhappy with a baby around, right? Wrong! Big time wrong! In just 3 weeks, there have been times where I have felt "Is this all to life? The feeding and the changing?", others where "I'm just nothing but a feeding machine" and yet others where I have really gotten angry with Sri and shouted at him/blamed him for everything (after all it was his sperm :-D). I'm not really depressed, but there have been times when I have felt very much down.

Halt! Gross motherhood reality alert! There was this one night when Snuggles in the middle of the night, after screaming her head off for food, after being fed off my wounded breast, after twisting and turning her head around during the feeding and hurting me more, threw up, spit half the milk out and smiled. I bawled (like a baby :-p). It was so damn frustrating. Sri got a mouth full of scoldings just for patting me on my back as if he understood. He kept reminding me that Snuggles didn't know anything and is just a small innocent baby needing to be fed, while I kept saying "I didn't sign up for this". Things only got better when I realized that I couldn't let a 20-day old get the better of me ;-) :-D. But you know what I mean. Motherhood is a series of such frustrations.

I know I'm lucky. My baby wakes up only twice in the night. She doesn't cry unless she needs a feeding. One of my friends has a baby who needed to be fed every 1.5 hours, even in the night! My friend was saying that she was called "ATM" by all her family, "ATM" standing for "All Time Milk" :-D. We were talking over phone, sharing frustrations, giggling and wondering at the romance novels which paint such a rosy picture of motherhood. I really think a girl ought to read a pregnancy/nursing book before she gets married, so that she knows what she's getting into and gets into it with her eyes wide open! I also have this other friend who had twins and I really admire her now. I wonder what she must have gone through, imagine you console one baby when the other gets up and starts bawling! I repeat, I'm lucky I have Snuggles and only Snuggles. But sometimes I can't help being frustrated. Sadly, this is only the beginning.

I'm also lucky that I have a supportive husband and a supportive family who I can talk to anytime. Post-partum depression happens and worsens when there is nobody you can turn to. I wonder how so many single women handle motherhood. It must get lonely and really tiring. But, women manage and so will I. I wanted to jot my feelings down in a post not to discourage women who want to have babies, but as a reminder of how I am feeling right now. They also say if you put it down in words, it feels all the more better. I'm feeling ok now, but I have already heard of nightmares like how the baby will have fever/will cry for hours after vaccinations (we have the first set coming up). I'm sure thats going to start off my tear ducts too :-p. Still, as I say in my profile, the depressing moments make up memories too :).

And its not as if it has all been bad. There have been times when I laughed out loud about the baby being like a little shark, always eating and saying "feed me" :-D. There have been times when a small smile from her (they say that its just 'gas bubbles" and not genuine smiles) has melted my heart. There have been times when I have sang to her and danced with her in my arms, full filmy style ;-) :). There have been other moments where mom shared her memories about me and Darsh and made me smile. The whole motherhood thing has been a great experience so far with its ups and downs.

On an entirely different note, we had a thottilu shaastra (cradle ceremony) for our Snuggles on the 11th day after she was born and here are some of the captured moments.

The first one is Snuggles all dressed up for the ceremony.

Here's her again after being placed in her bassinet.

Snuggles with her parents and her maternal grandparents..

Lastly, this is us :).

Before I forget, today, on the 24th day after she was born, Snuggles's umbilical stump (the part attached to her belly button after the umbilical cord was cut) fell off (they usually are expected to fall off around this time). The final evidence that she came from within me is gone. Its weird, but I feel somewhat sad :-\..


Seetha retorted...

Been there. Done that. Gets better as days pass by and the days do pass by really fast.I have 3 year old boy.

"but I have already heard of nightmares like how the baby will have fever/will cry for hours after vaccinations (we have the first set coming up)."
Most babies do not get a fever. They just get a little cranky which you can pacify with some frequent nursing and holding.
My son has never had a fever in all three years of vaccine schedules.
In fact parents/Babies in India are offered a choice of US vaccines which cost a few rupees more but do not have fever side effects.

The_Girl_From_Ipanema retorted...

Snigdha is such a beautiful name- i refuse to use the nick snuggles for her. :)

Indeed, I guess that is what makes mothers such a special, irreplaceable entity in one's life. Hats off to you. Here's wishing you lot more happy moments and fewer down times.

Archana retorted...

Hats off to you - looks like you are coping quite well for a first time mommy :-)! Nice family pic :-)!

I love reading these posts of yours - keep 'em coming!

Timepass retorted...

Nice pics. the little one looks a lot like her father..

Chickoo retorted...

Snigdha looks very beautiful!! Hubby and I managed ourselves with no help at all and I did go through some depression the first month, eventually it got better. Try to talk to your mom as much as you can, talking helps a lot to cure depression. I would call up India and talk for hours every single day for the next month or so.

Orchid retorted...

hey deepthi,
i am making a quick stop to say hello and catch a peek of beautiful snigdha and dont let that depression get to u....u will feel better more, take plenty of pictures and if mom lets u get out of the house..maybe for a short drive or so with sriram that always helps.

Harish Suryanarayana retorted...

There will always be evidence, as long Snigdha lives, that she came from within you. Its in the genes, literally :) .

Chitra retorted...

First off, hugs! I can see where you are coming from. Wanted to tell you that Snigda is a wonderful name, one of the nicest that I have heard in the recent past.

While motherhood is wonderful for all the realizations and the love that you experience, it has all its pitfalls, and those continue for always. But, the one thing I have gained tremendously from motherhood is this - I have never questioned the purpose to life/living. I just cant afford to question that now and that single thing has been very freeing. Get what I am saying? :)

Hugs again and enjoy! :)

PS: I just feel off of the blog world for a bit, and now that I am back, am doing my usual rounds. :)

Shiv retorted...

Nice name - Snigdha and also Deepthi is one of my favs that I use in my writeups. First time here. Bloghopped and a nice post about motherhood. U actually are scaring me away. But a warm baby is worth it all.

Anonymous retorted...

U make a very pretty mother! :)
And this post of urs is soo much similar to what my cousin says.. she just had a baby and is going through the whole depression thingy, I guess! :)