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Friday, August 2, 2013

Post Partum Depression aka Baliw-baliwan after manganak

I never thought I'd have Post Partum Depression for one simple reason: Reese was, is, and always will be the greatest blessing that God has given us as a couple. Before getting pregnant, I actually feared that I might never bear a child. My weight then was borderline obese and there were months when my period would skip- when there's too much stress or a major change that happened. My OB actually asked me to lose weight to increase my chances of getting pregnant and after five months, Reese came into our lives.

Even while it was happening, it was hard to admit that I was depressed. However, when it came to a point when I refused to talk to my husband and I cried every time I got up to feed Reese at night, I had to admit that I needed help, or at the very least, needed to let somebody know before it got out of control.Basically, there were three categories that caused my depression: Taking Care of Reese, My Husband, and My Support Group

1. Taking Care of Reese
One of the hardest The hardest thing about taking care of Reese was getting up despite the fact that I was so sleepy. Before pregnancy, my body wanted at least 7 hours of sleep and so if I sleep for less than 6 hours, I consider myself puyat. In the final stretch of my pregnancy, however, sleep was very elusive and of course, it did not improve after giving birth because I had to take care of a growing baby. There were days when I was so groggy that I'd stare at his milk for seconds as if I am unsure what to do. Also, my cs incision still hurt up until 7 weeks after I gave birth and there were days when I wished somebody would take my place, where there is a magical place where we can leave kids ala package counter if we wish to since I was also recovering from the operation.

Somebody turns very very red when milk gets delayed. :P
2. My Husband
Though others may deny it, marriage involves a love and hate relationship and in those times when I was feeling down, it was more so than ever. I felt like my husband was going into extremes- there were days when I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs because I felt like he had no idea what I was going through and there were days when he was overprotective (and he didnt need to) and annoying. In the first few weeks, I was the only one who got up at night and I was angry and hurt emotionally. I felt like it wasnt fair since we are both parents and it was even harder for me since I just went through the operation. I also feared that the same set up would continue once I work again and I thought it was unacceptable- I work just as hard and we should share the workload and hardship of getting up at night. My self esteem was also at an all time low- I was never slim and since a few pounds added up to my already heavy body, I feared that he'll be unfaithful and I suspected everybody and I mean everybody- from our son's yaya to other people we know to random people I see on his Facebook account.

3. My Support Group
Let's define my support group as my family, my relatives, in-laws, my friends and acquaintances who interact with me after becoming a mom. To wrap it up, I felt like each person was a nosy, know-it-all, annoying, insensitive person who didnt understand what I was going through. I felt like they asked too many questions that I wasnt willing to answer. However, there were also instances when I felt like they were being insensitive and should give me more credit for what I went through. I felt like they gave too much advice- some of which I agreed with and some which I didnt. I felt like they were judging me for my choices as a mother.  

Which brings me to my next point... How did I overcome 'em all? All the craziness, paranoia and negative emotions?

1. I had to accept what I was going through and that I needed to discuss it with someone-either my husband or my mom. 
One Friday afternoon, I finally burst into tears after not talking to my husband all day. I think he never fully understood what I felt and just said "Huwag kana kasi masyado mag-isip" but just letting it all out was enough to make me feel loads better. Since then, he also shared the task of getting up at night and though he still leaves up the task of changing dirty nappies to me, it was loads better than having to do everything by myself.

2. I had to remind myself that it was still the hormones talking
All the craziness of pregnancy- higher blood pressure, extreme swelling, being too emotionally sensitive and unstable didnt subside until the 4th week after I gave birth. I gave birth on the 38th week so technically it was two weeks after my due date that my body started to realize that the hormones- and all the craziness that came with it should go away. I literally felt loads lighter emotionally when it happened and it was amazing.
I feel loads lighter after coming to terms with myself. Motherhood is fun!

3. I had to be kinder to myself.
Honestly, half most of the things that brought me stress post partum were caused by my paranoia and over thinking. I had to remember that though I had to take care of Reese, I had needs of my own that I needed to address. I had to remember that the people around me only had the best intentions in whatever they said. I had to remember that my husband married me because he loved me and it would take more than a few extra pounds and a cs scar to change his mind.
Eight Years and Twenty Pounds Later since we became a couple, We're happy parents to a chubby baby boy ('',)

Lastly, taking loads of pictures of Reese was fun...and made spending time with him extra special.It felt like if I blinked, he'd grow a full centimeter and I'd miss it. :D
Hard to believe that these are pictures of the same boy
Left: Reese at 2 weeks and Right: Reese at 10 weeks
Until the next thought bubble comes to life. Tah-tuh!

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