The before and after of pregnancy
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It has been almost half a year since the last post. Most of the time I do ponder the existence of this website, better to close it than continuing to use up my time in writing some nonsensical stuff to post. Then again, I setup this website up before I gave birth and just after I started my maternity leave. So within a span of 5 weeks, thinking I had so much time, I might as well make some use in creating something I always thought I wanted to do. As reality sets in, i.e., giving birth. There is no more luxury of time in writing or creating anything online. Life just evolves everything about your baby, breast, baby and the baby. After 6 months hiatus, I thought I could pen down what I felt the before and after of pregnancy. As many mothers sharing would say, all experiences are different for each and everyone. Well, that’s true, but generally, it’s the ‘same same’ but ‘different different’ situation (very Singlish expression #lol).
Being pregnant and being congratulated by the news of pregnancy sounds like the beginning of a wonderful new chapter of life. The wondrous feeling probably last for 10 months and deteriorate soon after the real baby comes out of you.
Do not mistaken me, I love my baby and still as amaze by myself to be able to give birth to a baby girl. It is the reality that sets in, which picture a totally a different story to what one could imagine before giving birth.
Our brain provide us with information which we had already experience. For a first-timer in giving birth, the brain does not provide the actual information of what to expect from a newborn. Pregnancy is a time when we imagine how ‘wonderful’ and ‘lovely’ to be able to meet the baby. However, it filters out everything we ought to know – the reality of new parenthood. Your life is everything to the baby, and your responsibility to raise a child.
Before giving birth, the obvious goal was to be able to meet the baby.
The “honeymoon” period was valid for a week (the period which I stayed in the hospital), where the nurses are all so kind and helpful in taking care of your baby while you are recuperating from a birth labour pain. Your belly was saggy, vagina was loose, but that was ok, no one was there to judge you as all the mums out there were basically in the same situation.
After discharging from the hospital, you realized nothing is more tough than taking care of a fragile, petite human being. When you have to look over 24/7, feeding her 8-10 times per day. Feeding the baby may sound so simple, I was so wrong, the hardest part was in fact breastfeeding.
Latching a baby was seriously beyond my imagination that it could be so tough. While you latch correctly to feed the baby, you start to panic how do I actually remove her from drinking? I need her to drink the other side of the boobs too. While panicking about this, I had to look at the timer to check how long had she drank. Oh, 5 minutes has passed.. Should I change side? No, it was too troublesome, maybe I should wait till 10 minutes.. Ok, time is up, can I remove her mouth from my boobs with success? Ok, here goes!
The first 1.5 months, feeding the baby was the most stressful thing I had experienced in my life. But I could guarantee once we passed the threshold, breastfeeding is no longer stressful anymore. To imagine talking about enjoying skinship with the baby and all, it was all BS.
As months passed by, you could relax and look at your baby with loving eyes.. However, that was unimaginable in the beginning.
I felt very lucky to have a supportive husband during my post pregnancy blues. He found a very nice and supportive lactation consultant (in Japan, we called them ‘jyousanshi’). She even came over to our house at a very reasonable rate, and taught us the technique and position of feeding the baby. She also gave me breast massage as my breasts were just so full and painful, cold cabbage and nipple cream were my best friends.
Now, breastfeeding is pretty enjoyable, the feeds for baby is no longer as frequent. Currently 5-6 feeds per day. And it just make you so hungry, and eating what you like (of course with a balance meal is important). Of course, enjoying my dessert as part of rewarding for ‘working’ another day. And the other merit, not gaining weight (for some even losing weight) even eating so much after meal.
Anyway, if only someone had told me earlier that breastfeeding is tough. But to be honest, it is only the experience will one understands about this whole thing about pregnancy, giving birth and breastfeeding.
It is after all, a miracle to see a baby is created within you and now growing up so fast. It is just unbelievable. The journey definitely differs for everyone. It is not an easy journey, but it is definitely a rewarding one to see your baby grows.
All images credit from Pinterest