It’s has been 5 months since I have given birth to my adorable son, Amenadiel and thought that I write my fair sharing of experiences while threading through the infamous fourth trimester especially as a first time mom. Do note that I will be sharing a very raw and real feelings of mine, which may be different or similar to you or other first time mom.
It’s all feel surreal and amazing until…
Everytime I try to breastfeed, my nipple hurt so bad and my whole body tense while my uterus is contracting painfully to shrink back to its original size. I keep asking myself, why no one told me about this? The breastfeeding pains, the uterus contractions! I read about it but I wasn’t expecting it to be *this painful*. Whenever I try to breastfeed my son, I clamped so hard on my husband’s hand (if he’s around…) or clenches my whole body. Its took me a month to feel better while breastfeeding without the nipples cracks or the contraction of uterus pains.
The infamous 44 days confinement
The husband took a month off from work and helps me during confinement. My mom (bless her heart!) take cares of my food and my bath. At first, I thought that my mom is going to be stricter on me especially on the “no washing hair” part and must wears jackets, stockings all the time etc. Thankfully, she did not. Maybe she somehow knew that I may experiences emotional break down from the strict rules of traditional confinement. So, what did happened during my confinement?
- My mom allowed me to washes my hair a week after my cesarean delivery. I need to wash it during daylight, preferably noon time and make sure to dry it properly using hair dryer.
- I have to wear socks whenever we are out from the house for the clinic appointment or when it is a night time. If it’s too hot, my mom did not force me to wear it.
- I did not do any house chores at all. All I need to do was breastfeed the baby, eat, wash myself and rest (which you know with newborn, you can hardly sleep…). The husband took over the laundry and baby’s bath while my mom helped prepared my food and the herbs bath.
- Fortunately my caesarean scars healed quite well. There is no infections and all seem good. I think it is also due to no heavy routine during my recovery phase.
- I ate a lots of young papaya soup with chicken (or pork meat) to help stimulate my milk production. I was struggling with supply for the first 2 weeks due to baby’s jaundice but it went well afterwards.
- I drink a lots of warm water. Hence, I also peed a lots.
- The first 2 weeks, I had problem with constipation. Luckily by the 3rd week, it went away and my bowel movement is back to normal. Although it will be back if I drank too many Milo lol. I was allowed to drink Coffee after the baby’s jaundice went down and no longer requires us to go back and forth to the clinic.
I am very thankful that I feel supported throughout my confinement and I managed to recuperated well especially my caesarian wounds which healed nicely. However, after confinement, we went back to Labuan and I feel like all hell breaks loose! Why? Let me tell you why(s).
- I have anxiety that now we are alone – me and my husband with our baby; I am not sure if I’m doing thing the “right way”. So, I have a breakdown for every little things. Plus, my son went into a sudden growth spurt where he doesn’t want to sleep unless I’m holding his dear butt out or when I’m near. With the husband went back to work, I can hardly wash myself or even eat. Let alone do any house chores *pfft*
- I HATE PUMPING BECAUSE I NEED TO CLEAN AFTERWARD. So, I’ve decided to direct feed my son to make things less hassle. But its also mean that he will rely on ME ONLY to feed him. But it’s all worth it at the end, I’d swear.
- I thrived on routine and I enjoy having a clean house. However, since I do not have time to clean anymore, my mental health was deteriorating with the space that I am in. My husband still help around with the laundry, that’s how we still have clean clothes for us, the adults and the baby.
- I do not like to be left alone. Day time was fine but if my husband went out for work’s function or out with his buddies, I will have a huge breakdown and ended up resenting my partner more. You know – How could he can still enjoy his life like pre-baby’s BUT mine was changed 360 degrees. So, I hold resentment for months before finally blurting it out recently.
- I NEED HELP but I don’t want to seek help or maybe I don’t know how to ask for helps. *sigh* I do wish I did seeks helps a bit earlier.
- I was an emotional wreckage. There is not a day without me crying bawling my eyes out. This still happened after 5 months, and that is when I know that I need to seek helps. A real help. No worries, I did seek help; in case you are wondering.
Fast forward to 5 months postpartum, I do feel a little bit OK these days. With my siblings here with us, helping me around especially during the Q2 peak season where I have to work my a** off! However, I do worry a lots for future since they are not going to be with us forever as they will return back home by the end of the month. I did express my worries to the husband and he did try to comfort me saying that we can do this etc. So, hopefully *fingers crossed* everything will go well. I guess that’s it for my 4th trimester and postpartum experiences. Sending hugs to all mama(s) who is grateful but still struggling. Motherhood is not easy so please appreciate your wife, your mama friends etc x