So, here I am... 9 days after my little ones birth exclusively breastfeeding - proud that I got off to a rough but overall OK start. I did get sore and bleeding nipples for a day or two and my body still hurts from finding the right position all the time and constantly teaching Santi to latch properly every 2 hours! Despite all that, I am pleased to be lactating to feed my son unlike other mums who have not gotten their milk supply on-the-go.
To my surprise, something strange happened yesterday--- during one of Santi's late afternoon feeds, I started feeling a range of different strong emotions at the peak of my milk letdown. I felt raw, vulnerable and lonely. I could not figure out exactly why that was happening esp since breastfeeding is supposed to elicit good vibes, right?! Last night right before sleeping, tears started pouring out. I thought to myself ' this can't be post-partum depression...I don't feel detached from my child..I adore him completely'.
What I am feeling may be a mild sort of postpartum depression which some mums go through. Bothered about my tears last night, I spoke to some of my friends who recently gave birth to ask about these feelings - they all say it's normal and had similar feelings as well. I also did some soul searching and re-read a prayer from a book given to me: Miracle In My Arms, Prayers for A New Mother. Here's what nailed it for me:
These first postpartum days have been so hard on me Lord. I'm tired, I'm wear, I'm weepy.I am not the religious type and would rather much think of myself as spiritual but this prayer, this book speaks to me, triggers that AHA moment of truth.
I hurt in both body & spirit.
During this first week with our new baby,
I feel like I am in need of babying too.
I wish someone would gather me up in his or her arms and dry my tears...
Some of the sadness I'm feeling this week
is due, I believe, to grieving
When I gave birth,
the final flickerings of my own childhood died out,
and I'm mourning for that loss, Lord.
My mother can never cradle me in her arms
and comfort me when I'm sad, mad or hurt
the way she did when I was a tiny girl
It's my turn now to do that for my baby;
I'm the parent now.
Giving birth is a form of dying. Someone or something in you dies to give birth to a new life. There are things that I will forever leave in the past. May I learn to let go and embrace this new life ahead of me.