The “40 days”
Yes, bubz was finally in my hands! Oh how beautiful was she! I feel this is one of the best feelings and experiences that Allah has blessed women with. It’s filled with such pride. I mean, come on, you have given birth to a whole new life here. A whole new person! Men would never understand how it really feels.Believe it when they say that the minute you see your baby you forget every pain. But just for a while There is no prescribed course to become acclimated to your new life with baby but that doesn’t mean family and friends won’t try and tell you what to do.
Get back to exercising in six weeks.
Start walking right away.
Go on date nights with your husband.
Make time for yourself.
Sleep when the baby is sleeping.
The well-meant advises are ceaseless. But in reality, I was fully exhausted and had to slowly figure out this new world I was going to start living in. It was like being dumped in a swamp and being asked to run fast. Very fast. At first, I just couldn’t do it, but eventually, I realized that I was required to learn how to care for this new little one, asap. I wanted to be an amazing mom and I want to give my little baby an amazing life but one step at a time. First I needed to figure out how to give her an amazing day or, at the very least, an amazingly clean diaper.
My mother has stood by me like a pillar of strength, absorbing all my tantrums, whining, anger, fears and pain. I hadn’t felt so close with her before becoming a mom myself. She has truly watched me through thick and thin. I recall snapping at her in between my labor which I regret till this day. Albeit, she had ignored my tart words at the time and instead helped me to calm down. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to match up to her kindness.
The initial 40 days after giving birth is a crucial and meticulous phenomena in every household, particularly in Asia. It involves a lot of preparations in terms of what a new mom should or should not eat; the arrangements for maalish or massages given to the newborn and the mummy; and if u have a grandma around then be sure to consume the most filthy tasting desi medicines for all the reasons that only they understand (Do let me know if you would like to know about the desi potions that our ancestors swear by) Changing tracks, after the delivery in the hospital, they shifted me back to the pre-labor room and kept me waiting all by myself for 4 hours. I was mega excited to see my baby post all the labor room trauma and could hardly wait to meet my baby and finally show my victory face to my family. so, when I got to hold my baby in my arms, I was overwhelmed with mixed feelings. I couldn’t believe that I had given birth to that little miracle. I felt slightly dazed but it wasn’t unpleasant.
It sunk in, now more than ever, that this li’l bundle of joy had placed a huge responsibility on my shoulders. That tiny thing came with sleepless nights, huge packages of diapers, wet wipes , feeding issues, tests, fever, potty issues, the initial vaccinations and of course, as people around often forget, that the mother still suffers from excruciating pains that she has to deal with.
The first three days in the hospital were very difficult as I was not lactating enough to suffice my baby’s tiny little stomach. It was heartbreaking to see my baby cry for food while I was helpless and watched her getting fed on the formula milk which also didn’t suit her as she kept throwing up. The same night my mum and I firmly decided not to feed her formula milk but to keep trying to breastfeed. Relief washed over us when she finally suckled after I went through engorgement issues and aches.
It’s extraordinary how sleepoholics like us, who wouldn’t wake up to the loudest of noises around (which my mother would intentionally make!) could now be wide awake to the tiniest of wails or shifts that the baby makes. It’s conclusive – Motherhood cannot be taught. Instead, it builds in you little by little from the day you discover that you have finally baked a bun in your oven!
As mentioned previously, M couldn’t make it the same day or even the next day as it had all taken place impromptu. Also, he had work commitments. My in-laws and M came on the third day after the baby was born and I hadn’t ever been as excited as I was to see his reaction on seeing bubz. That father-daughter moment was priceless.
After the hustle bustle of guests was over, we managed to escape the hospital errands and returned home along with a new addition to our family. And as expected, the usual chores commenced – the maalish and bathing activities, feeding, sleeping issues and burping (I mean who would have thought a simple act like that can create anxiety!)
And, not to forget, all the pain that was driving me crazy! There was nothing I could do about it, it was like sitting on a bed of cactus every time I thought of giving my legs a little rest. Yikes! Usually babies sleep for long hours but the doctor had advised to feed bubz after every two hours. However, she had to catch up on all the sleep that was ruined by early birth
I missed going out for random coffees and rides at the time. I could see M enjoying his visit to Pune, although he did mention that the city wasn’t the same without me (I’m assuming he meant it). It’s quite natural to feel that the span of 40 days is too long. You may want to get out of the house before that. Or you may find the dos and don’ts, that this period comes with, too restrictive. Cumulatively, these days build a strong foundation for the days to come, in terms of mental, emotional and physical strength.
In the end, do give yourself much time and a bit of advice from a FTM . Also, do all that your mum advises you to. It really helps, I can’t stress that enough.
Until next time