Posted in Editorials

Postpartum- How I Turned The Blues Into Joys

It’s been over a month since I brought my beautiful daughter into the world and words can’t express how amazing this journey has been beginning from the time I found out I was pregnant all the way to present, post pregnancy. Creating life is a true test to one’s spirit, mind and soul and I’ve found inspiration is hidden in all corners of the world and its up to each individual to find it, embrace it and live it. Believe it or not, I’m not experiencing any “postpartum blues,” but yet, I’m overcome with postpartum joy! Well, I can’t say I haven’t gotten bored in the house at times, but that’s where hobbies like writing this article comes in.

During my pregnancy, like so many first time moms, I was constantly adapting to my new skin and evolving changes and sought advice from reliable articles, blogs and books. During my reading sessions, I have to say I was not looking forward to what many were referring to as the “postpartum blues or state of depression.” To be honest, it was a little unnerving to think that’s what I had to look forward to after 9 months of waddling, bruised ribs, food aversions and hourly pee breaks.  Though the valuable insight is a sure way to prepare women for what may happen after birth, I think many of these articles forget to mention how delightful the whole experience really is. I’m so happy that I’m so focused on my postppartum joys that the blues don’t even exist!

Caring, cuddling and cooing have all become a divine pastime for me. Some days I lay beside this little life I created and gaze into her big bright eyes thinking about all the incredible memories we are going to make together and all the places her father and I will take her. What a masterpiece she is delicately formed and carved to be a rare gem that has created a perfect balance in my life.

Vishanna Kira Maharajh was born on February 8th, 2012 at 5:37 PM at Long Island Jewish Hospital. On February 10th, I brought her to her new home where she was about to begin a life filled with endless love and joy. I placed her in her new crib where she would spend her many nights peacefully sleeping, dreaming and smiling. The first few nights I couldn’t sleep because I just wanted to stare at her. I would immediately get up to her every sound and movement, respond to every squeal or cry and cradle her in my arms until she fell into a deep sleep again. I was soaking up every inch of this perfect little girl and learning all I could about her the same way she was learning all about her new environment and family. I knew my job was to make her comfortable and make sure she felt loved and secure. But above all, I knew I wanted to make sure she knew that I was here for her and wouldn’t let anything happen to her. Thats what I decided to focus on, and so far its been smooth sailing.

So many describe the postpartum blues as a few different things beginning with lack of sleep. Yes, there is now way of getting around this. My little one needs to eat every 2-3 hours and it’s my job to make sure she’s fed whether it’s 3am or midnight. It’s also my job to respond to her if she’s crying, fussing or just uneasy, and if that means being ripped from my sleep to do so, then so be it. But there are a few ways to battle cranky sleepless nights. Having a support system is a necessity, whether it be your husband, partner, mother, sister or even friends. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and have a loved one take over for a bit while you catch a snooze. For me, my husband is my savior and when he takes over, I get to catch up on my dreams! Also, when she is sleeping I do take advantage of this time and try to take a nap along with her. I’ve also found eating healthy snacks in between naps helps to wake me up and keep going along with a an occasion splash of water! But, the best thing about my little one sleeping is watching her., I can’t help but stare at her often and watch her smile or sometimes let out a playful laugh as the angels entertain her.  For me, watching her sleep is a blessing and I can’t get enough of it. One of my favorite things is rocking her to sleep in my arms and listening to her deep breathing, so angelic and perfected. I may be worn out to the max at times, tired, cranky and begging for a cup of coffee, but it all melts away once my little angel is safely and soundly sleeping.

We all are aware that pain after pregnancy is inevitable, but learning how to cope with it can help avoid yet another obstacle that is responsible for postpartum blues.  I have to say I was lucky enough to have a complicated free pregnancy and a delivery that I can now look back at and say, “that wasn’t no bad.” Now, I did have an all natural delivery without any drugs, by choice, and I have to say it was the best decision for me. Is that why my postpartum pains weren’t as bad as I read they may be? Maybe it was a factor. But I think the trick to getting over the pain is to think positive and try out different techniques and remedies that may work for you, such as a full body massage from your partner, long hot showers, yoga, a little time for yourself when you can, and maybe some light reading just to get your mind off of the pain. All of these things, especially the long hot showers worked to relieve my pain and spread a little comfort. But, what really helped me get better quickly was focusing on my baby and being a mom and having a family to provide for. Once I felt comfortable enough in my new role as “mom” and caregiver, I was able to block out everything else and just enjoy the new experience. Besides, things got so busy really quickly, that there was not time left to think about pain.

Choosing to nurse your loved one is a great decision with many benefits for both mom and baby. Many new moms, myself included, will find nursing to be a little frustrating, painful and just hard to figure out. In my experience, I decided to nurse and supplement with formula as I felt my baby wasn’t getting full just from my breast milk. Either way, nursing is a job by itself and the first 2 weeks my nipples were sore all the time, my breasts hurt and Vishanna constantly wanted to nurse. It’s like a 24 hour job without getting paid. But, I was being rewarded. The bond that develops between a mother and child during nursing is irreplaceable and no one could ever rekindle that. Its truly a wonderful feeling to stroke her head and gently run my hands down her back as she gently feeds.  When she stares up into my eyes and I interlock my hands in her little fingers, we become one and this a moment that overcomes the pain and frustration. Nursing is truly a joy and should be thought of as a great reward rather than a burden.

These are the ways I’ve learned to turn the postpartum blues into joys and I’m enjoying every minute I spend with my baby rather than trying to overcome unsettling mood swings, unexplainable depression or irritability. While it’s a proven fact that women do develop postpartum depression and it can be very serious, I believe it’s up to the individual to choose whether they want to focus on the negative or positive of caring for a newborn and all the after effects of giving birth.

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Author:

I am an independent filmmaker and producer and freelance writer. I received my Bachelors degree in Journalism from Hofstra University, a Masters degree in Communications and Film Productions from the New York Institute of Technology and I am a former graduate of the New York Film Academy in New York City. I have experience as on-air TV reporter for NYIT’s LI News Tonight News Station. and have written opt editorials on various topics for Caribbean newspapers and magazines. I've also worked in the radio industry as a producer, board engineer, and newscaster at WRHU Hofstra University, 1240AM WGBB, and 930AM WPAT. I am currently the Vice President of Friends of New York’s West Indian Community, a non-profit organization aiming to uplift the Indo-Caribbean Community and work at St. Mary's Healthcare System for Children as the Manager of Marketing and Communications.

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