Fighting Baby Blues

Mr. Google defines baby blues - or the more correct terminology would be postpartum depression - as:

Postpartum depression is moderate to severe depression in a woman after she has given birth. It may occur soon after delivery or up to a year later. Most of the time, it occurs within the first 3 months after delivery.

Now this hit me real hard when I gave birth to Javi. I was stressed and depressed at the same time. Stressed because I had no idea how to raise a newborn. I gave myself a hard time with breastfeeding. Our environment and situation in Cebu did not help then. I was forced to remain at home. Sleep deprivation was also a factor. I really thought I was going crazy. And there was the self-pity part. I was questioning my decision of not getting a nanny. 

As I went through my second pregnancy, I knew I had to fight postpartum depression. I need to be better. I have my older son to look after to. It's not all about the baby now. 

During the first couple of days after giving birth, I was extremely emotional. I had Jed to lean on. And he understood me better this time. It's important he knew what postpartum depression is all about and he didn't just think i was having a meltdown. 

I seriously did not know what to do. I still don't know what I am doing until now. But I am getting by. One day at a time. 

My mother is with me now. And she has been a big help. I also have a helper who comes in every day to make sure the house is clean, we have clean clothes, etc. 

Next week, my mom will be going home. And I think I am prone to postpartum depression again. I need to fight it. Like I am fighting  it now. 

So what helps me?

God. Reading the Word every day. Praying all the time. I am seriously surprised I have the strength and grace to get me through each day. My husband is now in the US on a business trip and I am getting by. 

Little treats such as a cup of coffee from Starbucks, a short meet-up with a visiting friend, a trip to the grocery store, running errands, cooking a dish, shopping. I am grateful I have my mom here who watches over Caleb when I go out. It'll be a different story when she is gone but Caleb will be big enough and I can put him in his baby carrier and I can bring him with me. 

My "happy thoughts"

A suitable environment. Being in a city like Bangkok makes me happy. I can go outside our building, walk for 5 minutes and I've already accomplished so much. Yesterday, I picked up my son's birth certificate from the hospital and I chose to walk home. Found a baby store and a bagel kiosk on the way so I ended up shopping. A dear friend said I am a city girl. She is absolutely right. 

My shopping finds

Time management and routines work for me. I am the type who needs to have a schedule. I schedule almost everything. It used to annoy Jed but I think it has become very useful now. I have a set of tasks I need to do every day. I also have a list of chores for my helper to do when she is here. I'm trying to put Caleb on a schedule (babywise parenting). The only problem is my firstborn Javi. He is the unpredictable one. 

Letting it go. I may run on a schedule but it is a flexible one. The one thing I notice which changed in me is I am not as strict as before in following a schedule. I know there will always be interruptions. Instead of stressing myself over them, I learned to let it go. No one is going to die if a task has not been done. 

I am still not successful in breastfeeding. My milk supply is not enough. But I am not beating myself over it. It's not the end of the world if I can't exclusively breastfed my baby. Not being too hard on myself makes my disposition a lot happier. 

The big difference right now is I asked God to take control. On the day we went home from the hospital, I did not know what to do or how to work this out, my only prayer was to leave it all up to God. And that is how I am fighting postpartum depression.

As my friend reminded me, we are not super mommies, we do have a super God. Best reminder ever.

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