9 January 2017, by Siau Jiahui

Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Confinement (Part 2)


That was the unanimous response I’ve gotten from my dear readers on my previous post – “Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Confinement (Part 1)”. Yes, fellow mums, we are survivors!

BUT my previous post on the physical demands was definitely NOT an exhaustive list of what new mums would encounter during the 28 days~

Emotional challenges are tough nuts to crack too!

You feel stifled
Confinement isn’t termed “confinement” for nothing. You literally get CONFINED in your house. I wasn’t an active lady to begin with, so I knew I could survive a week of not stepping out of the house. But for four weeks?!

What’s more, in order to avoid wind blowing straight at me, I couldn’t even stand near the windows! Even when I had to open the main door for my parents or in-laws, I had to stand behind the door with just the upper part of my face peering out.

Other than the visits to the gynaecologist and the paediatrician (which was scheduled on the same day), I really didn’t step out of the house AT ALL!

During that period, I thought I might have forgotten how a street with walking human beings looked like.

You are at the beck and call of your baby
This was more or less expected. However, bear in mind that you would have to act upon your little one’s orders when you are exhausted, sweating buckets and putting up with the tremendously painful wound down there. My worst experience was when I was in the toilet just starting to clear my bowel, and the next thing I heard was my confinement lady telling me, “你的女儿要喝奶。你还要多久?” For goodness sake, I’ve yet to warm the seat of my toilet bowl! I said, “我才刚刚进来。” The CL replied, “不用紧。Baby可以等一下。”

And so, I carried on with what I had to do. However, guilt crept on to me when I heard my baby crying at closer intervals. I panicked. But I couldn’t stop what I was doing.

I felt horrible. Emotionally.

It wasn’t only guilt.

There was annoyance.

And then guilt for being unable to suppress the annoyance.

You get into daily conflicts with your husband
You try to accept the reality that a new person has just entered your life. So does your husband.

You feel stressed about the responsibility of taking care of your newborn. So does your husband.

You feel overwhelmed by the many changes that you have to adapt to. So does your husband.

The thing is, you kinda throw all these facts out of the window after giving birth. While you are tormented by the physical and psychological pain generated after giving birth, all you yearn for is your husband to be more empathetic towards you and be more generous with his love and concern for you. And when he fails to do that, you get angry at him.

He doesn’t understand why you couldn’t be more understanding.

But the hormonal outrage doesn’t allow you to think rationally.

But he doesn’t understand why you couldn’t be more understanding.

But the hormonal outrage doesn’t allow you to think rationally.

But he doesn’t understand why you couldn’t be more understanding.

But the hormonal outrage doesn’t allow you to think rationally.

You get the picture…

Add to that, a new house/neighbourhood for us to adapt to right after the birth of the baby? We incurred double the drama and conflict.

You cry and cry and cry
Put everything together, and you would have a million reasons to cry about. You remembered how your mother and aunties kept reminding you that you shouldn’t cry during confinement? Because it’ll weaken your eyesight and your vision will get blurry during old age! Every one of us has heard of that before, but during confinement, you’ll definitely get teary at every little comment, action or incident~ There were many times when I wished I could better control my tears but I simply couldn’t… To be honest, I’ve lost count of the number of times that I’ve wept. Surges of stress and sadness engulfed me… I couldn’t really see the light at the end of the tunnel. I was so depressed during the first two weeks that I told my BFF to bring me to a psychiatrist if it didn’t get better soon.

Luckily, it did. The skies cleared a little when the confinement came to an end and I was finally allowed to leave the house.

Though I was still a bit depressed, being able to head out to a bustling city made me feel alive again.

I smiled when I saw this.


This view might seem completely ordinary to you but when I saw this, I knew that other than my newly-regained freedom, my long-lost sanity would be coming back to me soon after the hormones had stabilised.

Take a deep breath, and let’s move on!

Posted on : January 9, 2017

Filed under : Uncategorized

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