25 September 2019, by E-van and Terry

Overcoming Postnatal Depression

Having a newborn has taught me many things.

Sh*t happens, keep calm
I’ve learned the stealthy art of backing away slowly and quietly as the baby drifts off to sleep.

I’ve learned the art of opening and closing things like drawers verryyy slowly and soundlessly.

I’ve also learned that plastic bags are not my friend. A baby that wakes up from getting startled by these is not one to be reckoned with. ūüėā

I’ve also learned the art of accepting explosive poo into my life. You will never see it coming. There is nothing you can do about it.

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Overcoming postnatal depression
The first few weeks was tough and I found out I was suffering from postnatal depression.

Depression?! ME?!

Yes… It’s a pretty dark and scary place and I can now fully understand why some mothers fall so deeply into it. I wish more people were aware of this and¬†be more willing to offer help to¬†new mothers and check in on them from time to time to find out if¬†they are doing good, and let them know someone cares.

I would always be in a state of heightened awareness and was constantly anxious.

I hear phantom cries and start to get really worried whenever the Raphael begins to wake up.

I lost my appetite completely and could go an entire day without eating. The stress itself filled my tummy.

I’ve since lost 9 kg¬†– partly due to breastfeeding but I’m sure the loss of appetite played a part too.

When I found out I had most of the symptoms of postnatal depression, I decided to get out of the house more to get the positive outdoor energy with Raphael, one of those ways was to go out for morning walks.

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I tried eating better, after all, I’m breastfeeding and supposed to be eating well.

I started watching Netflix again, something which I’ve not done in weeks for fear of waking the baby.

I’ve also gotten much better at bringing¬†Raphael out!

Bringing a newborn out was very stressful in the beginning. During our first outing, when he started to fuss, I’d get so nervous, my armpits would start sweating.

Now, I no longer get nervous¬†and people around will just have to deal with a newborn baby’s cries. When that happens, I do get a mixture of looks – from pity to¬†judgemental¬†(some people thought I was a teenage mum!) but, oh well.

I’m not going to let that stop us from having an enjoyable time outdoors, especially since¬†Raphael actually seem to enjoy being outside and, truth be told, sleeps better! ūüėā Jewel Changi Airport is our go-to place.

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The symptoms of postnatal depression come and go but I try to manage it the best I can.

 

Growing with baby
It’s been almost 2 months since Raphael came into our lives and he¬†is growing rapidly, he has put on 1.7 kg since his birth and as a parent, there’s no better news than to hear that your baby is gaining good weight, especially since¬†we did everything ourselves!

There was no one to teach us, “Oh, that means he’s hungry,” “That sounds like he needs a diaper change,” or that he, “just wants a cuddle”. We had to¬†figure¬†these things out ourselves and boy, was that a ride…!

We are learning and getting used to each other everyday.

Remember I said I wanted to do cloth diapering?¬†It’s a little harder to do with a newborn as we are already juggling how to parent. To throw cloth diapering into the mix¬†would only have¬†made things tougher.

So I’ve only recently started cloth diapering.

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That’s Raphael in his first newborn cloth diaper!

At this stage, he is still way too small for one-size diapers. Even the smallest setting look super bulky on him and he seems uncomfortable and cranky in it!

But, I’ve¬†gone ahead and tried¬†several cloth diapers on him and, as a first-time mum,¬†it’s really exciting – embarking on what feels like¬†a new adventure slash challenge. Of course I’ve had to deal with diaper leaks which isn’t fun but, as with many things, there’s definitely a learning curve to being a parent.

Ask and you shall receive
Speaking of diapers, we have come across many kind-hearted and extremely generous people whom we are really thankful for.

We were running out of disposable newborn diapers and were discussing¬†if we should buy them from a provision shop downstairs. I had a thought and shared with Terry, “You know those Facebook groups where you can ask if anyone has newborn diapers to bless or to give away? Maybe we could try our luck there.”

So tried his luck Terry¬†did on¬†his own Facebook feed. There were a few who commented while more messaged him personally.¬†I was expecting to receive “leftover” diapers which these parents could not finish using, but no! These¬†people¬†were GIFTING us brand new diapers! I’m talking about boxes and boxes of diapers, delivered directly to our doorstep.

Long story short, we are now sitting on 1,500 diapers!


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Looks like we’re¬†set for the next couple of months! It’s really crazy and amazing how fast people are willing to help! The love was overwhelming. We are so grateful and really counting our blessings (literally) for having met these people.

If you are a mum-to-be and reading this, parenting is gonna be awesome and exhausting. No one is ever ready to be parents – we’re just thrown into the mix and we learn from there.

But at the end of the day, we are “mothers unbreakable”! Good luck to us! See tuned for my next post! ūüėä

 

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