9 Things No One Tells Us About How Hard Recovering From Childbirth Is Going To Be

childbirth

Pregnancy is all about eating right and how big your belly looks. But postpartum recovery poses serious challenges that no one ever talks about! Seriously, I am still pissed off with my mother and mother-in-law who didn’t say a word…NOT a word about this to me.

I am sharing with you things no one tells us about how hard recovering from childbirth is going to be:

1. Nether regions are messy and sore

A pain only a mother who has gone through a normal delivery will understand. The baby comes out of your ’vajayjay’ – that’s no little feat! Sometimes to facilitate easy delivery, the doctor makes a cut till your anus, and then stitches it up. This area, it goes without saying, hurts like nobody’s business. You can’t sit or lie down on your back. You need someone to apply anti-bacterial cream down there (don’t worry about shame…you will lose it somewhere during the childbirth and will never find it again), need to sit in hot tubs of salt or betadine, or sit on inflated rings to ease the pain.

2. Pooping is painful business

Peeing is still okay, but pooping is a nightmare, especially if you develop hemorroids. Once you sit to poop, you pray you never have to poop again in your lifetime. And, when you don’t feel like pooping, you wish you’d die than to have to poop the next time. It took me 4-5 months to recover from the episiotomy. Meanwhile, I visited a proctologist to know if I was the only one in this whole world who had this terrible pain, two different gynaecologists (I felt sure my OB/GYN was not giving me the complete picture) who didn’t tell me any different than what my OB/GYN had told me – that there was nothing wrong with me. And, of course, I had gulped down massive amounts of laxatives during this period.

3. Breastfeeding is not as easy as it seems

You might have fantasized about breastfeeding your little baby with all love and smiles. But, the reality is nowhere close to the fantasy. For let me tell you, a newborn might have latching problems, which means sore boobs for you. There were times in the initial one month, when I dreaded feeding my baby, and cried every time she cried for milk. It was such a painful business. As if feeding her wasn’t hard enough, my boobs would be hard and painful when she didn’t take a feed. I remember having expressed milk in the bathroom sink when once my daughter slept without taking a feed. It was so painful to see all that milk going down the drain, that I cried -which takes me to the next ill-effect of childbirth.

4. Hormones go for a toss

As if pregnancy isn’t hard enough, post pregnancy hormones are worse. You cry when there is something to cry about, but most times you cry for no reason at all. I remember crying for silly things that normally I wouldn’t even give two hoots about. My husband said I cried more than our baby did and started calling me a ‘cry baby’. To tell you frankly, I still haven’t recovered from my crying hormones completely, and can still cry at the drop of a hat.

Read more at – http://www.worldofmoms.com/blog/9-Things-No-One-Tells-Us-About-How-Hard-Recovering-From-Childbirth-Is-Going-To-Be/1162/2

I love my Period. Period.

girlinwhitepants

Every other day I read someone or the other ranting about their period – ‘Period this, period that!’. It makes me wonder, what’s so wrong about the period? Why this angst against it? I started having my period at a very young age of 10 years. In fact, didn’t even know what it was then. There were times when I soiled my clothes as I didn’t remember it was my heavy flow day and that I need to change more often, or I played sports and didn’t realize I should tell my sports teacher about it.

My period never cramped my lifestyle, that was for sure. I played sports, went to all the events without once complaining. In my mother’s home, period life was normal too. I could enter the kitchen, touch the gas burner and even serve food to myself. The only thing she didn’t allow was to enter the temple. Well, it didn’t matter much. I was hardly a religious person. Also, I couldn’t wear white pants. That’s true! But, I didn’t own any, so that’s hardly here or there.

Of course, travelling was a bit bothersome as one needed to visit the washroom more often, and then find a convenient disposal procedure, which one often could not. So one had to carry the soiled remnants wrapped in a plastic bag either in the purse or one’s pocket. Eww! I know. Well, it was better than using a cloth.

Well, girls in India didn’t know of tampons in the 90s. For that matter, even today either they don’t know or they hardly use, because there’s a misconception that virgin girls cannot use tampons. Ha ha! And, menstrual cups. It was unheard of. It would have definitely made my childhood period more pleasant. No more worrying about soiled clothes, changing pads and oh, those horrible rashes! I can walk, swim (not that I do), run without a moment’s thought. There are times when I even forget I am menstruating. Thank God (I mean the man/woman or whoever who had the Eureka moment) for those extra comfy and super convenient pink silicon cups! I feel like one of those girls in the sanitary napkin commercials, who has to wear those white pants on her period day what come may, zipping around the whole day with a big, ear to ear smile enjoying her life.

I should own up that I love period and wait for it to come. Because those 3 days, I need not exercise and still not feel guilty about it. I can treat myself to chocolates and other mostly prohibited foods, because my body is losing something and hence needs more food (read junk) to re-gain that ‘something’. Wink, wink!!

Also, I feel very emotional in those days, and hence it’s perfectly alright for me to watch sappy romantic movies without explaining myself. What’s more! The words ‘I have cramps’ help me get out of almost anything. And, get a complete right to be tired at the end of the day, and demand of my hubby dearest to massage my legs or back, serve me food in the bed or pat our daughter to sleep. And if some feminist finds this in bad taste, well, what to say except, to each her own.

Seriously, I am sad when the period goes. I miss it even!!

The kids are not all right

monkeybar

A few weeks ago, I had attended a birthday party of my daughter’s friend. There they played a game, the age old ‘Passing the parcel’, however, what was different was the way it was played. The child who was caught with the parcel when the music stopped was asked to leave the circle, but with that parcel as the gift, and then a new parcel was introduced. The game continued till every child got a gift. I asked the mother what was wrong with the earlier version, the version we had all grown up with.

She said – “I do not like kids to be disappointed. See, here every child is happy as he or she gets to take a gift home.”

In another instance, I was in the park with my daughter. She was playing lock and key with her friends. Now, one of her friends fell down. Her mother, who was on the other side of the park ran to his son, all confused and upset. She scooped her son in her lap and started inquiring – “Are you hurt? Let me see! Do no cry! Shush, mama is here.”

The child, had a scraped knee, who was perfectly OK till then, started crying earnestly.

I was at a friend’s home for lunch. Her 5-year old daughter refused to eat what was cooked for lunch. My friends felt so guilty that her daughter would go hungry, that she cooked up her favourite pasta immediately. According to her, it was not the first time this had happened.

At the School Sports Day, there are no races, no competition. No first, second or runner ups. Because, everyone is equal, there should be no competition between the kids.

Kids today have a room full of toys and games. Some they ask, some they do not. But, they still get them. Everything in excess is the new mantra of life.

Our parents taught us self-reliance, while we hover around our children and want to protect them at all costs. We like to hold our babies closer to the protection of the nest. We go out of our way and rustle up something when they don’t eat what’s cooked at home for everyone else, because we don’t them to sleep hungry. Instead of letting them play outside, we organize activities for them. We do their homework and their assignments. We even resolve their conflicts for them.

It makes me wonder, what will happen to these kids when they grow up?

Will they get a gift everytime they fail? Will they be able to handle disappointment? A child who has never been denied anything, how will he cope with rejections? There are a growing number of cases when kids run away from home or commit suicide because they are not able to deal with low marks in examinations or when they fail to secure an admission in an institution of their choice.

Will their parents keep them hidden in their bosom all their life? Our mothers never ran after us, a scraped knee was just that. She would ask us to wash it with some water and then forget about it. But, there was no drama that followed. Falling and hurting was a part of daily life for us. We cycled, climbed up trees and jumped from the stairs. Today, kids travel in elevators and escalators (because they might fall down the stairs and get themselves hurt). Earlier, kids walked and cycled. I hardly see kids walking nowadays, unless it’s for a kids’ marathon and they are required to pose for selfies with their cool mommies. I never see kids climbing up the monkey bars, do you?

Will they shy away from competition or be able to survive it? OK, so we can accompany our kids till the college gate and sit in the waiting area while they appear for a job interview. In one-child China, parents have been known to put up tents outside their college kids’ dorms. This is an invisible umbilical cord we are just not ready to cut. And, what happens after that? A child who is never used to losing – how will he survive in the big bad world?

We are raising our kids to be adult babies.

So what should we do?

  • Stop telling our children that they are special all the time. They are not, at least not always. So reserve the praises for the times when they actually deserve.
  • Stop going out of the way to create happiness in their life. The life is a mix of joys and sorrows, and it is for a reason. We have no right to interfere with the nature. So let’s stop pretending that everything is all right when it’s not. Let the kids have their fair share of disappointments at an early age. It’s better to fall at 10, than at 40.
  • Stop giving them things when they don’t require it. We had fewer toys, but did we ever complain? Were we unhappy because of that? No, right. So why are we teaching our kids to be materialistic? Why should they find happiness in toys and games, and not people? We give them iPads, iPhones…we are teaching them it’s all right to speak to the technology, rather than people. Today’s kids have more virtual friends than actual friends.
  • Stop hovering around them. Let them take action and be responsible for it. If they have done a wrong deed, they should take the punishment or the consequences for it. Do not protect them unnecessarily.
  • Let them fall. And, do not cushion their fall. Also, let them get up on their own. Only when they fall, will they get up. Let them learn things on their own.
  • Stop feeling guilty. For things we can’t provide them. We are the parents, not superhumans or Gods. Make kids understand our limitations.

It’s not the kids who are at fault, but us, the parents. Let’s sit with our parents and understand how they raised us – independent and fearless. We can take a leaf or two from  their parenting book. It wouldn’t do us any harm, but might save our kids!

7 Heartless Comments People Make To Women Who Have Had a Miscarriage

miscarriage

Miscarriage is a traumatic experience for a woman. And, it can be made worse by some insensitive comments that well-meaning friends and family sometimes unintentionally make…

When I first learnt I was pregnant, my joy knew no bounds. I was going to be a mother. My husband was equally happy too. Though my OB/GYN had advised me not to tell anyone about the news till 3 months, I just could not wait announcing it to the whole world that I was carrying a woman. We called our respective families and friends and gave them the good news. Everyone was so happy for us.

Then in the 10th Week, I found out that my baby had no heart beat. My baby had stopped growing inside. 

The doctor suggested a D&C. I could not digest the truth. I cried for days and wondered “Why me?!” Of course, it was not only me, thousands of women go through a miscarriage.

I felt useless and helpless as a woman; I could do nothing to save my baby. It was the worst period of my life. But, what made it more unbearable were some heartless comments people made when they learnt of the miscarriage!

1. At least you know you can get pregnant

What sort of a comment is that? Every woman who has a regular menstrual cycle assumes she can get pregnant. There is no doubt in her mind. Then, how does this knowledge that I gained at the cost of my baby help me?

2. At least you miscarried early in the pregnancy

Early or late, a miscarriage is very traumatic for a woman. She has lost her child, how does it matter whether it was early or late. I was attached to my baby in those few weeks of pregnancy, and to lose to my child like this was very painful.

3. It’s better to miscarry than have a baby with problems

For a mother, her baby is the most precious. I would have loved my baby equally had she been born with some development challenges. This remark always made me feel small, as if I had loved my baby any less if she would have had ‘problems’.

Keep on reading the blog at – http://www.worldofmoms.com/blog/7-Heartless-Comments-People-Make-To-Women-Who-Have-Had-a-Miscarriage/1163/2

 

6 Ways You Can Still Get Pregnant After Taking Emergency Contraceptive

morningafterpill

I was quite young then, must have been 17, when I overheard a conversation between two of my cousins. The elder one had announced to the younger one that she was pregnant, yet again! The younger one exclaimed, “But, how is that possible! You had got a copper IUD put, right?” “Yes,” confirmed the elder cousin, “but the doctor says it can sometimes get displaced resulting in pregnancy!” That was the first time I came to know – contraception does NOT always work.

The second time I rediscovered this was while watching the famous American sitcom Friends. Rachel discovers to her shock that she is pregnant in spite of Ross having used a condom. Apparently, condoms are not 100% effective against pregnancy either!

And finally, a few years later, I got another news that shook me to the core. The morning after pill, that is supposed to be the liberated woman’s best friend, can fail too! Yes, the one thing that we thought is absolutely dependable is not, in fact, absolutely dependable.

One of my close friends, who had wanted to wait for a couple of years before having a child, discovered just a month into her wedding that she had conceived. This was even though she had taken the emergency contraceptive without any delay. Firstly, when I got the news, I could not believe it. So I immediately looked up Sir Google, and true as daylight, I found out that it was possible to get pregnant even after taking emergency contraceptive.

So how does this really happen? Here are a few situations that can lead to pregnancy, even if you took the morning after pill:

1. You throw up immediately after taking it

If you throw up within an hour of taking the morning-after pill, the pill gets removed from your system. If you do not take another pill soon after, you might get pregnant.

2. You fail to take it soon enough

Depending on your menstrual cycle, and which kind of morning-after pill you wish to consume, you might have anywhere between 3 to 5 days (from the day you had unprotected sex) to consume the morning-after pill for it to be effective. Having said that, it is best to pop the pill the very next day, or at least within 72 hours (i.e. 3 days) and no later. Chances of the pill working drop progressively after 72 hours.

3. You had ovulated or were ovulating when you had sex

To understand this, first get this: Morning after pills prevent pregnancy by delaying ovulation. So, if  you have already ovulated before (or are ovulating while) having unprotected sex, the pill is not going to help, even if you pop it the very next day.

Catch the rest of the post at – http://www.worldofmoms.com/blog/6-ways-you-can-still-get-pregnant-after-taking-emergency-contraceptive/1173/2?ref=login_success_facebook

 

I Let My Maid Cook For My Daughter Sometimes, and Hey, It’s Okay!

My mother’s life revolved around her kitchen. She was the Queen of her kitchen, and felt at home whenever she was working around with her pots and pans feeding one child or the other (we were three, you see!)…

Those were days when my father had set up a new business and he would regularly come at midnight or even later than that. But my mother never kept rotis for him. She would make fresh chapattis for him whatever time of the night it might be. As far as her kids were concerned, she never let us eat junk. If we were hungry at 7 PM, she would give us our dinner then.

Growing up in a house where my mother placed her kids and husband’s meal before everything else left a mighty big impression on me. When my daughter was born, my mom told me one thing – “Take good care of her!” Knowing her well, I knew that she was asking me to feed my daughter properly and not take any shortcuts when it came to her meals.

I started with breastfeeding my daughter. When my daughter was ready to be weaned, I made her homemade cerelac of rice-dal, nachni-dal and wheat flour-dal. When she grew big enough to eat normal food, I still would separate her dal and sabji before adding spices, and make fresh chapattis for her.

But the real trouble began when I resumed work…

When she was 5 months old, I started working from home. I started working for longer hours when she turned 1 year old. Soon, my work became demanding. Still, I made sure to feed my daughter myself. However, there were times when I would get an unscheduled client call (they always started with a request for only 5 minutes and then stretched to 20 or 30 sometimes). By the time I finished the call, it was way past my daughter’s lunch time. Also, time for another call! Though most clients sympathized with a work from home mother, it was not professional to expose them to ear-splitting shrieks from your daughter because she was hungry.

I was going through a really tough time. Yes, I was a mother now. But I also wanted to reclaim my life. For three years, I had ignored my friends. I could not meet them because I was afraid of who would do the cooking on those days.

How my husband helped me find a solution to the problem
I realized this could not go on. I didn’t want my daughter to suffer. “Kids should always come first” – I remembered my mother saying once. I thought about quitting my job. That’s when my husband told me something I have never forgotten:

“You are not your mother. So don’t try to imitate your mother. What your mother did was commendable, but what you are doing is equally remarkable too.

Your mother’s life was her kids, while yours is your daughter plus your work. You are a working woman and there’s no harm in letting the nanny cook for our daughter and feed her if need be!”

To read more – click here – http://www.worldofmoms.com/blog/I-Let-My-Maid-Cook-For-My-Daughter-Sometimes-and-Hey-Its-Okay/1168/2

6 annoying habits of moms (including myself!)

annoyingmom

We are mothers, and though we might think ourselves way above other species, the truth is we can be damn annoying sometimes. Ask your friends, family …or even husband (if he is daring enough to be completely truthful to your face)..and you will know the truth.

Here are 6 annoying habits of moms, including myself, that we generally come across.

Complaining about her child’s thinness – One of my dear friends always laments the fact that her child is thin. OK, I get it that her child is not pudgy, and there is no chance she would be selected for Johnson’s baby product commercials, but why she needs to say that again and again.

“I give her such nice healthy things to eat. But, she never gains weight like your daughter!”

On another occasion, she remarked “Looks like your daughter has grown taller. She looks thinner, too. But, at least she is better (read thinner) than my daughter!”

Her daughter is tall, healthy and very active. Seriously, I feel like telling her off on such occasions “why you need a fat child?”

Complaining her child doesn’t eat enough – Another classic complaint of most mothers. In the park or in school meetings, you will always meet one or another mother who will complain that her child doesn’t eat properly.

I once saw a mother feeding her 9-month old a porridge made of wheat flour, milk and 1 big apple for breakfast. Now, after 2 hours or so, she brought his lunch consisting of 2 chapattis, dal and subji. The child didn’t want to eat, but the mother force-fed her 1 chapatti. But before she could move onto the second, he puked all the food out.

The mother exclaimed, “See, he doesn’t eat! When I try to make him eat, he vomits!”

The child in question is obese. Need I say further?

Photographing and putting on the Facebook – The new age mom loves her kids, so much so that she wants to show off her kids to all and sundry. And, what better way to do that than clicking umpteen photos of her kids and putting them on the Facebook. So, what if her entire Facebook wall is filled up with her kids swimming, dancing or doing Karate; the more the better. Sometimes I wonder if they ever see their kids outside the camera lens and enjoy the moment.

Being a snob about her child’s school – This is something I have come across a lot. A mother who knows her child goes to an expensive school (or a school in which admission is difficult to get into) first asks you “In which school does your child study?”

You reply, and out of courtesy you end up asking the same question to them.

And, in that one moment their eyes light up, their face develops an expression of superiority and their tone holds certain pride. That is their moment of glory and they won’t hesitate to demonstrate it to you.

Showing off her child – Some mothers behave as if their child has come from the planet Krypton with superhuman abilities.

He talks so glibly. He is going to be a politician. And, you could say that from now, when he is just 2?

She learned to walk at 9 months. What is it going to serve?

She will definitely be a model. She pouts like one! And how is that an accomplishment?

Self pitying – Stay away from these moms! They suck up all the positivity from around their vicinity. These are the moms who have a litany of complaints. Their children wake up so early or sleep so late, are over-active, that she doesn’t get a moment’s breather. We get it you are super busy or super exhausted, but could you also, once in a while, talk about something else please!

It is one thing to love your kids and be proud of them, and totally another (and unnatural) to drag the whole world into this intimate circle. Be a proud mother, not an annoying one!