Congratulations on the new heartbeat! Pretty sure everyone in the family is beyond happy with this news. So how are you feeling now? The hormonal imbalance is common to induce a reaction of nausea which could be temporary or all over the 9 months period varying between individuals and each pregnancy. Just hang in there, be strong, and remember that it’s all going to be worth it once your baby pops out.
The other day I shared about What Will Your Life Be After Maternity Leave? Now let’s rewind a little to the confinement period that you will reach in no time. While you may be looking forward to the arrival of your bundle of joy, it’s also equally important to prepare yourself for this 6-week recovery period. The Malays will typically relate confinement or “pantang” with the things that you are not allowed to do. But this is a different approach to this particular subject.
Here are some realities of confinement. Specifically, the dull and dry parts of it that are not always discussed publicly because apparently, social media is full of only the beautiful side. We need to do justice to expecting mothers out there, so they ought to know the things that they should be expecting about confinement.
1. Expect that you can’t move around much, because your body is recovering from the wound, slit and tear. Having your skin and muscle torn is a painful experience so you need to minimise your movement to keep the suture in place. The last thing you want to happen is torn stitches and having to undergo the procedure again. So be patient with this new routine. And hey, it’s only six weeks! You’ll get back on feet in a few weeks.
2. Expect that you will shed some tears over the lack of sleep. Because of the midnight feeding and pumping, the burping, the colic and the engorged breast. This is your first time being nocturnal not by choice, so you sure will have some tough breaks. It’ll take you some good amount of time getting hang of the new lifestyle.
3. Expect that you do not get to spend time with your husband as frequent as before. Now that the centre of attention is the baby and both of you are novices, you might struggle to make a quality time together. Why? Because calming your baby down and bringing her to sleep are already time and energy consuming. By the time she dozes off, both of you are too tired to catch up with one another.
4. Expect that people will comment on your parenting style and worse, telling you the “right” way to do it. This is when you realise that people have never bothered much about your life until you become a mother. They will have their say about your expressed breast milk (EBM) routine, the way you put your baby to sleep, that to never leave your baby crying and so all other aspects of your parenting approach. As a mother myself, I’d say that people can say what they want but at the end of the day you are the mother so decide what is best for your kids.
5. Expect that your relationship with your spouse could be challenged. This is when both of you begin to show your true colours because handling a baby is taxing and it tests your patience. When you’re already worn out with the topsy-turvy routine, it’s very easy for you to lose your temper to one another. In fact, even a small issue like not throwing the trash or help hang the washed clothes that you’d asked him to do, could burst you out and then start a quarrel if things to get out of control.
Ladies, remember that confinement marks a new beginning to your marriage. It denotes the end of your honeymoon because your life is now spreading out even more. You could still be crazy in love with your husband but it takes conscious effort, now that your routine has changed. Just as they say, it takes two to tango. So, both of you have to make efforts to keep the love sparkling.
So are you a mother yourself? Do share your confinement experiences and advices down below. Who knows someone might be learning a thing or two?