March 31, 2017

The demons of the post-partem times

Everyone speaks about how wonderful it is to have a baby and how amazing being a mother feels. For all those who have been following my blog will concur with the fact that all the information you have from me about having a baby and the times after that are all fun and merry work. But it is not entirely that. Post delivery challenges are real and affect mostly everyone. If you meet a mother, who admits to having sailed through without a hiccup, the time after she delivered her baby, she is either too strong willed to accept defeat or she is just too proud to accept that anything was off. 

Let me make one thing very clear. Getting pregnant and having a baby are the two most rewarding experiences of a mother's lives. When I talk about the downside of post delivery experiences, I do not in anyway undermine the joy of birth. I am merely making the reader aware of what a new mother goes through in varying proportions. 

Here are some demons that the new mother faces head-on with the arrival of the baby:

1) Post partem depression
Post partem depression or PPD is real and grips women when they are least suspecting it. The counter to PPD is given as, 'she just had a baby, how can she be sad?' Well, women who are diagnosed with PPD do not hate their babies. In fact, they succumb to PPD because of the baby in their lives. Suddenly, a life depends on them for its well being and health and that overtakes every other thing on the mother's mind. Multiply that feeling of responsibility with raging pregnancy hormones in the system and you have a mother who is too weepy, emotional, angry and frustrated all at the same time. Add to that, being sleep deprived does not help the new mothers one bit. I, for one, am the most non-weepy person there is. I did not shed one tear or feel all too overwhelmed when I heard the baby's first cry and saw her in the box but I cried my eyes out the first night I sat through nursing the baby. Hormones. Luckily, I had the support of my husband and the family to help me with the baby and I was back to my normal cynical self. 

2) Neglect
A lot of women feel neglect when the new baby arrives as the focus of everyone's attention is not her anymore. Not that women are attention seekers but having gone though rigorous labor or a c sec surgery makes mommies a tad too emotional and needy. The feeling of neglect grows manifold especially when the husband decides to pay extra attention to the baby instead of her. A little advise to the new Papas. For the first couple of weeks post-delivery, go out of your way to make your woman feel special. Just little somethings like flowers, a backrub, chocolates or a simple pat on the cheek. The feeling of being neglected with subside substantially and she will not feel sidestepped. 

3) Overwhelm
A new mother in many cases is a proud mother. Today, women are well read and well informed. A little too informed actually. But having a baby is not about how well you know your shizz, it's about hands on knowledge. 

4) Under the scanner
A new mom is always under the scanner. What she does, how she raises the baby, the decisions she takes to that end, everything is being judged right from day one. And that is not a pleasant situation. A new mother needs to be advised only when she seeks the same from you. And you are out to give her some unsolicited advise, then be gentle and humble about it. She is already a sack of emotions and raging hormones. Do not judge her and put her to distress. Be supportive. 

5) Mommy-shaming
A mother does not choose to not breastfeed her baby. But sometimes due to various reasons (which she may choose to divulge or not) the mother chooses formula for her child instead of direct breastfeeding. DO NOT SHAME HER. She is looking out for her baby and whatever made her decide to go a certain way, let's leave the mother to it, shall we! Also, it took me a little over a week to feel emotionally connected with my little one. I had no immediate 'motherly' feelings taking over my mind as soon as I saw her, it took me time to get there. And I am glad I was not judged for the same. I eventually became the textbook version of a mother: overprotective, nursing, making goo-goo eyes at the baby. And that happened only because I was allowed to live with myself and not shamed for anything. 

Next time you meet a new mother, greet her with warmth and preferably a chocolate. There is nothing in the world that chocolate cannot cure.

Until next time,

March 23, 2017

Baby Hashtag Speaks | My third month

It's been really exhausting, this past month. All I want is to feed and sleep and my mother still gets it all wrong. This is a snippet of a conversation we had one mazy afternoon. But of course, I cry when I talk to her. These dialogues have been translated for your benefit. 

Baby Hashtag (Me): I want food
Mumma: OK, come, let me feed you
*settles in to nurse*
Me: But I said I want to sleep
Mumma: Oh I thought you said you were hungry. No worries, I'll rock you to sleep. 
Me: Woman, I need foooood!
Mumma: But you just rejected being nursed.
Me: I am hungry and sleepy. Do something. 
Mumma: OK, let me nurse you and you can fall asleep while doing that
Me: OK. Om nom nom nom nom....Zzzzzz

Mothers, I tell you!

I am fast approaching that phase where I do not sleep as much I slept in the first few weeks of my life. And when I know I am sleepy, I need help falling asleep because I cannot sleep on my own, try as I might. It will only get worse for mumma as my fourth month approaches when I will have severe sleep regression. I am not enjoying this okay, it is a developmental phase and like everything else, this too shall pass.

Anyhoo, this went on for about 2-3 days after which mumma understood my wavery ways and learned to get on with it. I am now nearing the fourth month mark which according to a lot of aunties is now a safe age for me to venture out of home. What they don't know is that mumma takes me out 'every' evening for a change of scenery. On some days, when dad is home early, he takes me out as well. Both of them have separate carriers for me. Mumma uses a Soul ring sling while Papa uses an ergonomic carrier from Luvlap. 

Moving on.

I kind of enjoy tummy time now, not entirely because who enjoys landing facedown on the playmat after holding their head for a few seconds. It was adventurous the first few times, but now seriously, my head hurts. But tummy times are longer than earlier and I am getting rather good at supporting my head up. I am mighty proud of that actually. Mumma keeps telling Papa that she will increase the duration of tummy time sessions as days go by. Yay. Not.

I am also starting to get the whole 'turn to the side' vibe. It's fun to look at things from that perspective. But funny thing is whenever I turn on my side, mumma anticipates that I will roll over completely and I just come back again on my back to tease her. I carry on this charade for a good 15-20 times and each time she gets super excited. Silly mommy.

I take smaller naps in the day and I sleep happier in the night. So no worries there. Rather what bugs me the most is the bath session. Massage, I get. But this whole deal with water I don't get. Why is it so liquidy and scary and I don't seem to figure it out. As long as I cannot understand it, I cannot make my peace with it. So the whole time I am massaged, I am merry. And as soon as water touches my body, I scream like a banshee.

I am gaining weight at a slow and steady rate but the doc says its healthy so I am chill. Oh and I also got my 10 week vaccinations administered during this time. Two days went by sort of okay thanks to the paracetamol drops. The thighs where the needle poked me did hurt a lot so massages and baths were suspended for two days and I enjoyed that immensely. More on my developmental milestones and vaccinations, mumma will talk in a separate post. I, now, need to get back.

Until next time,

Lots of love,
Baby Hashtag

March 4, 2017

Soul Earth Single Layer Woven Cotton Ring Sling

Before Soul got in touch with me to send their products, I had ordered myself a ring sling. The team was ever so kind to send it to me the very next day. I chose the cotton version over linen mostly keeping in mind the price point. 

Wearing Baby Hashtag on a particularly busy afternoon. She is at ease and eventually I have gotten the hang of tying the sling right

I have been using it for over a month now and I have my opinions about it, good and bad. I have worn my little one in the sling over a dozen times so far and initially I used to thread and unthread the sling every time I used it. After a couple of times, I realised it would be better for me to test and thread the sling once properly and get as many uses out of it as can be. Next fortnight onwards, I did keep my threaded sling at the ready but loosening and tightening the sling does get a tab but difficult as the material of the sling is slightly more denser than linen. It will take some time for you to get used to it, just like I did but after getting the baby's posture right and the snug, I have been wearing her practically all the time. She is still yet to fall asleep whilst being worn but baby hashtag does show signs of tiredness, so hopefully one day she will fall asleep while I am wearing her.

The fact that the fabric of the ring sling is handwoven and 100% natural, makes for one hell of a product. It's breathable, safe and wonderful for the baby's skin. However, when you are wearing your baby for the first time, do make sure to follow the instructions to the T. It takes practise to get used to the sling but once you get the hang of it, it is the ultimate carrier option there is.

I love how compact the sling is. It hardly takes up any space in the carry on tote or the diaper bag even. I just have one issue though. The place I live in is extremely humid owing to its proximity to the sea. So when I wear the baby, we tend to sweat a lot. If this happens at home, it is no bother at all. But if we step out in sling while I'm wearing her, there is no way I can take of the sling without making the sweat on the front of my clothes noticeable to everyone. There is also no graceful way to wearing the sling (without the baby) in such a case unless I unthread it completely and drape it like a dupatta. This may sound trivial but this happened to baby hashtag, her papa and I when we stepped in to a five star hotel to relish a particularly delish brownie. When I took her out of the sling, I was drenched in sweat and I could only cover it whilst still wearing the threaded sling as I was to wear the baby again on our way back home. Not the best look I've sported.

All in all, I would recommend this sling if you are looking for a carrier to wear your baby. The versatility of the sling is such that it allows you to wear your newborn as well your toddler. If you have both, then try tandem wearing. If you have any doubts about their products, Soul is always ready to help you out. They are one of the most approachable brands I have met in recent times. And I am not a very easy person to please. 

Soul products come with self explanatory brochures that talk in detail about the product you have chosen along with the very many ways you can use and tie them (if it is carrier). They also have the most adorable variety of products, apart from the standard carriers. But more on that, in the next post. If you still need visual help as to how to use the Soul products, do subscribe to their Facebook channel.

Will be back soon with a new post/review unless Baby Hashtag feels the need to take over the blog with her latest rant.


P.S. This is not a sponsored post.