Being the First-time Mom: A Blessing or a Blight

It is evening, the sun is about to set. I am walking in the garden, holding Aizal in my arms and thinking about what the upcoming night will bring for us. Thinking about the night, a lump forms in my throat, as she sleeps peacefully in my arms. It adds to my fears of being a first-time mom. I fear for her crying hysterically at night while I am trying to console and rock her back to sleep. I fear for her crying when I will try to change her diapers and clothes. I fear for the time when I wake up during the night and she is peacefully sleeping beside me, and I cannot hear her breathing. I fear about the time when I just fed her and she vomits out of her nose, which results in blocking of her air passage. I fear for the time when I sit on the toilet seat, and she starts crying in her room. I listen to her crying even when she is asleep. All these fears add further to my responsibilities as a mother.

I fear for the time when I wake up during the night and she is peacefully sleeping besides me, and I cannot hear her breathing.

Aizal woke up, I came back home, sat on my bed, and started nursing her. Being a first-time mom, breastfeeding my baby proved to be a challenge. Looking at my little nursling, who is sucking efficiently on me, I think to myself, is there any better feeling than having your baby sucking on you. With all the affection in her eyes, she is looking at my face. She brings her hand to my mouth for a kiss, and I kiss her. I kiss her again and again and again, she chuckles, and I laugh too. And then she closes her eyes, her suckles slow down.

I look at the mirror in front of me. Just looking at the mirror, adds to my self-doubt. I look at my face and my body, I try to appreciate myself. While changing nappies and her clothes, I forgot to change my clothes. I have not made my hair in days. My clothes are sweaty, and I smell funny all the time. I hardly get time to shower and clean myself. While feeding her, changing her clothes, styling her, running after her, I forgot myself. I cannot wear pretty clothes myself because my postpartum body does not fit in it anymore. I cannot style myself because I will not be able to take care of my baby then.

My husband came back from the office, He opens the door of the room, baby opens her eyes. She looks at Baba Jaan and chuckles. She then jumps in his arms, and I feel relieved. I can easily cook now, while he will take care of the baby. While cooking the dinner, I think about the mothers who have already gone back to their pre-pregnancy weight and are enjoying their life. But how to go back to pre-pregnancy weight. I have seen first-time moms who give formula to their babies and their husbands/partners take care of the babies while they go out and socialize, while I do not even have the energy to leave my home. My partner and the baby break my thoughts as they come and start playing in the living room.

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We get done with the dinner, I make the baby sleep, while my husband makes coffee for both of us. Sipping coffee at night with him, I told him about my fears and he said, you have to give yourself time. You have just grown a whole human being within yourself, you need time and support to heal. Do not compare yourself with any other woman because their life and your life are very different. You are a human too, with your thresholds and limits, that does not mean you are being ungrateful for all the blessings. My dear wife, you are an incredible mother, who is taking care of our baby with all her energy, and I highly commend your efforts for taking care of me and my little human. I need you to know that you are not alone, and I promise you that I am with you in every aspect of your motherhood. Let’s just enjoy this time and our baby because it won’t be long that she will grow out of all this and we will be missing this time.

Having said that, he took his mug to the kitchen, came back, and went to bed. I started thinking again, this time about how my life changed as the baby entered into it and the perks of motherhood that I am enjoying right now because you can never be a first-time mom again.

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