The below telephone conversation happened between me and Lovely Hubby (LH) about five days after Baby Jood’s arrival;
LH: Hello, what are you doing?
Me: Big Aunty just gave Baby Jood his first proper bath with soap and all. I am about to have a hot bath.
LH: Soap? Which did you use; hope it’s safe for baby bath?
Me: (Screaming) what do you mean? Will I harm the baby I suffered to carry for nine months??
Me: (Burst into tears and rant some more and finally end the call)
I continue crying in the bathroom and Big Aunty rushes to the door and calls out to check I am ok.
Me: Yes I am ok.
Big Aunty: I heard crying. Are you crying?
Me: Yes I am (and still continue to cry)
Big Aunty: Why are you crying?
Me: I don’t know but it feels good (then I laugh and cry together).
Scenes like this had been happening for some days now with me getting defensive and worried over Baby Jood, irritable, weepy and moody for no cause. Unfortunately I seemed to take it out more on LH. I wish I could say this was the last time it happened but it did happen several more times. After this incident I remained in the bath tub and cried for a while till I felt really good and satisfied.
Then I examined myself, realised that the reality of my new life was now hitting me. I felt out of my depth and scared of the kind of mum I would be – remembering all the silly mistakes and stupid things I have done even in the distance past. Also a lot of things were happening that I could not control and most annoying of all, I was suddenly dependent on others to get things done.
Big Aunty, LH, Baby Jood’s God mom, family, friends and Church members really helped me during that period by having a lot of patience with me, helping around the house, and building my confidence. Lots of much needed rest and sleep helped as well as the relief that I was finally able to nurse Baby Jood.
Baby blues is estimated to affect about 80% of new mothers during the first week after giving birth and lasts for a few days. It may have the following symptoms;
- Feeling emotional
- Tearful without any real cause
- Hypersensitivity to criticism
- Tired but yet unable to sleep
Baby blues is not postpartum depression which is more severe and longer lasting. It is recommended that partners, family members and friends of women experiencing baby blues ensure the mum gets lot of rest and reassurance, allow her to cry and express herself and talk to her with tact and empathy. It’s advised to contact a doctor or health worker if baby blues does not pass after about two weeks.