My Fight With The Force That Was Pulling Me Down
BY: Joanne Trina Moreno • Aug 02, 2019
I had a very happy pregnancy. I was all smiles everyday. True, I had some emotional moments, like when a very destructive calamity hit our place. But in general, I considered being pregnant a privilege. Everybody was so excited for us. I was getting all the attention and support from my family and friends. I was on a high.
Then came the day…
I had a very long laborious labor. When my cervix was 3 cm dilated already, my OB-GYNE informed me there was a stain that came from the baby. It was not very good news. But still, I insisted that we try everything so I may have a normal delivery. I was induced, naturally and medically. Finally, after 12 hours, my cervix has fully dilated. For 2 long hours, I tried to push. Everybody in the delivery room was encouraging, insisting until they were all ordering me to push properly. Hard as I could, I could not. Baby has already showed signs of distress, thus, I delivered my daughter through Caesarian section.
I guess the idea that everything was so unexpected, marked the onset of that silent “pull.” I woke up and was already in the delivery room. I cried nonstop. I could not move. I was not allowed to talk. I was helpless. And that’s what the “pull” wanted. And that’s how I started to give in to it.
I could not really put a finger on it. They say it’s all in the mind. But if you are somebody who is so used to be in “control” of things and something uncontrollable happens to you, it is one perfect way of feeding in to the “pull.”
It did not help that my daughter had to be brought to the doctor for an injection of her antibiotics, 3 times a day. And her multiplying rashes as days progressed, did not of course, help. I found myself worrying over these stressors. I had to deal with the changes in my routine as a new mother. I also had to deal with my CS wound. I had to deal with so many things at one time, and I did not know whether I was doing the right thing or not. Everything was so new to me. Again, I was not in control. And it scared me a lot. And I fed in to the “pull” again.
I started to have “pull” moments as part of my routine. It usually started after lunch. As I think about it now, it made sense. At least to me. Because that was usually the time when my baby would cry and I could not make her stop. Included in my routine was crying after she cries, or sometimes, crying with her. It sounds so funny now, but it was no fun at all during those times. Even after her crying routine at these times were over, I got stuck with my own crying routine.
The “pull” was so hard to shake off. I felt it creep on me even when I take a shower. It was like a thief that would strike you silently, and rob you off of your strength. It keeps me down, no matter where I looked and what I thought of… thus the name, “pull.” It was something that I never want to feel again. This must be how “depressed” people felt. I always brushed it off before, saying that it was all in the mind. Yes, it was, which made it even harder. Because you have to battle with something that is so abstract and intrinsic. That you could not actually say what would make things all right. What would make the sadness go away. It was a painful process. They say it was just the hormones. I say I wish I could flush all those hormones away.
Everyday, I felt bouts of these “pulls.” However, I started to resist it. It had to be done intentionally. Meaning, the decision has to come from within. I did a lot of things that would help me. I know there are no hard and fast rules as to how to “wake up” from such moments. However, these things helped me:
1. Talk, talk and talk
I started talking to family and friends. This was done by asking co-mothers if they have felt the same way also. And lo and behold, most of them said yes! I started to feel a little normal; each time I get a consistent reply. If you are a person who is not really the “opening up” type, then you have to become that person. It is very helpful.
It also helped a lot when I talked to my husband about it. The person who is constantly with you must know what you are going through. It helps a lot. It is up to your partner if he/she chooses to understand you. Of course it is better that way. But NEVER assume that he/she knows what you are going through without telling them about it. You HAVE to talk.
I also started talking to my daughter. They say that these are one of the very crucial bonding moments of childcare. I told her how I felt, may it be positive or negative. Sometimes, she would stop crying or just stare, as if listening. But it did help me.
2. Go out
I went out everyday for my daughter’s shots. However, it was not the “going out” that I mean. Seeing the view outside our house was a start. I did not appreciate the people that pass by, the trees in the garage or even the loud sounds of vehicles, until that time. It also helped when I went out of the house to go to my brother’s place. I brought my daughter with me. But the change of scenery was really a big help. A breather from the routine that was beyond my control. Plus, I get to be with my brother and his family, who were one of my best social supports at that time. Up until now.
3. Keep yourself busy
I was so uptight. I did not want to do anything else. I wanted to make sure that I am there at my baby’s beck and call. There was a time when I just watched her and counted her number of breathings! My neck would stiffen and I would bolt to her side when she started crying. It was an obsession. But I managed to get through it. I eventually learned to stand back. This was through reading. A friend of mine gave me a magazine. I realized then, that I am also capable of doing other things. So I started reading. I started to watch TV with my mind really on the show I was watching. I browsed through the Internet, checked my mails, and researched on irrelevant things. Talking to friends whom I did not see for a long time also helped. It kept me very busy. I also started doing things for work. I was starting to get back on track all these “busyness.”
4. Bring comfort food and drink within reach
I was breastfeeding. So I was constantly hungry, especially every after I fed her. Since we could not go out to buy things and food as much as we wanted to, I was limited to the food that we had at home. Not that they were not good, but they were not my COMFORT food. I got the idea from my sister in law also. So, I asked my parents to send me food that I loved from my hometown. I also had the chance to go out and buy those that I wanted to eat. It was heaven each time I took a bite.
Praying never fails. The things I have mentioned above would not have helped, if I did not pray. I did not have to go to church to do this. Talking to God in every way I can was my form of prayer. I slowly felt good each time I prayed. The belief that things will soon get better came from the power of prayers. I found a lot of my strength to carry on, through prayers.
All of these, as I have said, are not part of a formula to derive at one correct answer. But these have helped me deal with the “pull.” They may or may not help others.
I would like to believe that I have resisted the pull now. The experience has taught me a lot. I got to know myself better. I did not realize that I had such weaknesses. I know that this is something that some new mothers go through. But I also know that each experience is unique. Therefore, dealing with it also varies. But every experience, I believe, necessitates a choice. I guess I have simply chosen to “resist” the pull that was pulling me down.