Saturday, June 9, 2018

Franny Mommy : Post Partum Depression and the realness of it

I still can't believe it. I was having dinner with my family last night when my brother-in-law shared a link with me. Anthony Bourdain is found dead at 61. I immediately thought it was a fake news as that's pretty rampant nowadays then when I showed the link to Paul, he pointed out that it was from CNN and they can't possibly come out with fake news. Then reality set in. WHY? This was the main question we all had around the table. He was at the top of his TV and food career, travelling the world, eating in all the most sought after places, he was leading the game. HOW? He died by taking his own life..his own precious life. A few days ago, fashion icon Kate Spade also passed away due to suicide. Mental illness is no joke and it's one that we all can play a role to fight it.

Let me tell you something that I have kept a secret for 7 months.

franny mommy
L's little hand holding on to me
I almost fell into what they call "post-partum depression". I never thought I would. After all, I've always been a jolly person and definitely having my twins is something that I've always hoped, prayed and longed for. However, as I've mentioned a couple of times before, our first month was pretty challenging. The twins were immediately placed in the NICU for 2 and a half weeks because they were born underweight. So tiny that it was quite scary to hold them. Every day, every single morning, I would call the hospital to get updates on their weight. Every single gram gained would earn a cheer from us. There were good days, there were bad days. L was a very fragile baby as she was born with very immature digestive tract and a little more milk would make her throw up. At barely a week old, she was already taking motillium every 8 hours. That's not something a normal baby would have. At 3 weeks, the doctor found out that she has inguinal hernia thus she has to be operated upon. Just before her scheduled operation, her blood results showed that she has low blood count and we were asked to see a pediatric hematologist/oncologist. Let me repeat that. pediatric oncologist. Believe me, as a new mom, a lot of things went in my head and it didn't helped that our pedia didn't want to say anything more but for us to just get advice for the specialist. As I cradled my little girl in my arm, I just cried...and cried and cried. She was so tiny, so weak and there's nothing I can do to help her. Thankfully, all went well and her operation was a success.



They were home with us after two weeks and shortly after that, our nanny went AWOL on us. It didn't helped that she was never a ray of sunshine from the day she joined us but somehow she managed to make me feel so inadequate as a mom. How she would look at me with judgmental eyes while I struggle to make my twins latch on to me. How she would talk behind my back and tell the other helpers what a loser I am for forcing my twins to breastfeed when I obviously do not have enough milk. Then she left us, not that she was a big loss but her absence also meant no sleep for me. A new mom who was trying to learn fast yet fighting the need to catch some zzzs. There were nights when I'd be up watching YouTube videos of breastfeeding tutorials. I honestly felt like a noob and I blame myself for not preparing enough when I was still pregnant with them.

Then it hit me. One day, I was up (well, I dont think I ever slept at all) nursing J and I heard my sister, my niece and my brother in law came to the house so early in the morning. I was so excited to see them but I was stuck inside the room carrying my sleeping baby. Then I heard my sister saying good bye to my parents, I later found out that she left my niece for my parents to watch over while she will go out to do some bazaar shopping that day. That was probably the saddest moment of my life. Suddenly, I questioned it that will be my life from now on. Trapped at home, full time mommy, no social life. You see, I've always been a very mobile person all my life. One who goes out whenever I please. Back then, I would have my calendar filled to the brim with lunches, dinners, meeting up with friends, bazaar shopping and more. Since I gave birth, all I did was to roll out of bed when one baby is crying and nurse him or her back to sleep. I barely even had time to brush my teeth!

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I was a mess while trying to keep things together. I was too proud to admit that something that troubling me so I try to deal with it on my own. It was probably only Paul who knew something wasn't right. We have been together for 15 years, after all. That's pretty much half of our lives and he knows me so well. I got to say that had it not been for Paul, I think I would have fell into that black hole really quick. Paul has been an amazing father and husband. Aside from taking care of our babies, he has never left my side. Despite that, there were still those quiet nights when I'd feel so alone. I often would wonder if I am being the best mom that J and L deserves. They're such amazing babies... they're the sweetest and most forgiving beings and I sometimes wonder if I am good enough for them.

It was also during these darkest moments when I realized who my real friends were. I remembered how envious I was of this group of foodie friends as they would eat out a lot and I would go to the extent of telling them that I wanna join them next time. Somehow, my self invitation fell on deaf ears and one even jokingly told me "sure if we lost as much weight as you na." I'm not dumb. That was a clear NO and what he didn't know was I was losing weight because I wasn't well. I've learned to write them off my life already. We don't need friends like them after all.

Then I learned to snap out of it. It wasn't easy but it was what my sister once told me that strucked me really hard. She said that my babies won't care if I'm breastfeeding them or bottle feeding them. They won't mind if I am not carrying them the perfect way. All they need and deserve is a happy and healthy mommy. She told me that it's okay to take breathers once in a while. It's okay to make mistakes and learn from them. That's what motherhood is all about. I always knew that my sister is really a smarty pants but she sure got a lot of Mommy wisdom too.

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Happier me with my precious gems on my birthday ♥ 
From that point on, I tried to take it easy. Taking deep breathes when I'm feeling overwhelmed and not being afraid to ask for help. It was also perfect timing that Yaya D entered our lives and things started to get better. Gone are the dark thoughts and thankfully I get more sleep already so waking up to happier mornings.

No matter what, I will never forget that stage in my life and it's one place that I don't wanna be in again...ever. However, there are still a lot of people who are struggling not to fall into depression. Some are already in it, some are just dangerously cruising around it. What I learned from it is that we all have to be sensitive to one another. Be Kind and Be Genuine. If you tell someone that you want to keep in touch, then by all means do so. We're all just a message away so just take that time out to say hi and hold someone's hand if you feel they need you to.

So here's a message to all my readers out there. You've been with me for the past 11 years and I'd like to do the same for all of you. If you feel the need to talk, please drop me a message. I promise that I'll be there to hold your hand and hopefully we can get you out of your darkest days together. *hugz*.

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