Sunday, September 22, 2019

Motherhood and postpartum depression

As a new mom, I was full of excitement when I saw her tiny fingers entwined in mine. She looks so beautiful that I could stare at her all day. But who has the time? Apart from feeding her, there are other tasks to be managed too. The first few sleepless nights were not so difficult till it became an everyday routine. Just imagine not sleeping through the night for almost 10 months! My folks have been very supportive so I manage to get enough rest not to call myself sleep deprived. Yet I would love a 6 hour straight sleep without any wakings. Breastfeeding was a choice I made despite the difficulty of not really knowing if the baby is full or just wants comfort. 10 months down the line, the milk has reduced and the baby’s hunger has increased. I have a cleaner, a cook and a part time nanny. Yet the anxiety is at a peak.
The feeling of motherhood is amazing yet it has another reality too, the reality of postpartum anxiety. I won’t call it depression as it is not the right term for me at least. So what exactly happens when you go through postpartum anxiety? Here are a couple of things that I experienced:
1. The constant worry that the baby may stop breathing if I doze off.
2. The physical exhaustion from not sleeping well and the hormones going for a ride.
3. When the baby starts crawling, the fear of her falling off the bed or the cot. (This happened to me twice, once when I doze off. Since then I can’t sleep peacefully if I sleep with her alone).
4. When the baby learns how to stand, the stress of dealing with their tears when they tumble and fall due to lack of balance. (My baby almost bangs her head everyday yet my anxiety has not reduced).
5. The fear of being alone with your baby.
6. Wanting to leave everything and run away.
7. The most important one is the feeling of having failed as a mother each time the baby cries, falls sick, is unhappy, etc. I am sure every mother has had this thought at least once as a new mom.
The list is endless and each person has their own experiences. However, one thing that is common among all women who suffer postpartum anxiety is the constant need for support, care and the fear of future. I consulted a counselor who helped me understand that it is okay to be angry. Just like love, anger and anxiety are also emotions which we all experience.
The best way to deal with postpartum is to first consult a professional. You will at least get an awareness about your levels of anxiety. Thereafter, work on finding ways to get some time for yourself everyday. This is the most difficult thing to do while caring for a baby but it is extremely important. Remember if you are not fit, you will not be able to give your best to your child. A 10 minute routine of doing anything that does not involve your spouse or the baby is great to start with. Try and do as many things that make you happy as you can. Get lots of rest. The mistake that I made is not sleeping when the baby sleeps. I kept trying to complete work while she slept leading to exhaustion. For a long time, I resented the decision of having a baby as I missed my independence. Then I accepted my present state, thanked God for this beautiful gift of motherhood and appreciated myself for doing a damn good job every single day despite the exhaustion.
Always remember you are not alone. Many women experience anxiety and anger which they don’t express especially in India where women are supposed to be supermoms, superwives and super in every field. Don’t be ashamed of talking to your folks about what you are feeling and get as much support as possible. If you get stuck at any point just tell yourself “THERE IS NOTHING IN THE WORLD THAT I CANNOT HANDLE”. Living on your own terms also means accepting yourself as you are and working through the challenges.
I hope this helps you. Please follow me and like and share my stories if you enjoyed reading it.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Getting Pregnant with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome)

After gaining 10 kilos of weight and living a lifestyle based on junk food, I was detected with Poly-Cystic Ovary Syndroms (PCOS/PCOD). I had no idea about what this was, so I simply followed the doctor’s advice for two years. The doctor prescribed metformin tablets which would help regulate the hormones. I ended up eating more junk and gained more weight. The medicines didn’t help me lose weight nor help me get rid of the PCOS. The situation got worse due to excessive eating leading to mild depression.
Then I looked at my video where I was dancing at a cousin’s wedding. I was shocked at what I had become. I resolved that day to cure myself by focusing on my well being. I stopped taking the metformin which was making me lethargic. My visits to the gynecologist were depressing me, so I stopped going to her as well.
Despite the doctor being sure that it was not possible to reverse PCOS without metformin, I managed to reverse my PCOS. I got pregnant without undergoing fertility treatment. I also lost weight and had a very easy delivery.
I am not suggesting that a person detected with PCOS or thyroid must not follow the doctor’s advice. While you follow what the doctor says, please consider doing the following things because this may help you get rid of PCOS or thyroid naturally as it helped me.
1. Yoga
Yoga or meditation is an amazing way to gain control over the mind. I joined a yoga camp at the Yoga Institute in Mumbai, which was the best thing I did for myself since the PCOS was detected. It not only gives peace but also helps in increasing positivity. There are specific asanas which help in improving a woman’s reproductive system. You must do the Baddhakonasana (butterfly pose) every day before conception and during pregnancy as this asana strengthens the pelvic area and eases the delivery process. It also helps in the process of conception.
Paschimottanasana is a forward bending asana that helps to work on the abdomen, ovaries, and uterus.
Setu Bandhsana (bridge pose) is a great asana. It works on the glutes, thighs, and back. It also enhances blood circulation in the ovaries and uterus which helps in improving fertility.
Apart from these asanas, one must also do asanas that aid in weight loss such as Pavanmuktasana, Hastapadasana, Konasana, Bhujangasana.
Yogendra Pranayam IV, Anulomvilom pranayam and Kapalbhati pranayam are great to treat PCOS and Thyroid.
2. Healthy eating
The best thing would be to consult a dietician. I consulted a dietician at the hospital who gave me wonderful tips. The foods that really help are ones that are rich in antioxidants such as blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, and avocado. Eat sweet potato, carrots and lots of green vegetables such as spinach, bitter gourd, french beans. Do not skip breakfast. Oats give a wonderful start to the day as they are rich in fibre. Eat small meals every 2-3 hours.
3. Exercise 
Weight loss is important for reversing PCOS as this is a lifestyle condition. Instead of doing crazy workouts and burning out the next day, focus on increasing your physical activity step by step. I started with 15 minute walks at home. Gradually, I was able to work out in the gym for an hour. I managed to lose 10 kilos slowly and steadily without quitting any of my favorite foods. Everyone is different. Accept yourself as you are. Then work towards bringing about changes that you desire one by one.
4. Have faith, not doubt
Half of the battle is the battle of the mind. Don’t be a woman of doubt. Be a woman of faith. If you believe you can do it, you will surely succeed. It may take time but don’t give up. Most of the lifestyle conditions result out of stress. So forget the stress and have faith that God will do the rest.
5. Acupressure
There are certain points in our hands and legs which can be used to treat diseases, pains, aches or other medical conditions. I learned acupressure from some senior teachers. Consistently giving myself the acupressure points treatment contributed to the reversal of PCOS.
6. A happy mind is key to a healthy body
Lastly, let go of the things you don’t like. Take up a hobby or a new challenge to keep your mind occupied with things that you enjoy doing. In the daily grind, we often forget to enjoy the little things that make us truly. If you are in a happy frame of mind, you will eat well and feel good. That is the key to a healthy body. Once you are happy in your mind, you will be healthy in your body.
Disclaimer: Please note that these are things which have helped me reverse my PCOS and get pregnant naturally. However, I have no intention of advising anyone to ignore their doctor’s advice. Alongside your doctor’s treatment, you can try the above to expedite the process of reversal of PCOS or thyroid.
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Sunday, June 2, 2019

Break the routine

As each day passes by in the daily grind
The soul craves for a challenge that will enlighten the mind,

The cycle of a mundane routine kills my imagination 
As each day passes I crave for a vacation,

Then I ponder over a question that has made me wonder for days
In a routine that bores me why don’t I find some creative ways,

I open my pen and sit with a notebook in which I used to write poetry
But words don’t flow the way they used to when I wrote while sitting below a tree,

As I pen down my first thoughts and struggle to find a further way
The table clock reminds me of the tasks to be done before the end of day,

I keep the pen down and stare at the line I wrote on the paper for a while
Telling myself I will complete the tasks later which makes me smile,

After an hour of struggle I finally finish the poem with satisfaction 
And I return to the routine without any depression,

All you need is a little time for yourself once in a while
To break the chains of routine and do something that makes you smile.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Women's Day 2019 - What about the MAN in the woMAN?

What about the man in the woman, who works day & night so his family can survive 
He wakes up early morning, sleeps late at night and does overtime in a job that is nine to five
Everyone in the family appreciates his wife for being a superwoman but nobody looks at the man who supports her all the time
Yet he doesn’t complain, he smiles and goes to the shop outside his house to drink soda with lime,

The newspapers discuss laws that would help in protecting women from all types of crimes
But they do not talk about the man who teaches his daughter to fight when she faces difficult times
They say that this world is not safe because there is a man standing outside her door
The media is not interested in writing about the man who stands for justice yet is uncared for,

Everyone greets her with flowers for the support that she extends
For making her life so beautiful nobody asks him what he expects
There is a special day to celebrate the glory and success of a woman
So why don’t we have a day to celebrate the contribution of her man?

She cooks, cleans, takes care of her family every single day
To make her smile on difficult days he goes out of the way
We have enough laws to protect our damsel in distress
But now we need some regulations to protect our men who are in stress

The men who exploit women should be prosecuted 
But the women who lie and blackmail men should also be arrested 
We want to be protected from harassment that’s why we started the slogan “Me too”
To stand against the women who misuse the law, the time has come to start the campaign of “He too”

I am not a feminist, I believe in equality for all
I don’t want to be treated special, I just want credit for work done on my own
My strength comes from my father, my husband and my brother 
Who always taught me not to feel let down by another,

On this woman’s day let’s celebrate real freedom
Instead of blindly supporting women who lie in the name of feminism 
Let us express gratitude to the man who helps you become a woman

Let us create a world where no one asks what about the MAN in the woMAN.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

A tribute to Indian Army - The Soldier who stood alone

I salute the soldier who stood alone in winter and in summer,

It is because of him that I live my life with peace and cheer,

I sleep on my bed peacefully at night,

Because a soldier is keeping danger out of my sight,

I enjoy the festivals and holidays with my family,

While the soldier guards our borders even if the weather is chilly,

He goes through a tough training,

So he can serve my country,

He doesn't bother if his shoes are torn when it is raining,

So I can play with my child and be happy,

Today his family mourns and is feeling sad,

While I watch the news about his death and feel bad,

He gave his life in a second for my security,

And all I do is light candles and forward messages on whatsapp,

He fought till the end so he could do his duty,

While I sit with my friends to have coffee and chit-chat,

After a few days the media will start discussing another story,

People will forget the soldier and his glory,

I hope we all remember how the man stood alone,

While fighting for our security, today the soldier is gone.

Jai Hind 🇮🇳
Janki Hemani (