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Archana Natarajan

Abstract


4.5  

Archana Natarajan

Abstract


Day 9 Of Lockdown #COVID- 19

Day 9 Of Lockdown #COVID- 19

4 mins 86 4 mins 86

2nd April 2020

Diary of a new mother 


My entire series of these 21 days will be based on my experience of being in this lockdown and staying home as a first-time mother of a 5-month-old baby, Anvay. 


Dear Diary,


I woke up in the morning with a catch in my neck. I was not able to bend my neck forward or turn it to the right. Since Anvay had not been sleeping well from the past few days I had barely slept for more than three hours a day. I used to start putting him to sleep by 8:30 PM, feeding him, holding him, rocking him, swinging him in the cradle, bouncing him, babywearing him, playing with him but nothing worked. He slept only when he wanted to. So, Yd and I fenced the bed with bolsters and pillows and allowed him to roll around in the bed till he felt tired and wanted to sleep. It was almost at 12:00 AM that he was finally falling asleep. The first three hours he managed to sleep in the cradle and the next two hours on the bed. His sleep cycle was changing and it was a difficult time for me to transition his night sleep from cradle to bed. After the third month he never slept in the cradle and completely transitioned to our cot but one fine day we tried and from his fifth month he started enjoying his sleep in the cradle again. I was very glad that he would be able to sleep in the cradle when I would be at work during the day. Night-time cot transition was happening in a very weird way. He would cry out loudly and wake up sweating profusely in the cradle. I would feed him, calm him and if nothing happens Yd would use the SOS Donald Duck toy or play with him till he stopped crying. Then slowly we would put him on the cot to sleep while patting him. Yd and I tried all the methods to stretch his sleep at least beyond 6 AM in the morning but it wasn’t seeming to work. Both of us woke up groggy-eyed and if we discussed in the morning about the number of times we had to wake up at night we wouldn’t remember a thing! We both call it the- ‘Anvay hangover’. 


Thankfully Yd had work-from-home due to the lockdown, he was able to take those few extra hours of nap in the morning which were earlier being wasted in traveling to work; otherwise, it was going to be really difficult to stay up in the morning and start work when there were continuous meetings scheduled. I tried sleeping when Anvay would sleep during the day but those 30-40 minutes short naps were enough for me to take a bath, have my breakfast/lunch or do some minimal household chores. It is a privilege to have a family to help out at home when there is a baby in the house, and even more thankful in times of this lockdown when we can’t depend on external help. Despite all of this I felt my energy was draining. I was feeling alright during the last month but this month was different, it could be that because of very less sleep my aches and pains had increased. I had consulted a doctor but he said nothing much can be done as I was a lactating mother and it is not advisable to take any pain-relieving medication. I was advised to correct my posture and continue feeding in the side-lying position or while sitting in the chair upright resisting the urge to hang my head down and sleep. I tried correcting this initially but another problem came up because of the side-lying on the left most of the time and feeding; my entire left side of the body, right from the left neck, shoulder, arms and till the toes had a dull ache which felt like my left side was getting numb. The doctor told me that it could have something to do mainly with my neck and I should go for physiotherapy and some stretching exercises. Due to the lockdown, the physiotherapist had closed his clinic and I was not in a position to leave Anvay and go for the sessions every day before the lockdown was announced. The pain was so much that I felt like cutting my arm off. I wanted some solution to this problem where medicines wouldn’t be involved but wasn't able to approach the right doctor due to the lockdown. Some supplements were added by my doctor so that my pain would come down but it was not going to solve the problem completely. In vain, I was desperately looking for an acupressurist as that was the only kind of therapy that did not involve any medicines. Unfortunately, during this lockdown, it was difficult to take an acupressure based therapy as online consultation wouldn't work in my case.


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