“Make sure you take care of yourself too. Shower everyday, even if it’s just a quick 5 minutes.”
My doctor’s last piece of directions before we left the hospital 3 weeks ago still rings in my ears. I remember constantly being told to look out for signs of postpartum depression, anything unusual that may cause heavier bleeding, dizziness or fever.
What I didn’t know was that even though I avoided all of these postpartum symptoms, I would be experiencing a whole world of emotions due to the old wives tales my culture believed in and my family would be following strictly.
Asian Old Wives Tales
This isn’t the first time I’d be forced to follow these “beliefs.” I had to go through this after our first pregnancy with Bryan (“The Long Road to Recovery”). Even then, that month was emotionally taxing.
- Old Wives Tale: No showers or soaking in water all month. Steam baths only. It’s supposed to help prevent back pains and arthritis in the future?
- I felt disgusting after the first week.
- I couldn’t even do the dishes.
- Old Wives Tale: Strict diet- plain foods, no seasoning, no fruits or raw vegetables.
- I like rice, but after this month I’m okay with not seeing another bowl of rice for a while.
- You have no idea how bad I’m craving fruit.
- Old Wives Tale: Only room temperature water or hot tea. Nothing cold is allowed in the body.
- I want something fizzy so bad! I want a pop!
- I’ve gotten up super early in the morning before my family comes over just to sneak in a cup of coffee (2 babies under 2 with no caffeine in me? HA! Yeah right!).
- Old Wives Tale: No traveling up and down the stairs or lifting anything.
- Once I’m downstairs for the day, I’m not allowed to go back upstairs until bedtime. Needless to say, I’ve brought down a basket of things everyday…
- They even went as far as to tell me that Tory needed to carry me down the stairs…(yeah we haven’t done that. I wasn’t going to wake up at 5 AM on the mornings that Tory had to be at work by 7 just to go downstairs…).
- Telling me I couldn’t lift my son when he wanted to be carried? Yeah, nice try! I’m not going to avoid my son!
- Old Wives Tale: Rolling a hot bottle on the stomach after each meal.
- Honestly, this is the only thing I’ve seen a benefit from. Three weeks postpartum and my stomach has nearly flattened to my pre-pregnancy belly. I’ve lost 22 lbs. and only have 15 left to lose.
Physically, I feel disgusting. Emotionally, I feel like crying all the time. I can’t do anything myself. I’m the type of person that always did a lot myself and rarely asked for help.
I’ve been stuck in the house for almost a month. The only times I’ve been allowed to leave is for Kennedy’s doctor’s appointments and my friend’s funeral (don’t even get me started on how much more emotional I’ve been since). Today is my cousin’s fiance’s bridal shower and I wasn’t even allowed to go. My cousin and my aunts all got to get dressed up to go and I’m stuck at home…
I feel like I can’t talk to anyone because no one I know has had to do this. I feel like there’s no end in sight! I asked if we would be done this coming Tuesday (August 21) because that marks 4 weeks since we had Kennedy. Instead of an answer, I received questions back. Why did I want to be done so soon? I’ve gone this long, why can’t I just keep doing it?
This month long restriction has a lot to do with why I don’t want anymore kids. I can’t go through this again! Not only do I not physically and emotionally feel like myself, but I feel like my relationship with Tory hasn’t been what we’re used to.
I can’t go out with him and Bryan to the store. I can’t take showers so I don’t even like to be touched. We rarely eat meals together because I’m on a schedule; most of the time he’s at work until late and my family doesn’t want me eating dinner late, which is something I’ve always been used to.
Here’s hoping the end comes soon before I start feeling even worse… (I miss grocery shopping, cleaning the house and just being able to go outside).