Archana was elated when the pregnancy test came positive. She was waiting for this day to come again; the tears of joy, the happiness on the face of her husband, Arjun and the excitement of her inlaws, it was like a rewind of her first pregnancy!!
She had a son, Jai, who was almost 3 years old now. She felt as if it was just yesterday when he was born. All his milestones were like a picture in her memory. His first step, his first word, wow, she was really excited and happy to be going through it again. She had always wanted two kids. And now her dream was going to come true.
She went through her pregnancy smoothly. She had a very good support system, Arjun, her inlaws and her parents were all looking forward for arrival of the new baby. Archana and Arjun were constantly explaining to Jai about his new brother/sister. He was very excited and would point to his mom’s belly and show his dad that there’s a baby in there. He would also kiss her belly.
All in all everything was going well.
At the end of her pregnancy, Archana delivered a healthy baby boy. His first cry brought tears in her eyes and at the same time she was also smiling. What a beautiful boy he was!! That feeling when he was kept on her tummy was indescribable!! Everyone in the family was happy, all were in a celebratory mood.
Jai was initially scared to come to Archana, as he was wondering what happened to his Mamma!! But, Arjun explained to him that his Mamma was fine, so he was alright again.
The problems started after Archana came home. She made sure she spent most of her time with Jai, as he should not feel left out. Arjun would also take him out everyday. But a couple of days later, Jai started behaving very differently. He wouldn’t eat well, keep throwing tantrums and he would come and hit his younger brother every now and then.
Seeing this, Archana would lose her cool. She started yelling at Jai, and almost hit him a couple of times. She started getting emotionally unstable, would cry every now and then. This was affecting the care of her younger one. Arjun, her inlaws and her parents kept reassuring her that things would be fine. But she just couldn’t control herself. She kept crying, yelling and repeatedly questioning herself, ‘have I failed as a mom?’ .
She loved both her kids immensely, but she couldn’t help it where all these thoughts were coming from. She was very anxious and worried about Jai’s behaviour. She sometimes felt that she shouldn’t have got a second child.
As Archana was very disturbed with all this, Arjun decided to consult her doctor. The doctor then explained to Archana that she needs to keep calm. He told her that she has a very good support system and she needs to be patient with Jai. Yelling at him would make things worse. He would become more stubborn and the cycle would repeat. Also, it was a difficult time for Jai too. Although he was explained throughout the pregnancy about his new sibling, he too was anxious when he sees his mother holding a new baby. He too feels that he’s not getting as much attention as before.
After the doctor’s visit, things started to get better. Archana got rid of all her negative emotions and learnt to be calm. Every one at home supported her immensely, so that she could come out of this easily. Jai’s behaviour improved as Archana started to be calm. She showered as much attention and love as she could, to him. She realised that she had not failed as a mom, but the circumstances were such that she had got all these things in her head. Being patient definitely helped her.
Such a thing could happen to even the strongest of us. The period post delivery is a very trying period especially for the mother and more so if it’s a second child, as the mothers constantly inhabit irrational fears about the well being of the elder child. It is important to recognize these signs and seek help if it’s persisting for a longer period and affecting the care of the children.
Pic courtesy : Google images
Author’s note : This post has first appeared on mycity4kids parenting platform.