I should totally totally be sleeping right now since I've gotten like 10 hours of sleep for the past week (newborn at home) but I have this overwhelming urge to write.
It's probably the hormones.
Oh yeah, so, I had a baby boy. Please welcome Aiden.
As some readers might know, I don't have a very good relationship with my mom. When I had the baby, I gave her a call, informing her of the news... just because, well, she is my mother.
She currently lives in Boston... supposedly with my sister but my dad told me that they apparently aren't living together anymore because of "issues." So yeah, anyway. I called her. Got her voicemail. She called me. Got my voicemail. Finally, yesterday we were able to talk on the phone.
She told me like 10 times to "take care of myself." She said not to touch cold water or get up and around too much. She said to stay in bed and to rest because I will otherwise regret it for the rest of my life when health issues start coming up... issues like feeling like the "wind" is coming out of my joints if I don't keep them covered and warm enough. Of course, she said no showers. Eat lots of mi yuk gook and rest rest rest. When I told her about my swollen feed (which I immediately regretted doing) she said it was because I "must be" running around and not resting. To all this, I just said nae nae... and promised to do as she said, knowing that I cannot since it's just me and the hubs and there is no way in hell I can stay in bed all day.
I don't know how much truth there is to it but she and all the other older Korean ajummas believe that how you take care of your body after giving birth can lead to a lifetime of good health or a lifetime of ill health.
Many Korean moms of MILs take special care of their daughters or DILs for about one month after the birth of a child. I don't know where the month thing comes from. But it's always a month.
My brain that believes in western medicine wants to not believe a thing my mom says about this... I mean, what's the logic in not touching cold water? The rest thing, I can kind of understand but not eating spicy food or making sure I'm always covered up? I dunno. Yet, at the same time that one part of my brain doesn't want to believe it, another part of my brain thinks, what if it is true? What if I do get all these ailments because I'm not "taking care of myself" during this time and later on down the road, I feel the "wind" coming out of my hands cuz I washed my hands in cold water? Or had to wash some fruit so that I can eat it? These thoughts pop into my head and make me hesitate, a little, to put my hands in cold water.
Oh, the other thing I've heard is that Korean women's bodies are different from white women's bodies and that's why we can't do what they do... "what they do" meaning run around and do errands, cook food, go to the market, take a shower, etc... right after giving birth to a child. I think to myself, really? Are Korean women's bodies (or I guess Asian women since I know the Chinese culture has a similar thing) really different from white women's bodies? What about hapa moms? Do they not have to abide by this rule or do they still have to if they are 1/2 Asian?
Does anyone else ask these same questions? Do you believe in this? Why or why not? I'm sure some of us just do what our moms say because "mothers know best" and also since it doesn't hurt... and it's also a good excuse (well, not really an excuse but you know what I mean) to stay in bed and not have to do any chores for a month at least... But some of us might believe 100% that it is absolutely critical to abide by these rules for 1 month post partum.
I am trying to rest as much as I can but obviously, I can't stay in bed all day. I have a newborn that needs to be breast fed constantly and also a 2.5 year old who has needs. I haven't gone out (except for a doctor's appointment for which I was scolded for going out) at all so I guess I'm abiding by that and I've only taken 1 shower since giving birth... I also need to eat and take my medications... and I have to get out of bed to do all this. I've also worn short sleeve shirts.. and the first night back from the hospital, I actually walked around in my underwear at night cuz it wasn't that cold and I didn't have time to put my pants on (the baby was crying and it's hard to put pants on and breast feed at the same time.)
So, I guess I've been selectively applying some of the 1 month rules... I guess the trick is trying to figure out which ones "really" matter and which ones are fudge-able.