The following narration follows a mother who’s recently given birth but is suffering from what is commonly understood as postpartum depression.
No one told me that it was called postpartum depression. I cringed, I cried, I hurt myself and I loathed the sight of my baby – no one knew why. All they kept saying was that I wasn’t a good mother.
I gave birth to a beautiful little baby boy around a year ago, however something was not right
Everything went exceptionally well. The delivery was normal and the baby was fine. Despite months of scary thoughts and wanting to get the process right, everything went very smoothly. My boy was healthy and everyone was saying how he is the most beautiful baby they have ever set eyes on.
The moment that I set eyes on my own baby, I felt… nothing.
This was supposed to be my moment, the moment I finally transitioned into a mother. It was supposed to be life altering, feeling so intensely for a being you have created yourself. The amount of love for that child was supposed to take all memories of pain and nausea and peeing my pants away. But I felt the exact opposite.
The nurse wanted me to hold the baby I looked at her. She had a huge smile on her face, as if she was proud of being a part of that moment. But I did not want to hold my own baby.
I wanted to lie down, close my eyes, cover myself with a blanket and cry for hours and hours. I wanted to be left alone. But so many eyes were on me, expecting me to demand that I hold my child. I obliged, thinking that it must be something everyone does and is expected of them.
And so I held my baby boy.
I felt empty. Everything that happened from that moment onwards was enforced. People coming and going, observing my lack of interest in the baby, lecturing me on how to be a good mother and completely failing to understand how a mother can be so disconnected from her own child. No one mentioned that it was ok to feel this way, no one suggested that I get some help. Everyone was focused on pointing out how bad a mother I was.
I would stay lying in my bed for hours
I would cry when someone asked me to pick him up or when I was called as soon as he started crying. This went on for a good six months until one day I decided to look it up. Just like one of those people who have this inherent feeling that something’s not right, and it’s not because they are a bad person.
I came across literature on what postpartum depression was and was shocked to learn that people barely know anything about this
1 in 10 women are affected by it, yet the pressure of being a good mom stops them from talking about it and they just go through the motions to avoid being labelled as a bad mom. I contacted a doctor and started taking care of myself. My husband wasn’t at fault either. He did not know himself. We talked about it, planned the recovery and eventually began my journey to make it through.
For those of you going through this, know that there is nothing wrong with you and it’s not your fault. It will go away.
This Woman’s Fight Against Postpartum Depression Will Inspire All New Mothers Dealing With This Disease
Cover image via: istockphoto.com