While going through the internet, daily I find one article or write up on postpartum depression. One common point in all the write ups was that no one speaks about it. But why? The postpartum is so true. This depression is mostly experienced by every mum(even though some of them don’t acknowledge it), but generally no one prefers to talk about it. Earlier I had my doubts about writing about it, but then I thought, why not? I should openly talk about it and feel proud of the fact that I went through it and came out of it on my own. Giving birth to a baby and the life after, is the universal law of nature which every mom goes through, so why feel shy in discussing it ? So today, in most of my sanest mind I will talk and write about my postpartum with lot of pride and affirmation.
As no one speaks about this, there is very little awareness about postpartum among new mothers. They are afraid to talk about their true feelings to anyone for the fear of being misunderstood. With the busy schedule and progression of life, very few people realize that what they went through was a kind of depression. I would really request more and more mothers to create awareness around themselves so that less people feel lost in this. I read about this on internet at the time of my pregnancy but no one ever told me in particular about it. I never understood it until I experienced it. Both my mums showed me a very rosy and an alluring picture of my postpartum duration. They always spoke about the new baby and his/her clothes and toys, the joys of having a grandchild, the things they were to cook for me and how the life will be so beautiful thereafter . But no one told me about those unsaid things that were to follow the child birth.
I was really thinking that every thing will fall into place like before within a month, after my little one is born. I will be able to walk the next week, my excess weight and flab will be gone, feeding will be natural and hassle free, I will fit in my old clothes and I will be pampered all the time as baby will be asleep for most of the time. But the reality was not as I pictured it to be . My life, no doubt, changed for good and today I am very happy with the way its progressing, but at that very time I didn’t realize it or I was not made to realize that. The irony with me was that most of my confidants are now pregnant or recently became mothers. So I was not having the back of my soul sisters for this discussion. So I thought of penning it down as my preggers soul sister is really worried about her postpartum. And also, my other soul sissy can very well relate with this, as she recently became a proud mommy.
This assurance, that I am not alone, is the most important notion during this phase, as it helps to pull back . Its very relaxing to know that you are not sailing in the boat alone. The frustration inside is not baseless. There are many mums who have gone through a similar phase. Today they all have overcome it and are great mothers to their children. So for you also, this too shall pass.
I can recall so many incidents when I felt like a neglected one and when I was not very happy with my surroundings. It was no one’s fault as that was the way it was suppose to be, only I was the one not aware of it. My body was so exhausted with the nine months nurturing fatigue that a little bit of disconnect acted like a trigger for a bigger crying session. I still recall crying like a baby in front of Mr Husband and MIL because the last night he went home early to take a peaceful sleep and I was not sleeping for 3 days even after taking the medicines. During the day I was either meeting people or feeding the baby, with getting drips and injections all over and during the night also, feeding the little one was the only agenda. In short, even after a C-Sec, I was sleep deprived while my dear husband simply took off for a sound sleep. I was really jealous of him and feeling bad for myself that I have to go through all the pain during and after the pregnancy while his life was pretty much the same. The only saving grace during that time were the people coming to meet me. I am really thankful to all those who visited me in the hospital and at home, as they helped me to release my happy hormones.
The other thing that pushed me into the depression was the lack of assurance that everything will be fine gradually. Everyone took it for granted that I will understand everything and will easily adjust with the things happening. But that was not the case. Today when I see the pictures, I am very happy to see her all so red and chubby just after the birth but so sad and furious to see myself all bloated and in pain. I was made to walk the very next morning of my op as I was to be able to feed the baby. Really! The next day! All, sleeping through the day to recover, became a dream. Everyone was more concerned about the baby. I admit today that I did not fell in love with her the very first time I saw her, as its shown or portrayed.
I thought things might get better when we got home from the hospital, but it was quite the opposite. I had literally not slept in days, but I couldn’t get to sleep. I would lie awake wondering about the time when I used to sleep peacefully. There was so much stress inside me that everything around me was gloomy and every person was giving negative vibes. The thought, that I would never get my life back ,was scaring me out. I was afraid to nurse her, change her, bathe her( although mothers helped me do that), I did it anyway because I knew it was my job, but all it was to me was a “job.” A constant fear of doing something wrong was pushing me deep into a depression. And the worst part, no one was able to look that in my eyes, and I couldn’t even say that to anyone. I was afraid to share my fears as I thought to myself that there might be people thinking, that being a mother, you have to be selfless, sleep deprived, generous, understanding, responsible, always available for your baby( even if you are in pain), when I was feeling just the otherwise. I was very sure that there was no one who will understand what turmoil was going inside me. I was having a constant fear of people not giving me time to adjust to this new phase, to understand my responsibilities in this new role. I never wanted motherhood to be a burden for me. I always wanted to have a happy and fruitful motherhood where I was having my space as well as looking after the baby. That time I couldn’t understand but today I realize that those people were the ones who do not understand postpartum depression. And today I ask everyone elderly around me that why couldn’t they read my fears?
Happy times again….
Time moved on and gradually my depression faded away. It went with the endless support from my family, especially Mr Husband. It was him who in real sense pull me out of it. It was his support, patience and encouragement that helped me to be back to my jolly self. Generously he took all the blames on himself when I used to feel low. He acted like an anchor who helped me in every phase of looking after my daughter. He encouraged me to start writing and ignited a passion to follow my heart. He use to (still does) look after the little one after coming back from work, so that I can finish my post. He took me out on vacations( sometimes), for a healthy change from routine. Also during my initial days of postpartum, he stood like a rock in front of me and saved me from many harsh moments. Thank you Mr Husband for being what you are.
Today I love my daughter the most and she simply is the best thing that ever happened to me. I proudly take her as my responsibility and I am very confidant about the way I am grooming her. I take in lot of pride in myself that I have dealt with all the situations. Today I enjoy my space, I have started writing, I am following my dream and also seeing her grow into a beautiful little lady. She enjoys outings, being with people, listens to music, sings, dances and she is a happy kid. Without doubt this wouldn’t have been possible without Mr Husband.
One thing that I have realized and I would suggest to all the “would be” and new mums out there is that take some time out for yourself. Talk to yourself about your life’s progression. It helps ease your nerves and gives a near aim in life. Always try to get your ‘Me Time’ from the busy schedule. Just remember, your child will learn from you. Being happy and portraying a happy mum image in front of your child will create positive vibes in your home and will create a good atmosphere around the child to grow and learn. Postpartum depression is the most common outcomes resulting from post pregnancy and no one should shy away from accepting it. Have faith in yourself and be patient, with yourself and the surroundings. We all should feel wonderful about ourselves and very proud of the fact that we have the strength to give birth and nurture a life. No one but only you can can make yourself happy and fulfilled.