Looking at Clara today, it seems like a miracle. I thought it would never end, the void seemed eternal. It was indeed something I had never felt before, nothing could have prepared me for this, nothing indeed. Getting married to Daniel was one of the highlights of my life, I couldn’t have imagined a better soul mate and bearing his child…, I couldn’t ask for anything more. My joy knew no bounds, it seemed like I was floating and I just did not want to stop.
Then it hit, few hours after pushing like my life depended on it, oh yes my life did. Exhausted, worn out and weak, I watched my bundle of joy placed in my hands and I was satisfied. Daniel was all smiles, all was good, or so it seemed until few days later. It all started gradually, at first it seemed like I was always tired; too weak to do anything, even to eat, carry my baby and to breastfeed. Thank God for mama, she came immediately she heard I had given birth. She kept pushing me to eat, always reminding me how important it was to ensure I was nourished enough to feed the baby. To me feeding my baby was becoming a burden. I was tired of the wailing that never seemed to stop, it was very irritating and I was getting very uncomfortable around my baby. Of course mama told me this was normal and since this was my first child I would eventually get used to it. I waited to get used to it, I really wanted to, but this didn’t happen.
The tears, they didn’t seem to stop. It was like someone opened a tap in my eyes. Every time Daniel woke me up to feed the baby, I would grumble and whine and when he insisted, I would start wailing, inside I felt he thought me to be a selfish mother, I could almost see his disappoint at how inept I was, in taking care of my own child and this was a reflection of how I felt about myself. Slowly I began to feel my baby hated me, the way she cried whenever I was around her, it seemed she knew i was becoming tired of her. I felt so different, so alone and so confused. Mama was the first to notice all was not well with me. She tried to talk to me but I kept to myself most times, staring into the void and feeling so sad. No one understands, at least, that was what I told myself.
The worst came, I was spiraling down each day, I could feel it, it was like nothing felt good anymore. Everything was bland, the food all tasted the same, all the colors were one and the things I loved doing before seemed to no long catch my fancy. Then the worst came, on this day, it was like I was totally zapped, I didn’t want to leave my bed, Daniel had already left for work and everywhere was quiet. Suddenly, mama rushed in, she shook me vigorously urging me to wake up, she said she had to rush to the market to get some things and I should clean up my baby. I eventually stood up, closed the door after mama left but didn’t bother to lock up, because I didn’t want to have to open it for her when she returned.
I was about going back to my room when I heard the baby’s cry. I stood at the door to her room, not knowing how to console her. I just wanted her to shut up, she was two months already wasn’t she old enough to stop crying?; I wondered. I slowly walked towards her crib, she couldn’t just stop screaming, weeping, and I was getting irritated so I decided to clean her up, maybe then she would stop.
I carried her to my bathroom and placed her in the tub. Oh gosh she kept screaming, I was tired, just wanted to go back to bed. I decided to put on the running water it would cool her; I thought. She seemed to have stopped crying and I feeling so weak, sat on the floor close to the tub. The next thing I remember was Daniel’s voice he was screaming I woke up to see him running around holding our baby. His eyes were red, he dragged me to the car and drove to the hospital. I was in shock, I just couldn’t speak. I didn’t quite understand, what had happened. All I knew was that something was wrong.
At the hospital I quietly waited for Daniel, when he came back I saw his face, the fury , the pain, it was so clear, he didn’t say a word to me and I kept mute. Then I saw mama, she spoke with Daniel quietly, then came back to me, she kept asking me what happened, and why, I was confused, what had I done, why was everyone angry with me. She slowly explained to me, that I had nearly drowned my own baby. Then I broke, crying unconsolably, I wished to die. To me it was time I left the earth. I felt worthless, Daniel was so angry he rushed to me and told me to stopped shedding fake tears, then the question I would never forget came,” are you the first person to give birth to a child?…” the answer, well, I wasn’t.
Looking back now I know I was lucky, really can’t say lucky it was indeed the grace of God. My baby survived, I received help and after Daniel realized I was actually sick, he forgave me and we are back to how we used to be. However not every story would be like this, there cannot always be “happily-ever -afters”.
POST PARTUM DEPRESSION IS REAL DEPRESSION IS REAL
IT IS A DISEASE AND WE SHOULD LEARN TO TREAT IS AS ONE
LEARN TO IDENTIFY THE ALERT SIGNALS IN PEOPLE AROUND US
TIMELY INTERVENTION CAN SAVE A LIFE
HAPPY WORLD HEALTH DAY
ARINZE UCHE, NiMSA PRO II.