Postpartum Depression – Tracy’s Story

Posted Posted by kenyanmom in Featured, Featured Mom, Mom Stories, The Mom Life     Comments No comments

When I took the pregnancy test (after the standard peeing on a stick) and realised I was pregnant, I could not wait to tell my husband. It was the happiest day of my life. We had been trying for a child for 2 years, and I was beginning to think I might not be among the lucky baby-bump bearing, lactating moms. We had been told that there was nothing wrong with either of us, and probably all that was plaguing us was anxiety. My husband and I had decided to relax, pray, and let nature take it’s course.

Other than the first 3 months of my pregnancy where morning sickness hit hard (I enjoyed every bit of it mark you), my pregnancy was very pleasant. Energy filled, glowing skin, lush hair and nails and a laugh that I could never get rid of. Mark always thought it sounded hideous but I did not care!

Fast-forward to 38 weeks. Labour hit hard, which although I had read everything there was to read and prepared myself mentally and emotionally, nothing could have prepared me for the pain involved. Still, I was so excited and I could not have traded the pain for anything in the world! I was blessed with a bouncing baby boy, 3,800grams in weight, through normal delivery. After all the excitement surrounding the birth, with friends relatives and doctors fussing over me and my little one, it was time for Mark and I to take our bundle of joy home.

We had decided we needed to be alone, just the 3 of us, to get to know each other and get used to being a family. We therefore did not hire any permanent help for the first 3 months. A temporary cleaning lady is all we engaged, who would come in during the day and leave after her chores were done. Timmy, our little angle was a fussy one. He could wake up all hours of the night but Mark was a God-sent and we managed quite well.

Or so we thought. Mark had taken 3 weeks leave, just to be around, and when he went back to work, I realised something was wrong. 2 weeks in, I had started feeling quite weepy, which we choked to exhaustion and hormones. It is to be expected. Only for me, it never went down. When Mark went back to work, it became worse. So bad was it, that when Tim cried, I would just watch him till he cried himself hoarse. That or I would break down and cry.

One morning, after Mark left for work, Tim got into his usual crying. Later, I learnt that he was being colicy. To this day, I don’t know whether I was noticing him crying and ignoring him or what was happening. I just remember our cleaning lady coming in, calling me from where I was seated, telling me the baby is crying and me staring at her with a blank face. She picked Tim up, soothed him with the milk I had expressed the previous day and called Mark from work. Mark then called my mom, who came over and after hearing that I had such episodes, recognised it as Postpartum Depression.

I was taken to the hospital, given some Anti-Depressants and we hired a permanent househelp. I was plagued with guilt for almost a year, after snapping out of the depression and realised what I had taken our son through. The doctor took time to assure me that it does happen and might go unnoticed, and after a few counselling sessions, I was able to start forgiving myself.

To this day, my heart still breaks when I remember those episodes. Tim is now a healthy 4 year old boy. I am sharing this story with you so that you can realise, motherhood is not easy. It can turn for the worse on a dime. Don’t take a mother’s look on face value and assume she is alright. Talk to her, and really listen.

To new moms and moms to be, do not isolate yourself. It is the only way friends and relatives will notice if something is wrong. Believe me or not, my episodes was among the ones considered minor. Moms have crippled, and even killed their children without intending to. You are allowed to rely on your support system, especially the first few months after giving birth.

All the best dear mamas.

What is Postpartum Depression (PPD)? Read about it here.

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