It was when she could not take the sight of her newborn child that she decided to ask for help.
“What is wrong with me?” she questioned herself incessantly. She cried silently inside the comforting chambers of her bathroom while staring at the stick she peed on just moments ago. She was pleased to see those two lines appear but something inside her was not happy; something inside her was so broken up and torn apart that it didn’t welcome the reality of having a baby.
It taunted her – the repressed feeling of desolation – it tormented her to the core,but she cannot tell anyone about it. “What is there to tell?” she asked herself, “It’s just part of the process, right? I mean, this feeling tearing me down is because of my messed up hormones. I’m pretty sure it is. It’ll pass,” she assured herself.
Masking the Pain
Recognizing her feelings as part of the pregnancy deal, she ignored it and wore a mask that was able to fool everybody but herself. Months went on, and the despairing, wailing moments that nobody witnessed became frequent. Her fluctuating mood swings have intensified as she reached her second trimester; still, she blamed her uncooperative, shifting hormones for her situation.
Relatives would visit her and talk about her pregnancy, asking her how she’s doing and answering them back with, “I’m doing great!” while wearing a big smile on her face. But then they would notice the faint dark circles underneath her eyes and would call her out for it saying that she’s not getting proper sleep and she looks paler than usual. “It’s not good for the baby,” they advised. To her defense, she said, “I’m just experiencing some discomfort at night, no big deal. Maybe I’m still getting used to the bump.”
Before they part, her aunts would tell her that taking her marriage to the next level by building a family is a blessing and something that she should be thankful for and be celebrated. But when the get-together’s over,and all that’s left is a hint of light beaming through the dark room that she realized, “I feel empty.”
Near The Edge
As the third-trimester sets in, so as the pervasive hypersensitivity to anything and everything that’s surrounding her. Whenever she does routine visits the doctor, she felt probed and picked upon. Her social interactions suffered,and her emotional instability worsened. She told her parents about it,but all she got were, “Shrug it off. Get yourself together,” which are not the encouraging words she wanted to hear.
The Last Straw
Finally, it is when her baby was born that she realized the constant feeling of dispiritedness is not going away and requires management before things get out of hand. The first step was to accept that depression is way different than hormonal imbalance; though it might be contributory, maternal hormones, compared to the symptoms of depression, will pass.
It was a long and winding road; something that needs getting used to especially when she had to look after her child while looking after herself. “It was when I refuse to recognize my baby and that I couldn’t take the sight of her was when I decided that I should seek help,” she told her therapist.
“It has reached the point that I don’t want to be left alone with my child,or I don’t want to touch her when she’s crying. And if she does cry, I cry along with her. The sight of her further triggered my sad state to the point that I no longer want to take care of her. I just wanted to die,” the mother confessed.
She concluded, “If I don’t do this now, my depressive disorder might affect my relationship with my baby and might compromise her growth and development.”
The Healing Process
“I know I shouldn’t be feeling this way,” the new mother added. “For the healing process to start, you must first accept that there is a problem, something that cannot be erasedovertime,” she advised. “For the sake of your child’s well-being and for yours as well, find a healthcare provider who you can trust with your depressive state minus that judgments and persecution.”
For her, the path to recovery was perilous and extensive; but the moment she felt depression gradually leaving her system, she saw the beauty of her child and was finally able to embrace motherhood with lots of help from her partner and a sturdy support system.