As it is rightly said ” Motherhood is the greatest thing and the hardest thing too. Rohinie Dewangan, shares a powerful story of her experience with postpartum depression. I hope all the mothers struggling with postpartum depression will read this and realize that they are not alone and it will get better one day.
I have experienced most and it’s really hard to even express in words what it actually felt to go to postpartum depression. And yet being alive and been able to feel and nurture my baby. I am happy that I survived this dreadful situation and today my little bundle of joy is 10 years old. And I am an extremely proud and happy mom.
As I pen down my journey post pregnancy, I still get Goosebumps thinking about the dismay and trauma I went through. “Postpartum Depression”, oh what is this? This is the 1st question I had in mind when the Doctor I consulted told me about the mood disorder associated with childbirth. And to my surprise, she said every second mum in the USA goes through postpartum depression. Yes, my little bundle of joy was born in the USA and like any other mum to be, I was eagerly waiting for his arrival. The best thing that can happen to any woman is motherhood and I had a perfectly normal pregnancy. Nine months went by with the best of memories of the little one inside my big belly. As we came nearer to the dates, the doctor realized my cervix is not opening more than 1 cm and I am not getting contractual pains. Labour was induced artificially for 3 days but unproductive.
I was still figuring out why I am not getting labour pains when I see 2 nurses coming with a big trolley and said they are taking me for C-Section. I couldn’t even soak in the news and was shifted to the operation theatre and rest was history. The anesthesia was so strong that within few seconds I was in a semi-conscious state. 5th June 2007, 4.49 pm my small package was wrapped in joy, filled with goodness and sent with love. All I remember is my hubby getting my little baby near to my face and me kissing him.
I’ll never forget the moment I held my son for the first time. I was exhausted and overwhelmed and so very much in love with the warmth and tenderness of my little one. After going through 2 days of unbearable pain, it was finally time to take our baby home. The car seat was arranged and we brought him home wrapped in snugly blue cloths. The moment I kept my first feet inside the house, everything turned dark and gloomy for me. I just couldn’t feel anything apart from darkness, fear and suffocation. I couldn’t feel my baby, my love for him, the joy of having him after 9 long months just turned into a scary nightmare. With no family around and hubby with special needs, I just couldn’t imagine myself taking care of my baby all by myself. The stress doubled with him being a night baby. With no support at all and sleepless nights I just got confined in my own fear. Every day I used to wake up seeing ropes around my neck and it’s been pulled from all the directions and taking me to darkness. His innocent cries used to irritate me rather than having concern and attachment. Soon I realized I am just not been able to feel my baby anymore, all I could feel was I am dying and they are taking my baby too.
Tears used to roll down without any reason and that’s when I realized something is seriously wrong. I sat down with my husband and explained him everything, but he just laughed it off. All he said is it’s just my imagination because I am alone and sleep deprived. He just couldn’t understand that I am not been able to sense the most important person in my life “My Son”. Each day I used to cry talking to my mum expressing that I will soon lose my child. I won’t be able to make it as I feel choked and smothered. And she was as helpless as any mom could be as she didn’t have a passport.
With no improvement in my health, constant nagging, crying and fear just made each day as my last day. One day I took Ani to his pediatrician and explained her my entire situation. And that’s when I came to know about this horrific term called “POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION”. She called my hubby and explained him everything, but like the typical Indian men, he just got mad at me. All he said that I am behaving like a kid and humiliating him in front of others. My baby was already 20 days old and I just couldn’t do anything for him. No celebrations, no lullaby’s, no cuddling, no feelings, no love. I still remember that dreadful night when out of frustration I threw my baby on the bed and told my hubby, I am going to die tonight. Either they will take away my child or they will pull the ropes and I will die.
To have a control on the situation my hubby called his parents and this added more to my agony. Not that they did anything wrong but I just couldn’t feel secure and loved. I kept begging him to send me back to my family in India. He got mad at me as he called his parents to help me come out of the situation. But he just couldn’t understand that they were not my comfort zone, they were not the people I felt secure with.
My situation kept worsening and one night I just walked out of the house alone leaving my 25 days old baby all alone. It was the same people who were pulling my rope and taking me to darkness to kill me and I just followed my illusion. Had it not been my office staff who saw me walking in distress all alone that night, I would have never returned home and rest was history. After much persuasion from me and a few known people, I was finally sent to my home. After 24 hours of a long, tiring and exhausting journey I finally met my family and the joy of seeing myself and my baby alive was nothing less than a miracle. It took me 6 months to recover and come to terms with accepting myself as normal.
Pregnancy and motherhood is the most beautiful journey a woman goes through. Educate yourself and your family about Postpartum Depression. Don’t let your wonderful memories of holding, cherishing and caressing your baby be tarnished with depression, sadness, fear and anxiety. Support and understanding from your spouse are of utmost need and never ever laugh or make fun of a person dealing with this monstrous disease. Not only does it take away the best moments of cherishing childhood from a mother, it tears her apart from the feeling of not been able to give herself selflessly and completely to her baby.