Adeola Atilebi, an incredible mother has shared with MIM how she battled postpartum depression after the birth of her two wonderful kids and how she was able to overcome it.
According to her, she is sharing her experience to help other mums who may be going through a similar ordeal:
”Today I want to lend my voice to postpartum depression and how I handled mine. My first experience with PND was few weeks after my first pregnancy. Pregnancy and delivery was a whole new journey for me and everything felt so strange. The good thing was that the nurse at the hospital I delivered had given me a good lecture on it and probably signs of PND (education is key) and reassured me it was normal but I wondered and thought it was impossible to experience PND with the level of joy bursting forth in my heart and love I felt for the little one I had brought forth (don’t underestimate it).
Few weeks after delivery I was just unnecessarily teary, I will for no reason just want to cry so I was looking for a reason, any reason at all but there was none because I had the utmost care at that time from my Aunty in-law, husband, sisters, friends etc so one day I just had to open the flood gate of tears while I locked myself in the bathroom. Hubby couldn’t understand why I wanted to cry but he held me and comforted me and I was grateful for his understanding then cos I couldn’t explain it too.(support is vital especially from your spouse and people around you) .
I had a couple more episode after, all within the first 3-4 months post natal. And it was OK after then. Speed up to 3 and half years after, I had my second baby, and it was a different ball game entirely. I think it started right at the hospital when my baby was very sick and I had to be cocooned up 24hrs in the depressing hospital private ward for many days because my baby needed constant attention and I couldn’t trust anyone enough to watch over him in case he gags and chokes to death. I also had somehow distanced my emotions as a form of coping mechanism from the baby even though I was caring for him. Anyways few weeks post natal we got home and settled down to life but I still felt blank. I had my sweet aunty in-law to take care of the baby and also a maid and even hired a nanny but they came with their shortcomings which I couldn’t deal with at that time.
I had so many people around that were supposed to help me but I felt so lonely and helpless and overwhelmed. I knew it wasn’t the kind of zombie/autorun feeling you get as a new mum due to lack of sleep or nursing. But I couldn’t explain and I constantly just felt like running away from my family that I love so much. I took care of the baby like any good mother would but I just didn’t bond. Also my perinea area didn’t heal on time and that compounded the emotional stress for me. I also didn’t get much support or understanding from my husband at that time, probably because he didn’t understand what I was going through and I couldn’t explain it too. I wasn’t particularly teary but I was just emotionally blank and would rather be left alone.
I didn’t realize too that time that it was probably PND. But I prayed and just felt I needed a break. But there was no hope of a break in sight as my second baby was extra demanding and I had to learn that second babies can be very different from the 1st eventho people expect you to be a pro at motherhood by that time. Anyways by 11months I was eventually able to take a break thanks to my elder sister that came and did babysitting for the couple of weeks I was gone. I traveled alone and went on like a personal retreat and it changed everything. I came back refreshed, better and ready to take on the world. While I didn’t have PND clinically diagnosed then but I looked back and knew it was the grace of God that saw me through. Mine wasn’t up to the point of being suicidal but I had very dark moments too.
I hope this helps someone to understand what they are going through or went through and also help people to understand new mothers going through it. PND is real so recognize, support, pray and be more understanding towards it.”
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