Overcoming Postpartum Depression
By: C.D. (Kenya)
I had always wanted to be a mother. I gravitated towards kids – every kid. It was something I always thought would be so easy to achieve. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
35 and finally pregnant. From minute one, I felt awful. All the symptoms one could get, I got. Suddenly, 17 days before the C section, something was wrong – I was told that my baby was in great distress and that I have a bad bacterial infection. 27 hours later, he was out, and I was devastated. What was wrong with me? Never in a million years did I think I, the lover of all children, would have postpartum depression.
6 months later, after post-natal therapy taught me how to love my baby, I was better. But it actually took 5 whole years to form that maternal bond that comes so easily for most.
The therapist who helped me said the priceless words, ” walk into a room and observe him…fall in love with your son.” Slowly, I stopped trying to control every moment of my son’s life in order to mask my own fears and sadness. I threw the spreadsheets and hyper-organisation slowly out of the window. I worked at this everyday. The rest was pretty standard: medication, an hour of exercise, and to be easy on myself. The turning point was being able to work from home when he was around 5 and a half. Being at home made motherhood less stressful for me, and I started enjoying the process even more. A happier mum led to a stronger and happier maternal bond. It was a very long process, but he’s 6 and a half now and the best part of me.
This experience taught me to expect the unexpected…there are no guarantees. Motherhood is an absolute miracle and something to cherish with all your heart. When the maternal instinct does not happen naturally, working at it day by day, makes it so unbelievably special. I lost a little girl at 5 months pregnant when he was 3, and I was told last year that having more children is no longer possible. So the bond with my boy is priceless. Hold your loved ones close – always. The most important aspect that I learnt from this experience was to embrace each moment: good and bad, without expectation. And be present. Those are the best gifts you can ever give to yourself and your child.