Lots of news these days regarding the mummy who plunged to her death clutching her 2-month-old baby and the mummy who is 6 months pregnant but got knocked down by a lorry. It seems to me that there are a lot of such tragedies these days but it might be me noticing these news more now that I’m a mum too.
I have something to confess.
I had post natal depression too.
I remember that roller coaster of emotions when Baby E was born. That immense sense of pride and happiness that a tiny human being was created. That exhilaration on Day 1 and 2 that ‘Hey! It didn’t hurt that much!’ (because Baby E didn’t engage at all so I had to do a Csec). That intense pain and helplessness on Day 3 when the anesthesia wore off. It hurt just standing up! The sadness when the attention of my mother in law seem to be only on Baby E. I remember feeling very sad and thinking that I was just a vessel to carry the baby. Though now thinking back and being rational about it, I’m sure my MIL love me just the same. We were all excited about the arrival of Baby E so obviously there will be more attention on her. I remember hiding under the blankets sobbing listening to the husband’s friends talking outside and the friend’s wife going on and on about introducing bottles and pacifiers and me thinking ‘No, but the website guide cautions me against it. I can’t do that when she’s just a few days old. Why is everyone offering me advice and forcing me to follow them? It’s my kid not theirs!’. I remember the countless arguments with the husband over tiny things that seem inconsequential now. And most clearly of all, I remember the images that floated in my mind of myself suffocating Baby E, particularly after the phone call with my boss during which she railed on about how ‘work should not be done only when you’re free. If you don’t have time, sleep less’.
It was a whirlpool of emotions. And I did not do it because I cannot bear the thought of my loved ones in anguish. So I did not… but the images came frequently after arguments with the husband and mother in law… or interactions with the boss. I did contemplate jumping down too… and am thankful that I’m too cowardly to do it. And the rational part of me didn’t want to end the life of Baby E when it had just begun.
So there… the secret that I’ve been hiding for 2+ years is out. To those out there who are feeling the same, you’re not alone. Be resilient. It will get better. Talk to someone about it and you will feel better. If it’s about the job and being unable to cope with the demands of your boss while managing your family, bear in mind that to your company, you are replaceable. To your family, you are not. Then make a decision about it. That’s the life principle that I adhere to.
And I take pride in saying, well, I had to resign from my high flying job, but hey, I’m still alive and kicking! And I’m enjoying myself spending time with my little one, which you will too when all these blow over.