The realities of post natal depression

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So baby is here in your arms finally after 9 months of growth in your womb. It is quite exciting to meet the baby at last and heart warming to hear their first cry and feel their touch but alas, a few weeks later and that cry turns into a living nightmare. You fear to admit to people because a mom is not supposed to fantasise about throwing her baby out the window right? Coming home to your child should not be a dreadful thought and being left alone with your baby should not be a scary thought and yet it does happen sometimes. Its not that you don’t love them but for me personally I looked forward to going to work just to have some peace and quiet and not hear the cry of a baby even for just a few hours. When I approached my house I would sigh and think “here we go again” because the moment I set my foot through the door my child would cry relentlessly and keep that up until he retires for bed which is also characterised by 1 hour naps – my baby never slept through the night. Ever.

I tried to be strong for a year and just stuck it up but it didn’t get better. My child continued to wail whenever I am around and continued to torture us through the night, refused to eat and to top it all up my child has serious medical complications that meant I not only had to bear the endless crying but get trained how to administer tube feeds, prepare tonnes of medication and get drenched daily with vomit and diarrhoea. When it didn’t get better my feelings of resentment grew and I just had no idea what to do, who to turn to and what to even say to people I turn to because it’s not right for a mother to feel this way I thought. I soon acknowledged that I have a problem when I would plot to ensure people are always around and I am never left alone with my child for too long because I did not trust myself. I feared that I could harm him.

So how have I resolved this problem? Well firstly I needed to admit that I have a problem. I have bad thoughts in my mind and I am not enjoying parenting as I should. I am a devout Christian, so I prayed about it and admitted my problem to God then meditated on numerous scriptures to reassure myself that this too shall pass. It helped me A LOT, especially Philippians 4 vs 4 – 8 where in verse 6 Paul assures us not to be anxious about ANYTHING but in everything, through prayer and thanksgiving make your petitions known to God then the peace that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts. Boy did I need that peace that surpasses all understanding. After much prayer and meditation I admitted my issues to my husband and consulted a psychologist as well which helped me to work out a plan to change my thinking and think more things I am grateful for than things that I loathe. So although my child still cries relentlessly, still doesn’t sleep at night, still doesn’t want to eat, still has diarrhoea, still has medical issues – what has changed now is me. Instead of thinking about throwing him out the window I say a prayer and give thanks that I have a husband who I adore and who loves and supports me, my parents are still alive and support me every way possible, I have a beautiful, healthy 8 year old child who is excelling with her education, sports, art and drama, she is an all in one package that most people pray for. I eat every day, have a roof over my head, have no medical complications myself and have clothing to cover my body. After realising what I have going for me I then stopped focusing on the one thing that isn’t going “well” for me and show more thanksgiving in my attitude and my thoughts.

Making a deliberate effort to change my thoughts transformed me into the person I am today, very humble and extremely grateful for every little thing that is going well in my life. I praise our God Jehovah for the sun, for the fact that I wake up in the morning and for all the people in my life. With my mind full of thanksgiving and positive thoughts there is now less room for the bad thoughts I used to have. Less room for depression and complaining. I rarely complain about anything these days actually, always look for the good in every situation I find myself in. One time I was robbed in broad daylight of all my precious possessions (passport, ID, licence, bank cards etc) and even though I was traumatised I was also grateful to God for my life. I knew that things could have been worse then stopped complaining and started the process to re apply for all my documents again.

If you are a mom out there, and having your baby hasn’t been quite the bundle of joy you expected do not feel bad! Not at all, it happens to most people we are just too afraid to admit it. Admitting it to yourself is the first step to your healing. Praying about it and admitting to your loved ones will help you map out a way forward. You are not a bad mom, you are a fabulous mom that just needs some help to change your thinking. We all face some kind of problems one way or the other, but rest assured that there’s someone experiencing worse than you and yep, there is someone praying to be in your shoes so take a deep breath and fill your mind with thanksgiving.