The Post Partum Devil
“We are not rich people dear. We are not even middle class for that matter. How can we afford a full time maid or nanny? You will have to manage kids on your own. Get a local day maid for cleaning etc. if you need.” said my husband.
“I can’t stay here any longer. If you are going to be this bitchy about everything & have everything your way anyways, why am I even needed here. I am leaving tomorrow” said my mom.
“We can’t come & stay with you. We have our own lives also. We have better things to do in life than to take care of your girls.” said my Mother in law.
“Oh! Poor you. God gave you twins, but both girls. I wish one of them was a boy.” said a random neighbor in our street.
“What do you mean you are not able to produce enough milk? You must not be trying hard. Or are you giving formula as it’s so much more convenient compared to pains of breastfeeding?” said that lady in an online support group.
“Are you even a good mother? Do you deserve to live? You should either kill yourself or run away with leaving no identity traces behind.” said my mind to me one day.
All this was happening when I was 20 days into motherhood. Motherhood that I achieved after going through a painful & long treatment. Motherhood to beautiful twin girls who arrived into this world with the help of invasive & painful cesarean section surgery. Motherhood which at that point meant more than anything to me in this world. And yet, I was not happy at all.
I was trying to keep very strong and a brave face. When my daughters were 3 weeks old & we had to take them to hospital for vaccination, I saw my gynecologist who had delivered my daughters in the hospital lobby and she came to me smiling and asked me, “How are you dear?” Next thing I knew is I was crying in a lobby full of not less than 50 strangers all staring at me! That’s when I realized something is wrong & I really need some help.
Now if I look back to those days I realize, the first step to combat depression is to accept the fact that you do have an issue that needs to be worked upon. If someone would have told me that “It’s just Post-Partum Blues and everyone goes through this phase. You don’t need any help.” I would have easily believed it. But thankfully I had sensible people around me who pushed me to get professional help, which I did. And counselling & treatment made me nothing but stronger & more balanced in long run. If I would have been surrounded by people who would have taken this issue casually or considered issues around mental & emotional health to be a taboo, I might have suffered a lot more & who knows how it could have ended.
So ladies, if you feel a slight doubt that you might be burning out with stress or emotional burden and you need professional help, don’t hesitate to talk to people around you & to some professionals who can help you out of this situation. It’s not a shame or taboo to have a mental illness, but it’s definitely wrong to live with it knowing that you deserve better & your family & loved ones deserve a happy & healthy you. So, the way we love our bodies & take care of it, let’s pledge to take care of our mental health as well from today on. However minor the issue seem to be, let’s not ignore it ever.