‘’They lied to me!!!!’’
While pregnant, I was fascinated with everything ‘motherhood’ especially exclusive breast feeding. Infact, I told myself I would exceed the stipulated 2 years and go 3 years, if possible.
Any fears I had were constantly put to bed by my mum who always said with a knowing smile “when that bridge comes, you’ll cross it”. So, I was really excited to go on the journey of motherhood.
Few hours into giving birth to my daughter, Simisola, my whole world began to unravel.
“Yeeeeeeeeeeee………!” I screamed.
That first time I put Simisola to suck, the pain was so intense! I could have sworn that my brain shut down for a few minutes; it was a miracle that I didn’t drop her. Hell bent on nourishing my baby, braving the pain, I tried again after some hours but all I got was one small drop of breast milk. “Ah……mummy, all this pain, one drop?” I asked in utter disbelief.
After several weeks of frustrating massage sessions, pumps, plenty food, water and a whole library of encouragement from my husband, mum, mother-in-law, friends and well-wishers, my breasts finally began to respond. This ordeal was Shocker number one.
While my breasts were ‘booting’, I had to feed my Simi formula just so she wouldn’t starve because her inadequate mummy couldn’t do one of the simplest task of all…. produce milk!
I asked my doctor one day, “is it still exclusive breast feeding when you have to give formula for a month?”
Over the next couple of weeks, I kept getting more new baby shockers and ‘This is hard’ became the regular song on my playlist.
It was a whole new world for me and anytime I gazed into the mirror, I didn’t see the former lively and beautiful me… I saw a big blob of inexperience and a strangely protruded abdomen I expected would vanish as soon as Simi got out (I guess I got that wrong too).
I was obviously a fish out of water; a small and ill-prepared newbie.
I could hardly sleep at night because like a true newborn, Simisola decided to make the night her day.
And during my day when she was asleep, my thoughts were so loud they kept me awake!
Some days were worse than others because on these days, I could hardly get out of bed for I was drained both physically and mentally.
The days got darker because my disappointments progressed to anger! I was angry at myself for being unprepared, my mum for lying to me, even my husband and the society at large for making it seem like it was all peaches and roses. I was constantly irritated and would snap at anything and anyone around.
I finally arrived at indifference; disconnected from my family and friends with no interest in anything. I just felt really numb. Even the ‘legendary’ mother-daughter connection with Simi seemed to be non-existent. I fed her, changed her out of duty and of course the fear of my mother-in-law who was already on my case.
Each time I was confronted by my husband, I promised to snap out of it! But this decision simply snapped me into a worse position as I would now feel guilty for feeling guilty. Bottom line is that It just didn’t work. I couldn’t help it. I thought of running away, taking a break and the idea of taking my life would sometimes flash into my mind.
This left me with 2 theories… It was either a spiritual attack or I was going plain crazy!
After more weeks of soul searching, to rule out the crazy theory, I decided to talk to my doctor and for the very first time in my life, I heard the term ‘Postpartum Depression’.