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Postpartum Depression

It was a rainy, cloudy Wednesday afternoon but the mood in the Smith’s household was bubbly and joyous. There was warm food, good music and laughter. It was really an awesome sight. After 6 years of marriage, fate had finally smiled upon them, as the sound of whimpers and cries of a bouncing baby girl could be heard from one of the rooms.

Mrs Tito Smith, new mum, was still unable to leave her room even to celebrate her own daughter’s naming ceremony as she had experienced massive postpartum bleeding and had several pints of blood transfused before she was discharged from the hospital in a stable condition. Her perfect newborn daughter was sleeping soundly next to her on the bed but for reasons which she couldn’t fathom, she felt resentful and angry towards the child. She could only see her as a burden and not as the gift she had prayed so fervently for; if only the child would just disappear. While she was ensnared by her thoughts, her mother-in-law came in to get the baby for the Ceremony. She may as well be invisible because no one had bothered to ask Tito how she was feeling and coping. For God’s sake she couldn’t sit or pee properly from the stitches of the episiotomy cut during delivery and still felt dizzy when she stood up too quickly because of the massive hemorrhage post delivery. But what was that to anybody, the baby was finally here after many years of waiting. Nothing else mattered. God forbid that Tito had genuine concerns and struggles!

Six months had passed and it seemed her marriage was taking a turn for the worst. She and her husband were always getting into arguments as she couldn’t bring herself to meet her husband’s sexual needs and as usual, she felt that burning urge to blame her daughter for this. Regardless of the amount of time that passed, Tito still didn’t feel any bond or connection to her daughter.

She knew she loved Modesire her daughter, but that’s where it seemed to end. She struggled to give the love and attention her baby needed. When the baby cried, she couldn’t just bring herself to comfort her, thank goodness for her Nanny, whom she could hurriedly hand her over to. She felt frustrated that she couldn’t love her daughter like any other mother would, and she tried, God knows she tries. Her husband, her mom and mother in law didn’t make her feel any better as she was called an ungrateful mum on numerous accounts. I mean, what kind of Mother stands idly by as her child wails.

Due to her emotional struggles, and non readiness for work responsibilities, she had decided not to return to work at the expiration of her maternity leave. Devastated about her decision, which she thought she didn’t have any other choice than to go along with, she sought comfort from her family but all her husband could say was “this is for the best, now you can stay in one place and learn how to properly take care of your child.”

Like always, she found herself thinking along the lines, ”only if my daughter never existed, My husband would love me again, I would not have given up my job, I would not be burdened and responsible for anyone.” She had to close her eyes hard and tight as she fought a battle with herself internally. Obviously, she lost as she didn't know when she picked up the sofa pillow and pressed it against her daughter’s face. The pressure she was applying was enough to suffocate even a grown man. Teary eyed and with her eyes tightly shut, she pressed down even more.

Call it whatever, but by a stroke of timely luck her husband, Dayo, came into the scene at hand, and she was quickly restrained. He couldn’t understand what had gone wrong. Tito was screaming and had hot tears coursing down her face whilst saying “she ruined my life, she took everything away from me. Tito continued to scream this continuously at anyone who cared to listen. This was an eye-opening moment for Dayo. They had clearly left things to fester for too long. Something was clearly amiss. What to do now? And quickly too!

After she had calmed down a little, and left under the supervision of his mother, Dayo, frustrated, angry and confused, left the house to go have a drink at one of his favorite bars and he ran into one of his good friends, Mr. Moyo Johnson. Moyo had been married for the same length of time as Dayo and Tito but in their own case, had been blessed with three kids in quick succession. In desperate need of advice and guidance, he confided in him about his wife. First Moyo was silent for a couple of minutes before he said, Dayo let me ask you a question. During this time, did you ever sit down to have a heart to heart with your wife? It was then that Dayo started to understand how insensitive he may have been. Or when you noticed all these, did you even look it up or seek advice from a medical professional? Dayo couldn’t offer any answers verbally, but in his mind Dayo kept thinking I don fuck up o. I highly suggest seeing a doctor about this. We men will never fully understand childbirth. On his way home, he pondered on his friend's advice and decided that he would take her to the hospital the very next day.

The next day couldn’t come early enough for Dayo, He had spent the evening and late into the night looking up options of Psychiatrists, Tito could see the next Day. She was diagnosed with postpartum psychosis (Depressive type). Dayo felt really sorry for being so insensitive and unsupportive. Even his mother apologized to Tito for the times she referred to her as a bad and ungrateful mum. It looked like peace would surely return to the Smith’s household as Mrs Tito Smith began her slow journey to recovery and to being an intentional mum to Baby Modesire. And this time around, she had the support of family, who now understood that she is not a bad mum, just a struggling mum. #notabadmumjuststruggling

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