Depression! We hear it, we know it but what have we done about it? People commit suicide because of it, others become the walking dead – alive but not really living. And yet, we carry on like it’s still a trivial issue.
As we already know, there are different facets to depression. My focus today however, is on postpartum depression(after birth of a baby) and Neonatal depression (after miscarriage and/or still-birth).
Sadly to say, I have experienced a bit of these two devastating and potentially destructive types of depression. I will be sharing my experiences, how I have been dealing with it and more in this series on Postpartum Depression and Neonatal depression.
After I had my first baby, I just fell into this strange mood. I lost appetite for food, conversation or anything else for that matter. Don’t get me wrong, I love my baby girl..she’s my priceless jewel. But this is why I was even more confused. Why was I so down in the dumps? I just had this beautiful princess and there I was all moody.
Most people didn’t know because I was really good at hiding it. And that is the first problem that hinders one from truly being free from depression – Denial! I was so deep in denial, I didn’t even want to think the D word much less accept that it was what I was dealing with. I felt I was out of shape – I am petite and the pregnancy left a bulge that made me look like a cartoon character…lol or so I thought at the time. I later discovered it wasn’t like that at all. I looked quite good for a woman who had just had a baby.
I finally had to admit after a serious argument with my hubby that I was fighting depression. This was the beginning of the healing. Thankfully, the postpartum depression did not last too long. It got better and after a few months everything gradually began to normalize. I was finally truly happy with my child and hubby. But it did not end there.
Fast forward to a year after, my little princess’s 1st birthday is around the corner and all is going well. We are happy and thankful to God for her first year and years to come. And then it happens, I discover I am pregnant, again!
Wow! My hubby and I were speechless. This was not supposed to happen again so soon; what happens now?; we’ve barely settled down with our firstborn, how will we care for another? All these and more were the thoughts running through my mind and echoed in my hubby’s words. I totally understood his concern, but I also believed that if God has sent us the baby, He will provide.
For days, we lived in an atmosphere of uneasy peace with emotions and tensions heightened that could erupt at the slightest provocation. We honestly were confused. We wanted another baby but we just didn’t know how we were going to make it work. The timing was wrong, or so it seemed. It began to seem like all our wonderful plans were about to change and suddenly we were afraid, afraid of the unknown.
We finally came to terms with the fact that we will be parents to a new baby about 2 weeks after we discovered I was pregnant again. We were happy. We had been able to rework our plans and knew that everything would work out fine.
Little did we know that something terrible awaited us. It was a Friday afternoon while I was at work. I stepped out of my office and headed off to the ladies’ restroom. It was there I discovered I was bleeding. I froze. No! I screamed within me, this cannot be happening!! I am pregnant, I should not be bleeding! I panicked. I ran back to my desk, picked up my phone and called my husband. Luckily he had just arrived my office and was waiting for me to close for the day. We usually go home together except days when it’s not possible for us to do so.
He was totally shocked but came in quickly, assisted me to pack up my desk and leave for the hospital. All this time, we kept silent, communicating with only glances and by touch; we were deep in thought. What happens now? He held my hand. His touch was soothing and calming. But I was worried, really worried. I began to pray and I felt at peace. I just knew that God was in total control of the situation.
My colleague who had met me at my desk to cover for me, had also encouraged me even though she didn’t know all the details of what was happening. Her words of encouragement also gave me strength. After what seemed like an eternity, we finally got to the hospital (St. Nicholas V/I) where we were told it looked like a threatened abortion. The radiologist was not around and we would have to wait or go to the main hospital at located within Onikan, Lagos. The traffic was so bad my hubby and I had to head home.
Along the way, We decided to got to another hospital along our route. It was there that I was told and shown that my baby was no more. I can never forget the image I saw. It is the most depressing and heart-wrenching thing a mother will ever see. In the ultrasound scan, my baby was no more, just a black blob.
The Doctor said the pregnancy was not viable meaning I had just experienced a miscarriage. Devastating news! I couldn’t speak, it was as though I was in a bad dream and couldn’t wake up. We had to send for my hubby who had stepped outside with our daughter to give some privacy. The Doctor repeated it again. my hubby asked what it meant? The response was that the pregnancy was gone. Gone! I couldn’t believe my ears! My child, gone, just like that!
A thousand and one questions flooded my mind. but one stood out in my mind – WHY? Why did this happen? Why now?Why? I remember the doctor vaguely telling me how it would be evacuated either with a drug that would make the uterus contract to push out the remnants like it would during labour or via surgery. The room was so quiet, my hubby stood by my side waiting for me to speak. He said, it was my body after all, so I should choose and he would support me with any option I picked.
Find out what I did, how I am surviving and why I believe we can do more to help women facing these issues in the remaining parts of this series.
Thanks for reading!
And remember, no matter what you’re going through, God loves you and is always there for you! #jesusdiva#jesusisLord
2 thoughts on “Dealing with postpartum depression and Neonatal loss! – pt.1”
Your openness is so inspiring, I pray this blog inspires millions of Women across the globe. God bless you dear
LikeLiked by 1 person
Amen..thanks a lot Ifeoma,this is also my prayer. I appreciate you
LikeLiked by 1 person