Thanks to the women sharing their truth about post-partum depression. The conversation around this subject matter has increased its awareness and established the fact that post-partum depression is real and that every new mother needs support.
According to Emeh Achanga, not many pregnant women know about the condition. As a result of this, they are scared of speaking out for fear of being tagged crazy as it was in her case.
Sadly, she didn’t get support from anybody including doctors, who were supposed to educate her on the condition.
Having gone through it and being able to overcome it to a large extent, Emeh urges women going through it to always speak out and let people around them know how they feel.
In an interview with kokolife TV, Emeh talks about her experience with post-partum depression after the birth of her first child.
My first birth experience was scary. I had prepared myself for vaginal delivery but when I was rushed to the hospital, a scan revealed that my baby was not properly positioned as she was leg down. I was quickly rushed to the theatre for a ceasarean section. It was probably the scariest moment of my life due to my phobia of operation and surgical procedures.
I didn’t even have time to consider or weigh my options as I was informed that any minute wasted might put my baby at risk since my water already broke hence, the protective sac which protects the baby from infections was no more. Seeing the surgical instruments, the slab where I was supposed to lay down naked, made me feel like a lamb being led to slaughter.
I was injected and though I was supposed to sleep off, I was actually aware of what was going on. I felt myself spinning and knew when my baby was pulled from me. When it was all over and I was wheeled back to my room, I was so hungry and thirsty but was told I was not going to eat or drink water until my internal organs were settled. In my case, it took three days and I was still breastfeeding my baby. It was a very painful experience.
I discovered it was postpartum depression quite early when I realised I could not stop crying. While I was aware that most new mums suffer baby blues which is normal, I had deeper and more intense feelings of rejection, anger, sadness and felt my life was over. I was so scared of hating my baby that I practically forced myself to bond with her. I was aware of worse case scenarios where PPD mums could harm their babies, so I made a conscious effort to keep reminding myself that I put myself in that situation, not my baby.
From what I understand, what triggers PPD varies. In my case, going through CS triggered it. I was scared for my life and wasn’t prepared for the aftermath and painful healing process.
When I discovered I had PPD, I was very worried and scared. My biggest fear was harming my child. I felt helpless and consumed by it…I was conscious of every move I made to be sure I had it under control. Let’s just say it was like walking on eggshells.
The worst sign I experienced was me hating other people carrying my baby. It literally drove me mad even though they knew I was in pain and needed rest. The worst moment was when five days after my CS, I ran to the hospital corridor screaming and crying uncontrollably, telling them I wasn’t bonding with my baby.
I remember yelling, ‘Please help me..They keep taking my baby away from me. They only give her to me when she is hungry and needs to be breastfed. I don’t want to hate my baby. I’m scared I’m not bonding with her.’ The doctor had to follow me immediately to talk to my people to ensure my baby was left to bond with me. The funny part is, they looked at me like I was crazy.