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After I returned to my in-laws place taking my new born, I found myself so fortunate to have such a wonderful husband. There are many more reason why I call him wonderful but that very time, he proved himself as the best father and the best husband. He was around us (me and our tiny baby) all the time. He was helping me in looking after our baby in every possible way he could. Even he was waking up with me during night whenever our baby cried for feed. As per my family convention, for few days after delivery, mother in-law stays with new mother (especially in night) so that she can help new mother in managing with the delicate baby. But my case was different. My husband was there and we both understood first few lessons of parenting together. This was the time when mothers usually come under the risk of postpartum depression. But because of my husband it didn't happen to me that time.
However, this doesn't mean I never had postpartum depression. I realized its presence when my husband left us, mother and son, at my in-laws place and returned back to Delhi. I was not alone but was feeling lonely. I was sleep deprived and mood swings made me feel worst. I didn't find anyone who could understand my feelings. Although my family members were trying to ease me but I needed a different approach for dealing with my inner self. And whenever anyone asked how I was feeling, my answers were, "I'm fine", "I’m okay. Everything’s great.", “Just little tired but I'm fine."
I lied and lied and lied my way through the darkest, tough time of depression. I was homesick and felt like running to my mother's place. I used to cry for my husband. I was more like a patient with painful stitches, sore breasts and tiredness. And I was responsible for advocating my own mental health and medical care. But the urge to appear like a strong mother dominated my desire for help, even though I have to pay for this. I refused to admit how much I was thrashed. I wanted my baby so much, but I was not aware of such emotions that would come along my baby. I needed a counselor or may be a doctor. But I knew that no one would understand why I needed a doctor when my baby was doing well.
With time things got okay leaving behind few dark days and few lessons for me. I understood three main points about postpartum depression:
1. Postpartum depression is natural and every mother faces it to some extent.
2. New mother should accept that this is not a permanent situation. This phase shall pass.
3. Key to come out of it is, "Speak". Share your feelings with others, with husband, family members. Let them understand what you are going through.
I admit, this sounds like common sense, but it’s the hardest thing to do when you’re crawling through a tunnel of negativity. So for a new mother, faking her feelings never work and there is no reason to do this. Remember, "Postpartum depression is an illness that takes away a woman's ability to access joy..right at the time she needs it most." So tell the truth. Open up. You have to connect to the world again to break the desolation and distress around you.