I don’t know how to write this properly. I met a Post Natal Depression (PND) case during that week and I’ve been surfing about it these few days and so much willingly to write about it, from my point of view. The longer I read all the articles that I could grab while surfing, the speechless I become. I think it is best, or maybe more convenient for me to write from my own experience.
I remember last year I gave birth to the twin, for the first 20 days of confinement I cried almost everyday. I felt so hopeless because I cannot breastfeed my boys, I don’t know how to start collecting breast milk stock and how to preserve it. I was angry to my parents because they simply fed my boys with formula milk by saying that I won’t be able to feed them, my breast milk was not enough and I should look after myself first. While actually, everyone was busy managing the twin, there was no one to look after me (only my sister who helped me to take bath), and as that was my first time, I have no clue whatsoever how to look after myself! What I know that time, I felt very fatigued due to the pain at my ball and socket joint, barely can walk, severely emotional breakdown as for me everybody just throw suggestions to me but done nothing and my determination to breastfeed my children so much almost ‘kills me’. There was one time that I sms my hubby saying that, I am so wishing that I can’t make it during surgery because I have no will to live anymore (that time he had to get back to KL to settle few things).
I didn’t realize that I was affected by postnatal depression.
There are also times that I almost lost my mind when my twin crying so loud or frequent and I have nobody to help me. It was very stressful. Including there also one time when I tried to figure out what’s wrong with my first twin as he kept crying loudly, and my mom quickly came to my room and took him away from me saying that I was too slow tending him. I was distressed beyond repair. I was trying my best to connect with my first twin as I rarely have chance to be with him as my mom kept him with her while she let me deal with the second twin. I felt so ‘far’ from him and I wanted both my children! I wanted guidance on how to tend my babies because I am the one who will look after them. I am their mother. I spend 38 weeks of pain bearing them! They think by keeping my babies away might helped me healed, but they were totally wrong.
And that’s why, I didn’t spend the rest of my confinement at my parents’ house. After the twin reached one month old and I could walk a bit after being massaged, I went back to Bangi. I want to keep my babies with me. I straightly called one supplement’s dealer that I got from my friend’s blog, and start taking supplements to regained my health and my conscious back. Thanks to God that I had my hubby’s support that time. Whenever he saw me crying or on the verge of tears, he will dig up why-I-cry, hug me so tenderly and soothe me with his words. He spend the rest of his annual leaves to be with me at my parents house during my confinement and tried his best to keep our boys with us although there were times that he almost succumbed to the pressure. Now, when I am upset with my hubby, I will always remember his deed during my confinement.
I came across a person who suffered the same ‘illness’ during Aidilfitri celebration and I tried my best to ‘attend’ to her when I see her surrounding was not supporting her at all. She had premature baby. I bought her supplements that I ate during my confinement and advised her hubby on how he should tend to his wife. I also told the wife, she was just only weak and she need to regain back her strength. I kept reminding her hubby, that was just an illness and it can be cured.
So, I summarize the long story supported by info that I got from the netmums website http://www.netmums.com/pnd/About_postnatal_depression.298/. What you should do when you are feeling depressed after giving birth?
First, check your symptoms, are they relevant to you?
- Low mood
- Loss of interest or pleasure in your relationships or surroundings.
- Constantly feeling tired. No energy ( NB: ask your GP about a thyroid function blood test and a full blood count to rule out anaemia or hypothyroidism)
- Sleeping problems – can’t get to sleep or waking in the early hours and not being able to get back to sleep
- Crying a lot, often over the smallest things or for no reason at all
- Can’t eat or over-eating
- Physical aches and pains, such as headaches, stomach pains or blurred vision and worrying that it is something terminal or serious
- Lack of motivation to get up and do anything , feel things are piling up around you.
- A constant underlying sense of anxiety maybe escalating into panic attacks. Easily “set off” and difficult to calm down
- Difficulty concentrating, say on a book or film or even on a conversation
- Putting on a front. Feeling like you are playing out a role rather than just living the moment
- Feeling lonely and isolated. Perhaps feeling rejected by friends, family, even your partner and your baby or children. Or avoiding going out and meeting people.
- Sense of feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope
- No interest in sex
- Feeling guilty about everything – especially wondering if you are being a bad mother
- Overly anxious and over protective of your baby
- Feeling emotionally disconnected from or even rejected by your baby.
- Strange, frightening thoughts or visions popping into your head about harming yourself or the baby or awful things happening
Second, talk to someone you trusted eg family members if you are the types who are not very good with internet. If you are ‘modern-minded’ which means to say, know how to use computer and internet, ‘google’ as many info as you can, get connected to other people, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Third, try your best to take supplement or whatever remedies to regain your health back. Avoid drugs if you can help it. Go to spa, or get body massage or left your baby for a while to babysitter and go pampered your body. When your body is weak, it influences your mind too. Bear in mind, when you are healthy physically, mentally and spiritually, you can tend to your baby well.
Fourth, for muslim, I have two powerful (insyaAllah) Quran verse that you can recite while during confinement as they are considered zikr if you always recite it,
the dua of Nabi Yunus AS
لا إِلهَ إِلاَّ أَنْتَ سُبْحانَكَ إِنّى كُنْتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمينَ
and the last ayah from At-Taubah
ALWAYS REMEMBER ALLAH SWT WHOLE-HEARTEDLY, always.
Fifth, remember, remember, and remember, YOU ARE NOT A BAD MOTHER. You just need time to adapt and TO LEARN to be a good one. Seek help if you felt like you are not strong enough to tend to your baby. Your baby also need time to connect with you if you’ve been keeping away from him/her.
Lastly, to those out there, especially Malays, if you come across this ‘case’, please be proactive and help. As Malays frequently call it ‘gila meroyan’, it is just an expression (for me). PND is an illness and it can be cured if those people affected by it are being treated the right way. Those people are not crazy yet, but they will become one if we failed to act accordingly.
To all husbands too, look after your wife. They have come through a lot bearing your child and what they need is your support and your LOVE. Please appreciate them by doing that. Get to know your wifes and please don’t let others to look after them because THEY ARE YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.Be cautious, the hubby can get affected by PND too.
To my hubby, thanks for always being there for me during my hardest time last year. Hope this year, you can make it too, insyaAllah.
With that I rest my case.
P/s: Fuh berminggu aku karang entri ni…