Everyone struggles. That is the truth. Some of us struggle more than others.
Not many people around me know this, but I struggled from post-partum depression when i delivered Charles (my first born). I do believe it was an extension of the anxiety i had worrying about losing another baby and the depression i had over the previous miscarriages. I had quite a difficult pregnancy and it was a very trying time for my husband and myself. We were young, new parents who have suffered 3 miscarriages prior to our first successful childbirth and honestly, we were absolutely clueless. It did not help that we have just simply uprooted ourselves with no plans to return to Singapore after having stayed in Toronto for 6.5 years. Why did we come back so suddenly? Because I had early contractions and when I was rushed to a hospital in Toronto, I was put on slow-release morphine for 12 hours after waiting for 12 hours to see a doctor. Yes, that is a total of 24 unproductive hours spent in a heartless hospital who insisted that my credit card be swiped for $2000CAD before i can fill up any forms or get any Q number to see anyone.
I was in so much pain, 4 months pregnant, afraid that i was losing another baby. My god-brother who was visiting me during that time, realized that i was not in good hands with the way the medical system was working there and booked a flight back to Singapore for all of us. We had no plans. My husband resigned from his job the following day, we packed our suitcases, arranged for a friend to handle our apartment in Toronto and flew off within the next few days.
Nobody but my husband, would know how many clearblue home pregnancy test-kit i bought throughout my entire pregnancy. I tested myself everyday. Even after I visited my gynae. I was paranoid. Thankfully, under the care of my favourite gynae, I gave birth to my rainbow baby, Charles. He was perfect.
However, my fear of losing my baby did not go away after the successful delivery. I was still scared, anxious and paranoid. Obviously, I choose to breastfeed. And because I did not attend any courses, workshops of any sort, I was clueless and did not really know what I was doing. My baby looked so fragile, I was afraid to hold him. Nobody knew, that I was so scared inside, except my husband. He took 2 months off to help me because he saw me struggling with myself.
I cant really describe the feeling of depression. It was a mixture of fear, sadness, helplessness and just not being able to calm your mind. My mind was racing and filled with so many thoughts at one go, and also so many emotions that it was just hard to make out why i was feeling this way. Everytime the baby cried, I would get so stressed out, and feel lousy. There were of course other factors which did not help like being sleep-deprived.
Depression is ghost we cannot see and often, people who are suffering from depression dont show signs of it in public because they are very self-conscious. They might just be the one who smiles the brightest, so nobody will know what they are going through.
SADNESS OR DEPRESSION?
Sadness is a normal emotion to have; however, depression is much more than just feeling sad — technically, it is a mood disorder that persists for more than two weeks and interferes with a person’s daily life. If you suffer from depression, you might find it difficult to express the way you feel. Others might not understand what you are going through and might try (with good intentions) to try to cheer you up, only to end up confused as to why you are still depressed.
Admitting that I needed help. I am lucky, I had my husband and my mother who helped with the baby while I try to grab a hold on myself. It took me about 2 months to recover and be normal. To stop thinking that I was going to accidentally kill my baby because im a lousy mother. To overcome it, I had to admit that I needed help and it was okay, to need help.
If you are feeling down and depressed or fearful, talk to someone. Get help. There is nothing wrong with struggling. Do not feel ashamed that you feel lousy, or that you are scared and dont know what to do. IT IS OKAY. You are NOT alone. I am sharing my experience in hopes to help other who might suffer through the same.
Today, I am a mother of 2 boys. Although I still struggle with motherhood and life from time to time, I know that all things shall pass and work out in time to come. I no longer have the feeling of despair. I overcame my depression, you can too. <3
“I wanted to talk about it. Damn it. I wanted to scream. I wanted to yell. I wanted to shout about it. But all I could do was whisper, ‘I’m fine.” – unknown
Post Photo Credit: Wolfwords a.k.a Megan Leong
Earlier this year, I arranged for a family photo-shoot and engaged a private photographer @wolfwords a.k.a Megan. We did an outdoor shoot at Botanical Gardens and it was hot as hell. Luckily, the photos were really amazing so it made it all the sweat and melty make-up worth it. I believe there were also some bugs which crawled up my leg. Megan was really good and I loved that our photos came out very natural (we were actually quite natural and did not pose too much), she just told us to engage each other and just be normal. Of course, for some of the 4 people shots, we had to tell the kids to please stop moving 100 times. Despite two very active monkeys, the shoot was successful and I have included some of my favourite shots in this posts!
This content was originally published here.