Things have changed. I was then a happy lady that always cheered everyone up. Just one month after giving birth, all I can see was myself hanging up the ceiling; knot tied up around my neck. I never thought that I’d be suicidal ever in my life. Words like ‘Postpartum Psychosis kept on repeating to my head. Things going crazy. Probably, I’m going crazy.
I was in pain delivery labor lasted for 26 hours. I thought it would never end. After a while, doctors decided to make a cesarean section operation because my water bag already exploded. I was relieved since I really wanted to end everything that moment. Until after a few hours, the cry of a newborn baby made my happiness relive. I was in pure joy that I thought my heart would explode.
We arrived home after 5 days of staying in the hospital. I thought having a baby was just all flowers and butterflies. I was wrong. There were sleepless nights. I can’t even sleep for straight hours because this little creature cries every hour and I needed to feed her. My breasts were sore due to breastfeeding. I always feel the pain and I cried a lot. I can’t even eat on a table because she wants me to carry her EVERY TIME! And then, I started to feel wrong.
There’s this one time, I fell asleep. I woke up to the cry of a baby. I then forgot that I gave birth. I thought I was in the body of another woman. I didn’t recognize the baby. I spanked her on her thigh just to shut her up. But she won’t shut up! My mom suddenly went inside the room, shocked with how I shout at the baby lying beside me. She picked up the baby and she was telling me things I didn’t understand. All I wanted was to lay down and close my eyes. And so, I did.
Days go by that things became a blur. I can barely remember how my husband talked about giving the baby to another care. All I know was, I was really tired. I was exhausted by everything. I was tired to even open my eyes. My husband went into our room and hugged me. I don’t have any idea why he did that. I think he was crying. My shoulder was wet with tears. What’s going on?
I woke up lying on a white bed. Lights are blinding me. I am in a white room. I wonder what’s happening. Suddenly, the door widely opened, bursting a person wearing a white lab gown. She’s telling me about a condition that I am currently in. I can hardly capture the words she was saying. I think she mentioned about ‘Postpartum Psychosis.
As per Postpartum Support International, it is a rare illness, compared to the rate of postpartum depression or anxiety. Women experiencing this, are suicidal.
Symptoms are the following:
• Delusions or strange beliefs
• Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t there)
• Feeling very irritated
• Decreased need for or inability to sleep
• Paranoia and suspiciousness
• Rapid mood swings
• Difficulty communicating at times
As per APP Network Org, it is a severe, but treatable form of mental illness after giving birth. It can happen to women even without a history of bipolar disorder but women with history are at higher risk. It can get worse quickly if not treated immediately.
Weeks passed by and I am getting back to my senses. I can now recognize my husband and my mom. I started to realize that it’s been a long time since I held my baby girl. I missed her. I asked my husband where is she. Tears running down his cheeks. He told me that we’re going home and I can finally be with my little angel again.
Three months later. Today, I am sitting on a bench in our backyard while watching my husband carry a Smile (our little one). I am holding a pen and a piece of paper on my lap.
I am writing this to remind me of what happened in the past, that made me realized how lucky I am. I was lucky because my family was there to help me during the time that I don’t even recall what’s going on. I was thankful for that experience because I get to appreciate life even more. I may not be the perfect parent I wish to be. But definitely, I’ll make it up to her. From this day on, I’d do my best to hold on to the love of the people around me so I can be the best mom for my little one.