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My motherhood journey

Of all the things that I am grateful for, the biggest has to be my smooth pregnancy. It was a smooth sail with just a minor bump in the last trimester. Even then, with the support of my family and my amazing OB/GYN, I delivered without any major complication. During my pregnancy, I was spoiled silly by my in-laws and my parents who were over the moon with the good news. My husband did what he does best even now, that is take very good care of me. My family made sure that I was treated no less than a princess! From the day, I announced my pregnancy till the D-day, I was showered with special love, care and attention. As my child grew inside me, I also mindlessly got addicted to this special treatment. And then the big day arrived. Our sweet angel came into this world and flipped the things in one instant. From me, the focus shifted to her. It had to happen, of course. Visitors came pouring in and just after exchanging polite greetings they would just go ga-ga over my new born. This went on till we got the discharge and we went home. Once we reached home, I started feeling a pit in my stomach. I was prepared to face all the challenges of being a new mom, but I felt empty inside. Looking at the angelic little face of my daughter, instead of feeling sheer joy or any other emotion for that matter, I just felt blank. It was hard to admit for me even then as much as it now, that motherhood came with postpartum depression for me. I find it hard to admit because I never thought it could happen to me. I know it is absolutely normal for women to go through this but right after my delivery, my hormones led me to believe that there was something grossly wrong with me. I knew I will be judged as well as misunderstood if I shared why I was feeling. Mothers are supposed to be happy and elated. But I was far from it. I couldn’t even share anything about this emotional hurricane in my heart with anyone including my husband. The fear of being judged and and being tagged a ‘bad mother’ just pulled me into this black hole which existed in my mind. I was not happy and weirdly, not sad either. One word that I think could perfectly describe my state of mind at that point is ‘empty’. I just felt empty within. Nothing made me truly happy. I was taking care of my baby and the household but like a programmed machine. It is when my baby turned three months old I realised I needed help. My mental state started to manifest itself physically and I started to feel extremely fatigued and light-headed. I consulted my OB/GYN who immediately asked me to visit a psychologist. In my very first consultation, he diagnosed me with post-partum depression. A few consultations later I started to feel like myself. Even today, when my baby is almost eleven months old, I still often find myself battling with the demons in my head. But I’m moving forward. I try to pick myself and still move ahead on the days when mommying gets impossible. I know the journey has taken this long and it may take even longer. All I want to tell all new mommies out there, it is ok to be sad. What is not ok is seeking help. Talk it out. Talk to your family, a trusted friend, your spouse or anyone else who makes you feel good about yourself. More importantly, do not be ashamed in seeking professional help. Just know that you are not alone. Love from a mommying newbie Shikha

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