Love at the end of the tunnel..

This is a poem about postpartum depression- an underrecognized and undertreated illness.

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Time and again she was told, it would be natural

From within her would spring forth love maternal

Nights without sleep would have no adverse impact

All her fatigue would be vanquished, in fact..

By  gazing lovingly at the countenance

Of her bundle of joy- everyone said this with confidence

She pictured her baby tucked in the crib she had decorated

In the final weeks, breathlessly the baby’s arrival she awaited

**

The idyllic picture she had in her mind

Was soon to be distorted, as she would find

Childbirth was not smooth, roadblocks she encountered

Coming home with the baby, her confidence floundered

She felt weak, infirm, inadequate in every way

To take care of a new life, night and day.

**

She thought she would be naturally endowed

With the ability to feed her baby, yet progress was slow

Frustrations were many, opinions abundant

Perfectly well-meaning folks made her feel incompetent

Colicky cries made her days and nights worse

Was this a boon, when it was shaped like a curse?

Isolated at home, exhausted beyond all measure

She felt that motherhood gave her no pleasure..

What should have been fun added to her misery too

Like the newborn photo-shoot, which she had to do

It was de rigueur among her acquaintances

Costly though it was to keep up appearances..

She teared up easily, but misconstrued were those tears

To be  borne out of love and exaggerated maternal fears

How she felt, how she was coping were of no concern

To anyone- all the attention the newborn seemed to earn

**

As she sank deeper into an abyss, yet another blow appeared

She needed to go back to work after three weeks, as she had feared

If she thought meeting colleagues would help elevate

Her mood- she was wrong- her feelings it did not alleviate

In fact, trying to burn the candle at both ends

Left her more depressed, more despondent

In a sleep-deprived stupor she seemed to operate

Walking around in a disheveled state

How could she share her state of mind with anyone?

She expected neither empathy nor comprehension

Added to the mix was constant guilt

Why was she not like a mother built?

**

It was not until the breaking point was near

That someone noticed,  by this time she feared

Harming herself, or worse, the baby some day

Getting professional help was the only way…

Tongues wagged, she felt stigmatized 

For being a “bad” mother- yet she recognized

That the help she found was invaluable

She shuddered at the potential for harm incalculable..

**

Time did fly, as it does always

With the right therapy, better were her days

Her feelings of depression had made a retreat

Finally she could taste motherhood sweet.

 

(Image source: https://www.dawn.com/news/1361022)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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