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Onosen Mike-Ifeta: After The Baby, Play the Blues

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dreamstime_m_31200218My two-week-old baby was breastfeeding for what seemed like the millionth time, with sleep deprived eyes, sore nipples, and a foggy brain, I wondered why my baby was feeding so frequently at such short intervals. I made a mental note to discuss this newly developed hunger with the health visitor. Still sore from childbirth, I waddled into the bathroom to change my hygiene pads, and I caught a reflection of myself in the mirror. My goodness did I ever look so weird.

I was wearing a pair of garish green velour track bottoms that had holes in it, but they were my most comfy post pregnancy clothes. My naturally fat cheeks were fatter, and my complexion was probably two shades darker than my usual dark self-sigh!

I stopped to have a good look at the reflection in the mirror of this person who didn’t look anything like me. Who was she? The longer I stared at the mirror, the sadder I became, tears streamed down my face. I was beside myself with so many mixed emotions that it was impossible to identify them. I thought about my poor vajayjay and how battered and stretched it must be, after all, a human head just passed through it. I must have stood in that bathroom for about ten minutes staring at the mirror until I heard the shrilling voice of my baby again. Jolted back to reality I hurried to answer his royal call. In my haste, I forgot to wipe the tears off my face, so my husband noticed that I was crying.

There was panic in his voice as he asked me if I was okay, I assured him that I was fine.  You see, this was our first baby, so everything was brand new, and we were learning the ropes. After breastfeeding again! I found my voice and the words to express my dismay about my changed body and my stretched vajayjay. After looking at me like I was speaking Greek, my husband reassured me that I was beautiful and he was proud of me for being so strong and undaunted by the new experience; he added that I would lose the weight in no time. PS, I’m still waiting nearly ten years later.

Thankfully for me, those depressive moods didn’t last long, I soon got busy with buying and decorating our new home plus my mom arrived from Nigeria. It didn’t take long before I stopped throwing the pity parties and I gained some confidence in myself and in my ability to be a good mother. Sadly for many women this is not the case.

The birth of a child can trigger dangerous levels of depression and depressive moods. Feelings of inadequacies, self-doubt and insecurities can mount up and weigh on the mind of a new mother. For some women, it can be the inability to breastfeed, the lack of sleep, the lack of a support system, previous history of mental health issues, pressure to return to work, choosing the right child care arrangement and many other factors can cause depression.

I remember a story my mother told me of a woman who suffered a mental health breakdown after the birth of her second child. That woman was ostracized by all her neighbors; they branded her a witch amongst other things. Unfortunately, her husband couldn’t take the shame, so he sent her away and shortly after remarried. Stories like this are not uncommon; I am sure you hear these stories in one form or another nearly every day.

As a society, we seem to forget the modern-day pressure and demands of being a woman. There’s the pressure of wanting to do the right thing by your spouse, extended family, in-laws, friends, neighbors, work colleagues, bosses and nearly just about everyone. Not to mention the expectation to look a million dollars all the time.  If you add the deeply engrained competitiveness that exists between women, to that already overflowing mix, you have a volcano waiting to erupt. Speaking from the perspective of a black woman, that dangerous cocktail of emotions becomes even more complicated. Black women are expected to be strong and in control always.  Sadly, we have been trained to take on the elusive persona of an alpha female, our guards are always up, we suppress our feelings and insecurities for fear of being judged by others as being weak.

If we are honest with ourselves, we know that this fakery doesn’t benefit us neither does it benefit those around us. We must learn to seek help and admit that sometimes we are overwhelmed. Depression whether clinical or otherwise is terrible.

If you are reading this article, today I call you to action. If you see a sister that needs help, I urge you to please lend honest and genuine hands or ears to that sister. If you can’t, that’s okay but please do not make a mockery of her situation or engage in ungodly misleading gossip.

To all the overwhelmed sisters out there, if you need help, seek help! Whether it’s therapy, counseling, psychiatric intervention, just ask for help! Who cares what your friends think of you? If they cannot assist you during your weak moments, then why have such fake friendships in your life?

Only the very brave seek help, a courageous person is one who confronts their fears and inadequacies and seeks help to conquer them.

Photo Credit: Photowitch | Dreamstime.com

Onosen Mike-Ifeta writes from North America where she lives with her husband and two very boisterous boys. In 2013 Onosen decided to become a stay at home mom; she still questions the wisdom behind that decision, especially when the boys are screaming the house down and there’s no where to hide. Onosen is the face behind http://www.vividlyinspired.com

57 Comments

  1. Neerah

    November 30, 2016 at 10:25 am

    I can totally relate, my beautiful baby girl is 1 month plus. The first few days after her delivery was so emotional for me . I couldn’t tell where the emotions were coming from and it wasn’t even about my body , I didn’t gain weight all through my pregnancy and immediately my baby came out my tummy went down tremendously, someone who doesn’t know me wouldn’t believe I just gave birth minutes ago but I was just mostly in a foul mood. I remember on our way back home, i started sobbing profusely, what the matter was, even I couldnt tell.Then to make matter worst, I wasn’t lactating, the first night after her delivery, my baby and i cried together through most of the night,I felt like a failure. she had to be fed immediately with formula the following morning with syringe since I didn’t buy any bottles, in my mind I was Goin to do exclusive breastfeeding. Still not lactating, have tried everything humanly possible from medications to local means, the breast milk aint just coming and I have resigned to fate but I ve not given up. I think awareness should be made regarding lack of lactation in mothers as much as there is awareness for breastfeeding, so that mothers who can’t just produce milk naturally wouldn’t feel like failures or outcasts.

    • eesha

      November 30, 2016 at 3:09 pm

      I Feel your pain dear, same happened to me and to make matters worse , i was far away from home (USA). I mostly had to use formula because i had flat nipple at the time and no way baby could latch on. As soon as we got back to Nigeria, i searched for both local and conventional methods to make the nipples and milk flow. I was told to continuously massage my breasts with shea butter and robb which worked after i did it consistently, drank pap non-stop and warm fluids in general. Baby was able to get breast milk but by that time, it wasn’t sufficient for my daughter as she was used to formula and was quiet the eater. It takes a lot of control and will power not to break down the first few months after birth because it is not always rosy. Nursing a tear is a story for another day, oh the pain!

    • Uberhaute looks

      November 30, 2016 at 11:23 pm

      I’m so happy for this post and I want to rant and rave sha.
      I had my baby through emergency cs thankfully, I didn’t lose the baby in fact, she’s as strong as Samson in the Bible.
      I had serious depression why? My mom was late and mil took charge.
      Due to the cs pain (I was told later I was supposed to have been given a pain reliever) it took me more than 3 months to recover
      My baby loved crying even now and she wasn’t colicky.
      I had serious pain on my thighs, pain from the cs, boil on my armpits, hormone imbalance, hard breast and baby refused to sleep, she cried throughout the night. I started crying the following morning (hubby wasn’t around) cos I thought I was going to die!

      The job of a mother has never been easy. We have been made to believe that we must all give birth (iya ti bimi na kemi naa bi temi) but it’s all a lie.
      Even now, it’s still a bit overwhelming having my toddler play with all the energy, she demands backing (I usually have this back pain which someone said was caused by epidural injected to my spine).

      In all, I’ve learnt to hold my own and nobody will push me to make certain decisions. By Gods grace, the next pregnancy, I pray my mil will practically come stay with me cos I won’t lie, it’s always wonderful to have a helping hand and a shoulder to cry on but she’s of the old school and they expect you to be an Amazon!

    • D

      December 1, 2016 at 1:52 am

      There is this syringe you can use to pull the nipples out which is the first step, then try drinking hot/warm water in the morning and evening or bed time.also, you can drink warm malt drink(maltina or amstel) had the same ish and it worked for me.

      Initially,one of my in-laws was going on about how her breast always overflow before term blah blah blah was just looking at her, so to calm my nerves and ease my stress in the morning I take green tea which was where I noticed the increase breast milk but it doesn’t last cause it’s a diuretic but the hotness increased my milk flow.
      You just have to be strong for your baby and it’s gets better after the 1st 6weeks for me though

  2. Sonia Paloma

    November 30, 2016 at 10:31 am

    Well put together article. People with depression should not be shamed because it can happen to ANYONE

  3. Omoté

    November 30, 2016 at 10:55 am

    I can totally relate. Av got 16 month old twins n av been wondering when the stress starts to reduce. They’ve refused to stop breastfeeding especially at night. I can’t remember the last time I slept for 4 hours straight. Some days I’m close to tears but I always tell myself it will pass soon. If you don’t av a strong support system the depression stays. Motherhood comes with its ups n downs.

  4. mela

    November 30, 2016 at 10:58 am

    it is not an easy experience for me….still feel bad about my body atimes after 5 months.

  5. Maria

    November 30, 2016 at 10:59 am

    Hi Neerah & Onosen
    Sorry about what you went through.
    I’m a mother too and I can relate.
    You do not have to feel so bad. It’s one of those things that happen to us.
    Mine was CS and baby had to be fed with formula for about a week before I could recover fully.
    So, after that I wasn’t lactating too, was advised to take pap and plenty of milk, also soft bread with beverage. In addition to that was to drink water as often as I can and take enough rest. All these really helped and up till date,baby is 6 months plus, I still do exclusive for my baby.
    You too can! Don’t give up…. the fact that you gave birth to another living being is enough for you to be joyful. Many still crave for this. Feeding your baby with formula is not the end of the world. Your baby will still grow well. Some lazy moms don’t even bother. So, cheer up and see if you can still catch up. All the best dear.

    • penelopeia

      December 1, 2016 at 12:12 pm

      That soft bread and beverage made me gain 20kg, my daughter is 2+ and i still look 5 months pregnant (diastasis recti). STOP!!

  6. isioma

    November 30, 2016 at 11:06 am

    I felt like a failure when I wasn’t lactating early but gladly I had the support of my sisters telling me what to do and how I needed to relax for it to happen. Thank you for this write up, people need a support system through this phase.I

    • nnemummy

      November 30, 2016 at 3:43 pm

      my namesake!

  7. Vics

    November 30, 2016 at 11:36 am

    Thanks for this write up. I am a mum to be and really needed this to prepare me for what is to come. For those that have gone through problems with lactation pls how did you solve it…atleast I know now to buy bottles and formula just in case as I had made up my mind to do exclusive for 6months

    • Nuna

      November 30, 2016 at 2:33 pm

      Just make sure you are judiciously taking fluids. Pap, palm wine really help a lot. The first few days are a challenge but keep at it. Just try to get the baby to latch on properly to prevent pain for you. I watched a lot of lactation videos on youtube and the hospital where I gave birth provided a lactation consultant and she helped tremendously.
      Also nipple cream is a HUGE saviour. There are going to be times when breastfeeding is just sheer torture. Nipple cream helps a lot. Best thing is, you dont have to wipe it off before feeding the baby. I swear by the lansinoh nipple cream. I couldnt have done anything without it. My baby is almost 7 months now…memories

    • Issy

      November 30, 2016 at 2:44 pm

      Hi dear just keep taking lots of fluid hot water preferably. For me very light pap with milk and lots of water worked for me.

  8. Maria

    November 30, 2016 at 11:50 am

    I’ m yet to see my post up here. Anything wrong with it. I believe the advise will help a whole lot. What’d you think?
    Kindly respond.

    • Maria

      November 30, 2016 at 11:53 am

      Oh! Sorry I just saw it up there. Thanks.

  9. Hannah

    November 30, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    This is right on time. Depression is really disturbing lots of African women. Gi ving birth and caring of a child is a whole job on its own. All other factors included makes it even harder. Women are really the strongest.

  10. Niola

    November 30, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    Spot on.People expect you to immediately love the baby but sometimes one is just so overwhelmed by the body experience that it may affect your emotions. I remember screaming at my MIL and mum and aunt for just constantly disturbing me days after my baby’s birth that he was constipated and it was my fault because of what I was eating. I was so mad but my mum was more upset and disappointed in me for screaming at the inlaws……

    • Lala

      November 30, 2016 at 3:21 pm

      I think us Africans lack real empathy a lot of times. What your mum did is typical of what my mum does. Always trying to be politically correct by the in laws at the expense of the mental well being of their own children.

      Everyday, I just thank God that I am experiencing marriage outside Nigeria. The fact that everything is stacked against you as a woman in an African marriage is ridiculous. Honestly, I salute all the women who have to tiptoe around in laws and worry about in laws and political correctness when your body is still sour and you’re bleeding from child birth and yet no sleep from breast feeding and childcare.

      I am expecting my first and recently had to tell my mum off for overstepping her boundary, so my in laws don’t stand a chance either if they don’t respect themselves.

      We as a generation need to find the balance between respecting our parents and maintaining our boundaries for the sake of our own sanity. Sometimes, we just don’t recognise their actions as disrespectful until we experience other cultures and civilisations.

      Love is not a basis for disrespect, sometimes, parents use the cultural demands of respect for manipulation. I love my father for respecting my boundaries and knowingly minding them.

    • Mykelti

      November 30, 2016 at 11:04 pm

      Lala, your comment is quite logical but this part “Everyday, I just thank God that I am experiencing marriage outside Nigeria”, is totally ridiculous and irrational; still can’t believe an adult posted that. Take it from a Cameroonian who lives in Toronto; Marriage can be exciting and difficult ANYWHERE. Some of you really need to think before talking; in this case typing.

    • D

      December 1, 2016 at 2:36 am

      We really lack empathy,everybody in your business just to make you feel inadequate and how you should respect their years of experience
      My mother-in-law (God bless her for me) gave my baby well diluted glucose to drink when the hospital was insisting on breast feeding and baby was crying hunger so on our way home stopped by to get formula, she said during her time she always add formula to her to buy list from the hospital cause she doesn’t believe your baby have to suffer because your milk ain’t flowing.

      Then, if you are Yoruba they will come and sell BS called Oka ori or inu to you and tell you they have to make a local concoction Kai!i stood my ground and told everyone off like nah there is nothing like that and my baby is fine.i asked them for the English name of Oka and they don’t know so I told them my baby is fine and truly she is even till Now.

      What they call Oka is anterior fontanelle which will close at the right time.
      Then some in-laws with AK47 breast will start braging about how they always had excess breast milk to shoot anytime and blah blah blah you know insensitive comments to someone who is experiencing motherhood for the first time,Me will keep quiet and drink hot Tea wetin concern me. Also, ask you why your little tummy is still protruding, I simply tell them it took my uterus 9months to reach this size it sure won’t go down in a week after giving birth.

    • cool blue

      November 30, 2016 at 8:29 pm

      Same happened between I and my MIL the day I came home from the hospital with my first baby. She wanted to have her way with how my baby was to be taken care of and even where my baby was to sleep that night. I insisted on my rights as the mother. My mom was more concerned about me being “politically correct toward my MIL…well I didn’t care. Not even when she was so rude as to tell my mom that my mom didn’t train me well simply because I objected to her ancient method of covering up my baby, with a flannel and thick blanket- in a hot stuffy room with the windows closed and the fan switched off. She claimed to have experience. I just felt she was insensitive to my feelings because I was depressed from my baby being diagnosed with jaundice at birth, her white blood count was unusually high and the doctors felt she might have sepsis. I had spent several days at the hospital already, while she was vacating in my home only for her to feel she could dictate how my baby was to live in my home. I stood my ground, and now she respects the boundary I have set. My baby couldn’t latch on and suck but she kept insisting that I try as though I was denying my baby breast milk on purpose. I’m glad I am so over that phase…

    • Kilipot

      November 30, 2016 at 9:38 pm

      Story of my life. I have a 20 day old o. And we are still silently battling with how my baby should be clothed. How do u dress her in a bodysuit and then pour oil on her head and wrap her in a blanket. Now she has rashes on her lids and around her cheeks, she was telling me how Shea butter will clear it, I have told her I DONT WANT Shea butter on my child.

  11. Marian

    November 30, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Thanks for writing this. Not a mom yet but i’ve been getting so irritated lately with the comments people were leaving about this celeb who just had a baby. Like say everyone can just drop the weight just like that. Yall don’t even know her state of mind. Shoutout to all the mothers out there. I’ve witnessed a C/S and vaginal birth and both were just wow!!!

  12. MiDe

    November 30, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    I am expecting my first and they are twins. I’ve been so tired lately and simply not interested in anything, especially stuffs that I used to be passionate about. I keep hoping once they arrive, I would feel better but a part of me is so paranoid.

    Just last night, I told my husband that a lot of people and the TV exaggerate motherhood and pregnancy. No one really says the difficult parts that come with it, I suddenly appreciate my parents more. I like this write up, I like how sincere it is.

    • nnemummy

      November 30, 2016 at 3:45 pm

      I tap into this blessings. Dear father, please remember me for mine: Ifechukwude, Ifeanyinachukwu and Ifechukwunyedichie.

    • Femfem

      November 30, 2016 at 8:29 pm

      My dear twins are bloody hard work please don’t try to be a mature. Make your hubby parent as much as possible. Former sickness, anything so you are not left to cope by yourself. Of possible get paid help

  13. Hiya

    November 30, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    I can totally relate to this. Just recently, I had a meltdown while nursing my 9month old daughter. It was overwhelming, a mixture of emotions that can’t be explained. I also have a 2year old so the 2 combined are a joy but atimes very depressing. Haven’t worked since their arrival,weight issues fluctuating,not everyone understands so I hardly talk about it. It’s all just compressed within and atimes makes me feel like a failure. Motherhood is hard truly.
    PS: hubby works outside my base so just me!?

    • Marian

      November 30, 2016 at 3:46 pm

      Aww..sorry. parents, in laws nko? If they can’t come to you since you are not back to work yet abeg go visit them. Rotate the visit between your folks and his if possible so you can get some rest even if it’s for a day or two.

  14. TruthBeTold

    November 30, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    I am just over 10 weeks pregnant, struggling with Hypermesis, a severe form of morning sickness (rather all day sickness) and vomitting. Im already a size 6 (UK) and have lost even more weight from not. being able to keep any food down. Vomitting about 7-10 times a day and admitted into hospital on drip for liquids since I became severely dehydrated. Im on meds and the vomitting has decreased but the nausea is constant. Mouth full of saliva constantly and aversion to virtually every smell. My husband had to even change his soap because it would set me off when he was near me. I am on bed rest and havent been to work in a month, luckily im in the UK and my work has been v supportive. This is my first baby and I remember finding out I was pregnant after just a month of trying and feeling soo blessed and thankful, I dont take for granted how hard it is for some to conceive, but nothing prepared me for this. I have felt so isolated and depressed. Its hard to get out of bed, talkless of shower, cook, clean- i cant even go into kitchen cause the smell of food triggers my vomitting. Luckily my husband is so understanding and supportive, he has taken up all the chores without any fuss at all. He is really doing his best. Hypermesis only affects 1-3% of women, u are more likely to have it if your mother did and if u already suffer from motion sickness- car sickness, flight sickness etc. It usually subsides after 14 weeks (At best, I am praying im in luck here) or goes on for the whole pregnancy at worst. When I see pregnant still being able to work and enjoy their pregnancy and feel little to no symptoms im so jealous! I never knew pregnancy could be so hard and from how depressed Ive been, I worry that I may be one of those with post natal depression ( really praying im not). Once ive had my baby im going to send a blog post into bella about my experience and how I got through it- hopefully it will help someone because I feel so lonely in this journey. I saw a scan of my baby and its beating heart and honestly that is my source of motivation. Whenever im vomitting or writhing in nauseating pain I close my eyes and think of that image. Cant wait to meet this little bubba that is sucking the life out of me! Good luck to all mums and mums to be! Xxxxx

    • Lala

      November 30, 2016 at 7:31 pm

      Hi, @Truthbetold,
      I was equally depressed the first 3 months of my pregnancy. I don’t have Hypermesis but I suffered from severe constipation during the first trimester. This pregnancy thing is challenging no be small. Good for me that I work for my self, so I have simply packed the business to one side for now. Also, having to make one’s food and still do a bit of the chores (compared to if one was in Nigeria is not easy).

      I manage to do what I can per day. I also pray that I don’t have to deal with depression after giving birth. As for the loneliness, I guess it’s part of life in the UK. Outside work, one has to create things to keep oneself busy and happy.

      Right now I feel like evening suya. The type with plenty of onion and tomatoes and fresh with sarks. Where can I order suya and kpokpo garri in this London? Does anyone know if it’s available in Peckham-we can drive down to Peckham this weekend to buy or order with deliveroo. Any help please?

    • Kilipot

      November 30, 2016 at 9:47 pm

      Ehya @truthBeTold. I really wish I could keep in touch with you. I suffered hyperemesis too, and it was crazy, I was judged,. I had it all- nausea, vomiting, motion sickness, heightened sense of smell, hiccups, belly cramps, heartburn, dizziness every damn thing, and it didn’t go away. I was sick till the last week although it reduced. Was in and out of hospital. Just try and stay strong. I was uninterested in everything. I know it’s hard but please try. You will be fine *big hug*

  15. Mo'Diva

    November 30, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    Hmmmmm the pains of motherhood

    • nnemummy

      November 30, 2016 at 3:46 pm

      lol! the joys of motherhood jare!

    • Ginger

      December 1, 2016 at 2:46 am

      Nnemummy you come of as quite insensitive and… Have you actually had children at all ?

  16. Anne

    November 30, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    This is the best article on bella naija. SPOT ON.
    @Bellanaija team; do you guys have a way of posting the same article everyday of the week so it can be on the front page. More people need to view this article. I will bookmark this page.
    It’s amazing that the issue of mental health isn’t discussed with women in this part of the world. I also have a similar story to yours told by my mum. Thankfully,the woman’s husband stood by her.
    I also love the comic relief in this article. Kudos to all mothers out there.

  17. somebody

    November 30, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    Mike ifeta…are you odiri’s wife? Or Efe? Just curious. Great writeup.

  18. Yetty

    November 30, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    This is spot on….im also a new mum of a 5months old…til now im still battling with balancing work and family…some days are good…some days are really depressing…but my babys smile and laughter gets me through the bad days…
    Recently my boss comments on my outward appearance and how its obvious im overwhelmed…i break down in tears…got myself up and decided i could do it one day at a time…whatever i can handle is what i take up per day…i changed my looks..cut my hair ..started wearing makeup to work and revamping myself…
    Its all a learming process still and i pray we all find the strength to mother our little ones….peace,love and happiness

  19. Sweery

    November 30, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    I have a 2 year old and a 3 month old baby, its a mixture of all kinds of emotions. The first time I became a mother it was overtly overwhelming and intense for me. Sleep deprivation, MIL issues etc, almost wedged a wall between husband and I sef.
    The 2nd time around I put all experiences to use and it was a far better experience than the first.
    Be patient I’ll say motherhood needs some getting use to and lots of strength and determination.
    It will be worthwhile for us all. Power on ladies!

  20. kemi

    November 30, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    This is one of the best articles i have read so far , it is so real and truly tells about the things mothers go through after the birth of a baby. What I have learnt is that no one truly explains this things or talks about it. Even most doctors both overseas and in Nigeria don’t truly inform a woman especially first time mothers about the experiences they will face after the birth of a baby. They don’t explain that the human vagina will return to its original size, that breast milk will kick in about 4 days, that babies might not latch but mums should not keep up. We women are expected to be strong, stay sexy and be the best mum and wives to our husband and families. If a woman is complaining of something , even if it is the simplest thing, people say o you are not grateful, there is a million women that will do anything to be in your shoes, have your home, kids , marriage or job. But I think it is okay for a woman to express how she feels sometimes for it is only when we express ourselves that we can all help support one another. I truly say bravo to all the women in the world who have been through tough times and still wear a smile on their faces.

    @Truth be told…your story is so touching, but the good news is that this too will pass. You really need to write in a journal, it will help you stay positive about the whole experience, also find ways to eat something with spice in it, it helps with nausea. I feel your pain

    Bravo to all the women! WE are brave, strong and still wear a smile on our faces.

  21. Single Shalewa, Bitter Bintu!

    November 30, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    Hello @truthbetold ,I felt like you were commenting on my behalf. I’m 16ks gone but my first trimester was a mess. Mine wasn’t as chronic as yours but it was close. The whole house was smelly to me, I even felt like I had body odor at some point. Hubby keep reassuring me that it was untrue. I couldn’t eat nor drink, my emotions were worse. I’d cry from morning till night.
    I woke hubby up one night and told him after this child which is going to be the first, no more. Cos I just couldn’t bear to go through it again. My mum in law who’s a retired nurse once snapped at me that I was pretending. I cried tire cos it was crazy trying to explain to anyone how I truly felt. Only hubby (despite not walking in my shoes) genuinely understood and cared for me. Oh, then my mum and sister.
    But I’m much much better now honestly. You’ll be fine I assure you.
    A better second trimester awaits you and a more amazing third trimester/delivery. Amen.
    Hugs!

    • TruthBeTold

      November 30, 2016 at 7:28 pm

      I wish u knew how much you’ve lifted my spirit. Thank you so much and good luck with the rest of your pregnancy journey, May God see us through,

  22. BeautifulOnyinye

    November 30, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    Wonderful article.I have a vivacious,energetic,fire cracker 18 month old and I’m currently 3 months pregnant.When I had my daughter via cs,it wasn’t funny.The pains were hellish.Thank God for RECTAL DICLOFENAC.The 1st 10 weeks,madam didn’t let me sleep.My husband was and is very supportive.My mum gave me 3 months of her time doing ‘omugwo’.My immediate younger sister just finished NYSC and came to help out.My other siblings and extended family and in-laws were great,yet some days I still felt overwhelmed from sleep deprivation.One day,I had guests in the living room that had stayed for too long.I was so tired,I went into the bathroom to cry.Hubby wasn’t home but mum found me there and hugged me till I gathered myself.She really is amazing.PS;please when we go to see a woman that just gave birth,make it quite brief especially if you guys ain’t soo close.A good friend of mine always says ‘a good visitor is one that knows when to leave’.Sorry about the epistle.

    • Lala

      November 30, 2016 at 7:43 pm

      @Beautiful Onyinye, well done to you. I’m jealous of all the help you have. I was talking to someone recently and she no help at all. Those f us abroad may get about three months of omuguo and that is about it. The rest is on your own!

      Only one thing I am glad about is not having to worry about going back to work for someone. I run my business from home and can afford to relegate it to second place for the sake of my family. When I become strong after childbirth, I will start with 2 hours a day and increase to 4 hours.

    • Kilipot

      November 30, 2016 at 10:04 pm

      Me I don’t come out o. I cannot come and kill myself.

    • Lala

      November 30, 2016 at 10:55 pm

      The weather was -3 degrees this morning in London at about half 7. Only God knows what my electricity bill will look like at the end of this month.

    • kilipot

      November 30, 2016 at 11:47 pm

      Sorry Lala. We ll all be fine *hugs*

  23. Kilipot

    November 30, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    Now to my main comment lol *clears throat*
    The rudest shocker (after a very stressful pregnancy) was having an emergency c section, oh the pain. Nothing prepared me for it. I never felt so useless.
    Everybody was just going oh hope u are putting baby to breast, no one cared about me- how I was feeling or healing. It was about the baby. Even my own mother was constantly on my nerve.
    Baby was given formula before I could get myself. Then Milk wasn’t flowing- when it eventually came I couldn’t carry my baby cos of the pain. I eventually tried after a week and latching was a problem. Oh everybody had an opinion. Everybody asked if I was breastfeeding. My MiL would remind me how her daughter would pump a full bottle early in morning before work. Bla bla bla. How they should have taught me breastfeeding at my antenatal . I heard it all on this breastfeeding issue, I felt more than a failure.
    Another one is about my baby’s complexion, on how she should go dark like me . I had to talk to my husband about it, and how I didn’t like that I had so much pressure. Now I am better and I have realized that I have the 100% exclusive right to my child, and that I am not doing badly as a FTM, and the opinion of others don’t matter. I will raise my child the best way that I can.
    Baby latches now and I breastfeed and formula feed. I am not doing exclusive breastfeeding as I don’t have the strength. We are just a bunch of insensitive people.

    • Kilipot

      November 30, 2016 at 10:07 pm

      She shouldn’t*

      People commenting on how ur belly hasn’t gone down.

      Man, I can go on and on and on

  24. Suave

    November 30, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    this tells my story…thanks to family support.

  25. Idomagirl

    November 30, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    I appreciate this post.
    BN a suggestion, you know how you have BN Wedding? You should have BN Parents or something like that.
    These sorts of articles and the community of readers and commenters is so important.

    • Iya

      November 30, 2016 at 11:29 pm

      Seconded

  26. Lala

    November 30, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    We are a bunch of insensitive people indeed and it shows up in every aspect of our lives. What is the essence of our religions if we are not touched by the feelings of people’s infirmities. I grew to understand kindness from my father. His thoughtfulness amazes me but he does not really know the bible. He goes to church because it was the thing to do on Sundays,although he’s now a Christian, albeit, a very moderate one.

    When you meet a nurse in the West, they demonstrate compassion but our own is always the money and nothing else. No human feelings for others.I am unlearning some of these habits but generally I think of others above myself and I hope I can be more compassionate, it doesn’t mean you can’t be firm.

    Can someone suggest suya mix for me to buy in London. A brand you have used before please? Thanks!

  27. Everything's rosie

    December 1, 2016 at 12:55 am

    Aaah, I got depressed after the birth of my third child. My mother couldn’t come and so my mil came over. She didn’t help me one bit. I didn’t lactate in time, baby had jaundice and I caught a UTI! It was the worst time of my life! By the time mil left 6 weeks after, I looked like an Aids patient, from stress. People couldn’t recognize me. Whew!

  28. American baby

    December 1, 2016 at 8:04 am

    Humm the worse is those that leave comfort to give birth in america..it’s the worse experience ever. If u don’t have money to take your mum over omo you are on your own,that Aunty or friend is not going to leave her job to help u out cos they have bills to pay. May God help us all

  29. mia

    December 1, 2016 at 10:11 am

    I agree that we are a bunch of insensitive people and it shows in various ways:

    1.. When you’re pregnant and your body is generally reacting to it in form of oversleeping, tiredness, nausea, lack of interest in everything, people will start comparing you with women who were strong during their pregnancy, haba, we are different now
    2. If your tummy is extra big like mine you’ll hear comments even from health workers who should know better that you’re overfeeding and baby might be overweight.
    3. if you don’t feel like dressing up your bump or using makeup, people will come again with stories of how your husband should still have his babe. you want someone who is generally overwhelmed with the demands of pregnancy to be concerned about being a babe abi?
    4. During labor, Nigerian nurses and doctors will shout at you to keep it together as if anybody ever enjoyed labor pains
    5. When the baby comes, everybody expects you to just into motherhood. Nobody cares whether your anesthesia has worn off, about your episiotomy, about the scar an pains of the CS, the bleeding, sore nipples, cluelessness about why baby cries without reason etc, they just assume you should know and do the needful.
    6. Oh, i should not forget the people (i think deserves a slap) who asks you if you delivered “normally” or through CS and go on about how lazy women who deliver via CS are. who raised these people sef?
    7. In-laws and their expectations that you should take care of yourself while they vacation in your home
    8. The body shaming: why is your tummy still big? why are you not losing weight?
    9. Everybody having an opinion on how to take care of your baby
    10. Issues with who has the right to name the child. Your own child o

    Do i need to go on? I think we need to set boundaries and stand our grounds sometimes so we can maintain our sanity in this really trying time.

  30. Mzphunby

    December 2, 2016 at 1:10 am

    Learnt a lot.. Kudos to all we women. We dey try

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