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Ayo Al: When It’s Hard to Love that Child You Just Birthed

Ayo Al



I sit and stare. I stare at the little thing they tell me came out of me. This little thing that keeps wailing and will not be quiet. It refuses the offer of comfort from all who offer it; it keeps wailing, wailing so loudly.

And then a nurse comes, stout and short with a hard face and mean eyes; her words are mean too. “Take her, she wants to suckle!” She snaps, dropping the baby in my laps and stalking off.

I will not touch her. I do not want her at my breasts. I do not want to pet her. “Why does she keep wailing?  Why won’t someone ask her to be quiet?

They come to take her after a while,  when they realize I will not hold her. I am not foolish; I see the look in their eyes,  they judge me.  I hear the whispers “she has gone mental. She is not fit to be called a mother.” I also hear the snickers when they think I can’t hear.

I see my mother in-law’s face. I know she cannot wait to go back to the village and tell of her crazy daughter in-law, who refuses to hold her own child. I see her eyes heavy with fury. I hear her loud hisses,  and I see her feigned concern.

My husband is no better. I hear his excuses to his mother and friends who visit. I see sometimes the anger and sympathy in his eyes as he holds my hands, trying to make me talk. I see love trying to cover his hurt. I see that he is trying to be brave!

I see my friend’s face. I see her shock when they tell her I have not touched her God-child. I see her tears as she holds my hands and tries to make me remember how I had planned for this child. I see her efforts as she tries to make the child stop crying.

I see all these things even though they think I don’t. I hear too,  though they think I have suddenly gone deaf. I still have blood flowing through me, even though they think otherwise. I have emotions also…I do!

I will carry my baby,  I know I will. She will suckle at my breasts. A time will come when I will pet her to bed, when I will sing to her. Soon, I’ll light up with a smile whenever I play with her fingers and see her own smile. I’ll do all these things and more. All I need is time to love, time to heal.

Who will tell them to give me time? Who will tell them to let me be and let me be!  Who will tell them that I need time to reconcile my mind and body to her birth?  Who will tell them to give me time to heal?  Who will tell them that perhaps I am not like other women,  that I heal slowly. Who will speak for me?  Who will tell my husband not to stop loving me? Who will pray with me till I can chant prayers for myself?

Who will love me till I  can love her?


This post is dedicated to all the women out there suffering from post partum depression, here is to let you know you will be fine. God’s got you!

Photo Credit: Bruno Monteny |

An avid reader and writer, Ayo Al hopes particularly to refract the ills in the society through her writings. A professional blogger, she is available for content writing, freelance writing and book reviews. She is also a business woman, fashion enthusiast and a dealer of watches. She can be reached via mail- [email protected] Check out her instagram: @thatsaucywriter


  1. Yangtze

    June 11, 2017 at 7:41 am

    So touching, i connect to how Ayo presented this.I hope folks get to understand PPD and not look so oddly at new mothers. First i read about it was over a decade ago in Awake! and funny enough most peeps seems oblivious of PPD.

    • Ayo Al

      June 11, 2017 at 5:38 pm

      Thank you for reading!

    • Jimbo

      June 12, 2017 at 8:08 am

      This is how i’d feel if it was a girl child – knowing this creature a slave to its emotions now, will never truly develop self control greater than this!!!

      But strength will be harnessed necessary to love the miracle that is a Boy Child.

      God bless 2 all Genders, tho!

  2. Amara

    June 11, 2017 at 9:47 am


    • Ayo Al

      June 11, 2017 at 5:36 pm


  3. Ann1

    June 11, 2017 at 11:02 am

    Post parting depression is a real thing. But you have to strengthen your mind to beat it. Though I was extememely happy and my mommy instincts locked in immediately when I had my baby, but there have been nights when my baby won’t stop crying and it has almost driven me to the point of insanity. In those moment I feel so down, and overwhelmed. I even harbor horrible thoughts. But immediately I start feeling that way, I remember how much I anticipated my babies arrival, how I smiled and leaped at every kick, how I cried tears of joy at every ultrasound, and how I kept his framed ultrasound picture at my bedside and kissed it every night after my prayers. At that moment I scoop my baby up and cuddle him with all the warmth in my heart till he dries his little tears. I pray for all the moms going through post partum depression. It will look brighter one day.

    • Ayo Al

      June 11, 2017 at 5:37 pm

      Yes, it will be brighter one day!

  4. bokun

    June 11, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    Postnatal depression is actually a mental health problem. The first step to recovery is the acknowledgment that unfortunately and through no fault of yours spiritually, or otherwise you have a mental health problem. It is an illness a complication of the postnatal period pretty much like a secondary pph the only difference is that it affects the mind. Baby blues happens in the first week of the postnatal period and can last up to 15 days from birth. most women go through this tearful period which is linked to a fluctuation in homone levels. It is different from PND. Unfortunately time alone does not resolve PND and if left untreated can lead to further complications like pospartum psychosis. Women need to feel safe to discuss how they are feeling. A mental health assessment using a screening tool i.e whooley depression screen / GAD 2 screen. PHQ9 GAD7 can be used to self screen. A postive result may encourage a heart to heart discussion with a norminated non judgemental friend or relative or a trip to the doctor for some short term medication. PND is not a curse it is just a mental health complication which a lot of women go through. Very easily resolved with the right treatment.

    • Ayo Al

      June 11, 2017 at 5:37 pm

      Thank you, thank you!

  5. The real dee

    June 11, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    This almost brought to my eyes. Any form of depression is absolutely terrible. I call depression a black hole I never want to go back to. I think I had pre-natal depression, I spent the first few months of my pregnancy crying, worried and disoriented and it was beyond hormones. My mum only spent few minutes giving me a therapeutic talk and everytime I was about to enter into that black hole, I remembered her words and restrained myself.

    Never underestimate the value of a support system. Your support system may be just one person or several persons, open up, speak your thoughts, and be ready to receive help. I remember being taught that anytime your baby’s cry becomes infuriating, just walk away, leave the baby, let someone else help you so you don’t harm the baby.

    Being a new mother isn’t easy and its worse if you’re alone with no one who cares, but remember you have the grace. God has given you sufficient grace to handle this responsibility and yes, you can do it.

    Stay away from people who have nothing but negative things to say to you. Stay away from people who don’t understand what you’re going through and seem to be complicating your life.

  6. Iou

    June 11, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    So touching ….

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