My post-partum depression story by Shahina Aslam (Zimbalicious)

Before I begin to share Shahina’s story with you all remember to be kind to yourselves and others, as we do not know the journies they have been on. Be brave and strong for one another, as we as mothers only know the truths behind our own individual lives.

I hope this courageous share will inspire other mom’s to open up about their stories too.

It’s 6am on a Sunday morning, I’m wide awake but exhausted, I can’t get myself to get out of bed. I must’ve woken up every hour last night feeding the little one. 

As I lay in bed I can’t help it but tears won’t stop flowing. I have this deep deep sadness embedded within my soul. My cheeks feel raw from wiping my tears away constantly. So many thoughts and questions flowing through my head, and with each thought follows the tears.

Why am I feeling like this? I hate being a mom! Why don’t I love my baby? I have to be the worst woman in the world! Who doesn’t love their own baby? 

My mind is foggy yet these thoughts won’t stop from entering my head. 

My body feels limp, forget getting out of bed I can’t even get myself to turn sides in bed, I feel all my energy slowly being drained away. I can actually feel it leaving my body. And it’s not just my energy, I feel like all my happiness is being sucked out too. I have no dreams, no ambitions, I don’t look forward to anything, I lie in bed thinking my whole life is over and this is it. The end of my life…

All I wanted was for it to end. I have always been the person to fear death, but here I was fascinated by ending my own life.

Not caring about anything or anyone. And worst of all, it didn’t seem wrong, it felt perfectly natural. Natural that my life’s purpose was over and I needed to end it, now. I kept thinking of ways this could be all over right now. 

I finally got the energy to get out of bed, looked at my baby and woke up my husband and told him to give her away. I didn’t want her, but I couldn’t tell him that. I just told him I’m unwell and couldn’t look after her today. He understood and took her to my inlaws.

He tried everything to make me feel better, one of the things he tried was taking me out on a long drive. Something we did often when it was just the two of us.  But I sat in the car and just stared into nothingness.

All I could think was my life is over, ‘It’s over! it’s over! It’s over!’ (That was the only thing playing in my head).

We got home and naturally the baby was handed to me. And all I could think was ‘ I don’t want her, someone please take away, she destroyed my life!’

I took her to my room and put her tiny curled up body on my bed, laying against those fancy cushions we unnecessarily decorate our beds with. Then, a voice in my head spoke. ‘Take this cushion and suffocate her. All your problems will be over’. I looked at the cushion then looked at her. All I wanted was to take the cushion and suffocate her little face under it. Then another voice, very faint this time, popped up, saying this is not normal, this is wrong! 

I restrained myself, but the whole day was spent thinking of how I wish she was just gone, either I give her away to someone or just kill her.

That night, as I forced myself to sit and talk to myself and Allah, I thought about that faint voice telling me that this is wrong. I went to my husband and told him there’s something wrong with me.

I need help and figured it out, this is postpartum depression. I’ve read about it but can this really be happening to me??? 

We researched and found a postpartum depression counselor, messaged her straight away and for an appointment, I made another appointment with a psychiatrist on the same day. There’s something wrong me and I need it fixed, right now. 

Speaking to both my psychiatrist and counselor I just couldn’t help but cry throughout. My grief doesn’t make sense. 

They both made me understand that this is just my brain, and explained everything to me. I started anti-depressants as soon as I could. But I can tell you, that was just the beginning. The side effects of the anti-depressants were terrible, I had anxiety attacks throughout the day, I had to move in to my moms house so she could look after the baby. 

It is now 6 months down the road….

I exercise, get counseling, sit in the sun and eat whatever I feel like. I make it a point to do something for myself every week, be it going for coffee with a friend, buying myself something nice or going for a pedi.

I still feel low and irritable but the worst is now behind me. I am so thankful to have an understanding family who supported me and was just there for me, even though they didn’t understand. 

Writing this was hard, remembering my darkest hours and days. Now I look at Mishaal, and all I have for her is an overpowering wave of love. I do get my days when I’m low and I just need a break, but then that’s normal, every human needs a break and trust and love myself. 

Thank you for reading my story, if this is happening to you, know that this is NOT your fault, and you didn’t do anything for this to happen.

Be easy on yourself and make yourself a priority. Discover yourself and practice self love on a daily. All it takes is time! 

Shahina x 

Shahina Aslam (Zimbalicious)
Shahina and Mishaal on their trip to India.

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