Cloud in my head: a testimonial (De Warmste Week, part 3)
"So sweet, so cute, enjoy!" To enjoy? Do they really mean that? To enjoy? Of what exactly? Most of all I wanted to give him the message: "Bring him back in 3 years. When he's out of diapers, can eat himself and sleep through the night. My life is suddenly controlled by someone else. I'm in complete control I don't want this life. Did I really choose this myself?"
I seriously underestimated this. Breastfeeding was a tough task for me. I was really looking forward to the next feeding and as soon as the moment approached that I had to start again, I felt the tears running down my cheeks again. I stubbornly persisted, telling myself that this was best for my son. That this was partly the cause that I went completely under it, I didn't see that at the time (yet).
It went from bad to worse. I didn't sleep. Not in the maternity ward, but not at home either. The baby was in a bed next to me, and with every little sigh I was afraid something was wrong and I shone the light of my cell phone over his head. I counted down the hours to the next morning. I didn't sleep a wink.
I was angry with all mothers. Why had no one warned me about this? Was I the only one who couldn't do this? Why did it seem to run smoothly for the rest? What did I do wrong?
I don't like my new role as a mother. In fact, I can't handle it. I am awash in guilt and shame, but know I need help. This is stronger than myself. The diagnosis hits hard: postpartum depression. An admission is indicated to relax, to be supported and guided, to regain my self-confidence, to work on the bond with my son,...
This courageous testimony comes from Friedl, the founder of Cloud in my head, although this may sound familiar to many young moms.
Experts are also convinced that the taboo of mental difficulties after childbirth must be tackled urgently, including professor doctor at KU Lueven and specialized in perinatal psychiatry, Titia Hompes: "Many women have feelings of depression after the birth of their child or are anxious. They feel that they are losing control. Having a child is so existential that one really wants to do it well. Failure is not an option, so they have a hard time letting their environment know that it is not so easy. oh well ... The pink cloud is a myth that needs to be punctured.” (De Standaard, 1/9/2018)
For more testimonials you can visit the Cloud in my head site or the BBC documentary Mothers on the Edge by Louis Theroux.
If you have any questions or if you need a listening ear, you can find out where you can go in your area on the contact page of Cloud in my head .
We want to encourage young parents who are struggling psychologically and that is why we have chosen 'Cloud in my head' as a charity during this Warmest Week. For each accessory that is sold from December 2 to December 23, 10% of the sales price goes to this non-profit organization. You can also have your order wrapped in the official Warmest Week wrapping paper for € 2 per product, the full proceeds of which go to Cloud in my head.
(Illustration from the book Good Moms have Scary Thoughts by Karen Kleiman and Molly McIntire)