Losing my job spurned me into sadness, hopelessness and great despair. They say that when it rains, it pours. I remember how I felt so defeated with the turn of events. Many days I’d walk in town, tears streaming down my face. Many times I toyed with random ideas of ending it all, but the thought of loving someone I was yet to meet kept me grounded.

In retrospect, I actually had antenatal depression (depression in pregnancy); I just didn’t know it.  So there I was, a single mom to be, jobless and absolutely clueless on how I’d pull through. I had to move back to my parent’s home. By then, my social circles had slowly shrunk and there were few people I could turn to. A couple of friends stuck, and for that I am eternally grateful.

Samina, sharing her experience during a young moms' event organized by Amira Africa. Photo courtesy of Amira Africa
Samoina, sharing her experience during a young moms’ event organized by Amira Africa. Photo courtesy of Amira Africa

My son was born in January 2012. The labour pain was nothing like I had ever experienced before -intense, searing and excruciating. I knew it would be painful, I just didn’t have an idea how painful it would be. I had a safe delivery a few hours later, thankfully. Holding my son in my hands gave me mixed feelings. Part of me was excited at this new chapter in my life, but a larger part of me was anxious about how things would pan out.

The first few days were extremely hard. There I was, adjusting to having a new baby, and still recovering from labour and my emotional mess. Worst of all perhaps, was the fact that my newborn son slept in intervals of 15 minutes, which made me feel like going crazy. I was actually (going crazy), I just didn’t know it. Fatigued, sleep deprived and extremely teary, I thought it was going to pass. I kept telling myself motherhood was meant to be blissful, and I kept hoping things would change. But they didn’t, and only increased in intensity. Slowly, I started resenting my son. It was such as subtle, sneaky bastard feeling. My train of thoughts revolved around the idea that, if he weren’t here… if his biological father was present…if I weren’t jobless…if I hadn’t gotten pregnant… so many ‘ifs’.

Photo courtesy: Amira Africa
Photo courtesy: Amira Africa

I cannot recall the exact moment it started, but in addition to feeling resentful, I was struggling with anger. I remember having this intense anger, bubbling rage and bitterness that I could not understand. I kept all these issues to myself, preferring to stay masked, largely because I couldn’t bring myself to explain to my family what I felt (seeing as I brought it all on myself anyway). By this time, my social circles were pretty much non-existent, and this drove me further to isolate myself – for no one seemed to understand me or what I was going through. It was very lonely.

The anger manifested in different ways: some days were spent drenched in tears, others were spent yelling at my infant. A good number were spent staring at the ceiling, rocking a child who wouldn’t sleep in the wee hours of the morning. Once, it got so bad that I slapped my 5-month old son…

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