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Maternal Mental Health in Kenya: “As a New Mom, Anger and Suicidal Thoughts Were my Reality” -Samoina Wangui

Samoina Wangui and her son. Photo by Blackmerg Studios.

Why do some women feel so sad and desolate after having their babies? This is something 27-year-old Samoina Wangui experienced following the birth of her son, where she developed feelings of anger at him and everything around her, and at some point –she became suicidal. This is Samoina’s heartfelt experience.

“I vividly remember the day my world stood still. My life before then had been very interesting…I was enjoying it, partying a lot, hanging out, campus… the whole nine yards. I’m a very social person, and find it so enlightening to spend time with people.

Then I found out I was pregnant. My world stood still.

Let me take you back a little bit. Growing up, I knew motherhood was ‘supposed’ to be a blissful experience. I mean, what could be better in life other than creating life itself? Bringing a sweet little baby into the world? I envisioned motherhood as a beautiful experience. Then suddenly, my world stood still as all that bliss disappeared like a mirage as I faced the reality of what was happening to me. I was unprepared for the pregnancy.

Samoina Wangui. Photo: Blackmerg Studios

I was barely 22, and still on probation in my job. It certainly wasn’t time for motherhood -yet. I was petrified. This was going to be a life-changing event and I was not sure I could hack it. I felt like I had let myself down. There I was, faced with what had to be my life’s biggest decision. Eventually, I decided to keep the baby, after many nightmares where I would wake up sweating and shaking, hearing unrelenting baby screams and all-night crying. This, in addition to having gross visions of a bloodied mess. This marked the beginning of a life-changing journey for me.

In the early months of my pregnancy, I remember going to the bathroom and finding a blob of bright red blood. I panicked at the thought of losing my baby. I was having a threatened abortion, but thankfully, we survived that.

About 5 months into the pregnancy, I realized I was going to be a single mom. That reality shook me, as I struggled with the emotions that come along with that, as well as the reality of the financial responsibilities that lay ahead of me. It was tough.

When I was around 7/8 months pregnant, I lost my job, as though my situation could not get any worse!

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Maryanne W. Waweru is a Kenyan mum raising her two sons in Nairobi. A journalist, Maryanne is passionate about telling stories and hopes that through her writing, her readers learn something new, feel encouraged, inspired, and appreciative of what they have in their lives. Maryanne's writing focuses on motherhood, women and lifestyle. "Telling stories is the only thing I know how to do," she says.



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