Shefali was sitting next to the life she held within her for nine months. She was back home from hospital. The child was crying and Shefali thought it appropriate to lift the child because her mother in law was there in the same room and would think how bad a mother she was. As she lifted the baby, she could'nt make it stop crying, she could feel all eyes staring at her, she blamed herself for not behaving like a mother. All this while she wanted to show love to her baby not because she wanted to but there were people around and it was her duty to feel that way. Shefali thought that pregnancy had not changed anything and that she was different, mothers are so selfless but all she wanted at that moment was to leave the child all alone by itself and attend the party going outside. The movement of her foot was in sync with the music but she felt guilty. The baby did,nt stop crying and this made her look at it with disgust, she hated her baby for taking away her free life, she hated him for making her ugly, she hated him for the pain she had to bear and this disgust made her feel guilty all the more.
She thought she was not mother material, she was different. She could neither share her feeling with her husband nor her mother in law as what would they think of her, she was a failure she thought.
One night, the thought of killing her child flashed through her mind. Shefali cried for hours to compensate the evilness of her thought , her husband Raj called her childish and insensitive. For seven weeks Raj did everything for the baby from changing his diapers to making him eat. He noticed that Shefali had not changed her kurta for the last two days, her hair was all open, he scolded her for not taking care of herself during this lactation period. Seeing this abnormal behavior for some weeks, Raj took Shefali to the doctor. She was diagnosed with 'Postnatal Depression'.
The disease is not as uncommon as you think. A woman goes through tremendous psychological changes during this period. She is most vulnerable at this time. Reality check, If a child learns to love his parents gradually, so a parent is also not born suddenly but becomes one gradually. There are many Shefalis who need this support and conviction from us that one day they will learn to love their child unconditionally.
A woman is not born a mother but becomes one. Lets not epitomize her to the extent that she feels ashamed and incapable of expressing herself naturally.