That Demon Was Real

Creative Commons Licensephoto credit: helgasms

Some of you, especially mothers know what Baby Blues is all about. You might have read it somewhere or heard it through the grapevines, just like I had heard about it before and proclaimed that I would never go through one.

Big mistake…

With a difficult pregnancy caused by my severe preeclampsia, bed ridden for four weeks straight, two hospitalizations, never ending check-ups followed by an emergency c-section at 35th weeks of my pregnancy then later watched our newborn baby helplessly laying under an oxygen hood…it took a toll on me emotionally.

What suppose to be happy new mommy moments seemed like a far away dream for me. Yes, I cried happy tears when I finally got to hold him for the very first time…3 days after he was born. Yes, I was so happy when we spent the last night in the hospital rooming together.

But as the new mommyhood role finally kicked in full gear, it became harder. I freaked out when Mr. X had to go back to work. Between cracked nipples and tears from pain of not latching on correctly…I sob with our new baby. Mr. X tried to cheered me up when I got so frustrated with breastfeeding. Being far from both sides of the family, the only source of help was purely from Mr. X and he really earn an honorary badge for standing by me.

What I thought was ‘only a baby blues’ period lasted for months. It got ugly and the biggest mistake was to never get it diagnose. When my doctor asked about how I feel, I lied…I was too ashamed to admit that something didn’t feel normal inside… something didn’t feel right. So it went undiagnosed and got worst. I was living a dual life…yes, I’m a happy new mother to the whole world but deep inside I felt rotten as if I’m a pitch dark tunnel, I hated everything, I even hated to hear Lil’ A crying at nights. It consumed me inside out. That year was hell and I was going through it alone not knowing there is a name for that demon, that there are helps out there, that there are ways to deal with it either through medications or counseling.

I never heard of Post Partum Depression until Lil’ A was almost 2 years old. When I read the symptoms my jaws dropped. That’s exactly how I felt…I withdrew from Mr. X, projected my unhappiness to him, lashing out to him. Even yelled at him during one of my meltdowns that I hated him…that demon had hurt the person I loveand I still carry that guilt to this very day. It got so ugly I’m surprised he didn’t walk out on me when were still in Dothan.

Actually, it took a marriage counselor to finally made me realized what caused that miserable first year after we had our baby was indeed a post partum depression, it almost drove my marriage off the cliff. She helped me tremendously dealing with the ghost of my PPD.

If only I would come clean to my doctor back in Dothan, he might provide helps in dealing with those rotten feelings and it would stop me from creating so much damage in our marriage. We are still working on our marriage and I’m thankful to God that I had escaped from the grip of that ugly PPD and my faith plus the counseling had helped me tremendously in recovering from its grips.

My hope is for more mothers, especially Indonesians to be able to open up to their doctors. Most Indonesians will be too embarrassed to share such things to their doctors. Sadly, it’s like a stigma that you don’t admit to others that you are depressed, that you just have to toughen up. Believe me, I know and I understand as I’ve been there before, was too ashamed and it almost breaks my marriage! As a medical expert they shouldn’t judge us, they should be able to help. If not then maybe it’s time to find a new doctor that does familiar with PPD.

PPD is real…not just make believe. Get the helps you need now before it’s too late!


The marriage ended. Not only because of PPD but it was one of a factor I guess.




Lifestyle and travel blogger, founder of Single Moms Indonesia on a quest of finding joy in everyday life and living life to the fullest with kindness, compassion, grace and a bit of sass.

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  1. July 6, 2010 / 7:25 pm

    I’ve been there too, and I tried to get help, but it constantly seemed that there was no one available to help me. My little one didn’t sleep, unless I held her, day or night, and it nearly drove me over the edge.

    The thing is, it doesn’t go away without help. It lingers. Those feelings of being alone, no one understanding or wanting to help you. Then finally you do snap, and something has to happen, someone had to help, because it’s gone too far.

    I’m glad I eventually got the help I needed. I no longer feel inadequate, that the things I do as a mother are wrong. And, although sometimes I don’t look after myself as much as I should, I know when I need to step back and get away before I get to that dark place.

    Thank you, for being brave and sharing, and knowing that it is important to let others know that they are not alone 🙂
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    • Maureen
      July 8, 2010 / 2:16 pm

      Amanda, we too struggled with bedtime routine back then since he was a preemie and it was my fault too to let him get used to be rocked to sleep.

      You nail it completely about the feelings of being alone and no one understands how we feel. It was at that ‘snap’ moment where I lashed out and hurt my DH’s feelings and I know it’s wrong but I don’t understand how did it got so out of hand and it did went too far. But still I didn’t know what caused me to said the things I said.

      Thank you for opening your own experience too, Amanda. Hugs!

  2. July 6, 2010 / 9:19 pm

    Wow, great post. Good for you for being so honest. Hopefully it will help some other mother who is struggling out there get the help she needs. I am sorry that you had to go through that but I am glad that now you realize what it was and you got the help you needed.
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    • Maureen
      July 8, 2010 / 2:18 pm

      Thank you Caity, it took me almost 3 years to finally being able to acknowledge all this and I feel like if I can be honest about it maybe it will help someone someway.

  3. July 6, 2010 / 10:07 pm

    Well done hun! This is a very honest post and it can’t have been easy to write. I have a history of depression and once Piglet was born, they watched me like a hawk in case PPD raised it’s ugly head. It was rough for a few weeks but luckily, with the support of Rich and my family, it never fully developed. PPD (or any type of depression for that matter!) can put such a huge strain on relationships. I glad you and your husband got some help and are working on the issues, it shows the strength of your relationship that you are both willing and able to do so.

    As mothers (especially new mothers) we put such a massive amount of pressure on ourselves to show the world that everything is fine, that we’re coping and everything’s going well. We need to stop. We need to feel able to admit when it’s not ok and ask for help. The only way we can get to that point is through raising awareness, posts like this do just that!
    Pumpkin and Piglet recently posted..Im not really here-My Profile

    • Maureen
      July 8, 2010 / 2:25 pm

      Sian, thank you so much. Yes, it was difficult to write this down as it reminds me what a horrible dark times it was.

      It’s so wonderful that you got the full support of your loved ones and I think that is very important because we can’t fight PPD ourselves…at least I tried and it just went away but it was still there like a shadow.

      I couldn’t said it better…your last paragraph is so brilliantly true. Motherhood is tough and it’s okay to admit that no we doesn’t feel right, that there are something bothering us inside.

  4. Saundra Rohn
    July 7, 2010 / 12:51 am

    (((Maureen))) my daughter ,

    A timely article and a well written one too.

    You are so loved,

    • Maureen
      July 8, 2010 / 2:26 pm

      Aww thank you Mom…and I love you too with all my heart!

  5. July 7, 2010 / 1:53 am

    What a beautiful and touching post. Thank you so much for sharing. I think we crossed paths in the chat on Twitter yesterday, but I actually just found your blog through SITS blog frog community! Nice to officially *meet* you!
    Andrea recently posted..Things that make my day easier My Profile

    • Maureen
      July 8, 2010 / 2:28 pm

      Hi Andrea, thank you for taking your time to read this and responding. Yes we did ‘met’ on twitter! Now I’m following you 🙂

  6. July 7, 2010 / 8:02 am

    I am so sorry that you went through that without knowing what was happening to you. You must have felt terrible. Glad you are better now!

    • Maureen
      July 8, 2010 / 2:29 pm

      Thanks Catherine, it was the darkest times of my life despite the joy of being a new mom which sounds so contradicting.

  7. July 7, 2010 / 10:40 am

    I’m so glad that you shared this and were so open and honest about it. The stigma that comes with needing extra help is so unreal to me…I can’t believe that it’s considered a topic not to be discussed still! Thanks for helping bring it to light. Hugs!
    Natalie recently posted..Im BaaackKindaMy Profile

    • Maureen
      July 8, 2010 / 2:33 pm

      Thank you for inspiring me, Natalie to be able to write about this. Sadly, yes some people here still finding it hard to admit their true feelings to the doctor. Hmm…maybe a therapist or a counselor are still rare here. Thanks God for my brilliant counselor! Hope you’ll feel better too soon, girl! Sending you a big warm virtual hugs!

  8. finnie
    July 8, 2010 / 1:52 am

    hmm kayanya ini ga banyak dialami ibu-ibu di Jakarta deh.. scara rata2 punya pembantu, suster, dll.. dan rata2 lbh bergantung sama suster (bukan maksud being judgemental), tp emang kenyataannya di Indonesia tenaga kerja suster tergolong murah dan banyak 😀 makanya salut banget sama ibu2 yang punya anak >3 dan ngurus sendiri, kl pas lg di airport atau liburan liat ibu2 bule anaknya 3, yg 1 masi bayi ga pake nanny pun masih kepegang, walaupun pasti doi rempong seada2nya. hahaha
    kl skrg ga baca ini mungkin ga sadar ternyata selama ini depresi..hahaha.. krn Alaia dirawat sendiri, bahkan sampe lengket banget, saking lengketnya ngga mau dipegang orang lain.. very very clingy. menyesal atau ngga krn ga mau org lain ikut andil merawat Alaia sampe dia tergantung banget sama ibunya, sebenernya ngga juga.. krn puas dan memang menikmati merawat anak. Tapi emang ga bisa boong ada saatnya pas capekkkkkkkkkkkk banget, trus ini anak rewel atau kenapa gitu.. bawaannya hati panasss bener pengen marah2.. ya suami pasti korban utama 😛 trus Alaia, tp pernah kejadian sekali2nya marahin trus nyesel setengah mati, skrg janji ga mau marahin lagi sampe saatnya dia ngerti memang harus dimarahin krn salah. sekarang dia masi bayi dan mutlak harus disayang2.
    selain itu mungkin krn ga punya me time lagi, apalagi sblmnya biasa sendiri.. skrg mau ke salon aja ribet mikirinnya hrs nyiapin makanan, mompa ASI, dll.. trus berasanya selalu kucel ga ada waktu buat ngurus diri sendiri bikin makin depresi!
    jadi terima kasih maureen, ternyata selama ini gue PPD.., tp kynya blm butuh bantuan.. krn masi dlm batas menikmati 🙂

    • Maureen
      July 8, 2010 / 2:36 pm

      Fin, makasih udah sharing ya bu. Kayanya bener yang lo bilang di Indonesia mungkin masih kurang awam soal PPD ini soalnya mayoritas new moms can afford to pay for nannies atau di bantu keluarga besar. Mungkin kalo gue ngelahirin di sini gw nggak akan ngerasain PPD, who knows.
      Berasa capek batin emang wajar banget Fin apalagi kalo ngurus sendiri. Makanya gw salut sama emak-emak yang anaknya lebih dari satu hehehe. Yang sabar ya Fin, it will get better kok. Kalo mo curhat, let me know bisa BBM-an 😉

  9. July 22, 2010 / 7:40 am

    Thank you for sharing this. Many mothers do not understand or recognize the symptoms of postpartum depression. I’m glad you were able to get help.
    Daenel recently posted..Wordless Wednesday- The LibraryMy Profile

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