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23rd Oct 2017

Mum shares honest account of dealing with postpartum depression

'While he was cute as a button, I knew something was missing.'

Jade Hayden

Bunmi Laditan is a mum-of-three.

She has two girls and one boy.

Bunmi says that after the birth of her first two children, she came home and felt an “instant connection” with them.

However, after her third, she didn’t feel the same.

“While he was cute as a button,” she says, “I knew something was missing.”

“We all know about the anxiety, OCD, chilling thoughts, rage that sneaks up on you like a flash fire and then is drowned by your own shame-filled tears.

“What no one can prepare you for is how it feels to hold a baby and not feel like he’s yours.”

Bunmi says that it felt like she was raising a baby that wasn’t her own.

She kept expecting somebody to walk through the door and inform her that the baby she had been nursing and looking after for so many months was not hers.

When Bunmi eventually got diagnosed with postpartum depression, she says her mood got better.

But it still took her three years to establish a bond with her son.

“In that time, I loved my baby boy, took him to play centres, parks, we cuddled, I painted his hands and pushed them into soft clay for keepsakes, and snapped a million photos, but there was a valley between us that I prayed he didn’t feel.

“Then one day, or perhaps over several days, or maybe through each day of showing up, his real mother finally walked through the door and it was me.

“100 percent me.”

Bunmi says that she shared her post for all of the mothers who may be struggling with postpartum depression.

She says she knows that it’s not fair, but that she just had to keep going to get to where she wanted to be eventually.

“No, it’s not fair that you have to work at what’s supposed to come naturally, but in life the only thing that’s promised is work.”