Two months after detectives and victim services staff showed up at their home “with the grim look on their faces,” Florence Leung’s husband has posted a touching tribute to her – and other women who may be struggling with postpartum depression.
“I knew immediate [sic] what they were going to say before they entered the door,” he says in an emotional post. “Yes, it was just like the numerous scenes on TV drama when the police breaks bad news, That grim look on their face. Except, as surreal as it all was, this is not TV. This is happening to me. This is real life.”
“It felt like half a year had passed since that day, but in fact it had only been two months,” Chen writes.
Since then, he says, he has been living in “survival mode…a day at a time… like people taught me to do.”
“Living at the moment is truly the only way to go through this at this stage, he states. “As the initial shock and emotional numbness slowly subsides, I’m experiencing more flashbacks of memories from our 6.5 years of happiness, and for now these memories tend to trigger pain and intense longing.”
In the wake of his loss, Chen is also imploring all new mothers experiencing postpartum depression to seek help and talk about their feelings.
“You are Not a bad mother,” he writes. “Do not EVER feel bad or guilty about not being able to “exclusively breastfeed”, even though you may feel the pressure to do so based on posters in maternity wards, brochures in prenatal classes, and teachings at breastfeeding classes.”
“While agreeing to the benefits of breast milk, there NEEDS to be an understanding that it is OK to supplement with formula, and that formula is a completely viable option,” Chen adds. “I will talk more about this in the future.”
He also notes that their newborn son is “growing well and well taken care of, and smiles and laughs a lot.”
Chen concludes the tribute by thanking everyone for their prayers and support and for their “ongoing attention to this devastating condition.”
According to the Pacific Post Partum Support Society (PPPSS), an estimated one out of every six women and one out of every 10 men experiences troubling depression or anxiety after the birth or adoption of a child.
“PPD/A is often characterized by despondency, emotional instability, anger, guilt, tearfulness, worrying, anxious thoughts or images, feelings of inadequacy and the inability to cope,” the PPPSS states on its website. “It may occur shortly after the arrival of a new baby or many months later. For some, symptoms may begin in pregnancy.”