Ex-KTN Journalist Recounts Her Motherhood Struggles, Suicide Attempts

  • Bibir
    Chebet Bibir poses at a past date.
    Instagram/Laura Chebet Birir
  • Former KTN Journalist, Laura Chebet Birir recounted having suicidal thoughts, and anxiety and ending up in the hospital as she went through her motherhood journey. 

    Speaking to The Comb, a BBC podcast on February 3, Birir stated how difficult it was to disclose to her parents, a military father and a mother who was a teacher, that she had gotten pregnant before completing her university education.

    The former health and science show presenter stated that despite her love for children, she doubted her ability to take care of her firstborn daughter a few weeks after giving birth.

    Bibir 1
    Chebet Bibir poses with her second-born daughter at a past date.
    Twitter/Laura Chebet Bibir

    “I gathered courage and told my dad about my pregnancy. He eventually came around but he did not take it lightly. 

    “I wanted to take care of the baby with everything that I had but after four weeks, I started feeling differently about the baby,” Birir narrated 

    Despite receiving the support she needed, the journalist stated that she developed anxiety that was fueled by negative thoughts that eventually caused her to neglect herself and the baby.

    At the time, Birir had moved in with her in-laws in Eldoret while her boyfriend worked in Nairobi. 

    “I did not think that I was a good mother or that I deserved the baby so I started to withdraw. I felt like I did not deserve to live. I wanted to die with my baby.

    “I was feeling like a burden to my in-laws and everyone around me. I was not eating or sleeping for days. I was not taking a shower, breastfeeding, or bathing the baby,” stated Birir.

    Birir’s in-laws decided to make arrangements to take her to the hospital, a move she protested because she believed that she was not unwell.

    Before she learned that she was suffering from postpartum depression, Birir believed that other people in the hospital had been sent to kill her, causing her to spiral into paranoia.

    “I did not want the doctors to inject me because I thought they wanted to kill me with the injections. I did not understand what was going on.

    “I was taken to hospital again after some friends visited. The surprise just made everything worse and I had to be hospitalised for a longer period, ”  the journalist stated.

    Birir stated that it took her two years to overcome the ordeal she had gone through, adding that she later had her second baby who also came along with other challenges.

    “I felt like I was Jesus the second time. I was in a manic mood. I kept quoting the scripture and feeling like I could save the world and it shocked the people around me,” explained Birir.

    The Journalist stated that her experience inspired her to help other mothers and share more information about postpartum psychosis as it is commonly misunderstood.

    “I am going to start an organisation to help women going through postpartum anxiety, depression, and psychosis. I think I will also write a book,” Birir noted.

    Chebet Bibir poses with a camera while at work at a past date.
    Twitter/Laura Chebet Bibir