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June 24, 2010

So You Had A Bad Day

Bad day. I blame it on the fact that A is 6 weeks old and apparently in the midst of some kind of growth spurt - that's the explanation I'm going with, at least. All I know is she wails every time I try to put her down and has slept a total of about 2 1/2 minutes since she woke this morning. I've spent the last 13 hours in muggy, suffocating heat with a baby who refuses to be detached from me. I've bounced and jiggled and swung and rocked, all the while playing Thomas and Princess and Hide-and-Seek with Mads (Me: "Hey Mads, I have an idea: Let's just watch TV. TV is awesome!") I'm tired and sweaty and miserable. 

Normally a bad day is just that, you put it behind you and move on. But for me, right now, it opens the floodgates and everything comes rushing back. I feel a tight grip in my chest, taste the panic rising, hear my heart pounding, crashing. Sadness, guilt, self-doubt, self-loathing: One piled on top of the other, boxing me in, weighing me down. And then, eventually, it passes.

When I get a few spare seconds, when both girls are momentarily occupied with something other than me, I sneak away to my room and lie on the bed, feeling the breeze from the ceiling fan swirl around me. On a good day I imagine I'm in one of those Tahitian huts that sits atop the sea. On a bad day I imagine the fan coming off its moorings and falling on me. And then the sound of someone needing me brings me back.

I realize I may sound slightly crazy, writing all of this. Those of you who know me know that I'm really about the least crazy, most practical person you're likely to meet. But postpartum depression - depression of any kind, I suspect - isn't picky, it takes root wherever it can. It helps me to write about it all and maybe, hopefully, it will help someone else, too. In the meantime, wishing us all happy days... C

June 24, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

June 13, 2010

Progress

IMG_8168

So I managed to take both girls out on my own this evening - to the pharmacy, the playground and the video store. At the last stop the girl at the counter whispered endlessly into the phone, screwed around with her co-worker and then managed to lock herself out of her computer. I swear to god I was about to jump the counter and throttle her. I have a 4-year-old with her hand jammed up the gumball machine and a 4-week-old on the verge of a meltdown in the carseat - there is a 2-minute window before all hell breaks loose. I don't have time for your teenage angst right now.

Yes, I have become that mom.

It is insane how busy the days have become. I'm run off my feet doing... nothing, really. I wipe bums, change diapers, make meals, clean spills. I jiggle, I bounce, I soothe, I promise that I'll be there in just one more minute. I play pretend, read stories, clean faces, find lost Little People. All day, every day. It's exhausting and numbing and ridiculous and important all at once. 

It suddenly dawns on me that for the first time since A's birth I'm complaining not about the state of my own troubled psyche but about motherhood in general. Leaps and bounds, my friends. Leaps and bounds.

June 13, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

June 05, 2010

4 Weeks

Lighttunnel
A will be four weeks old tomorrow.

I go to bed each night - at 9pm - and think, 'Another day done.' I wake up each morning and think, 'Another night done.' So four weeks feels like a pretty big accomplishment. We're finally getting somewhere.

I haven't said much about little A just yet. The thing is, she's a pretty good baby. Mads was so not a good baby. She's an entirely incredible preschooler, but for the first 4 months of her life she had three settings: Sleeping, eating and screaming bloody murder. A, on the other hand, seems to have this baby thing down pat. She eats, poops, stares at her mobile for a bit; she fusses, cries, I rock her, she sleeps. It's not all roses, of course: She only sleeps while in motion and even then only for 20-minute catnaps during the day. She hates the bath and isn't crazy about the stroller or carseat. But overall I can't complain. She's doing her best and so am I.

As for me, things have been getting slowly better. I can feel the meds starting to kick in; the sadness still comes and goes, but it doesn't crush me the way it did. I can shoulder the weight of it most days. The side effects - insomnia, headaches - I could do without, but it's a small price to pay to feel like I am almost on solid ground again. I do worry that it's a false sense of security, that you take away the drugs and I would quickly disintegrate. And even though I tell myself there's no shame in it, I feel guilty for needing them in the first place. I guess we're always hardest on ourselves.

Well, I hear A grunting - in her swing, where she sleeps every night, eek - and Mads will soon be bursting out of her bedroom to start the day. And I need coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. 

June 5, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

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"Having a two-year-old is like having a blender that you don't have the top for." ~Jerry Seinfeld.

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