Before I head off to bed tonight, I want to write a quick note to all of you husbands out there who help your wives, day in, day out. You may not know this, but we bitch and moan about you often as we trade stories about your quirky inadequacies. Let’s face it. Moms do a lot… more than you will ever know and at times we aren’t cherished as much as the “cool” daddy in the house. Unless there is crying involved of course, which is when the name “mommy” crops up very quickly. I always think, “Sure… now you need me.” But I’m always glad to be the one to calm the crying and kiss the boo boos, so I hope that never changes. Anyway, I am nearly 9 weeks postpartum and have survived my C-section, have started to feel more like a human being again, but I still keep getting sick from my damn allergies. There was the tonsilitis, the sinus infection and then a bout with a 24 hour bug that took me out of commission. Don’t get me wrong, I mean, I still helped out and took care of at least one kid, but that awesome––I mean AWESOME husband of mine really really picked up the slack and took care of things. And it made me think… you all don’t get enough credit for what you do.
I just want to give a brief shout out to the dudes that give us the time to get a pedicure, go grocery shopping ALONE, who read bedtime stories so we can kick our feet up, give us the time to workout, etc. I thank you, sincerely, from the bottom of my heart.
My house is finally quiet. After reading her six stories, my daughter rests peacefully in her puppy sleeping bag. This sleeping bag was a necessity due to the fact that she so delicately colored on her sun-yellow quilt with a bright shade of green, and it needed to be cleaned before the stain set in. When she showed me what she had done I sighed and groaned aloud as if she had cut it into tiny pieces. After all, I had JUST washed her legs off after she colored herself a nice Avatar blue, so I was certainly irritated to have to deal with the quilt while I was feeding Gunnar. Today, like most of the days since the end of my pregnancy, I feel so tired, stressed and stretched thin––emotionally and physically. I know this feeling all too well. Postpartum Depression strikes again.
This time around I recognize it right away. My exhaustion and hormonal flux has led to anxiety. This anxiety turns its ugly head and lashes out at everyone around it. It’s not me. I’ve been temporarily taken hostage by a force greater than me. Women rarely talk about PD. It’s this thing we shouldn’t discuss. Love your children, your spouse, get your exercise and all will be right with the world. I have not experienced this. I love my kids and my husband… these should be obvious conclusions others can come to on their own. I shouldn’t have to qualify my statements or my fears by saying that I LOVE them. But as a woman, a wife, a mother… this is what I do. I explain. I apologize profusely. I cry alone when no one is around. After changing Gunnar’s diaper for the 80th time today I felt this raging flush of anxiety. I just wanted a moment when I didn’t have to wipe someone’s ass. I wanted a moment when I didn’t have to listen for a cry, for a child throwing a fit or asking for mommy. Just a moment. I believe that all moms feel this at one time or another, but when you are suffering with PD the anxiety overtakes the natural desire to simply take a breath and calm down.
Let’s face it. Calm is what I have deep down. I have an artist’s soul, tortured and all. I struggle between choosing the red wine and letting loose the demons that come and go at will, or staving them off with prescriptions. Unfortunately, those prescriptions tend to dull the mind and keep my pen (or in this case my Mac)––dry. I suppose I am divulging this personal information to the masses because I am not afraid of what others think of me. Those opinions I have found… are a mixed bag anyway. So, I write. Not always well, but I write. I pour my soul onto the page in hopes of some kind of repentance. Some have religion. I have this… this drug called anxiety. And I choose when and when not to feed it. Right now its appetite is insatiable, and I’m the moist piece of chocolate cake.
Breathe… just breathe.