growinghumans


Postpartum Depression.
April 24, 2014, 2:56 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I knew something was wrong the first time I was handed my daughter in our hospital room. 

 

She was a perfectly lovely baby, don’t get me wrong. 

But I did not feel a glow from within recognizing this as the best moment of my life. 

I felt, in fact, nothing. 

 

 

The days that followed were full of painful recovery, painful breastfeeding (and eventually, failed) attempts, and crying. 

I would cry. My Tiny Human would cry. My husband would cry for us both. 

The crying would not stop. I felt completely disconnected from this baby that I had grown and housed for nine months. I would hear her wail and scream for what felt like 10 hours at a time, and sometimes it felt like it was from far away; down the hall and around the corner. I held her, close to my body. I refused to put her in the crib. The crib was too big; too scary. She had to be on my chest, on my belly, the exact same place she had always been and where I ultimately thought she belonged.

I punished myself, in retrospect. 

I would not let anyone help me. I would not let my husband take care of her while I went to nap. I would not let my mother help. I would not do what I now tell new mothers to do–PUT HER IN THE CRIB AND WALK AWAY. Instead, I sat and slept on my couch for 3 weeks straight while my child screamed and I wept. 

I wept so much and had so many thoughts of escape that I cannot even talk about it. 

But there were thoughts. Strange thoughts that felt foreign even as I had them; like someone was whispering evil things into my ear from over my shoulder. 

Postpartum depression is exactly like any other kind of severe depression: it is a lying bastard. 

It takes perfectly prepared mothers; perfectly excited mothers, and it breaks them into little slivers of emotions. We lose our courage. We become afraid of ourselves. We doubt everything. 

 

 

I wish I could say that one day I woke up and the child stopped crying and birds were chirping and woodland creatures helped me get dressed. 

It took several weeks for me to let my child go. I placed her in her bassinet and remained on the couch, watching her. It physically hurt to have her separated from me. And then one night, I crawled back into my own bed and slept for 3 hours straight and I started feeling better.

I still have depression. I will always have depression and if you struggle before, you should be open with your OB so you can have a plan for your postpartum battle. It is a battle and we are soldiers. Do not break formation. Do not retreat. Hold your damn ground and the baby will stop crying and you will stop feeling as crazy. You will feel like a mother; maybe not immediately and maybe not even a month after you give birth. But you will feel like a mother and then you will push on through the continuing battles of motherhood. 

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Look mommy, that’s a G.
April 18, 2014, 5:36 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Holy crap, it totally was a G. 

 

You know when you’re trying to grow out your hair and you don’t ever notice it’s growing and then one day you wake up and you have long hair?

That’s what being a mother feels like sometimes. 

Sometimes I feel like all I do is get through the moment that I lose sight of the big picture of my Tiny Human growing into a Medium Sized Human. And then some days I wake up and my child recognizes letters without being prompted and I smile because she isn’t broken. She is absorbing and expanding and growing all on her own. 

Tiny Human started out this week on the wrong foot, so to speak. She wasn’t listening. She was having a hard time making good choices. I felt like I was losing grip on my obviously top notch parenting skills and we have been working all week on correcting these moments and moving past this behavior. A lot of wine has been involved. But here we are on the Friday of a three day weekend and we are having a Good Day. 

 

Having faith in your child is a lot like having faith in anything else; it doesn’t deliver results when you want them but it does deliver results exactly when you need them. 

 

 

Thanks for the G, Tiny Human. 



“Not my circus, not my monkeys”
April 8, 2014, 2:31 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Who even wrote this quote? What random Polish person said this one time and it can now be found on every hipster wall across the world? 

 

It’s a lie. Or, at least, it’s unclear. 

 

What if you’re a clown? What if you are an active participant in the circus, but not the ring-master? What if you bought tickets to the circus?

I often feel like a trapeze artist; waving back and forth on a slim pole, as the audience gasps and waits for me to grasp onto the next pole. There is no net. Sometimes I fall.  Are they my monkeys, as well? 

Let me be more specific. 

I often feel that I take on other people’s monkeys..er…problems. I listen and I give advice and I make good eye contact and everything that a Libra should do for people who are hurting or confused. I take on so many monkeys that I run out of room and my own monkeys…problems…are left to starve. My problems have been starving for years and years because I have been taking care of issues for my loved ones, my friends, people I don’t even really know. I feel deep empathy for everyone and if someone close to me is having a bad day, I have a bad day. 

 

But at what point is it okay to be selfish? When can I turn away their issues when I feel my plate is too full? When am I allowed to say “Not my circus, not my monkeys”? I don’t know if I am the kind of person who could ever do that. 

This  year I undertook my mental health seriously. I was re-diagnosed after believing I had been manic depressive this whole time, I started serious medication, I started going to a psychiatrist. I do, however, still feel at times that I am overcome with the needs of others. 

I should be able to handle everyone. I should have room in my heart for everyone. Helping them will help myself. 

These are the things I tell myself. I am part of the circus and they are my monkeys, after all. 

But I think my cup is going to run over soon and I may have to adopt this quote. I may have to start giving simple sympathy instead of advice and responsibility every time. It will physically hurt me, I can already sense this. Saying “I’m sorry you’re going through this” has never felt like enough. I suppose it is, though. I suppose that’s all anyone is really ever looking for. 

We all deserve to take care of ourselves–before being able to fully and correctly grow a human, we must be able to tend to our own garden, and mine has been neglected for long enough. 



My tiny human now asks “What’s the big idea?” and I would also like to know this.
April 3, 2014, 2:32 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Someone is teaching my child to talk like a gangster.

I don’t mean “Yo dawg” gangster, either. I mean 1940’s pin-striped suit named Mugsy gangster.

 

She has taken to crossing her arms, pushing out her bottom lip and asking everyone what the big idea is. After any sort of answer given, she will throw her hands up in the air and exclaim “Aw phooey!”.

I mean, what?

 

Let’s talk about what the big idea is, Mia:

Why do you have to go to bed when they sun is still up? Because you have to get up when it’s still down.

Why do you have to eat all of your pasta before eating chocolate? Probably because I ate all the chocolate already.

Why do you have to take a bath? Beats me. Let’s put it off until tomorrow.

 

 

I have uttered the words, “Because I’m an adult” …or worse, “Because I’m the mommy”. I am trying to not make this a habit but in the moment THAT REALLY IS THE BIG IDEA.

I also just spelled habit like hobbit. Habbit. Oops.

 

Anyway, I guess my point is that it’s important to give real life answers for real life questions.

If your child asks what time the unicorn is picking them up, feel free to make up whatever.