Stay tuned for something profound....
Ok, here goes....
I think the theme of this is Post Partum Depression. I could be wrong, but I'm running with it. I, like most of North America, dabble in the depression. I have a good dose of the PTSD, and whewey does it ever mess with me. I talked to a doctor once about it and let's just say that I didn't much agree with the end result of that conversation. I have never really discussed it with anyone since. I take the very stupid 'tough it out' approach, and someday it's going to bite me square in the ass, I know.
Needless to say, when the parasites moved out I crashed hard. The birth of each child, in some way, coincided with a truly horrible turn of events in my life. It was tough; I, but for the grace of some very good friends, barely got through all of it.
I'm no doctor, and certainly no expert, but I'd be willing to wager that most women (and men, too) experience some degree of PPD after the kid comes home, whether or not you gave birth to the child or adopted it. Is is the one common link between most moms, and the one we least discuss. Almost a decade after I had my first child, here's the prescription that I have come up with for it:
- Exercise. Not necessarily gym exercise, because, well, fuck that. I didn't have time to do laundry, let alone hit a gym. But walking is exercise, too. Buy yourself a jogger stroller and get outside. Walk anywhere. Just walk. Forget the dishes and the phone calls and the groceries and go stroll around the neighborhood. Shoot for 2 hours. Why? Because A) babies LOVE it and won't cry if you're walking them and B) it helps. No matter how sleep deprived you are, you will feel better after a walk. Mr. Lady promises, you will.
- Buy yourself something pretty. Often. On my walks with 3of3, I passed a shop on the corner called Wild Flowers. It was chocked full of exquisite little pretties. At least once a week I went in after my walk and picked up a little something for me. Why? Because I was a hotel for 9 months and then I was a full-service restaurant, and I thought someone ought to do something for me occasionally. It helped.
- Do it. I know, I know, yuckyuckyuck. The last thing on Earth you want to do after what just happened to your hoo-haa is the sex. Do it anyway. Why? Two reasons: 1. Your husband is freaking the fuck out. His whole world just fell apart, too. He is the person you're going to see the most of for a while, and you want him to be in a good mood. 2. It's funny. Pregnant sex is funny enough, but now your boobies have a new trick they want to show off. There is not one thing on the planet funnier than trying to be all serious and sexy and then suddenly squirting your husband in the face with milk. Nike was right, Just DO it. (Helpful note: unless you have a laundry service or a maid or a fetish for Tide, do it in the shower. Trust me.)
- Do not read parenting books. DO NOT READ PARENTING BOOKS. Read mommy blogs if you must, but read the funny ones where the moms can laugh at themselves. No one can tell you how to raise that kid but you. You have a pediatrician; he will tell you everything you need to know about birth and growth and development. Call him 15 times a night if you must....DO NOT READ PARENTING BOOKS. That includes websites, you cheaters. Why? Nothing will make you feel more inadequate. Nothing will make you worry more. Oh, and that chick at the mall/church/your playgroup/the bar who is always going on and on about how advanced her kid is and how smart and pretty her kid is? Yeah, don't be friends with her anymore. She's just bringing you down. (Personal admission: I have never read one stinking parenting book, and I manged to keep all 3 of mine alive, and actually grow them a little. Many of my friends did read them, though, and I stopped being friends with every single one of them really fast.)
- If your mother-in-law comes over to play with the baby...LEAVE. That's right, leave her there with your kid. I don't care if that kid is 3 days old and still a bit damp; this is your golden opportunity. They stop coming over once the kid learns how to curse. Take full advantage while you can. Why? Because you need to get out already. You're starting to look pale. And do you really want to listen to your mother in law tell you about how she gave her babies evaporated milk and used cloth diapers and how she didn't have the internet or plumbing or language or oil or fire? No, you don't. If you are lucky enough to know she's coming before she gets there, leave your dirty laundry out, too. She'll do it. She's secretly cool like that. Don't worry about leaving the baby with her; she's done this a few times already, and she will do the most amazing job ever caring for your child, if no no other reason than to show your ass up.
- Watch TV. Find a show, get hooked. Like, crack hooked. The catch is; the show has to air only between 2-5 am. Why? Because you will be up between 2-5 am and if you don't have something to look forward to, you will go batshit crazy and start singing inappropriate songs to your baby and wander all the way to the grocery store in a nightgown and one slipper because you are too delirious to remember what clothes are. I personally went with Law and Order re-runs. Law and Order (back then there was just the one) has 9,241 3/4 episodes. Every channel this side of Ursa Minor airs them in syndication. I saw every single one, in order. I loved the 1:30 am feeding because I got to see my show. And every time 1of3 heard that DaDum Da Da DadaDum, he'd try to nurse. It was gorgeous.
- Drink. Yes, drink. Red wine and Guinness are totally good for you and if anyone tells you otherwise they are not your friend. Drink a glass of wine or a Guinness about an hour and a half before you'd theoretically, in a perfect world, like your kid to go down so you can do it/watch Law and Order/take a nap/shop. You'll see. Nurse that baby after the 1 1/2 hours and someone will go ni-night. And maybe a taller someone will, too.
And that's all I've got. Oh, except call your freaking doctor already. Don't be embarrased or ashamed and certainly don't convince yourself that there's nothing at all wrong with you that a good nap won't cure. Call your doctor. That's what they're there for. Or call me. I'll totally walk you through it.