I’ve been working on my club since before Pickles was born. It had to be big enough, intimidating enough. Because I was pretty sure that the postpartum depression was going to be lurking in the dark, dusty places—the sort of places you never have time to clean with a baby in the house—and I wanted to have a heavy blunt object ready to knock it with. It was there. It hit first. My club wasn’t big enough. I didn’t even get in a good swing.
Thing is, I have this annoying voice of reason in my head all the time. Even when I feel my worst it is in there telling me exactly how to make things good again, that things will be good again. It is a really fucking annoying voice. Sometimes you just need to wallow for a second, you know? At any rate, the voice is telling me that it isn’t that bad, that a certain string of actions will make it go away, that most people who deal with the ppd (I’m going to abbreviate postpartum depression that way from here on out, laziness has won out over my hatred for abbreviations today) have it much much worse.
All the same I am finding it incredibly hard, not to get out of bed, but to leave the Wagen at all. It feels the same way that it does, when you’re depressed, and you can’t leave the bed. It feels like paralysis and anxiety and echoing hollowness of the stomach and sometimes sharp pangs of pressure in the head. It doesn’t make any sense. I know that leaving the house will make me feel better, and yet I find myself incapable of leaving the house, unless shoved out the door and accompanied. Which is pretty much the opposite of how I am on a “normal” day. I don’t find myself resenting Baby Pickles at all—she is just way too fucking cute and heart melting and lovely–but I find myself short on patience and unable to cope. Sometimes I feel like I am about to split into thirty thousand tiny pieces, and all my energy goes into try to hold back the storm, to keep it together. I need to get the fuck out. I would say I desperately need a vacation, but there is no true vacation from motherhood. So what to do? What the fuck to do?!
I had been looking forward to the relief that returning to my normal office hours would bring. Two whole days out of the house, at the office, among adults, no baby to worry about. Me, actually excited about the prospect of going to an office! But even office time is time off from being the mother. I need it so badly and now my boss is talking like we hadn’t agreed that I would return to the two-day-a-week routine when Pickles was old enough for bottles and longer stretches of time alone. I have absolutely no idea what is going on and won’t for another week at least, and the not knowing makes it all the worse.
I would just say fuck it to the money and hire a babysitter, but without my regular job back that ain’t happening. (Chaching chaching!) Most of the friends who are willing to babysit out of the goodness of their hearts are back in Mainz, and to get to them I’d have to get to Mainz (chaching chaching!). The Beard does his fatherly part, but he works super long shifts and is sometimes gone for 48 or 24 hours. (At least those chachings are money coming in.) But one great thing happened today. A new Platz-mate offered to take Pickles for two hours next week, and it sounds like a super start.
Of course, insurance would also probably cover some sort of medical help, though I always have my doubts about that route. You’re a mess one day, and by the time your appointment finally rolls around you’re feeling fine. I’ve tried it before, and every doctor has told me that I don’t need to be there. Sounds good to me, not needing to be there, though it is incredibly irritating to hear when you could really use a few tips to help you cope. But there is always that. Support is never a bad thing at times like these.
Don’t worry, I’ll be fine. The voices have told me, and they are always right.
Any of you deal with any ppd issues after your babies? I’d love to hear some other experiences. Let’s refuse to make ppd a taboo topic.