Sunday, May 1, 2011


Ok peeps. We're getting honest again. They say hindsight is 20/20. I say postpartum is sneaky.

I started looking at pictures last week. First pictures of my big old belly, then of Abe's birth, and then of the subsequent weeks and months. I stared for a minute at one particular picture. This one:
So, so beautiful. But I don't know who that child is. I don't remember him. "Oh the first few months are hell but you forget it all and then you'll have another one in a few years." But I didn't experience that kind of "forget". I remember vividly lying on the couch with Abe asleep on my chest wishing someone would just come take him away. I remember punching pillows in the middle of the night when Abe woke up for the billionth time. I remember screaming and crying one evening when my husband came home and wishing I was a drug addict or an alcoholic so I would have some way of escaping it all. I remember asking a friend, "When did you fall in love with your baby?" and hearing her say, "Oh, the minute I saw her. The minute I brought her to my chest," and then feeling thankful that my head isn't made of glass and my thoughts weren't visible for her to see.
Those are the things I remember. What I forget is Abe. He doesn't look like anyone I know in his early pictures, let alone anyone I recognize as mine. I spent months assuming that I was just sleep-deprived and overwhelmed with new motherhood. Friends invited me out and I always came up with an excuse. My husband offered to help me but I often refused. Other mommies recommended fun baby classes to go meet other moms, but I always commented on how much I hated "small talk" and didn't want to go. Everyone kept reminding me that it would get better, but it didn't. It got worse.
I started demanding one day that my husband find the money for a nanny because I "couldn't do it all." I couldn't work from home, raise a baby, take care of the house, cook his meals, etc. Mind you, my husband wasn't asking me to do any of that except for raise a baby. But he agreed that I needed some help and got me a nanny. I think he was hoping the same way I was that she would help ME, not just the baby. She was truly amazing with Abe and, to be honest, I spent most of the day asking her questions. How do I get him to sleep, eat, be happy?? What I really wanted to know was why wasn't I happy?
As much as I hoped having someone else in the house with me was going to take the edge of this constant pain in my chest, it didn't. I was stuck with this pain for as long as I had Abe, and that would be forever.  There was no way out...

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