Earlier today, I posted my very first Facebook Live video. For some reason, I decided to make it light and fluffy by asking people to tell me their stories of Post Partum Depression – or PPD.
The response I got was…immense.
Sometimes I feel like God’s sole purpose of putting me on earth is to ask the hard, awkward questions – because out of 7 billion people planet wide, I cannot be the only person who thinks/feels/wonders about certain things? And maybe if I just sack up and take one for the team, then maybe others will feel like it’s okay for them to talk about it too?
The thing is, I’m not sure if I have PPD. I wouldn’t blame or shame myself if I did. If you’ve followed me at all in the last couple of years, you’ll know that pregnancy and birth and motherhood has kind of done a number on me.
But maybe it’s just the circumstances we’ve found ourselves in. So if I just list off all the pinballs that are bouncing around in my brain, maybe I’ll win the game instead of dropping like it’s hot.
It’s the middle of February and I have never done well in winter to start. I need sunshine and blue skies and lake days and smelling like campfire smoke to really thrive as a person.
So why would I question my well-being when I’m basically trapped indoors with a helpless creature who would probably burst into flames if exposed to the sun longer than 5 minutes?
I’m talking about the baby, not my husband. *ba dump chh*
I’ve never been a sleep-till-noon sort of person but I truly fire on all cylinders when I’ve had 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. And being a mom is not like your teen years where you babysat for 6 hours, then spent your money at the 7-11 and video store (oh I am soooo dating myself right now) so you could stay up til 3am with your girlfriends, and then be *so tired* the next day but it was fine because you could settle the sleep score the next night.
This is sleeping two hours, being awake for an hour, sleeping maybe another 2 hours etc FOR MONTHS. There’s a reason why they use sleep deprivation as a torture device, friends. IT SHITS ON YOUR BRAIN.
Stuff I’ve known my whole life is now living in that deep chasm from Inside Out, full of colored memory marbles that are slowly becoming dust.
And all the new stuff I know, the stuff I do every day, starts to run like cookies in the oven that were put too close together. The thing I did 5 minutes ago was actually 5 days ago.
Last night, I forgot to medicate my son. He went a whole 16 hours without the medicine that literally helps his heart not beat too fast. Because I’ve done it approximately 360 times, right, so why would last night be any different? But there it was this morning, an already-full syringe that should have been coursing through Harrison’s blood stream for the last 8 hours.
And also? *straps on a megaphone*
SLEEP TRAINING SUCKS BALLS (BALLS) (BALLS) (BALLS)
My words echoed because I was standing on the edge of my Inside Out chasm.
On that note…
In those precious hours where sleep does come, your thoughts might occasionally dance on your shit-for-brains and proceed to make a Jackson Pollack on the walls of your subconscious.
I have had dreams where my baby is dead. SIDS, drowning, heart failure, I could go on.
I have had dreams where the hospital doctors decided he wasn’t thriving with us, so they took him away to live with better parents.
I have had dreams where he never gets here because I’m having another miscarriage.
I’ve had dreams where he never talks or laughs or plays because he is destined to be a baby FOREVER and I think it’s our fault for calling ourselves The Buttons.
I f*cking hate dreaming.
The World Sitch
As an adult that was raised in a lot of end-of-days theologies I’ve had to toss out to maintain my sanity, I’m feeling pretty damn triggered lately.
So much shit that I was taught to keep an eye out for is actually happening now. I don’t care what your worldview or political affiliations are, you have to admit that every morning brings a new shitshow to read about or watch on the news.
So? You say. Just ignore all of that. It’s so negative and you can’t trust what you read/hear anyway.
That’s part of the problem. I feel like I have two choices: feel shitty about bringing a child into the shitty world all the time, or be ignorant, uninformed, and ultimately unable to make the world a better place in my corner of it. I don’t want to block my senses, singing LALALA, IF I CAN’T SEE YOU, YOU CAN’T SEE ME.
I want to care, and to me that means not letting my privilege make me selective in what I care about.
Being what kids these days call WOKE feels impossible when a mama just wants to sleep.
Que sera sera, and all that. I have no control over any of it. I just know that it’s going to be different than what I thought.
Right now, my husband is mostly unemployed and soul-searching. Maybe he’ll morph into a stay-at-home dad. Forever, my son has Noonan’s syndrome. Maybe he’ll grow up accepted for who he is, where he’s at, and maybe he won’t. A few years from now, we’d like to take our family to Disneyland, or maybe it’ll all be underwater.
So? Am I suffering from PPD? I still don’t know. As someone brilliant once said, “Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, surrounded by assholes.”
Or sleep deprivation, or World War 3. You know, those old nuggets. I guess time and sunshine will tell.