Instead of posting an interview today, I want to share a piece of me with you. Yes, I know I’ve been doing that already but this is deeper and darker. You see, I found my journal from my first Postpartum experience. I shared a brief piece of this with a mom who contacted me the other day and it resonated so strongly with her and made me realize I need to share this openly. Keep in mind that I sought and was refused help at the three month mark – the first entry I share is from her 3 month birthday. So here goes.
July 26, 2004
Today is Allison’s 3 month birthday. I can’t believe we’ve made it 3 months. 1/4 of the way to a year. I’m still exclusively breastfeeding her. I’ve had to give her formula twice – once, the night she came home because she just wouldn’t take the breast, the second time she was being extremely fussy and wouldn’t eat. I couldn’t let my baby starve.
Wow. 3 months of life with a baby. And I am still feeling like I’ve been hit over the head with a frying pan. Sure there are glorious glimpses of normalcy and happiness but mostly I stare at the clutter, worry about our bills, get upset at the dogs for waiting until Alli has latched on to let me know they need to go O-U-T and they gotta go NOW. And Chris has had this kidney stone problem since she was about a month old. That’s been fun. He’ll be having surgery on Wednesday so now I’m worrying about that bill too.
In case you can’t tell, today was one of those days. I called my mom this morning. She answers the phone and asks if she can call me back. But the way she asks sounds like she’s crying. So I freak out and think something horrid has happened to my kid brother who’s in jail. Turns out it was just a laugh that I misinterpreted.
Then later today I’ve attempted to put Alli in her crib for a nap but she’s not napping – no – she’s screaming. And Chris flippantly comments (and I quote) “Geez, you’d think someone was killing her!” THANKS! I’m already having a hard enough time listening to her cry and now you go and put the very image I struggle every day to keep out at the very forefront of my mind. I rush through the rest of the dishes and go to comfort my crying daughter. She did eventually nap – in her swing for about 30 minutes. It gave me enough time to get caught up with Thank You notes. I had gotten just a little behind. Now we just need stamps. Gotta wait until we have a spare $7.40 though. Maybe next week.
Allison did get a couple of presents in the mail today. She got a cute little outfit from her great-aunt’s friend and two books from my deceased step-mother’s sister. There was a very touching note in the card stating that Grandpa Cam & Grandma Helen would have loved having a great grandaughter. I’m sure they know. This little girl has quite an army of angels looking out for her.
My hand is hurting from writing so much. I’d better go. Don’t know how much longer I’ll be awake for. I’m exhausted and my neck & shoulders are killing me. I’ll write again when I can. Thanks for listening.
July 30, 2004
I put my underwear on inside out this morning. Should have paid attention to that sign. It was a really shitty day emotionally. Alli and I did just fine for the most part – until lunch. We met Chris’ parents at Golden Dragon – and Greg & Cindy were there. GRRRRR. I was not in social butterfly mode and really not up to faking it. We sat down and then Mom offered to watch Alli while we got our food. I came back, set my blate down and went to get some soup. Mom’s sitting there talking to some friend of the family in my seat and doesn’t move so I can sit down and friggin eat. So she finally moves and I sit down. Of course Alli immediately starts to fuss and I have to soothe her with my right hand and try to eat with my left. ARGH. She got fussier and fussier. I had to leave after about 4 forkfuls. So I drive her home (she of course, FALLS ASLEEP halfway home) On the way home I was both relieved and pissed off. Relieved because she saved me from having to be social; pissed off because I didn’t get to eat. She woke up as soon as we got home and I fed her. Called my mom and cried. I was/am so completely emotionally exhausted that the prospect of a busy afternoon was absolutely overwhelming. Oh, and the doctor’s office called to reschedule my appt yet again on monday with the psychologist. So told them that I just wanted to cancel the appt. Obviously they aren’t a reliable source of help for this sort of thing.
After I finished feeding Alli, Grandmama showed up. Once Chris and Mom got home, I just collasped. I ate, then I came into the bedroom and layed down. I remember staring at the wall – just laying there trying to feel something – anything. I didn’t even go say goodbye to Grandmama. I didn’t have the strength. I think Chris is really starting realize how much of a toll all of this is taking on me. He let me sleep from 3-345p and then Alli needed to nurse.
The good part of this day was that once we put Alli to bed, we went and saw Spiderman II with Greg & Cindy. Was nice to get out and do something with other adults, even if it was just sitting in a dark theatre and watching a movie.
Chris is asleep next to me at the moment and our legs are intertwined. Well, they were. He just moved. I love him so much. I hate that he has to see me go through this but I’m also glad he’s the one I’m with – I know he will do anything to help and I really need that right now.
I’m pretty tired and my back and neck are still pretty sore. I better go to sleep – it’s the only time I don’t feel the pain.
Lauren, Thanks for sharing that. I go back and read some of my journals from the first few months and am always amazed at where I was at that point.