7.29.2008

postpartum

hazel + eva

people ask, "how's it going?" "how are you doing?" sometimes it's just words, just part of the dance of social greetings, but sometimes -- particularly if asked by a mom, someone who's been there -- it's asked with some depth behind the eyes, with meaning in the voice. and those times, when it's a real question, i don't really know how to answer. it depends on when i'm asked, what time of day.

so two months out, all i can really answer is this: i feel like a crazy person. i seriously do, i feel like i'm not quite right in the head. i think that's what you call "normal" when you've recently had a baby, but really, it's nuts.

on sunday, for example, i went from optimistic when i woke up, to on the verge of tears within the hour, to cheery and connected at brunch with friends, to exhausted and teary and feeling like i could barely walk from the parking lot at the grocery store, to excited and happy by the time i left, to downtrodden again before bedtime. i think people routinely have variations in their emotions throughout the day, but i'm talking some wild and disorienting swings here. i can't keep up.

the annoying thing is that my brain tricks me into changing my entire world view wth every shift. in a down swing: i don't know how i'm ever going to do this, i feel bad for neglecting the differing needs of both my children while trying to meet the needs of the other, i'm cranky, i'm mean to my husband, i hate that my house is always a mess, and i feel guilty for just trying to get through each day rather than savoring and enjoying each precious moment of hazel's early babyhood. then in an up swing: things are great, i have two sweet adorable girls, i love my supportive husband, we're having an easy time with the transition, and hey, let's make some plans to meet up later this week.

*sigh*

i think being a temporary crazy person is just part of becoming a mom, or becoming a mom for the second or third time. i *know* i'm being crazy, i hear it in my voice. lately larry has been telling me i need to use more care in how i speak to him (sometimes he says it nicely like that, sometimes not), and he's right. i'm cranky, i snap at him for no reason (well, no reason that has to do with him, anyway). sometimes hazel is screaming and not being contented, causing stress hormones to surge through my body (thanks, evolution.), sometimes eva has been whining in my ear for an hour, and sometimes i'm just plain tired. and you know, sometimes i'm honestly just not trying very hard to rein it in because i'm caught in the negative-outlook version of my own reality. and as much as i'm sure it sucks to live with a crazy person, i'd like to point out that it also sucks *being* a crazy person. i prefer my other self, too (the one that's at least somewhat less crazy and snappy).

it's disorienting. emotionally i'm all over the map. physicaly, my body is completely unfamiliar to me. mentally i can hardly keep hold of a train of thought long enough to act on it. and i feel like i've aged about five years so far in 2008. that said, i'm not even terribly concerned. i don't think i'm verging on PPD or even that i've got much of a case of the baby blues (i find that term annoying)... i think this is just how it goes. by necessity you sort of muddle through those first few months, then later you look back and wonder why it's all such a blur. well, because you weren't totally sane at the time, and even if you were, your brain would protect you from remembering it clearly.

so, how's it going?

when asked by someone who actually wants to know, someone who's been there, i can just answer: pretty much the way you'd expect. mostly crazy, and incredible, and making it through. is there any other way?

4 comments:

Amy said...

I believe that women experience more hormones during the 2 years surrounding birth than men experience in their entire lives...

That said, if it's still this hard at 2 months, maybe you should talk to your doctor. You know, just in case. I had a raging case of PPD with my first child (brought on by Reglan, which is evil in a pill). I was convinced that I was *fine* and it was *normal* until I talked to my doctor and realized that it wasn't. 100 mg of Zoloft a day (still, and the "baby" is almost 3), and I'm back to maintaining one mood most of the time - or at least my moods are appropriate, usually, to the situation.

Hang in there. It will get easier.

Amy @ http://prettybabies.blogspot.com

meredithwinn said...

yes, yes, yes to all of this! you write it so well, and the fact that you can call yourself crazy. well, that right there is your answer that you are perfectly fine. i mean, fine considering your hormones are a crazy cocktail and your REM sleep... well, we all know that sleep deprivation is a form of torture.

but what you said about living with a crazy person isnt' much fun, but *being a crazy person... i get that. i really do.

i'm glad i asked, because you are like me, and i will never forget the first time i came to that conclusion. that we were cut of the same cloth, that you were a trusted friend ~ when we shared stories at five months post partum in the parking lot of austin java 'oh you do that too?! yay, i'm not crazy!' well, not for the most part. but who knows, because my brain blocked most of it out for me thank goodness :)

Sarah said...

sending love and hugs....it's all I've got to offer from so far away. I still think you are amazing.

Jet said...

I hear you, I feel you, I know you. I still feel it at 9 months, I think a little boy nearing 3, wanting to be a big boy and still a baby pushes us both back and forth. I talked to my doctor, so you know, at 6 months and she prescribed something for anxiety, not PPD and I have felt so much better since.