My postpartum depression is manifesting in new ways. I’m not depressed, but I am weirdly obsessive. I find myself haunted by a blog I accidentally discovered. Three days before my daughter “Pringles” was born, a little boy was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor. He passed away on Saturday. My daughter is three weeks old today. We live in a world where children – babies- get brain tumors.
I avoid the real news, but I watch The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Now I’m worried about the debt ceiling.
My right boob is far more ambitious than my left, which shows signs of being a major slacker.
I’m passing the grief out of my body along with all of the other products of conception and birth. My obsessive mind fixated on the fact that this is my last baby, and I wrote already about the surprising sadness that brought. I was almost instantly cured on Saturday by chasing V around a park at a child’s birthday party with Pringles Moby Wrap-ped to my chest, stressing about the proximity of the street to the play area and sweating in the hot sun. Two kids are plenty. When it comes to parents and children, we’re evenly matched. Any more and we’d be outnumbered.
Googling my worries is another postpartum pastime. I never run out.
“Mommy, do you want to come play with me laying on your back?” V just inquired.
“Do you know how often I have asked Mommy the same question?” Odie cracks wise. She comes over and gives me a pop bead necklace. “I made this for YOU, Mommy,” she informs me.
“Thank you, honey. It’s beautiful. I love it.” She pauses for a moment, beams at me. Then:
“Can I have it back now?”
Pringles is napping in her swing. It’s been about an hour and a half. This is unusual, so I keep checking her. Monitoring her color and her breathing. It’s so hard to relax and just enjoy the break. She hasn’t let me put her down since sometime last week. Once you get this little person into the world, your full-time job becomes keeping her here.
We’ve had some devastating family news. Odie, the girls and I are all fine. Nothing can be taken for granted. I’m grateful for these magical days with my husband and my daughters. Every time the phone rings, we tense up, dreading the updates. Worrying just as much when the phone doesn’t ring all day.
V wants to spend every second with me. She just came over to the couch and pounced on me saying “Hold me, Mommy.” She does this every time she sees me nursing Pringles, or any other time I’m not paying attention to her. Sometimes she yells it. Other times she sobs it. It is hard.
Every morning at 4:00, give or take five minutes, Pringles takes a very loud poop. The last three mornings, the blast radius has been impressive. I get up and go to the living room to change her and clean her up, because right now we are all sharing a room: V in her toddler bed, Odie and I in our bed, and Pringles between us in a Snuggle Nest. V mostly sleeps through Pringles’ crying, but not the screaming wails that accompany diaper changes. Our living room has a wall of windows with a view of the San Gabriel mountains. I have seen the sun rise every morning. The sky gradually lightens, turning a purple color. A glow of orange appears in the East. It’s beautiful the way the sun suddenly appears over the top of the mountains, an explosion of orange that fills my living room. When you’ve seen one gorgeous sunrise, you’ve seen them all. I’d rather sleep.
“The sun has set not long ago, now everybody goes below,” reads “The Going to Bed Book” by Saundra Boynton. V calls it “Wock to Sweep.” It’s time to go read it to my daughter while Odie watches Pringles. The bedtime wars…
This post is as patchwork as my thoughts and feelings the past three weeks. Three weeks and one hour ago, I became a mom for the second time. What a ride it’s been.
What to do first: change V into pajamas or put my other daughter on my underachieving boob? I’ll keep you apprised.