September 2011


I have just left the lab, glowing with the feeling of success.  I love what I do and applying that skill to a new medium, a new set of problems, and making it WORK fills me up. 

The sky is grey overhead, and the wind — it’s not whipping, but it’s not gentle either.  A stiff breeze pushing the chill of a newly started fall season with it. 

I walk across the parking lot, boots with 3-inch heels and that distinctive click that I haven’t heard in a few years.  Jeans, striped sweater, pea coat, gloves, scarf.  I open the door, slide into the leather seat.  A summer with the trainer has left me feeling thin, fit, capable.  I light a cigarette, turn on the song, drive back to my office.

I hopelessly, helplessly, wonder why…

My eyes fill don’t fill up with tears any more, I’ve heard it enough to stop them from moving beyond heat.  I circle the loop to the office, driving the speed limit to stretch out the time.

———

Five years ago, I think.  I could pull out the folder and check, but I won’t.  Had we decided to stop trying at that point?  Or were we still cycling?  I remember the sadness, the hollow melancholy, not searing pain.  A dull ache wishing for what seemed impossible.

In some ways, I miss her, that girl that I was.  Time does that — whitewash over the ugly bits, leaving the good parts to shine all that much more brightly.

 

I’m seriously considering Manly’s proposal that we take the kids on a trip to northern city for a long weekend in October.  Twelve hours in the car (one way) with a not quite two month old and a not quite two year old?

Somebody please talk me out of this before it’s too late to cancel!

Friday night, as I lay in bed nursing Mini, I was wondering if I should be screened for PPD.

It was suggested to me (strongly) after Mini was born.  At that moment, I really didn’t (and still don’t) think I was — I was crying over the phone to a lactaction consultant with a screaming baby in the other arm, getting diagnosed with a blocked duct.  The pain and the stress at that moment were overwhelming; far more than my day-to-day emotions.

With Smaller now, though, I am less sure.  I cry at the drop of an emotion – but I did the same thing with Mini.  I can listen to music this time, but I still can’t sing. Going through the checklist, I hit about half of the symptoms listed (although really, symptom-list makers — we’re talking about PPD here.  Do you seriously think that “sleeping too little” should be a symptom and not a CAUSE?).  But I’ve also noticed that I’m at my worst when I am breastfeeding; that is, when my hormones are actively in flux.  Or alternately, at the end of the day when I’m exhausted and haven’t eaten enough.

It’s a tight line to walk when you think about all the other things that I have going on right now: sleep-deprived, not eating enough (I’m 2 lb below my pre-preg weight already), the aforementioned breastfeeding hormones, still having to work some hours each week instead of really taking leave, I’m missing being with Mini as my one-and-only, I’m missing being with Manly in any sort of grown-up fashion, and I’m suspicious of some sort of post-traumatic-stress-type thing related to finally being able to let my guard down against infertility fear.

Especially when later that night, I was feeling ecstatic about going to the bookstore with JUST my husband, dressed as a normal person with clean hair and no milk or other bodily fluids on me, getting a coffee, and reading a magazine for an hour.    That makes me think that I really just need to slog through this newborn grind, that I’m just dealing with the loss of self and privacy and time that every mother loses in the immediate post-partum period.

I’m an introvert.  I NEED time alone from other people to recharge and recenter myself.  And with Smaller, I don’t get any.  I’ve noticed that by the end of the day, I would rather hand her off to Manly for snuggles and go wash dishes or make dinner myself.  Just that few feet, that small space between the sofa and the kitchen with no other person in the room is enough to recharge sometimes.

I have two weeks to go before my follow-up ob visit.  I’m going to keep an eye on myself until then, because, really, what else can I do?

 

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