Postpartum depression + the end of the world
And yet some hope, too!
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It’s been so long since I said hi. I feel as I’ve been buried under the mountain of learning to be a mom of two babies and somehow still be me. How to write and work and live. How to function with way less sleep that I want or need. When the world feels like it’s ending.
How to muster patience for a toddler who wants nonstop BUBBLES and PIZZA and to literally smother her baby brother in love. What to do when she has a BIG POOP BIG POOP and takes her diaper off in the middle of the living room and I have the baby on my boob, nursing, and a dog who really wants to play, barking at me.
And then there is another shooting. And then there is a formula shortage.
And then Roe is over.
How can people be forced to give birth in a country that denies paid family leave, child care, and maternal mental health—and can't even guarantee that we'll be able to feed our babies?
How can I have less rights than women had 50 years ago?
And it’s bedtime, but I don’t have another ONE MORE BOOK in me.
And why won’t my own amazing baby sleep?
I’ve somehow gotten through with therapy, friends, family, and lots of walks. Some days, just barely.
I ping between joy and despair.
Anxiety and hope.
Sadness and love.
I keep coming back to connection. A text from a new mom friend. A conversation at the playground. Lunch outside with two childhood besties, in town from across the country and across the world.
I also recently got an official postpartum depression diagnosis. After a lot of fear and doubts, I started taking meds that have helped me tremendously. I still cry most days, but…
I feel a little stronger.
My mom said I seem less fragile.
The other night, I was up at 2 AM, feeding baby Julius. I thought, I am tired and grumpy…but I am ok.
That’s serious progress. Before it was I am tired and grumpy and I am not ok.
For today, I’ll take ok.
Call a friend. Grieve together. You don’t have to do this alone.
Here’s a picture of Simone’s signature love smother. Julius is a good sport.
PS I was on Courtney Kocak’s excellent writing podcast, The Bleeders. Give it a listen for some distraction!
I hear you, Hannah. You took me back to infant mothering a very LONG time ago, before we had all these other traumas going on. Hang in there. You can do it, Cinderelly! ;-)