the haze and the fog

Hello and welcome to Wednesday!  It’s time to introduce you to another one of my lovely Sluiter Nation Recruits.  New here? Come check out what a Recruit is here.

Today I bring you the lovely Yuliya who writes She Suggests.  It’s almost impossible to put into words how just wonderful Yuliya is.  She is thoughtful and kind and a talented writer and amazing mother.  This summer I got to meet her at BlogHer, and I was enchanted.  I could have ditched the whole conference and just listened to her talk.

Yuliya and I found each other, I think, through Write on Edge back when it was The Red Dress Club.  I absolutely fell in love with her writing, then with her.

I think you will love her too.

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One of my big fears prior to getting pregnant and all throughout it was getting PPD because I knew that the risk of having PPD is increased in someone who already suffers from depression.

Fortunately I was lucky. Not only did I not get PPD, I had what can only be described as the opposite of PPD. My postpartum period, while filled with the usual intense emotions and occasional unexplained crying fits, was without a doubt the happiest I have ever been in my life. Yes, I was sleep deprived, covered in throw up and leaking constantly but I was exuberant. I was that (annoying) mom who stared constantly at her baby, held her incessantly and covered her with kisses practically every minute.

It was magical.

I started to let myself think that this was the new me and that maybe that old me who suffered from bouts of apathy and cycles of destructive behavior was just missing this, this beautiful child, this coveted role of mother.

But old me caught up with new me, maybe she was switched with someone at the hospital and was now finding her way back to me full of fury. I resumed my old ways, bailing on things I cared about, procrastinating, eating excessively, becoming angry and short tempered or simply lying on the couch and trying desperately to tune my family out. I was inside of a thick fog for months.

I woke up from that fog last Sunday to this:

Aliza, my 20 month old daughter bounced awake from our family bed, exclaimed “Cold! Shoes!” and ran clumsily to dig through her bureau and present us with her shoe selection for the morning. Girl child loves her shoes, and no, I have no idea where she gets it from, I live in flip flops.

She poked her daddy gently in the nose and reminded him “juice, boom, boom,” a reference to him making our morning green smoothie in a booming blender.

At breakfast she refused her bib and ate all by herself without spilling anything on her pajamas, she even drank her smoothie from a cup, using just one hand.

She informed me that she had to potty, about four seconds too late. She turned on the radio and bopped along, little hands waving in the air, non-existent booty shaking, and no I have no idea where she gets it from, Mama’s got back.

I watched and participated as this morning scene unfolded and all I felt was angry.

Angry because in these last few weeks while I was inside of the fog my daughter began to shed the last of her baby-ness. She cut back on nursing, began to wield utensils on her own and started the path toward potty independence.  She morphed from a baby into a full blown toddler.

And I missed it.

In that moment I began to understand what postpartum depression does to someone. Having had depression prior to having a child it just didn’t affect me the same way. Sure, I was frustrated at the time I spent feeling sad or apathetic to life. But now, with a child in my life I felt robbed of all those moments that slipped away, all those changes that took place when I wasn’t present, all the time that I will never get back.

I wonder did my daughter notice when I wasn’t “there”? If I don’t get better will she spend her childhood with someone who goes through the motions but isn’t truly present? Will I get PPD with the next child? Do I even have the right to talk about PPD and what I’m going through in the same sentence?

I don’t know the answers to these questions. But by being here today I took my first step by talking about it. Maybe this is the new me, I’m not in the happy magical haze and I’m not inside of the fog, but I’m here telling a little bit of my story to this wonderful community and now that I have,  hopefully I won’t go back to going through it alone.

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I know you will rally around her and let her know she is NOT alone.  Ever.

And then you will want to read some of her other stuff.

Where Yuliya is from (spoiler: it’s not the USA)…Where I’m From

She is funny…and maybe a bit forgetful…Why I’m Not in Charge of Family Finances

And a post that was syndicated at BlogHer and is close to my heart as well…Are Bloggy Friends Real?

There are so many more I could choose from since she always shows yummy pics of food and delicious pics of her adorable daughter (she is an amazing photog, people), so you should browse around her site.

Go ahead.  Get lost there.

You won’t be sorry.

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Oh look!  I am featured at The Mom Pledge today!  Come say hi a quick second…so I am not all lonely over there.

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