Wednesday, August 29, 2012

just some reassurance

there has been an awful lot of discussion here lately about babies. the fact that so many friends have been having beautiful little spit machines isn't helping.

after having otto i knew that we needed to take permanent measures to guard against any more pregnancies. because i have this problem...every time a kid grows too big i yearn for another.

and that yearning has been there for a good 3 years, with our otto nearing 4.

i've been content this whole time with it just being a wish...a desire...but knowing that everyone was with me in otto being our final creation. it'll be fine. we'll get a puppy, and everything will be just fine.

then people start talking about babies. people being cory. and he hasn't actually said "i want another baby" but when i talk about it he just gets quiet..and damnit, man..i've been married to you for nearly 10 years. i know what that means.

before you all think that 4 weeks from now i'll be announcing a pregnancy, there are definitely no plans to have unprotected sex at the moment. it's the absolute wrong just is....

and my biggest fear? the darkness that comes after baby.

i think that post partum depression is still one of those taboo things that people rarely talk about.

and when they do it gets shrugged off as something that's just one of those just happens. baby blues. you'll be fine. shake it off.

while discussing babies last night cory confirmed what i was afraid of...
"you haven't been the same since otto"

and it's true.

everyone praises me on my honesty, but this is on the verge of being too raw for me to share... because it's something i fight within myself every single day.

i still don't think i'm back to myself. i've been feeling incredibly nostalgic lately. which means i've been dusting off the oldest pictures in flickr and our old youtube account. the smile i had before having him were so genuine. now everything feels so..just, not real.

and don't get me wrong. most days are good. but some days are still a serious struggle. and it can be anything that sets me off. a sad news story, a sad movie... any number of things.

even life itself can do it.

right now it's the stress of dealing with angry groupon customers because i'm not returning their calls fast enough even though i have a dozen voicemails waiting for returned calls. it's just too much right now.

it's money. money always comes into play. having bare cabinets two days before the end of the month..biding our time with spaghetti night after night.

i don't regret otto. i would never ever. i was just expressing my deep gratitude for birthing him the other night. and telling cory that i felt sorry for men..that they would never know that feeling. that rush of oxytocin. the feeling that if you can do that you can very literally do anything. his dimples make everything worth it. that child is my joy. 

but it was so hard to see... and some days i find myself in that haze again. when i think about what life would be like without me here. if everyone would be okay. and the answer is always no. my children need a mother. my husband needs a wife. 

and i wonder why it is that we, as women, rarely talk about our experience. whether it's baby blues, post partum depression, or even psychosis. it's not something we should be ashamed of. we need to be in it all together, not against each other.

the thing that really amazes me is our readiness to discuss child birth and breastfeeding, but when we talk about the low that comes after those 9-10 months are over it's always done in hushed tones. 

i long for some realness.. for us to reassure each other. it'll be okay. the fog will lift. or maybe it won't, but we'll find ways to deal with it.

dwell on the good, not the bad. because there's so much good around us. and to take care of ourselves. it's okay to spend a day laying in bed being sad. and it's okay to make yourself go outside and face life, because otherwise you'll drown. 

i'm still normal. it's all okay.


  1. I think it's the thought of being called a bad mother that keeps many quiet. When I finally confided my thought I had after my second child, I was met with coldness. Ever since, I have been treated as a bad mother.

    1. i definitely think that's part of it.
      when i went for counseling after i had otto i was met with coldness as well, and treated like a dumb young mother..just because i was poor & had to go to the county mental health department.

  2. Oh Vanessa, you are at it again. Peering into my very soul.
    I have been fighting off baby fever for a LONG time. I really want another, but it is just the wrong time. I need to lose more weight, we need more money, we need more space...blah blah blah. And it does NOT help that everyone I know is popping out babies left and right! To top it off, guess what I woke up to this morning? Thad watching old videos of when the big kids were babies! Shit man, I call foul play!
    When I talk about it, Thad just sighs. The plan was always four, and he says things like, "I don't know, the kids are getting older. We are getting older..." It breaks my heart to know that he is seemingly giving up on our last baby. I understand his reasoning, but still. I am a person who loves her children before conception. I know I will have a girl, and I feel like she is missing. Okay, sorry about that outburst. Anyways, I totally feel where you are coming from.
    Also, that who end of the month, bare too. We have been living off of beans and potatoes for about a week. Just one more day and then Thad gets paid, but man we have been scrapping the bottom of the barrel lately.
    I love you. I love this. I have never had darkness after a pregnancy, and I count myself lucky for it. You are more than "okay", you are wonderful.

    1. one of the biggest reasons i want another is baby is because i want faith to have a sister, and i have a feeling that if we had another it would be a girl.
      i always said that i wanted 4 kids, but after otto i felt complete. i just need to hold onto that.
      i really feel like my psyche couldn't handle another one..

  3. I want a baby so badly. Like, so badly it makes me cry when I think of it. I try to talk Gary into it but he is so worried about money. He keeps saying we don't have enough. I ask when we will because I am so darn old, darn it. : ( He doesn't answer me. The truth is that all I ever wanted was a lot of children. A lot. I think they are the greatest joy on the planet. I am praying for a miracle.

    1. oh i know what you mean. i don't think my longing for babies will ever go away. :(

  4. As somebody who is currently struggling daily with mental health issues, I can't imagine having to weigh the desire to have another child with the fear of having to sink again into the pit of post-partum depression. I fortunately didn't go through it with either of my kids, but I applaud women like you for talking about it openly. It doesn't make you a bad mother to admit to having these feelings - your honesty and "realness" is one of the things that makes you such a wonderful mother.

    1. i think it's one of the only ways i can try and be open about it all.
      let me know how your counseling goes..i'm curious..

  5. I too, struggled with some intense, if brief (2 months), post partum depression. And even though I'm a nurse, I didn't even recognize it in myself. I just thought there was something wrong with me. I thought I had ruined my own life, and that I was going to have to fake loving my child forever. I didn't see it as what it was until long after. Just as I was coming out of it, a friend confided in me that she and her husband were trying to conceive. I blatantly told her to, "Be really, REALLY sure that you want it...because my life was fine." Later I apologized to her for being so callous, and she told me that it was refreshing to find someone that would actually be honest about what it was like for them, right then. All this, I guess to say that you're so right. It's SO very normal and human. But as long as we're not honest with each other, we all feel alone. Thanks again for a great blog.

    1. i'm sure your friend appreciated the honesty. everyone thinks babies are nothing but soft kisses and cuddles. and while that's part of it there's also the other part that so many of us deal with..