The one where my head comes out of the sand

As Spring continues to rock my world I am questioning my health over the past few months. 

I’m realizing that I was quite off because hot damn do I feel fantastic now.  I felt some of this one long grey winter in NC so I knew what it was about but this winter was so bad… I don’t know if maybe I had a touch of PPD along with Seasonal affective disorder or what?  I have to say I’m pretty surprised that no one told me that I wasn’t being myself.  (Not you guys but maybe Mike?  or Mom? ) I remember questioning a friend when we meet at the mall when N was 8 weeks old.  I told her how I didn’t answer the phone, I didn’t want to leave the house.  It was cold and dang by the time I got out of the house it was time to feed him again anyway.  I was very much in the throw my hands in the air stage.  We stayed in my bed a lot during the day, snuggling and watching tv and reading Dr. Seuss and Curious George.  I was happy smelling the top of his head but outside of that was cold and unknown.  I tended to just stay in my own lair.   I am just really surprised at this overnight change in my state of mind.   I am seeing all of this behavior very clearly all of the sudden.   I ended up chalking it up to the Mini-Pill which made me co-co for cocoa puffs, stopped talking it and felt better.  Less jump out the window, more stay in bed sniffing the baby.  Still, not me.  But good enough.  Now?  Now,  wow.  I shake my head a little.  Why didn’t I see it?  I knew the eyes in the mirror looking back at me were empty, unless they were looking at Nathan, there was not much life in there.  I know too, that when people would come to visit I would brighten up instantly.  So happy for interaction, for a reason to blow out my hair.   When Mike would come home from work I would cling to him, so happy to have him home.

Now, I am still happy he is home but it is so much different.  I’m happy so he can see Nathan Jump in his lap and to hear him chant da-da-da and see how high his teeth got today.  Fun stuff, not OMG where have you been I neeeeed you.

This wasn’t some dramatic Brooke Shields – Down came the rain event.  It was much more mild than that because it never was about the baby.  It was me,  I never had any disturbing visions of hurting Nathan, but I would have thoughts of getting in the car and driving away, leaving him in his crib and go park in a lot somewhere and just sleep.  God, just sleep.

On what appears to be the other side, I didn’t know!  I didn’t recognize this.  I am shocking myself to be writing this at all,,, I had this conversation with my Dad when N was about 4.5 months old.  Him, sitting in my living room with me going on about how lucky I am, so in love with my family, so “happy” and he said he never understood PPD, and I said neither did I.   I didn’t.  I guess I still don’t.  You are happy in a huge way but when no one was around, there was a strangeness that kept you in bed.  That kept you in your PJ’s until 15 minutes before your husband gets home so he doesn’t know  you were under a blanket on the couch most of the day.  I though I was mostly okay,  just had a little cabin fever maybe?  A little bit with the weather, rather than under it?

I don’t know why I am writing about this really, other than it is a way for me to work through the feelings.  I don’t know if I needed outside help even.  I never asked for it, but I didn’t recognize this until just now.

Anybody else have a light bulb moment like this?  Where your awakening is so dramatic you realize that this was a little deeper than you knew while you were in it?



8 thoughts on “The one where my head comes out of the sand

  1. I totally think this is how PPD is for most women who have it, and I think your theory about SAD is pretty good one too. I had R in winter, and it was so hard to leave the house, and then it got to where I didn’t WANT to leave the house and then it was like I didn’t want to talk to anybody. I was so tired and didn’t want to deal with anything… And now? I think maybe that was a little PPD. Because everything in my life changed – from my body to my schedule to my daily interactions. And it’s okay. Now.

  2. I’m glad you’re feeling better. I knew you seemed down a lot but I didn’t think much of it, because you guys were so cold and you were cooped up all winter. My dad gets the same way still, even though he’s been down here for over twenty five years and we don’t really have seasons. He just hates winter.
    The trouble with PPD is that it doesn’t make any sense and I think most women who suffer from it don’t realize it until their lightbulb moments. All I can really say is that regardless of whether you had it, I’m so very happy you’re feeling better and I hope it keeps getting better.

  3. Gawd, child, I am right there with you. I remember writing about that.. about how the Runaway Bride made so much news, but what would they do about the Runaway Mom?

    The weather’s warmer now, which helps bunches.. there seems to be a whole new world out there, huh? 🙂

    I’m glad you’re better.

  4. I think that EVERY mom goes thru this as some point. I think that the common misconception about PPD is that it is towards your baby… I think that it CAN be… but usually is just the change in your behavior and how you feel about everything. I am happy that you are thru the baby blues…. I used to think to myself while doing the dishes half asleep, half awake- toddler crying, baby screaming- Hey if I slip and cut myself bad enough to need stitches, I would at least get a break, maybe a nap??? LOL- not a normal everyday thought! Looking back- probably PPD right? Love ya!

  5. Ohhhh heck yeah. I had a similar experience for the first five months after KJ was born. I thought it was just who I’d become, and that parenting was just really hard. Now, I can’t help but pity the new mom I was. Somewhere in KJ’s fifth month, exactly as you said, a lightbulb experience, and I’ve never felt that way since.

    So glad you’re feeling better!

  6. Christina: It is very brave of you to write about all of this and I’m so happy you are feeling better. I agree with all the comments. Your first few weeks after giving birth, you don’t leave the house because it doesn’t make sense. Then leaving home/getting dressed seems daunting. The next thing you know, you’re in deep. I was lucky that Tom works from home. I was able to leave him with Clara on a regular basis so that I could go out and do things. Otherwise, I’m sure I would have had full blown PPD. I’m glad you are having spring — it snowed here yesterday. I went to Katy Hales’s memorial yesterday and thought of all the family — it was sad. Love you guys.

  7. Oh yep I can relate. For me it wasn’t so much feeling sad or depressed, it was a general anxiety about things that just wasn’t like me. And then suddenly it lifted and I felt like myself again. Very mild but a distinct difference from who I know me to be. I was very glad to have myself back again. I chalked it up to those crazy hormones and the huge adjustment of becoming a parent.

    Glad you’re feeling like yourself again. Yay Spring!

  8. I think I told you about my experiences with the baby blues. It’s hard, but it was easier when I heard from other mothers that they felt similarly. I was less ashamed of my feelings.

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