poetry • art • marriage • momhood • faith

scared.

Ever since the early months of my first pregnancy, I have been wary of the threat of postpartum depression. Having had my share of bottom-sucking low moments and suicidal thoughts throughout high school and into college, I have been aware of the fact that motherhood and the hormones that come with it could kick me back into depression mode before I could consciously think enough pink and blue thoughts to stay the course of sanity. I have also been terrified of what I could be passing on to my children in the way of being a psychological downer. I think it’s safe to say I suffered from undocumented depression as early as first grade. I remember stressing about getting work done even then. Damn perfectionist tendencies. Undue stress.

And here I am, a mom of two. Boys. I survived the postpartum period after my first without much issue. I think a lot of that was thanks to my being able to focus on the awesome novelty of the situation, not that I wasn’t having any baby blues. This time, though, I feel so incredibly overwhelmed. I’m constantly tired. I feel like I’m always yelling at the munchkin. I’m stressed that I can’t seem to get my milk production back up to par and that, in turn, is adding to my troubles. I have no appetite, and so I need to force myself to eat in order to have any hope of bumping my milk back up.

Meanwhile, I have to somehow fit into this damn bridesmaid dress for next month. It’s freaking two sizes bigger than my prepregnancy size, and I still can’t zip it. I’m still 15-20 lbs over my prepregnancy weight, which wouldn’t be such an issue if I had ANY money to spend on clothes that fit. But I don’t. So instead, I’m still wearing maternity clothes, which sure as hell aren’t HELPing my self image.

Have I mentioned how tired I feel?

The baby’s fussing again. I passed him off to DH (who has to open tomorrow) and don’t feel bad about it at all even though it’s quarter to 1AM. I know he has an early morning and a long day at work tomorrow, but I’ll have the entire day with both kids by myself. Let him figure it out for now.

I need to write, but I forget how. God, please don’t let my writing go the way of my painting.

Grandpap R. says I “never should have given up painting” and that I’m not so good at poetry or whatever. But that’s a f***ing different journal entry. (Yes, I needed the expletive there.) That’s one of those things I’m glad Mom told me but I wish she hadn’t. Or something. I can’t dwell there.

I’m so stupidly hormonal. I don’t know whom I need to talk to about this. I shouldn’t be so down anymore.

I just want to sleep.

It scares me how easily I can ignore the baby’s crying.

It scares me how easily I yell at the munchkin.

It scares me how often I want to hit the munchkin because he won’t listen. He laughs at me when I yell at him. He thinks I’m joking.

I want to take my pillow and go hide in the closet. Like when I was little. Somehow that was safe. That’s what I need.

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torch bearing quietly

I will not act out, will not
yell or curse or slam doors,
will not make a scene -- you
do not deserve such a chance
to make an example out of me
to be proven right since you
are not. Instead, I'll stand
at this street corner, raise
my hand high and clench that
light which yet remains. It
will burn brightly, quietly,
fiercely before fading as I.

Then I'll be gone but found.

©JAC 2005

Poetry by Julie Ann Cook!

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Love Like Weeds
by Julie Ann Cook
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