So, you might be asking yourself, what the freak is going on with the Brooklyn Baby Momma and her sporadic posting? Or maybe you're asking yourself, who the freak is the Brooklyn Baby Momma, and how did I get to this infrequently updated blog? Regardless...
Well, it's taken me a long time to admit this, but I have some postpartum emotional issues that I kept hoping would resolve themselves, but alas, they never did. And finally, after plenty of drama and an ocean of tears, I've gotten help and am starting to feel human again.
For the longest time, I was sure it would get better on its own. When Stella starts to sleep, when Stella stops being so cranky during the day, when Dave gives me more breaks, when I hire someone to give me even more breaks, when we move to a bigger place, when I make friends in my new neighborhood, when I go back to work, when I start running, when we finally move the hell out of this crazy apartment, when we finally get out of New York City... You get the idea. Some of our many issues simply were never resolved, some were, some are still up in the air. But the lack of emotional control remained.
People suggested I get help, but I kept using my breastfeeding as an excuse. I figured there was no drug I could take that was compatible with nursing, so why even bother? (It turns out I was wrong, by the way, in case you're thinking the same thing.)
So, I went to a therapist, and her ideas were good. They were good as long as I was normally sad or angry -- the type of sad or angry you probably experience from time to time. But the brands of sad and angry I was going through were anything but normal.
Try as I might, I don't feel comfortable going into the details in this blog. I think my job has something to do with that, but still, I wish I had the courage to explain to you how hopeless and frantic I felt. I will say that a wonderful friend forwarded Dooce's blog to me, a blog you've probably heard of but was novel to me. When she wrote, "you need to read this," and I did, I figured it was because this woman has a wicked sense of humor, is totally irreverent and crass, and vents about parenting in a way that very few of the calm, cool uber-parents around me seem to.
But then I read Dooce, aka Heather B. Armstrong's bio, and came across the following sentence fragment: "to the postpartum depression that landed me in a mental hospital. I'm better now."
Here was this smart, innovative woman who had the courage to tell the world that she had been sick. I knew I had to do the same.
So...if I haven't returned your email or phone call, this is why. If you've seen me out and about, pale-faced and flustered, this is why. If you wonder why it looks like I'm about to snap, this is why. And if you're someone who actually reads my blog and doesn't get why I stopped posting so regularly, this is why.
I blamed myself for a long time, wondering why other parents seemed so at ease and unfazed while I was barely holding on. But now I know that it doesn't work that way. What happened is a combination of the poor chemistry I inherited, difficult events from my childhood that all came flooding back after Stella's birth, physical distance from my family at a time when I sure could use their help, the normal pathos and loneliness of the stay-at-home mom, and the mind-numbing frustrations that occur when you're blessed with a spirited, sleepless child. Without that special cocktail of insanity, I might have sailed through the past 16 months.
I have to thank Dave for being my rock during all this and for enduring things I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. My friends Alex and Katie and my mom and sister were also instrumental in helping me get better.
Now that I'm getting proper help, life is so different. It's as if a veil were lifted, and I get to look at my darling girl the way others do -- as a beautiful, brilliant, hilarious, precious gift. I am so lucky to have her in my life and to be able to watch her grow and develop. My only regret is that I didn't get help sooner.
Thanks for reading. I vow to be much less serious next time.