This chapter is not funny. No, I’m not kidding. Like if you think I’m joking, please just jump to the next chapter. I’m serious. But hey, by now you probably need a little break from laughing, right? Hopefully. Maybe. Shit, what if this book isn’t funny? Okay, well, at least this chapter isn’t supposed to be. No, F that, in case this book isn’t funny, the whole book wasn’t meant to be. Okay, back to the very serious, not-funny-at-all subject at hand.
So I have something to tell you. Something I have never told anyone. ANYONE. Not even my husband. Especially not my husband. Like seriously, he’s reading this for the first time here. And, honey, if you really are reading my book, you’re a stud and I love you and please start throwing away your little slivers of soap in the shower so I don’t have to.
Anyways, this thing I’m going to tell you about happened within the first two weeks of bringing Zoey home from the hospital when I was in total and complete love with her. I remember sitting there, not being able to take my eyes off her as I watched her being a helpless blob that did nothing at all. And yet somehow she was the most beautiful thing I had ever laid (lay??? lain??) my eyes on. Look, her finger just twitched in her sleep, awwwwww.
But in the middle of all that love there was this moment I still can’t believe. I was sitting on the couch and I looked over at my two-week-old baby and suddenly this wave of emotion came over me. It was oppressive. All I could think when I looked at that tiny little being was what the fuck did I do? Not WTF. This was a full-on WHAT THE FUCK. And then a thought crept into my head that to this day is so unbelievable to me. I tried to push it back down but it was too late. It was there.
Let me rewind a bit. Before Zoey came around, Greg and I had this perfect life. We had like this totally awesome marriage and the kind of life people envy. We both had good jobs. We ate dinner out and shared a good bottle of wine practically every night. On weekends we would cuddle in bed until nine or ten or whenever we felt like getting up, and then we would run along the Charles River or meet friends for brunch or go to a Red Sox game. We just did what we wanted, when we wanted, and we were crazy happy. And then Zoey came along. And everything changed. I’m not saying in a bad way. Just in a very, very different way.
As I sat there on the couch that day and my hormones felt like they were on the Tilt-A-Whirl at an amusement park, and it felt like red ants were eating my nipples from the inside out, and my belly still looked preggers spilling over the top of my fatter pants because my fat pants were no longer fat enough, as all this happened, I stared at this tiny little being and for a brief moment I thought—shit, I can’t even type it. That’s how bad it is. Nope, I’ve committed. Okay here goes. For a brief moment, I actually thought about throwing that tiny little baby off our balcony.
Gasp! Yes, there it is. That’s how F’ed-up I was after giving birth. Was it postpartum depression? I don’t know. Is it possible to have postpartum depression for like five minutes? I mean for the most part I was over-the-moon in love with this little being. But suddenly it occurred to me that she was F’ing up everything. Did we still go out to dinner every night? Yes. But I spent like the entire meal struggling to figure out how to breastfeed Zoey without my Boppy under my Hooter Hider in front of fifty strangers as I watched my husband drink his glass of wine that I couldn’t have because I was petrified of trying to piece together the two thousand parts of my breast pump.
So that’s why for a brief moment an image flashed through my mind. An image of me taking her out to the balcony and heaving her tiny little body over the railing. How absolutely horrible is that?
Did I really mean it? No, not really. Of course not. I never would have actually done it. But for a brief itty-bitty tiny moment I actually thought life might have been better if we decided to never have a child.
And suddenly I understood how moms everywhere are struggling with postpartum depression. Imagine feeling like that for an extended period of time. How awful. Suddenly I saw an itsy-bitsy glimpse of what Susan Smith must have been feeling, and while I’ll never completely understand what she did to those poor little babies, my heart breaks for her.
And then just as soon as the horrible image popped into my head, I pushed it out. It was a thought I had but didn’t mean. You’ve had those thoughts before, right? What if I jump off this balcony, or drive my car over the median, or just start screaming at the cashier who won’t stop talking to the person in front of me, or something else totally rash that I would never actually do? Or maybe I’m the only one who ever has these kinds of thoughts. But probably not. What I’ve learned the most from writing my blog is that I am never the only one to think the way I do. I post something and think, “Awww shit, what if nobody relates to this?” And then like fifty seconds later, two hundred of you are like yeahhh me too! So if there’s one thing you get from this book (besides wet underpants hopefully. Wow, that sounds so wrong), know that you are never alone. No matter how wrong, how depressing, or how criminal your thoughts sometimes are, you are not the only person having them. But I digress. Like bigtime. Back to my very serious story.
I believe in being honest about parenting, that we shouldn't have to be ashamed of things like postpartum depression. This way we can all help each other through the big bad world of parenting. If you want to read more honest stories about being a parent (you do! you do!), order my book I Heart My Little A-Holes. You can get it at these fine establishments: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BooksAMillion, and IndieBound. Thank youuuu!!!
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