In response to my last post, many people have suggested that I go see a doctor and be screened for PPD (post partum depression).
And reading each one of those comments made me angry.
I couldn’t quite pinpoint the reason. They are just trying to be supportive — why the hate? Did my anger stem from their recognizing the ugly truth? Do I really have PPD?
I took a cold hard look at myself. And I realized: no. I do not have PPD.
If I had PPD, I would find no joy in my daughter’s gummy smiles, explosive farts, and sudden bursts of laughter.
If I had PPD, I would have little or no desire in taking care of my daughter.
If I had PPD, I would have thoughts of hurting myself or the baby.
If I had PPD, I would not be blogging. I would wrap myself in a cocoon of doubt, guilt, self-pity and tears and remain so for hours on end. I would refuse to leave the house. I would lash out in anger at my loved ones. I would definitely not be able to take care of the baby.
Trust me; I know. I have suffered depression in the past and while these baby blues may seem intense to my readers, it is nothing compared to what I am capable of.
The truth of the matter is that I am not, and have never been, a happy-go-lucky girl. I am not an energetic, carefree person who exudes joy. I have always been more dark, pessimistic, and melancholy than my peers. But this does not always come through in my blogging, so when it does, people jump to the conclusion that I have taken a turn for the worse.
So while I am grateful to have so many readers who are concerned on my behalf, my first instinct was to become angry that these internet strangers — who do not know anything about my life aside from what I choose to reveal on the web — were so quick to diagnose a very serious condition.
Let me emphasize that I am grateful for the support. Anger was only my first — and unwarranted — reaction.
(But to the one commenter who asked me why my life isn’t what I expected when I had tried so hard to have this baby, please be more sensitive in the future. Your comment reminded me of the one I had received a few weeks back that implied I should be more thankful and loving toward Claire because I had suffered a miscarriage prior to having her.)
On the other hand, I was sincerely thankful for those who sympathized with the many changes and milestones that I have been going through as of late (some of which I do not share online). They reaffirmed to me that yes, it is perfectly normal to go a little crazy with so much going on.
In addition, those who are still reading this rant should note that my baby blue were definitely getting better…then got worse a couple of weeks ago. When I quit breastfeeding. And wouldn’t you know it — quitting breastfeeding apparently throws your hormones (and emotions) waayyyy out of whack, and the side effects are much worse when you quit cold-turkey, as I have.
And let’s face it: turning 30 isn’t easy for everyone. I am entitled to some tears, no?
P.S. — My birthday, while commencing on a sour note, turned out quite well at the end. J decided to take a day off from work and kept me company while I wallowed in the realization of turning 30. Later that night, he dragged me to a steakhouse (which has now become my new favorite restaurant this side of the Hudson River) and we had a lovely dinner while his parents watched the baby. I love this man.