1. I miss my maternity clothes, clothes I had come to loathe, some I loathed when I bought. But always, towards to the end, I seem to find a rhythm (read: wear the same thing over and over) and it gets comfortable and those clothes, there are many things they are not, but they are kind. And my old clothes? It’s like we don’t even know each other anymore.
2. I miss the hospital. Seriously, this is sick. I’ve had a great first few weeks at home, cruising along and then this weekend… I get the stomach flu. And I lay in my bed at home, missing the nurses, and the menu, and the call button, and the fridge of small cokes outside my door. I even missed the constant interruption of someone checking my vitals. All I kept thinking was, “How are my vitals? No one has checked! How do I get a mini-coke in this place?!”
3. I miss the pass. You know the, “She’s pregnant, we’ll give her a pass on this right now,” pass. People telling you to sit down and relax, because you are pregnant. Or, well if you have to wear all black and a scarf to the fancy wedding, that’s okay, because…you are pregnant, even though you are mistaken for the bartender. The very pregnant, goth, wedding bartender.
A few days ago, I received some very helpful literature from my insurance company saying that Post Partum Depression does not appear until two weeks after the birth. And so, in dutiful fashion, on Friday night, I plummeted. I curled up on my couch, drawing comfort from a world in which Hugh Grant was my Prime Minister, and felt disappointed that this place had found me again.
See, one of the initial myths of depression, is that it coinsides with life being depressing. And for me, one of the hugest challenges of post-partum depression, is that it arrives in seasons of such plenty, when my heart is overwhelmed with thankfulness.
And this time, the third time around, I really thought I had it beat. I got rid of that horrid velour J-Lo jogging suit I lived in the last two rounds. I have a better grasp on what energizes me, where my stumbling blocks are, and what really matters. But here I am again.
C.S. Lewis famously stated that “grief felt so like fear” For me, depression feels so much like failure. And the last time around I felt I was failing because the house was a wreck and I was attached to that velour suit. This time the voice of failure has gotten a bit darker. These feelings are my failure.
I know completely, that that’s crazy talk. But there it is. And here I am.
4. I miss the anticipation. Like the Bride who is sad when the wedding is over, though she is now married, pregnancy, challenging as it may be, moves me toward a date. I count it down by months, then by weeks, then by days, always aware that something big is eminent, that God is doing something new and mysterious in us and around us and upon us. Then the day arrives, celebration occurs, and this new way of living begins…And I forget to anticipate, though God is not done.
Leila has a bit of delayed jaundice. (Did I mention that my large babies also have the tendency to be a bit yellow-hued, except I can never tell. She’s totally pink to me.) So the instructions for today are to strip her to her diaper and put her in some direct sunlight.
Except, my friends, it is so cloudy right now.
But here’s what we’re going to do: she’s going to sleep and I’m going to write a paper. And then we’re going to go into her well-windowed room, both of us with our broken out skin, she a bit yellow, me probably as well, and we’re going to wait for the sun. It may take a while, and may just be a crack of sunlight when it finally appears, but we both need some direct light today, and perhaps even the hope of it as much as the effects.