“Holy crap. I just pushed a human being out of my vagina, my nether area, my unmentionables. A freaking living, breathing human being.” That was my thought after I gave birth to my 8 pound sweet baby girl.
I ripped stuff that doesn’t seem natural to rip (when I was in my way early twenties, a woman told me about this happening and I walked around with my rectum clenched for a year. It traumatized me so much that I prayed to the birthing gods for 9 months for this to NOT happen to me, but alas).
What happened next? Nothing. As soon as that last bit of after-birth fell onto the hospital floor, my feelings were as cold as one of those sub-zero freezers. I assume (I never was professionally diagnosed) I had what the experts would call Postpartum Depression.
I pretty much self-diagnosed myself. But not until months later, after I felt better. How do I know I was suffering from this condition? It was really just a guess but here you go:
- After they handed her to me, I nearly dropped her on the ground. As if she were a piece of luggage that I carried across the country and just couldn’t go another step with. I actually hallucinated “Samsonite” written across her forehead.
- When the nurses wheeled her in my room at 2am, I ripped their heads off. It’s true because they were nice and round and rolled like a couple of bowling balls. Strike!
- I would cry on my sitz-bath while speaking to my pediatrician every day for 2 weeks. Yes, my pediatrician. Hey, it saved me a hell of a lot of money on therapy bills — I highly recommend it.
- During middle-of-the-night feedings I feared that her head was going to spin on her shoulders like Regan in The Exorcist. That’s normal, right?
- Besides breastfeeding, I didn’t have a desire to hold her. I had a full out temper tantrum when DH went back to work. Seriously. I behaved more like a baby than my baby did.
- I had The Kid in June. It was a hot summer so I rarely left the house. For nearly 3 months. It was hot. Besides it meant I would have had to have gotten dressed. And clearly that wasn’t happening.
- I wore the same clothes for 6 weeks. Except my underwear. I changed them at least weekly. Well, someone did anyway.
No one seemed to notice, especially me. DH thought I was a little off, but no one told us about this possibility so it didn’t enter our minds. Maybe we thought it was normal? Well, I remember thinking it was normal. I felt sad. But don’t all new mothers feel sad? I mean, our bodies were practically ripped in half and we had to take care of these people.
Luckily, after about 3 months, I got the spring back in my step. They really should tell you about this stuff in Lamaze class. Or somewhere along the line. I mean, geez. I was pregnant for 9 months. There was plenty of time for a warning. Although, I do have an extremely short attention span so maybe they did and I missed it?
I doubt it. Anyway, my sweet baby girl is pushing the ripe old age of 16 and all is well. I fell head-over-heels in love with her in spite of it all. But I stopped there, at one child.
Would I have done it again? Sure. If you take out the blood, ass ripping, blood curdling pain and Cruella de Vil emotions. Maybe. But no one could promise me anything so it didn’t happen. And I’m a better person because of it. I’m sure.