Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Time for an injection of humour.......

This week just feels like my entire universe is filled with sickness; my son is sick, people at work are sick, all the kids in my homeroom and at school are sick, I'm getting sick.... There is no escaping it. So to take my mind of this, and the thoughts of another sleep deprived night ahead, I feel the need to inject a bit of humour. And what better person to turn to than Heather B Armstrong, writer of my current read "It sucked and then I cried". I've only got a chapter or two to go and can't decide who in my life I should pass it on to because I want to pass it on to everyone at once. Before I get to the humour though, I do want to touch on Heather's description of her postnatal depression - because I can relate so well to her experience (as may many other women who have been in this situation). Here is how she describes it:

"My daily life felt like torture. I struggled to make it from hour to hour. I felt like I didn't know what I was doing. I was trying to find the humour in all of it, but I couldn't ignore the crushing misery any longer.
There were many things about parenthood that I understood intellectually. I knew that this period of her life was only temporary and that things would eventually get better. I knew that I was a good mother and that I was meeting her needs as a baby. But depression isn't about understanding things intellectually. Its about an overshadowing emotional spiral that makes coping with anything nearly impossible.
I just couldn't cope with the screaming, I couldn't cope with her not eating. I couldn't cope with the constant pacing and rocking back and forth to make sure she didn't start crying. I was sick with anxiety. I wanted to throw up all day long. There were moments during her screaming when I had to set her down and walk away and regain perspective on life, because in those very dark moments of screaming I felt like I had destroyed mine.
.....I was throwing up my hands. I couldn't do this unmedicated, and it was a decision I did not make lightly......But I felt like I didn't have a choice, the hopelessness was just too overwhelming. I wanted to look back on that time fondly and remember her smiles, not her screaming. And too often I didn't even notice when she was smiling."

Now for the humour! I have to include this passage from the book where Heather describes how drastically your perception of 'free time' (ha, ha, ha) changes when you have a baby:

"Once I became a mother I realised that free time was one of those many luxuries people give up when they decide to procreate. I kind of understood this going into parenthood, but its not something that you TRULY appreciate, like everything else about parenthood, until it drops on your head like a piano shoved out of a window eighty stories high.
Free time was the four minutes it took John to change Leta's diaper; it was the one minute I had to use the bathroom after I set her down in the crib; it was the thrity seconds she would remain calm in the car seat after we returned from the grocery store. 
Before Leta was born I used to hate to run errands, and I would put off going to the grocery store until the milk was so expired that it had grown arms, legs and a fully functioning liver. But all that changed, and I wanted to go to the grocery store every day if only to see other human beings who spoke in sentences and could wipe their own asses. It reassured me that there was a living, breathing life outside of the twilight zone existence of taking care of a creature whose primary means of communication was through her bowels.
One night Jon let me go to the grocery store alone, something a new father should be very wary of letting a new mother do, because once I was behind that steering wheel I became drunk with the freedom. I honestly thought that the car might sprout wings and take off in the air, and I was flooded with grand ideas of escaping to Montana where I could assume a new identity and drink martinis and sleep in until 8am. It would have been so easy to have kept driving, forever. Maybe no one would even notice I was gone!
But five minutes into shopping at the grocery store I started to miss that little screaming baby at home. WHY WAS I MISSING HER? That was MY time. Why was I thinking about her little cold feet and her fuzzy hair and the yummy creases in her baby thighs? WHY WHY WHY?
  So I didn't gas up and drive to Montana, but instead came back home and immediately went into the house to smell the back of her neck". 
I think that sums up the crazy rollercoaster ride that is motherhood just perfectly. I will be so sad to finish this book but the greatest thing is that I don't have to go without my daily fix of Heather's hilarity as she has her own blog, dooce, which YOU ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO CHECK OUT!!!!! Heather just gave birth to her second daughter so there is bound to be plenty of laughs as she describes adjusting to life with another little one. This one has to go to the top of your daily blog read list (after - of course!).

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