In each of the books I’ve read, there’s been a tiny section on the “baby blues.” All of them have said the same thing — feeling sad is normal, you’ll be fine, ask friends & family to help you when you need a break. Oh, & if you feel extremely sad, call your doctor. It’s been very flippant, this treatment of this phenomenon known as the “baby blues.” Even the name is cutesy & all unthreatening-sounding.
But I have a sneaky little feeling that there’s nothing fun or cutesy about “baby blues,” or it’s dreaded counterpart, postpartum depression. And not to borrow trouble, as my grandma says, but I really feel like this could potentially be an issue for me. I don’t want to be that girl, the one who has a perfect baby & who is still bitching & complaining & whining all over herself. Those girls have made me feel stabby in the past… while I’m having multiple miscarriages, it’s pretty difficult to dredge up any sympathy for you & your perfect little baby & your perfect little life. So your perfect, healthy, LIVING baby is making you feel overwhelmed. Boo-effing-hoo. Anything less than euphoric is not allowed. And now?… Now I’m terrified of being one of those girls. There’s no way I can meet that standard.
It’s gonna be hard, ya’ll. And I’m scared. Yeah, I’m scared of all the “normal,” basic first-time mom stuff like not knowing what the hell I’m doing, and not doing things “the right way,” etc. But I’m also scared of my emotional stability (or lack thereof). What if I freak out? What if I’m a mess, & I feel like I can’t tell anyone because that’s complaining, & really, what right do I have to complain when I finally have a baby?! I don’t want to be ungrateful or unappreciative or anything less than thankful. I’ve wanted this for years… what right do I have to be anything except positive & glowing & happy? How do I know where the line is between “feeling blue” & PPD? Are people going to tell me if (when) I’m acting like a loon? But how is that going to be so different from how I normally act? I don’t want to be one of those crazy people that everyone tiptoes around, & no one sits them down & says “Sarah! Dude. You need to get a grip.” But what if someone DOES do that, & I snap & hate them for saying it because I’m such a basket case that I can’t see past my own face? Mama would have been that person before, the one who could sit me down, let me cry, & then work though it. But we all know how that turned out.
I have my weekly appt with Dr OBGYN tomorrow, & I think I’m going to talk to him about this. He knows me. He’s seen the Sarah who can’t sit in his office without leaving a trail of used tissues behind. Maybe he’ll give me a nice little checklist of “How to Know if You’re Batshit Crazy.” For some reason, that checklist seems to have been left out of my prenatal resource folder.