The other night made me question why I was insane enough to have a second baby. Oh my Jesus. I totally forgot about this annoying phenomenon called cluster feeding. And gas pain. And what happens when you have both things happening simultaneously.
I’ll tell you what happens. As a parent, you feel like a total douchebag loser. I forgot how dramatic babies are about things. He screamed for about 3 hours straight, because I forgot how to read the needs of a newborn. But I’m optimistic, because I feel like if it happens again tonight, I’ll know exactly what to do. Right?
Anyway, the truth is, it’s not the newborn stuff that had me feeling like a failure. It was not being able to take care of my Twee Destroyer the way I was used to being able to. All I wanted was to let him have a little snooze while I read her bedtime stories and got her tucked in. All I wanted was to have that little bit of one on one time that both of us need so bad right now. All I wanted was a small window of time of having things the way they used to be.
And don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change having Little Buddy here for all the tea in China, but sometimes I wonder how come second borns don’t come with a second set of parental appendages. Nice going, Evolution. You couldn’t have thought of something useful, rather than fucking wisdom teeth?
So the whole thing had me feeling a little down. Baby blues or whatever. But it got me to thinking about postpartum depression. A surprisingly common, but not so commonly discussed problem that happens to moms. I read in a few different places that having a traumatic birth experience can be a contributing factor to it. Now, I don’t know if that is true or not, and I’m not super interested in arguing about it. But I can totally see why it would.
Parenting is a hard thing. Whether you have one or two or five kids, you are constantly adjusting to the world as it changes. And right after the birth of a new baby, the changes are huge as we all adjust to our new dynamic. It feels overwhelming, and frustrating and plain fucking stupid sometimes. There are so many things that I wish I could take back over the course of a day, that I can see how easy it is to feel depressed. How many times I yelled at my Destroyer for doing normal things that just seem so annoying when you have a needy newborn in your arms. It makes my heart break for her.
BUT, each day we get a little more settled. Each day I feel a little less insane. And having had the experience of birthing my baby the way I wanted to do it helps a lot. Why you ask? Because no matter how hard the day is, I keep thinking that the day of birthing him was 30 hours, not 24. The pain suffered and energy required was about 1000 times more than any of these shitty moments you have as a “new” parent. My birth experience made me feel like a total beast. If I can do that, then I can do anything. Every time I feel defeated, I have that to draw on and picture, and it empowers me.
Crazy, right? I mean if drugs and procedures are available to help us endure and overcome the pain, why not take advantage of modern medicine? Why do it natural? To prove I could. Because for me (and it won’t be the same for all girls) the idea that me and Buddy came through that together makes me feel strong. Those things were there, but we didn’t need them. We just needed each other. And that’s pretty cool.
Having said all of that, it’s probable that my uterus is now retired. Because as awesome as the memory is, and as awesome as the bragging rights of a long, drug free labour are, he fucking broke my body.