I Finally Caught A Break In My Postpartum Depression
So last night, we were very wary of the whole event. My parents were watching baby on the sidelines and things seemed to be going well. But toward the end of our last game, when the score was close and things mattered, I messed up. Even with a happy baby on the sidelines. I tried to snap out of my funk as the game went on, but we sort of fell apart and the other team scored point after point on us.
After we thanked my parents for watching baby and retreated to the parking lot for a post-game cigarette, my daughter seemed snug and content in her carseat. I, on the other hand, was reeling as I stood outside—at myself, for screwing up, and at my team, for not cooperating with each other and for the feeling that they all suddenly hated me. The PPD cloud in my brain had swollen to the size of a blimp and I honestly wondered how I was ever going to survive the night, let alone the next few days, weeks, months.
Not to mention how much it sucks to feel like the few adults I get to see each week don’t really like me anymore.
So when I heard baby’s muffled cries from inside the car, my husband and I said our farewells to the team and pitched our cigarettes. I reluctantly sat in the backseat next to her, something we thought we’d try tonight because we were out of ideas. I’d tried it before, I’d even tried nursing her by hanging over her seat in a moving car one night a few weeks ago out of intense frustration. I was 99 percent certain my presence at baby’s side was only going to piss her off.
As expected, she was wailing as I buckled in and my husband took off. I tried stroking her hand, she pulled it away. I tried rubbing her tummy, she slapped me. I cooed, “it’s okay,” only half-believing it, wondering if I was even going to sit through the ride home without screaming or bursting into tears.
Then, in the middle of this depressive Tour de France running its race in my head, I rested my head on the side of her car seat looking up out the window from her perspective. “Look, it’s a church, honey. And there’s a gas station. See all the lights?”
She continued crying, my neck was aching, but something in me just said keep talking.