I Finally Caught A Break In My Postpartum Depression
“You can see the lights so much better at night because it’s dark outside. The green traffic light means go, the red one means stop. That’s how you know what to do with the car.”
She rubbed her eyes and her cry slowed to a whimper. “That’s where there used to be a store called Smillie’s. Everybody called it smiley’s, but I think that’s goofy because it looks like it should be Smilly. Mommy never went there before.”
Her eyes were wide open, but she wasn’t crying anymore. We were originally going to stop to fill up the car and allow me to nurse her, but my husband whispered, “want me to keep going?”
I said sure. After a few more minutes of talking to her, her eyes were still wide open, but she put her hand in mine. She has never once held my hand in the car, never until now. Her tears dried, and now I followed her eyes as they leapt from building to bus to light to building. For the next 15 minutes I explained everything on the other side of that window.
Her eyes were heavy as we pulled into our apartment complex. But, perhaps even more incredible was that I was calm. My own low, quiet voice had calmed me down. I felt like I had shed every horrible, destructive suicidal thought back at that gym. I felt like the very thing that had triggered this depression, the very reason I can barely get out of bed in the morning, the very thing that makes my afternoons a gray purgatory, was now the only thing that could possibly help me. I’ve always known how much she needs me. But that night I saw how I needed her, too, and how through mothering her, I can mother myself. My baby was okay. I was okay.
I took off her coat and shoes and took her to the bedroom. She fell asleep at my side within minutes.