I remember walking into her room and sitting down on the carpet and crying.
Her room is beautiful by the way. Soft yellows, pinks, blues, oranges. My mom had painted murals on each wall to compliment our Calvin and Hobbes themed room for Anonymous Baby. We substituted a girl for Calvin because we wanted AB to see herself on a journey with a Hobbes of her own. I am so pleased with how everything turned out. We hung elephants and birds and giraffes on the walls. A little safari adventure of her own.
Anonymous Hubby was gone that weekend, and I had had two large Guinness' that evening. AB went down for bed right on schedule and I should have been enjoying my night alone, watching standard fare chick flicks (Pride and Prejudice), and making avocado face masks. Instead, I couldn't stop crying.
Weeks prior, I had taken a gamble. I quit my full time steady job to return to the Entertainment Industry. The show I was locked on was the perfect length to build a safety net and get back in the game...until it got shelved at the end of the day due to an unpredictable devastating stock drop and a scared Network. A half hour before I was informed, my boss from my prior job officially emailed her acceptance of my resignation.
I was jobless, with a new baby and a mortgage that depended on a two-income set-up. And, I had cancelled my extended disability in order to take the job.
As I sat and cried alone, all I could think about was how sad I'd be if we couldn't afford our mortgage, went into default, and if AB wouldn't be able to have her beautiful room. I attributed this overwhelming feeling of anxiety and panic to my job situation.
What I didn't know was that that really wasn't the root.
"Baby Blues." I had heard that term in passing mentioned before.
But here I sat. I couldn't have Baby Blues. I shouldn't be allowed to. I had a happy baby. By all accounts, an "easy" baby. AB was sleeping through the night, in her crib within the first 3 months. She napped. She laughed. We are the lucky ones. Probably the ones you hate. We didn't do anything to deserve such luck... AB simply knew we had absolutely no idea what we were doing and did us a solid and took it easy on scared, clueless parents.
This overwhelming anxiety was the beginning of a daily two month battle. The same time every day, around 12:45pm, no matter I was doing.... break down. I was happy to be alone when this happened, unemployed and no one to see me. It was crippling. There was guilt. Shame. Questioning myself: What is wrong with me? Why can't I "get over" this? I made an appointment with my doctor. Anon hubby couldn't really understand... he knew we'd be fine. We weren't going to lose the house. I overanalyze everything. I have a budget that's planned out eight months in advance. I normally handle stress well, well at least I hold it in and don't acknowledge it, same thing right? I had been fortunate enough to never have to research medication. When my doctor asked what was wrong, I couldn't explain it. He asked if I had felt feelings of wanting to harm AB or myself. No. That wasn't the problem. What was it? I don't know. I'm just anxious and sad and depressed. And the idea that it was unmanageable on my own was already a hit to my pride. I should be happy. I have a happy baby! I should be able to handle things. I'm the strong one.
Everyday at 12:45 the cloud of "you suck" reappeared. Another blow to my ego. Another: you're failing!
One day, just as abruptly as it had entered my life, it left. I didn't even notice it until I was eating lunch one day, laughing instead of crying.
Baby Blues. Post Partum Depression. They are real things. You can't control them. Don't blame yourself. Know that it gets better. Know that it's ok to talk about it. Know that you're not alone. You're not weak, you're not crazy, and you'll get through this. Maybe not this minute. Maybe not tomorrow, but each day you move forward is another day further away. Know that you don't have to have all the answers. Know that it's ok to cry.
Know that you are enough.