Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bring A Tissue

Lydia will be 8 months old come this Sunday. I am not only astonished by the differences in both the girl's personalities, but I'm also astonished by the way I've been able to handle the first 8 months of each girl completely differently.

When Kyra was born, I was already depressed. I read or saw somewhere once that some women start having symptoms of postpartum depression before they've ever had the baby. When I saw that report I knew they must have been talking about me. Before I ever gave birth to Kyra, I didn't want her.

Now let me make this a little more clear.

Its not that I didn't WANT her. Its just that *I* didn't want her, I wanted someone else to raise her. I wanted someone else to do it as I looked over their shoulder and cried over what a better job they were as a mother. I was afraid of screwing Kyra up. Of completely messing up her life. Frazzling her brain so that she had some warped sense of being and didn't grow up proud of herself and her accomplishments.

Throw that fear in with some wickedly out of sorts hormones and I had a near deadly combination of CRAZY WOMAN IN THE ROOM! going on inside my head.

It was when Krya was 7 months my (now) best friend Joelle came into my life. This chic, who I had somehow been invited to her Pampered Chef party just weeks before, no joke, just started showing up at my house. Unannounced. For absolutely no reason what-so-ever. And it fucked with my head like none other.

Before Joelle, I had this notion that as a stay at home wife I was required to have a June Cleaver existence. The house was to be clean at ALL TIMES just in case the Pope stopped by to say hi. I was to be the PERFECT HOSTESS and always try to remain happy and smiling when others were around. I was to be a ROBOT and perform all these tasks with such an apparent sense of ease that one would think this is how I lived- EVERY FUCKING DAY OF MY LIFE.

Clearly that was a crock of shit and should have been everyone's first clue that I needed to be sent to the loony bin.

Then Joelle showed up. In her white Chevy Tahoe. Unannounced. At the most random times. And there I was, unshowered for days, wearing a spit up covered shirt that was fresh from the laundry just a few hours earlier. Baby toys strewn across the floor. Mail opened and thoughtlessly tossed on the recliner.

I used to HATE it when people showed up unannounced. Now? Come on over! Our mess is your mess!

When she'd come over I'd be lying on the couch imagining how I would "accidentally" die while crossing the street as a run away car came randomly speeding through. Or how the next time I was in our vehicle, riding along in the passenger seat (because, by 7 months, it was still a rare time I'd leave the house alone) and some random car would t-bone us in the middle of the intersection, and I would DIE- though not instantly. I would live just long enough to tell Jer that I loved him and to marry a good woman, one who could take better care of Kyra then I ever could. Or I would stare out of our floor to ceiling windows, vividly picturing throwing myself through the window, blood pooling on the front walk, neighbors coming to help as I lay there, crying, begging them to finish me off. These were the thoughts Joelle would interrupt when she would just RANDOMLY SHOW UP AT MY FUCKING DOOR WHEN I AND MY HOUSE WAS A COMPLETE MESS!

Once again, I'm telling you, I was fucked. up. in the head.

At this point I had been to see a therapist who, instead of trying to cure me was trying to cure my marriage with what I imagine "couples counseling" to be. (Let it be known that there was nothing wrong with my marriage except for ME and my LACK OF SANITY.) I had been on one antidepressant that sent me on such a high I'd snap right back into my June Cleaver act and when it wore off I was back to lying the blood soaked gutter. I didn't know where to turn. The one doctor I connected with was shipped to Afghanistan and when both the psychologist and psychiatrist proved to be less then stellar, I was convinced I was incurable.

And then there was Joelle, WHO SHOWED UP RANDOMLY AND WITHOUT WARNING and would like to know if she and her baby could look at my four walls versus her own or would I like to accompany her to the mall just to walk around and see what we could find on the clearance racks? Because of her I started getting off the couch to take regular showers. Because of her, I was distracted from my own inner demons. And because of her, I, somehow, managed to slowly start coming out of my own head and back into reality. I started to be a normal human being again and less like some crazy woman.

All of this happened during Kyra's 1st year of life. It was probably, without a doubt, the hardest year I've ever lived through. And because of that, I have immense guilt.

Kyra was the EASIEST BABY EV.ER. I will forever shout that from the roof tops. KYRA WAS THE EASIEST BABY EVVVVVVV.ERRRRRR! and there I was, a big ole ball of mess holding the world's most perfect baby. Trying desperately not to bond with her, yet still filled with tremendous love for her.

Lydia, as we all know, was NOT the easiest baby ever. She was the CRANKIEST BABY EV.ER. The worlds most disgruntled child for the first 4 months of her life. The fifth month she humored Jer any myself by smiling and laughing at the jig she had us dancing to make it through each day. The sixth month she started to have more good days then bad. This seventh month, less then a handful of times have we had to deal with her crazy, will nothing make the crying end? meltdowns.

And through all of that, I never had a single ounce of postpartum creep into my brain and try to steel away my sanity.

The worlds most happy baby, I'm all PSYCHOTIC.
The baby that never shuts the fuck up, I'm all COOL HANDS LUKE.

I don't get it. I don't understand what God's plan is, or was, for me. Krya was robbed of most of her 1st year while Lydia demands that I, under no circumstance, forget that she is here.

The one thing I do know is that it was Joelle who saved me from myself. She claims she never knew there was ever anything wrong with me, that she was just tired of looking at her own four walls all day with her own sweet and perfectly happy baby and thought looking at my walls or dragging me out of the house would be much more entertaining.

I've never properly thanked her for saving me. I think about it a lot lately. I don't know what went so wrong with Kyra and why things have gone so right with Lydia, but I know I can ponder such things because of Joelle.

So, here it goes,

Thank you, Joelle. From the bottom of my heart, Thank You, for being my friend. Because of you, I not only get to enjoy my own two children but now I get to have the joy of being the Godmother to your sweet baby Jacob come this October. God knew what He was doing when He sent you to me. I'm not sure what He was thinking before that, but He was on the ball when you frequently SHOWED UP AT MY HOUSE COMPLETELY UNANNOUNCED! You saved me and for that, I will forever owe you a piece my heart. I would offer you my mind, but, uh, you see where that has taken me.

Love You Always, Friend


  1. you so should of had a warning for new moms not to read yet! balling my eyes out. I am so happy God sent you Joelle. I pray everything continues to go well. It also makes me thankful to have my friends and family.

  2. You mean, you're not crazy anymore? I'm kidding... that was a touching post, you're lucky to have a friend who can save you from madness without even trying.

    I think I'll start showing up unannounced at all of my friends' know, just in case. I'm sure they'll thank me one day!

  3. i have tears running down my face! i can't believe that i had no idea at the time ... tho i'm glad my messy, impolite, random, oblivious self could drag you back into sanity!! so, so glad!!!

    i have, in turn, learned tons from you about parenting (kind of ironic, huh?). you're one of the best parents i know!

    i can't WAIT to see you in October!!!!!!!!