For a lot of reasons I have been thinking about when my daughter was a baby lately. Not that she still isn't a baby, but I mean a Baby baby. Brand new. My husband and I had tried for so long to have her and we had a lot of weird things happening at the same time. We were just raw bundles of nerves and strain at the end.
Now that my daughter is headed towards two years old, I think I can finally process what happened to our family during that time. I have forgiven myself for being so mean to my husband about my MIL. I have forgiven him for being so damn clueless about it. And for not being around for the first two months because of a work explosion. I can accept now that everyone was just doing the best that they could in a really tough spot.
Looking back I was drowning. And I recognize that I was about six inches from being swallowed up by some depression. I think I was just so beat up--from the miscarriage and the fear that defined that whole pregnancy afterwards, from my delivery, from sleep deprivation, from having a stranger (who I love now but really didn't even KNOW then) living in my house, from having that MOTHER switch flipped in my brain and I couldn't stop not even when I needed to. I was drowning.
And I remember the exact time that I stopped drowning.
It was a Saturday and the baby was sleeping and I was resting and J took his mother out to do something. I sent them out. They needed to get out. And ten minutes after they left I started freaking out. I just felt so adrift and alone and I called my mom. Who heard me crying and leaped in the car. I hadn't eaten in days at that point--probably close to three weeks of not eating much of anything I don't know how my milk supply stayed up--and my mother flew up the freeway. And made roast chicken. And let me cry. Didn't call me crazy which I could just FEEL J thinking. Such a small thing really, I know she would do every day if I needed her to. But that was the worst I ever felt and she pulled me back from whatever bad bad place I was headed.
And I have never been back.
Now when people I know have babies I worry about them. I try to ask soft questions about how they are doing. I wonder if I should just automatically roast a chicken and bring potatoes and let the broth sink into their bones the way it did for me all those months ago.