Today, I was supposed to be having a baby. Instead I’m having a couple BuSpar, picking the cherries from a half pint of spumoni, watching airplanes swope in to land past my window and retracing the events that brought me to this warm white apartment with shifting palm tree shadows.
I know what you’re thinking. What sort of person picks the cherries out of spumoni? Nobody wants picked over spumoni. Only a bad person does that. I know, and I guess I’ll just have to eat this whole thing. You might also be wondering, didn’t I say I was doing better now, just a little more than a month ago? Didn’t I say I wasn’t taking, and had a ingrained aversion to, medications?
Turns out that frantic feeling I described was the emotion version of that ominous clicking as you climb the first big incline of a rollercoaster. And that brief feeling of weightless was the calm before the plunge into the loopdeloops of crushing depression, panic attacks and imobilizing anxiety. I was no longer anything resembling OK. I could go on at great length to describe just how really not ok I was, but I don’t think either of us would enjoy that.
Finding out last December that I was going to have a baby was a huge adjustment. I knew what sort of mama I wanted to be, and I knew that would take a complete overhaul of my life, schedule, ambitions, body, and priorities. But it was such a joyful adjustment. It gave me a sense of purpose like nothing before.
Finding out last Febuary that I was not going to have my baby was all the whiplash, minus the joy. Turns out it was more than my body could handle.
At times I’d try to comfort myself with facts that are certainly and quantifiably true. I love this warm little apartment madly. I have such a wonderful life here, one I’m more suited to than the suburban duplex inland I’d be sharing with Brady right now. Being nine months pregnant in August would no doubt be a very uncomfortable experience. Sitting here typing away on my feathery soft bed is nirvena compared to the natural labor I was planing, I’m sure. I still have my cute little figure, and time to date and drink and dance. Time to achieve my goals of New York City and a bit more in savings. Anyone who knows me knows that if given the chance to plan the time and situation into which I bring my children, this would not have been it. A few have kindly let me know that if I want to express relief, they’ll understand. I nod, I understand the question, I don’t resent the question at all. In fact I love them for it. But ….
I don’t feel relief, at all. I’d take bloated discomfort with a hard drinking republican boyfriend in suburbia anyday, if it meant I’d have my little girl. And I think that’s what motherhood is really about. I had a taste of the overwhelming love that makes motherhood so magical, and that can’t be taken away. And that is also why I wouldn’t take back this whole experience, not one bit, even considering how it turned out.
I’d made all these little milestones when I’d first been given my due date. We’d hear her heartbeat by Valentines Day. She’d hear our Irish drinking songs by St. Patricks Day, etc. And in a similar manner, I said after the miscarriage that if I didn’t feel like myself by today, that I’d seek help. A book I read on miscarriage said to give it six months, and I remember thinking, good God, I have to suffer for six months before I should call a doctor, Can’t I just call one right now and say I don’t know how but I know this is going to be hard on me? Perhaps I really should have done just that.
Today, in the swirl of emotions, one one looming large is pride. I’m proud of myself. I did something that is difficult for anyone suffering from mental disease, and that is to recognize it. I did something that is very very difficult for me, to admit I couldn’t heal myself this time.
I called a sexy-accented psychiatrist and made an appointment. I brushed my hair in case he was as cute as his voice. (He is.) I rushed on the stairs to his office, my heel caught, and he opened his door to find me bruised and bleeding from the knees.
“Are you ok?” he asked.
And in the most obvious statement I’ve probably ever made, I said, on the verge of tears, “I need a hand.”
He did his job, asked lots of uncomfortable but caring questions, prescribed a medication and some therapy, which seem to be doing their jobs, and I know that my job is to allow them the time and cooperation to do just that.
And so that is where today, August 16th, finds me. Thinking of my little girl with more love and gratitude than pain. Safe in the arms of friends and modern medicine and both Angels and Airwaves albums on shuffle and this very warm little apartment.