Thursday, January 3, 2008

CHANNELING LARRY DAVID

I love L.D. as much as the next person but I’m not proud of the self-imposed comparison. It happened the other day when I ran into some friends and their two sons. We greeted each other warmly and shared how we spent our holidays. The mom turned to her boys and asked, “Who wants to share the family news?” I know, I should have seen it coming but I was clueless. Looking back on it, the thought of them having another baby never even crossed my mind. How could I be so stupid? What does this have to do with Larry David? Well, I could have faked my way out of it, smiled, offered my congratulations and left it at that. Nope, not me. I could picture the look on my face. It was reflected in their quizzical expressions. Because as I was smiling and congratulating all of them, I was actually thinking, “What?! Why?!” And even worse, the next words out of my mouth were, “Was it planned?” Maybe being in my mid-40’s had something to do with my jaded perspective. Maybe growing up the inconsequential middle child was the explanation. Maybe it was my bout with post-partum depression.

I just know I've woken up nights in a cold sweat after dreaming I was pregnant again. I’ve thrown ice cubes on numerous heated romantic opportunities because birth control was not available. I have nothing against people who want or have three plus children; I'm just not one of them. Regrettably, I think this was obvious to my friends. I felt bad. I did. But if I tried to explain myself, I would have made it worse.

I knew from the terrifying moment I brought my first born home that I wasn’t like other moms. People asked, “Don’t you adore her?” I’ve always been one to speak my mind (Hello? Did you read the above paragraph?) And as much as I wanted to say, “Oh yes, she’s an angel. I love her to death,” the best I could muster was, “I’m sure I’ll love her in time.” The mother/infant bond is described as blissful, purposeful, and life changing. One out of three ain’t bad. I went from heaven on earth hanging with my new husband and decorating our first home, to Dante’s Inferno with burning bosoms and a flaming crotch. Not only did this baby steal my sleep, my humor, and my intelligence, it repeatedly sucked the last ounces of sanity from my blistering boobs. As bad as this was, it was a Tahitian vacation compared to the birth of my son. Six long weeks, 42 continuous days, 1008 solid hours of screaming – his and mine. He developed colic as soon as he woke from his labor stupor. I developed insomnia and an absentee husband. After weeks of sleepwalking through life and driving through stop signs, my pediatrician diagnosed me with post-partum depression. I weaned cold turkey to start the medication. The 24 hours of startling pain I endured from the ace-bandage straitjacket choking my mammaries was worth my return to Oz. My son stopped screaming as soon as he started formula. I reacquainted with R.E.M.

I tell you this to convince you that I am no Larry David. I hope my friend knows I am genuinely happy for her and her family.

Just don’t ask me to baby sit.

2 Comments:

Rose said...

I think that whole insta-bond is a cock to get first-timers to procreate... or an aftereffect of labor drugs.
Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Dawn said...

I was head over heels for my first child when he was born, but once he stopped sleeping through the night when he was around 7 months, I would have traded him to the Gypsies if they had offered me a fair trade.

I did suffer severe ppd after both births, but went undiagnosed the first time through because I thought what I was feeling was normal, the result of being home alone for the first time ever in my adult life.

I just found your blog and am enjoying it so far. Good for you for joining in the fun.

Cheers.

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