Dark Spots

I’ve been reading about breastfeeding and antidepressants. Apparently standard procedure is to have the mother start taking the meds and then just watch to see whether any side effects turn up in the baby. I find myself flinching away from any sentence that contains both “side effects” and “baby,” so it’s been an awkward education. A woman I know slightly online has just started talking about her feelings—her daughter is Joey’s age—and she’s having to come to terms with having postpartum depression and work on getting better. And I keep thinking, That poor woman. She has to do all of the hard things that anyone with a newborn would (comforting a baby when you want badly to sleep, blown-out diapers, the works) and she says that she feels no love for the child. It takes a particular kind of dedication to keep slogging under those circumstances, and I can’t wait until she’s well enough to enjoy her little girl.

Fortunately, I’m pretty sure that I don’t have PPD. Less fortunately, I think that my normal depression is creeping back. That may sound like a distinction without a difference, but I don’t think so; Joey is my poopy little ray of sunshine, and I’m delighted by him. Sure, it is hard to be running through elaborate back-patting and gentle-bounce-while-shushing routines at four in the morning, but I don’t feel anything but love for him even when I’m a bit desperate to con him into sleeping. I don’t see an endless and dreadful future stretching out in front of me. I’m just fried and too often sad. So now I get to figure out what happens next. Mr. Book thinks I should try an afternoon away by myself, since I haven’t had one of those, and I feel guilty for feeling interested. It’s not that I want to get away from Joey, I explain. I’d love to take him with me if we could just leave the diaper/burp/nurse/diaper routine behind. But of course that’s not possible yet, so now I’m wondering about possibly leaving the house alone for a couple of hours tomorrow while the Mister stays home with the baby.

So far, my best effort at cheering up has been making breakfast for the Mister; I bake at night so he can eat in the morning. Nothing healthy yet—pumpkin bread, oatmeal chocolate-chip coffee cake—but my offerings have gone over well, and I do enjoy the making of them. They are not fixing my brain, however.