underground

There are things I haven’t talked about—I haven’t wanted to think about them. But it’s gotten to the point where that’s not workable anymore. Joey and Kit have had a lot of things in common; I guess they were/are both what you’d call high-needs babies, although it’s mostly just seemed like the way babies are, since that’s what we’re used to. But now we’re going through with Kit what we did with Joey—he will not sleep without me, and he’ll freak out if he wakes up without me, so he’s fighting sleep as hard as he can all of the time so that I can’t sneak out. But this time, I can’t just give in and stay with him. For one thing, he refuses to be worn; Joey could just nap in a front pack while I made dinner (or what have you). We also had a laptop, so that I could work in bed with the sleeping baby Joey—our laptop is now kaput. And we have a toddler now, and he needs a lot of attention and company, too. But maybe most problematic, I have postpartum depression.

I feel pretty guilty about the PPD. I’m still doing right by the kids—and let me tell you, it is just the weirdest thing to have to tell myself “smile at him” and then make it happen instead of just having that happen naturally—but I’m just not doing okay myself. A couple of days ago, I admitted it to my family, and we’re trying to change some things to help me get better. But if you are one of the many lovely people to whom I am not writing letters, or writing letters that I can’t manage to send, or not putting together an email for . . . well, this doesn’t excuse that, exactly, but you are not alone. I am in the tall grass.

Recently, Kit is spending hours in the evenings just screaming. He’s got an impressive set of lungs—they remarked on it at the hospital. We hold him and he just screams and screams, and then finally he wears himself out and falls asleep. We’ve tried an awful lot of things to help him, and nothing seems to really make any difference. I just want to get away from him at those times, which probably is making a difference, and not in a positive way. He’s started to be upset about more and more things, and it can be hard to predict what will set him off: he used to love baths, but today he flipped out when I put him in the water (tepid, and checked and rechecked several times); sometimes he loves a pacifier (I broke down and got him a pacifier!), and sometimes he hates it so much; he can love bouncing/being held over a shoulder/“walking” around until abruptly it is the worst thing, and he doesn’t slowly get upset but instead immediately is enraged and screaming. I need a better word than screaming, or at least a couple of others to throw in every so often, but it’s just screaming—screaming and screaming and screaming.

So that’s the word. I’m quiet, and I’m not really doing okay, but hopefully things will get better at some point. I’ll try to write again, about something else.