30 June 2008

Baby blues

"Baby blues" sounds cute, like a nursery paint color or professional garb for babies. It's a really bad name for what it designates: the precipice overlooking postpartum depression and OCD, where a terrified new mother sways unsteadily in the updraft, choking on its stink, hypnotized by the horrific visions below.

Cursed be the ancient serpent who strikes the weaker vessel at her weakest, with her body and mind so recently and brutally torn by childbirth. When she has never felt needier, she is overwhelmed by her baby's relentless need for her, and this is when he skewers her brain on his venomous fangs. Lord Jesus, have mercy on us when you call us to labors beyond our strength.

6 comments:

Jane said...

This is one of those things that I don't think anyone can understand until she's experienced it. You can think, "Oh that must be awful." But the reality is far worse.

Reb. Mary said...

Amen.

And may I add, this is worsened by the cavalier descriptions in certain books that speak of "baby blues" as a common phenomenon that should be a thing of the past by 6 wks postpartum. In my humble and humbling experience, it's about then that the real desperation begins to make itself known. The first six weeks, I ride some frightening waves of adrenaline and roller coaster hormones, but haven't yet felt the full impact. So it's just when everyone thinks I should be feeling better that I'm starting to peer over that precipice.

Rebekah said...

Exactly. You get set up to feel "Aw shucks, down in the dumps!" Instead you're afraid to be alone in the room with your own thoughts; scared to tell anyone about them and scared not to tell.

Good point on timing, too. Although it's usually worst for me in the first three weeks (and it's been less horrible with each progressive baby), I know a lot of people have it come on widely varying degrees of later.

Jane said...

With my third child it came on when he was a couple of weeks old and lasted for several months. It was compounded by the fact that we were living in a new area--hundreds of miles from home--and knew no one and my hubby was traveling over half of the time. I can only thank God that we made it through. There is a three month time that I don't even remember now beyond what I wrote in a journal at the time.

Rebekah said...

Jane, wow. I hate it that you're never in the clear--rotten stuff can come up any time and with any baby. :(

Gauntlets said...

I think all the cuteness of the baby blues sticks until the Baby gets Weaned. It's amazing how many clouds lift and how much easier each day is when a child is finally Out.