08 February 2010

Bird brained

. . . he constrained her to gaze into his eyes, and he laid a spell of utter darkness and forgetfulness upon her . . . .

Pam, with twice as many babies as I'm dealing with and two postpartum weeks behind me, has her mom mojo back already. Melrose is making jokes about her not un-near death experience. I, ever the maternal underachiever, have spent the last four weeks barely keeping my nostrils above the quivering meniscus of postpartum woe.

Babies, man. They get me down. Down, though, is really a side effect. The real trouble is that babies make me crazy. Some combination of hormonal catastrophe, life upheaval, sleep deprivation, and pain make my brain just plain not work. I cannot make choices of any kind, such as what I want off a Chinese carryout menu or what to do with my 7-yr-old's hair every morning. I cannot answer questions, as the poor man who stopped by here looking for a misplaced pair of gloves can attest (really, glove guy, I haven't always been an idiot). And the rest, as you may unfortunately know, is considerably uglier.

I remember hearing once that the reason birds are "bird-brained" is that so much of a bird's brain is devoted to flight. I don't know if that's the real deal vis-à-vis birds, but the principle surely applies to me. I am always baby-brained. The newer the baby, the less brain I have to put toward anything else, to the point of extremely impaired functioning in any other capacity. And the addle-brained, weepy new mom is another one of those things that isn't cute and jokey even though people talk like it is. A compromised brain in a compromised body becomes very bad not just at deciding between Lo Mein and General Tsao, but also at discerning reality from fear and lies when time oozes by shapeless and lonely and dark, and the road ahead appears extraordinarily, mercilessly long and treacherous. Forsake me not utterly.

The baby is not starving. The children are happy. The sun will shine again. No one shall pluck us out of His hand. And if I get my brain back, so much the better.

16 comments:

Dakotapam said...

See, now the only thing that keeps me halfway sane while pregnant is the constant thanking God for not making me an elephant. Perhaps the sheer pleasure of no longer being pregnant helps me get through!

If it makes you feel better, I had to skip church yesterday. I was beyond exhausted as both babies decided to be awake and crying during the night...sometimes separately, sometimes together. It had me in tears. My first quality sleep of the "night" was 7 am to 9:30... thankfully my pastor grants me temporary shut in status during this period:)

Jody S. said...

I don't know that this will make you feel better at all, but I've read before that your brain actually shrinks a bit during pregnancy. Maybe it takes those extra weeks after birth to get back in shape like everything else in your body. I know my brain takes a bit to get back to normal--for better or worse;)

Kelly said...

I understand completely. I am finally starting to feel like myself again 18 months after the fact. I hope it passes quickly for you this time.

Marie said...

Pregnancy and Postpartum: Take up your cross and follow Him! Praying for you in your low-moments (or months) that you have strength to mother those children and be the best wife you can be. Hang in there, as you leave a legacy to the future!

Liz said...

I'm praying for you!

Melrose said...

Cod liver oil and Liquid Chlorophyll are my secrets to sanity in these years of baby induced insanity. I'm not kidding, if I miss a day I'm as unbalanced as a 13 yr old girl.

And dont let the joking fool you...when I wrote that post I had been rereading the post before it and realized how desperate I sounded. So for the sake of not coming across as a looney weepy Pastor's wife, I attempted humor. But looney I remain ;)

Reb. Mary said...

Dakotapam, I was in awe of that post of yours too. Mom mojo, indeed! I totally heart your attitude. Keep up the great work; you're good for the rest of us :)

Melrose, don't be afraid of coming across as looney--if you are, you're in good company ;) And please post any homeopathic secrets to sanity as you see fit. Your ingested remedies sound like they're lower fat (though perhaps less tasty) than mine :P

On the bird brain thing: I'm crazy pregnant, crazy postpartum, and crazy wondering when I'm going to be pregnant again. I've been waiting for so many years now for my right mind to return that I've realized it's much better just to redefine my terms. Crazy is normal; crazy is the new sane. All better! Bwa ha haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Melrose said...

Reb. Mary, I had to laugh out loud about the "crazy wondering when I'll be pregnant again". After each birth I have IMMEDIATELY thought, "wow, I WILL NEVER EVER do THAT again!" So how is it that by 8 months pp I am praying for my next little one?!

This time was different in one way. After the birth when I was taken to the ER the nurse took one look at the damage and proclaimed that I would never have kids again. I began sobbing and begging God to let her be wrong. Thanks be to God the damage was not as severe as she thought and God willing, we hope for more.

Insanity is fun. Let's all wear Smurf Blue sweat pants, eat a box of donuts and wash it down with Liquid Chlorophyll and call it a day :D

Here is the link for the liquid chlorophyll I take...it's mint flavored and you only take a teaspoon a day with a drink. My 20 month old thinks its a candy drink :)

http://www.amazon.com/Liquid-Chlorophyll-Mint-16-fl-oz/dp/B000PICSXE

And the cod liver oil capsules:
http://www.drugstore.com/products/prod.asp?pid=223747&catid=152721&aid=337953&aparam=nordic_naturals_arctic_c&CAWELAID=394300481

The Mama said...

Melrose- if I ever see you suggest a chlorophyll and donut combination again I'll cry. Don't make this poor pregnant mom hate one of her few treats!



;)

johnqmercy said...

May peace and joy be yours. They will, soon.

Rebekah said...

Thank you, kind people. Repeating note to self: this too shall pass.

Melrose said...

lol, ill be sure to send you a bottle with a box Mama ;) hehehe

Gauntlets said...

I hate crazy. I like you.

Katy said...

What, pray tell, are the benefits of chlorophyll?

[We all mix lemon-flavored cod liver oil in our yogurt (yum)]

MooreMama said...

My Wonderful Husband and the OB office staff had a fantastic laugh at my expense on Tuesday. Apparently, out of the last 11 or 12 appointments, I've been reletively close to on time for exactly two. And even with those two, I thought they were at totally different times and they were able to correct me when I called to confirm. Tuesday, I was 2 1/2 hours early.

Has anyone done a scientific study about babies stealing their Mama's brains to use as their own? I'm quite sure that Callie is the smartest person in our house at the moment...

Please remind me that it gets better. Someday.

(and ps Haha, the word verification is "shreik")

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