Then and now
One of the reasons I really enjoy blogging, and one of the reasons I’m really glad I began Yestertiming almost four and a half (wha?) years ago is that this URL can remember things for me that I almost certainly would not recollect if left to my own devices. The overheard secrets Noah whispered to my Rosie-growing belly as I tucked him in at night, for example, or the evolution of a little sister’s attempt at saying her big brother’s name (My favorite was “Wah”) or the reaction of my two kids as they found out they’d soon be joined by a third. (To name a very select few.)
But also hidden between the lines of some of the posts of times past (and sometimes blatantly obvious) has been the undercurrent of my discontent, which in a strange way, is just as important to have recorded. Today I went back and looked at the posts leading up to Rosie’s birth, and noticed a lot of things right off the bat: 1. I way overdid the caps lock, yo. 2. I was still fairly unsure about having a girl. And 3. I was miserable and also probably depressed. More than probably: I was straight up struggling.
It had been going on for a good portion of my third trimester, and had showed up in a bit of my second as well and I remembered thinking at the time that I was just having a(nother) bad day. I probably just needed to stay in bed for this one Saturday (and the next and also the next) and cry and be mad about something—but what was it? I couldn’t seem to conjure a reason. I was fine, though. I was fine. Just tired. Or off. Or …
I think L knew what was going on, and broached the topic with me a few times, kindly (as is his way, always). But it’s a tricky subject to tackle with someone, even (especially?) with someone you love. For one, I felt incredibly defensive about it (which now makes me think, why in the world?) and secondly, I was pregnant and couldn’t see what was happening because of all the simultaneous physical changes that were going on. I’m not sure if my emotional derailment was because of chemicals gone haywire in my brain (perinatal depression—it’s a thing, kids!) or because I was unfulfilled by my job and stay-at-homeness and general lack of direction in life. Whatever the cause though, that was one of the lowest points of my life, those last months of Rosie’s pregnancy. And I feel sad about that sometimes, like I missed an opportunity for wonder and anticipation. Like she could feel my despondency and that meant I had failed her in some way.
But then she was born and POOF: sunshine and unicorns and feelings of looking up after months of staring at the ground were abundant. I felt so much better once she arrived, and the veil of fog was lifted for the first time in a long time. It was a relief, so much of a relief. Mostly because I didn’t know that there was something that was in need of relieving in the first place. (Besides my massive mound of a belly, of course.)
This pregnancy has not been like that. I do not feel a crushing sense of malaise, always over my shoulder, waiting to smother me back under the covers of my bed. I feel happy, content, ready to meet this baby, but not impatiently so. I think about introducing Rosie and Noah their little brother for the first time and can almost get weepy over it. (But in the normal, healthy, crying during Steel Magnolias way.) I love my job and I have great kids and also L who has always been there, steady and sure, and though my time is spent trying to fit hundreds of (dentist, soccer practice, yearbook money, new shoes, prenatal vitamin—don’t forget!) pieces together into a crazy jigsaw puzzle of an existence, I’m just so grateful for all of it. Even more so, I’m grateful to feel grateful.
This is a good life, y’all.