Saturday, August 2, 2008

:: :: his and hers :: ::

I’ve always hated that phrase, “We’re pregnant.” I’m sorry but we are not pregnant. We may be expecting a child, that one I’ll concede. But pregnant? No. Girl is pregnant. Boy is not. End of story.

So it’s strange for me to say this, but it feels true that we have postpartum depression. I don’t mean that Brian is depressed or that he’s having anxiety attacks. But my postpartum depression does not exist in a vacuum. It affects Brian and is affected by him.

When one of us (me) is crying in the afternoon and calls the other (Brian) at work, we’re both affected.

When one of us (me) feels like all she wants to do on a Saturday afternoon is go sit outside alone, the other person (Brian) is therefore left to change diapers, make snacks, run errands, and get Evan ready to go to the pool.

Furthermore, when one of us (me) feels like all she wants to do on a Saturday afternoon is go sit outside alone, said person (still me) can’t help but think about what that means for the other person (Brian). Sure, my job right now is to recover, but recovering and shirking can feel awfully synonymous. I feel like I’m not pulling my own weight and that’s a horrible way to feel. (So do I need to say that I didn’t go sit outside all afternoon? But I did get out to run my own errands, and I stopped for a latte on my way home. It’s a compromise.)

It goes the other way, too. When one of us (Brian) is concerned about the other person (me) and wants to express that concern, sometimes that other person (me) gets very upset and cries and then the first person (Brian) feels really, really guilty. And, I imagine, frustrated.

At least I can talk to Brian about the ways in which PPD is affecting me. Who can Brian talk to? He can’t very well say, “Man, you are stressing me out right now” or even “I need a break” or “I feel like I’m doing more than I can handle.” That’s got to be pretty hard.

I know we’ve got matching eye circles.