Monday, May 19, 2008

On Surving Two Week Baby Blues

"Femininity is an ocean; even if one has both a life jacket and a preserver, the risk of drowning is overwhelming." --Peter Hoeg from The Quiet Girl


Who is she? and where did she go? Although she anticipated this rush of hormones after she finally birthed her little girl, nothing can prepare a body for the upheaval. She noticed how her thoughts roamed around her body, like a caged beast unable to find a way out. She noticed the air outside heated up to 110 degrees, her mother left, and they reared their ugly head.


The night was long and she had been up early and now was weary. Now, she sinks down into the furniture, heavy as two weeks ago. All four of hers slumber. She brushes off the day's demons with the crumbs on the couch then inspects them and cries quickly before the youngest starts to stir. Then she must strip and feed.


Love makes us equal. That is why, I think, a woman MUST be loved even in all her masks--the gentle, the funny, the beautiful, and the evil. She must be loved to bring her back to a level plane where people and things survive through it all. By being loved she will survive. By loving, she survives.

12 comments:

Dana said...

I just want to give you one of these ((HUG)) and tell you how I understand your words.

Dana

Crystalyn said...

you have described what i could only feel but not find words for. "her thoughts roamed around her body, like a caged beast unable to find a way out." it seems it is a rush of all or nothing with most feelings of womanhood. and yes, the risk of drowning is overwhelming. i'm throwing out another preserver for you. big hugs. wish i could come on over and take three for you. hang in there.

michelle said...

Oh, Jordan. I understand these feelings all too well. And I only have three -- and they're spaced far apart! That quote is just so perfect. The risk of drowning is overwhelming. Sometimes drowning in joy. Other times... just drowning.

I hope your hormones straighten themselves out soon! No woman should have to deal with hormones in addition to 110 degrees and her mother leaving!

amy m said...

Your words are touching as I know all too well what that feels like. I realize it was something I decided I couldn't take on again...often I feel guilty about that decision. Jordan I so admire your strength and courage.

I would agree I think it is the love of those around us that buoy us up and give us the strength to continue. Like Crystalyn, I wish I could come take your 3 littles from you and give you the break you need.

Elizabeth said...

I hope the hormones find their way out of you quickly!

Jeni said...

I hate it when "the party's over." Family and visitors are gone and reality sets in: me and baby. I only have one, but I understand how you feel. Those hormones are hard to deal with. Hopefully you'll all fall into your new routine really soon: just in time to move and start another routine (in a different time zone:) Love you, Jord!

Melissa said...

I'm still struggling with it at times, almost seventeen months later. I read you words and I wonder how you do it -- one child can be overwhelming to me, with a husband who is home at 4:30 every night and never has to travel for work. You are amazing. You are a goddess. You are a mom. I hope this phase passes quickly.

Carol said...

I LOVE YOU JORDAN!!!

Carol said...

...and I will pray that you will be comforted during this wonderful and exausting time.

S. Schuller said...

So well put. You have a true gift for writing and mothering. Your little ones will one day "rise up and call you blessed."

Rachel said...

jordan,

avery is delicious. i am already envious of the tiny baby . . . not the hormones that go along with it, but at the sheer tininess. my phoebe is 3 months old today and she's delightful, delicious, and delovely, but she's not so tiny anymore.

i've had huge issues with post-partum (enough to make me think that having 4 would definitely cause me to be institutionalized) and the thing that has helped the most, i think, is to have a project that is all my own --- not baby-related or kid-related. even though i didn't have time to do anything with that project for the first couple months, i would think about it while nursing in the middle of the night, or while doing something mundane . . . and it made me feel like i had a room of my own. just my two cents. find something that is only yours.

Emily S. said...

Congratulations! I haven't been keeping up so I didn't know she'd been born. She's lovely! Wishing you the best from the Spencers!