Reprieve

It turns out my love language is someone else letting me sleep. Between the trazadone prescription and my husband taking the overnight shift with the baby more often than not the dark mire I was in has mostly lifted. I mean obviously I’m still me and that’s a depressive. And it turns out I can’t do sleep deprivation and postpartum hormone stuff at the same time. I probably can’t do sleep deprivation ever, whatever my hormonal situation.

Not some big deal. Just normal difficult life transition stuff and I floundered. It was a flounder I think a lot of people in my life weren’t surprised by.

I don’t know, I think life with a female body is brutal. Even without the gender role stuff, just the normal biological stages of life are so unbelievably painful and dangerous. I’m always so shocked by it! Periods have shocked me, pregnancy shocked the shit out of me, birth was crazy, even without breastfeeding the postpartum changes have been so so hard.

How on earth do other women breastfeed? Like, how do people go without a full night’s sleep for so long? Even when the baby was breastfeeding he wasn’t ripping my nipple up or anything like I’ve heard from other people.

I think that’s my main impression from this year. I got so lucky with this pregnancy- I didn’t struggle with infertility, it was a healthy pregnancy, it was an EASY first birth. There’s all these horror stories from other people’s lives I didn’t have to experience- kids in the nicu for months, bed rest, preeclampsia, shredded nipples. But my ass has still been KICKED, all year. My easy, healthy pregnancy and labor and baby have kicked my ASS.

I think at 39 I finally have to accept I’m not so tough. Things really get to me. When I think about what I was trying to juggle in 2019 and 2020- detrans stuff, the agency counseling job, family stuff, a new family’s stuff, then the pandemic, and oh my gosh dog stuff.

The agency counseling job kicked my ass. Kicked my heart’s ass. The way they set up the work was pretty isolating, and you’re witnessing absolutely brutal family stuff, and there’s ethical quandaries every other week. I’m so sick of ethical quandaries. I think that’s a big part of why I can’t do detrans stuff anymore. I’m just totally burnt on being unsure what the right thing is, or knowing what the right thing is and not being able to get anyone else on board, or knowing what the right thing is and then finding out maybe I didn’t know.

I want so badly for this little boy to be someone who wants to be good and wise and helpful and brave, but also I really want him to experience the world in a lighter way than I do. I want the right thing to be both easier for him to identify and do and then I want him to feel like it was effective. And I just want him to enjoy more, not seek out struggle so much.

Bottom line he’ll be who he is. Moms get assigned a magical amount of responsibility for the creation of personality. And actually now he’s awake and it’s time to give him the knee bouncing and bath time and baby carrier naps he likes. I know I said otherwise last week but this is a very lucky time.

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