Having a new pup is so easy compared to taking care of a baby. I feel no worries about it and Indigo just makes me laugh. In comparison with the emotional and moral challenges to raising another person, an animal is simple. Even when he chews the shoelace off my moccasin and pees on the rug. His ears are like pure velvet flaps.
I'm sitting here at the computer with a cup of tea catching up on blogging, e-mails and texts. One friend just came back from Paris, another is owed a postcard from Lucy (who enjoys a snail mail correspondence with her Weimaraner just for fun) and my journal has been blank for weeks. So much has happened this past month.
It seems hard now to relate to the feelings I was overwhelmed with with the post-partum depression, and for that I am thankful. For the longest time my days always had a bit of sobbing in them and the dark feeling arose so fast and engulfed me without control. I wondered that mothers had more children after their first. Now that the hormones are being treated I feel so much more balanced and wake up with a feeling that I can do the day, even enjoy it. Motherhood hit me hard. The first four months were like an tsunami, completely drenching and inundating myself, drawing it out into mama bear and clarifying and requesting so much of me. I wouldn't change it but it was really hard for me and if I do have another child someday, something not on my radar right now, I will need to prepare in a very different way for that time. It was so new and although I was really clear about how I did some things (I am 35 and had lots of time to figure out some philosophical aspects), the experience is often different than the idea, as in most things.
Through a series of unusual and linked circumstances, we found ourselves the owners of Indigo (previous name George), a sweetheart 16-week old german rottie pup, a couple of days ago. We've been on the lookout for Third Dog for some time. This is the way things happen for us ~ when it flows, it's meant to be! He's like a Cookie Monster and the world is his cookie. I stocked up on chewy things this afternoon and we are well set on falling in love with this little pupster.
I finally put up a polaroid wall. And every one of these images reminds me of some person or experience I have to be thankful for. When Tim and I walk by we both just smile as we remember camping trips, road trips, special meals and days and evenings. Cedar can't get enough of looking and looking at them and I can't wait for him to get old enough to use his own polaroid camera one day like Adie. I'm also in the process of matting and framing a few special old photos of my grandparents and a great one of my mom (on a hillside in Big Sur in the 70's) to hang in the house.
Do you have any special photos you keep out? Which ones have you chosen and what stories do they remind you of?
Good times were had by all. The balloons + static electricity were a huge hit. The chalkboard wall took a proper beating. The birthday blueberry pie was delicious and everyone headed home at a reasonable time and the kitchen was restored to order and the house was filled with the quiet hum of a good evening's repast.
Red-letter day today! Cedar rolled from his back to his front to his back again. Repeatedly! We can't help but think he shows massive glimmerings of cleverness, nay, genius, in one so young...
Thank you for your awesome comments on yesterday's post. It's tough stuff and encouraging to know I'm not alone. (How do we persist in thinking so when there are so many people in the world?) Sometimes it feels like everyone else is doing it better, you know? Like there's some secret I'm a little behind in knowing.
I keep hearing There's no easy answer.
And that seems to be true. It's even a little of a relief, because maybe I'm not missing anything at all. Maybe it's just...like this sometimes. And times'll change and things'll become easier and definitely the thing to do is to see the small steps, the small positive changes and to continue on as well as possible and to do the best we can.
I wish Cedar would sleep more than a 30-minute nap at a time, and more than his traditional 3-hour stints at night. I'm ready to sleep more. Sleep deprivation does nasty things to the mind. So does insomnia. Nights are awful still most of the time. And he has no clue how hard that is for me ~ he just keeps being a sweet little soft baby in his own little world. He wakes up with a smile after the most-awake of nights.
Tim watched him all night two nights ago, and I slept in the guest room. He came and got me to nurse once. I slept well, even reading a bit before turning out the light, and awoke refreshed for the first time in months. We've tried this once or twice before but my insomnia kept me tossing and full of adrenaline. I feel 'on' all the time, on high alert. But I felt so happy yesterday, carefree even, and laughed at so much all afternoon.
I've also been getting help with severe post-partum depression which with my history of depression didn't really surprise me. What surprised me was not really feeling 'depressed.' Just moody, changeable, and like the world was black-and-white instead of color. A lackluster interest in things that usually did me good. Having really 'off' days. And feeling like I am doing something wrong. Like if I had it figured out right I would be on top of things; that I could've prevented these issues. It felt somewhat like an admission of failure to get help, as silly as that sounds. It still feels like day-to-day survival, better in many ways than it was in the beginning, but still survival.
I want to enjoy this time, not just endure it.
So I wrote that and sat on it for a few days not sure if I wanted to share it, since it's kind of raw and rough. But it's part of the mercurial thoughts of motherhood ~ my type of motherhood, these days.
And then Tim watched Cedar all afternoon yesterday and I put on an old favorite movie and cleaned and dusted and tidied and re-arranged and hung things to my deepest heart's content. Which I've been out of touch with lately. For some reason my mothering still feels tense to me, on edge, so very present and almost without roots, or perhaps so deeply rooted I don't have an objective view on it.
And he watched Cedar all night ~ and Cedar slept 8 hours without waking. And I slept 9 total, just waking up once towards morning light to nurse. And I went to the movies this afternoon while Tim watched him again. I sat in the theater by myself and plugged my ears with my fingers (I forgot my earplugs) and watched the latest Bond flick. I went into the photobooth five times. (It's been a while). And I drove home missing my babe so much and scooped him up the moment I got home and kissed his little round warm apple cheek with a huge smile.
That's the two sides to the coin of this life nowadays.
We finally went to Ringing Rocks state park this week. If you take a hammer with you, many of the rocks have dents in them from the thousands of people who have 'rung' them with hammers over the years, and the whitest dents ring the most ~ like deep bells.