Friday, August 22, 2008

They Don't Make a Pill for This

When I was expecting Sydney, I signed up to get the weekly BabyCenter updates that first outlined the baby's growth in utero and then moved on to infant, toddler and preschool issues. I found them helpful at first, but since I updated my information to reflect that I've now got three kids in varying stages of development, I get several newsletters each week and much of it is quite repetitive and/or useless, like this "Do You Have Postpartum Depression?" quiz. Don't get me wrong, I'm not making light of postpartum depression because I know that it is real and affects many women, but the questions that BabyCenter posed regarding the issue brought out my inner smarta**.

• have trouble sleeping? Yes, of course I have trouble sleeping. Someone wakes me up every three hours to eat.
• feel exhausted most of the time? Duh. Trouble sleeping = exhausted most of the time
• have less of an appetite? Um, not a loss of appetite, just no time to eat.
• worry about little things that never used to bother you? Like how to get yellow poop out of a white onesie? Then, yeah.
• wonder whether you'll ever have time to yourself again? Does a five minute shower count as "time to yourself"?
• think your children would be better off without you? Most days, no, but some days I think I could leave a bowl of food on the floor and they'd be just fine seeing as they have no problem eating food that has fallen (or been thrown) on the floor.
• worry your partner will get tired of you feeling this way? Yes, but he gets to go to work so he gets a break from hearing about it.
• snap at your partner and children frequently? Yes, but what's new about that?
• think other moms are better mothers than you are? Of course! What mother doesn't think that? It's practically part of the curriculum: Mother's Guilt 101.
• cry over small things? Yes, but I've been known to cry for practically no reason at all anyway (like every time I hear the national anthem during the Olympics).
• no longer enjoy the things you used to enjoy? It's been so long since I've had a block of time to myself, I don't remember what I enjoy.
• isolate yourself from your friends and neighbors? Well, we just moved so I don't have any friends here and I don't really know my neighbors.
• fear leaving the house or being alone? Are you kidding? I find the tiniest excuses to leave the house and time alone is priceless.
• have anxiety attacks? Does repeating, "Is it ever going to be quiet around here?" over and over again to the point of hyperventilation count?
• have unexplained anger? See the "trouble sleeping", "exhaustion" and "snap at your family" answers above.
• have difficulty concentrating? Can YOU concentrate when you're trying to simultaneously breastfeed a baby, eat your breakfast, fend off a demanding toddler who wants to "share" your breakfast and spell "Happy Birthday" out loud three times in a row so that your preschooler can make a card for her friend? Didn't think so.
• think something is wrong with you? No. I think there's something wrong with YOU for asking dumb questions.
• feel like you'll always feel this way and never get better? Yes, but finding joy in the little things despite all the bad things is what parenthood and life are all about.

Supposedly, if you answer "yes" to three or more questions, you should consult your physician regarding postpartum depression.

What do you think? Should I give my OB a call or do you think he'll just tell me that they don't make a pill that cures sarcasm?

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