Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Postpartum Regression

This might only be funny to parents. But since I'm a parent and I think it's funny, this is what you're getting from me today.

After Nate was born, every time I went to the doctor's office for him or for myself, I had to fill out a survey for postpartum depression. I always thought it was stupid, because I wasn't depressed. But now, looking back, I think I totally had a mild case of the post-baby blues. It's hard to differentiate exhaustion from depression... or hunger or frustration or happiness or any emotion other than exhaustion. But when I started to feel normal, I remember thinking, "Oh... this feels good. I like this better."

My friend was over last night and we were talking about what a joke these surveys are for someone who doesn't already know they're depressed or is about to go on a rampage. This is how I would mentally respond to the questions asked in the survey and this is why I didn't think I was depressed:

Do you still enjoy the things you used to enjoy?
I used to enjoy things like going to the movies with my husband and having a flat stomach and sleeping in till 9am and reading a book for hours and drinking alcohol or caffeine and taking a shower when I wanted to and skydiving and having a clean house. Do I not enjoy these things because I'm depressed? NO... I have a BABY! What new mom gets to enjoy things she used to enjoy? What new mom gets to DO things she used to enjoy? I actually never went skydiving. But I WOULD have enjoyed it and I can't now.

Do you find yourself unable to sleep at night?
This is a joke, right? Unable to sleep? HECK, YES I find myself unable to sleep! I have a newborn! Did you not consider that every single mom who takes this survey will be unable to sleep at night... due to the fact that it is a POSTPARTUM survey? What does this have to do with depression? This sounds more like a survey to ensure you have a baby in your house.

Do you find yourself feeling down for no apparent reason?
Nope. My child won't nurse, my boobs hurt, my stomach looks like a deflated, stretched out balloon and I haven't slept in weeks. No apparent reason? I have excellent reasons for feeling down. Must not be depressed if I have reasons for feeling like I do.

Do you get tired for no reason?
Dear survey writers, this is getting repetitive. Have you ever had children? I have one very small, loud and hungry reason for being tired.

Are you more irritable than you used to be?
Go flush your head in a toilet.

I guess that's a yes.