After having Oldest, I realized pregnancy and labor & delivery had changed my body in many ways, but one change I neither counted on nor initially realized was that I developed post-partum depression (PPD). I was 32, happily married, the mother of a beautiful baby boy, and miserable. But I did what I often think I do best…I buffaloed my way through the dark days and survived. And for the most part things were moderately good and then got better.
Then I had a miscarriage. And the darkness that I attributed to losing that baby came and just never left. When Middlest arrived 13 months later, I had gained not only more stretch marks and grey hairs, but the ability to recognize just how dark my emotional place was. Within two weeks of her birth I was on Zoloft and I started to inch my way towards a brighter place.
Today is the grand birthday celebration of my Middlest. She is having three friends over for a “Cooking Party” where they will make the items for her birthday dinner and then spend lots of quality time being loud eight-year-olds. My part is to be the “hostess-with-the-mostest” and besides serving all manner of snacks and 100% juice beverages, I’ll be the instructor par excellence as we bring the menu from stovetop to table. Middlest picked all her favorite things (homemade macaroni and cheese, fruit salad, and molten lava cakes for dessert) and I’m pretty sure the whole gig will go swimmingly. Probably the only hitch to the whole get-along is me. On one hand, I’m really looking forward to making this event fun and giggle-filled for my daughter and her friends. And on the other hand I am cursing my ever having suggested this as an alternative to the very expensive version held at a nearby kids cooking class. And I curse myself because I know just how easily I can get overwhelmed and have no ability to enjoy any part of the experience. All because I become stressed out, overwhelmed, agitated, the list goes on.