Postpartum Depression Isn’t Just For Moms (In Fact, I Can Already Feel It Coming On)

October 6, 2014

So, I had kind of a revelation this weekend.

Cheri is 28 weeks pregnant. And my revelation is that we are, like, less than three months away from having a baby.

28 weeks

I know, kind a dumb revelation.

But the thing is that we are finally in kind of a sweet spot. Cheri’s miserable first trimester is a distant memory, and despite her discomforts, she’s actually enjoying herself. She says she can see why some women enjoy and anticipate pregnancy.

She also said she can see how women get postpartum depression. Because after the better part of a year of anticipating and having this little thing doing bicycle kicks inside you, it’s a shock to have reality hit.

I actually knew all-too-well what she meant.

I know I’m not supposed to. Postpartum is supposed to be a woman’s thing. But I am actually enjoying my wife’s pregnancy too. I’m going to miss “Big Cheri.”

For me, the anticipation of something new is always great. Whether it’s my first child or a new job or a new book that I’m writing, I love the anticipation. My mind builds up the excitement and the expectations. It idealizes and romanticizes.

But that’s a problem, because anticipation doesn’t get to last forever. And when it ends, reality sets in. I have had some of my most depressing episodes immediately after some big ambition is fulfilled. I know, that’s weird. But anticipation has a way of screwing up our enjoyment of the real thing.

I think a lot of us must have that feeling, that let down, whether it’s real, clinical postpartum depression, or we just got a new job or moved to a new city or we just finished a great big project. It’s that feeling of empty, that dread that maybe there is nothing left to do, nothing left to look forward to. It’s that feeling of being drained of all of the exciting brain chemicals that have been steadily dripping for months on end.

But the postpartum is always a lie.

There is always more to do.

Always more to look forward to.

Always a new horizon.

Because soon, this horizon that we just reached will be old news.

And our adventurous, primal human brains will tell us to go on another hunt.

2 responses to Postpartum Depression Isn’t Just For Moms (In Fact, I Can Already Feel It Coming On)

  1. One line from Henri Nouwen resonated in the midst of post-partum angst — “Don’t turn your blessings into curses.”

  2. I feel your pain, Matt. I get the dark cloud after a big event like Christmas or a birthday. Kinda stinks, but you’re not alone.

    Becoming a dad suits you. Hang in there. You’ll be a great one.
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