In the back of my mind I spend a lot of time trying to figure out to how avoid any post-partum blues come this February. After Sadie, I had some dark moments where I was swimming in despair unable to get over the disappointment and trauma of having a C-section, as well as the lack of sleep and the loss of control over every single goddamned thing in my life. And that was in sunny and beautiful August. I am trying to picture myself with a second C-section scar lounging around looking for my Narco come February, which is the dead-ass of winter in Chicago, when the sun shines for about 13 minutes a week. How is it possible that I will not have any dark thoughts or despair. As anyone who has endured the enormous post-partum hormonal shifts knows, the darkness has nothing to do with how much I love and adore and want my children. The despair is like a shadow that runs tandem to all the love and joy and exploration of the new relationships forming in my family.
But, man, February. Who the hell isn't depressed in February? Sure, I love Groundhog day as much as any full-blooded American lady, but February is sort of icy and dismal. I am having trouble picturing me putting my two kids in Gortex snowsuits, strapping them into some double stroller contraption and strolling through the gray and frozen streets. Is that type of thing even approved by the Surgeon General? And, exercise really helps me smooth out some of the edgier aspects of my personality so being laid up for a minimum of 6 weeks after major abdominal surgery really gets in the way of a good cardio session.
So, I am looking for physically less demanding ways to keep the mood aloft during the first few months of Meatball's life. The one thing I believe absolutely about my own parenting is that my children deserve a happy mother and it's not their job to make me happy.
So here's my latest survival plan for February 2011:
1. Get lots of sleep. How hard will it be with an 18 month old and a newborn?
2. Eat right. There's so many fresh fruits and vegetables around in the upper Mid-West during February. Summer squash and watermelon salad? No problem.
3. Juicy couture. Yes. I have been making fun of Juicy velour sweatsuits since the first time I laid eyes on them many years ago. I have yet to take a flight without seeing at least 4 women decked out in Juicy sweatsuits ready for some serious lounging on that very taxing 2-hour flight to Dallas. Maybe I should stop scorning and invest in a nice, soft, butt-enhancing sweat suit in a nice bright color. I can be the velour Sue Sylvester during my convalescence.
All kidding aside, I did stumble upon a great idea for bumping up my endorphins during the precarious post-partum weeks. Lady Gaga. She's going to be in concert on February 28, 2011 in Chicago. That's about 3-4 weeks after Meatball goes live. I have seized on this idea as a great way to (1) get out of the house, (2) enjoy a moment of popular culture, (3) something to look forward to that will remind me of the well-rounded woman that I am, and (4) put me into the stream of younger culture, balancing out weeks of sleep-deprivation, breast pumps and my Juicy couture.
I can't decide if this is a brilliant idea born of my hearty human spirit or a disasterous idea for someone who is post-partum to go to the United Center for a spectacle of this magnitude. I think I better sleep on it before I pony up the money for a concert ticket. And, excuse me, when did concert tickets go up to 5,000.00 per seat? Good lord, how do teenagers afford to go to concerts? You have to selll an egg or an ovary to afford them these days. I guess that's because the last big show I went to was Sting in 1999.
Post-partum depression or no, I gotta get out more.