I have taken too long a break from my writing. I have not worked on my novel since Riley died. I have not posted here in weeks. I have wallowed in this depressive funk and made no real efforts to get better.

I didn’t realize just how bad it had become until CJ thanked me for performing a mundane chore before his parents arrived for Q’s birthday.  It had unknowingly gotten to a point where my husband felt the need to thank me for doing my job as a wife and mother. It’s hard to come to terms with that.

Progress, by definition, requires effort. I have been allowing CJ to put forth all the effort while putting forth none of my own. I have taken solace in my obsessions and compulsions. I apologize to my family for this.

It has become clear that my “coping mechanisms” were grossly inadequate. Writing however, seems to be the one outlet that has never failed me, yet I have failed it. Why do we avoid things that can help make us well? Why not dive headfirst into the things that can make us happy?

So, here’s the schedule. Mondays will be for updates. Thursdays will be for reviews. Surprise posts are always an option and are free from restriction. Editing will occur at least three times per week, for however long I can dedicate to it. I hope that giving myself these deadlines will help. I am a queen of procrastination, but I like a good due date. I will read more. I will continue therapy. I will do my job. I will strive to be able to return the extraordinary care I have received. You can count on it.

This afternoon I went out to put fresh flowers on Riley’s grave. Sometimes I feel like it’s been so much longer than two months since the baby passed. Sometimes it feels like only yesterday.

I apologize for my absence as of late. There was an intense family issue going on that had to be dealt with. Not here in our house, but it affected us nonetheless. Besides dealing with this issue, a lot of things have been asked of me lately that I’m not sure I’m up to the task of. I mean, how do you save someone from drowning when you don’t know how to swim? How can you give them breath when you’ve forgotten how to breathe?

I feel like some see the smile on my face and think, “Oh, look. She’s all better.” Well, I can tell you: this is not the case. Sometimes there’s a smile on my face because I know my children are watching and they have seen me cry enough. Sometimes there’s a smile on my face because I know you’re struggling too and I don’t want you to ever think I feel your struggle is less than mine. Sometimes there’s a smile on my face simply because I know it’s expected and I don’t like feeling as if I’ve let anyone down.

Let me take a moment to be frank. I am not okay. I don’t think I will ever be okay. But I will survive. I will make sure my living children have full and wonderful lives. But sometimes, I will need some space. Sometimes I will need more help than I have ever asked for. Sometimes I will need you to offer it to me, because despite how much I may need it, I am too embarrassed to ask for it myself. Sometimes, I will need you to ask for less. There are too many missing pieces of myself lately. I am sorry, but I have nothing left to give at the moment.

I have to take each day one at a time. Some days are easy. We laugh. We have fun. I feel like myself. Other days are rough. I am teary. I am depressed. I stumble upon pictures my girlfriend has taken for the first birthday of another child named Riley and weep because my Riley will never have a first birthday.

Just be here for me. Let me take a turn to lean on you. I have not abandoned you; please don’t abandon me. We can all find a way through.

Postpartum Depression?

Seven days ago, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and I am one proud mama!

After MJ’s birth, I did not really suffer from Postpartum Depression. I was definitely more emotional than normal (crying at commercial, etc.) by I did not have any severe feelings. After this birth, I have an irrational fear that I cannot keep both my babies; that I will have to choose between them. I think this stems from the fact that every day since we have brought Q home, I have had to watch MJ grow more independent. He will go in his toy room alone and entertain himself without asking for someone to come in and keep him company. If I am feeding his sister before bedtime, MJ will sit alone on the sofa instead of snuggling in my lap like was our routine.

I know I should be happy, but these things make me so nervous that he thinks he has been replaced and that mommy does not love him anymore – hence the fear of being able to only keep one of them.

I do not know any other moms who have suffered through any type of Postpartum Depression or the like. Any advice that could be given, would be greatly appreciated.