Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Past and Future Travels

I've been looking for inspiration to write a post, lately, and was ready to just do a, "Look! Abby's Still Cute!" post (in case you're wondering: she is) but came across something tonight that rekindled an idea for something I've wanted to write about since January.  I wanted to write about what it was like, after giving birth.  How so many things, physically, mentally, and emotionally, were unexpected and unexpectedly hard.  And how it seems like no one talks about it.  Or, if they talk do talk about it, it just doesn't sink in to the expecting-parent brain, because it's clouded with gleeful anticipation for the coming bundle of joy.

That's not the post I want to write today, not entirely.  I have a laundry list of weirdo things that I experienced postpartum, and today I just want to touch the tip of the iceberg of one of them.  

Before I gave birth, I thought that I was probably predisposed to Postpartum Depression (PPD). I've never been Depressed (with a capital "D"), but have had bouts of melancholy and a little bit of a family history.  I wasn't too worried about it, though, because I knew I would be willing to get help.  Also, there's a difference between knowing intellectually that you might get Depressed after giving birth, and another actually going through it.  Having said that, I still don't think I had PPD, just a serious, lingering case of the "Baby Blues."

I'll write another time about how I cried at EVERY. THING.  One day, a brochure for Viking Cruises came in the mail (We get these all the time.  I don't know why.)  As Abby slept, I sat in the living room, flipping through the pages that described fanciful cruises through exotic European ports, and started sobbing.  We loved to travel.  What had we given up by having this baby?  We would never get to go on one of these cruises; never see these beautiful places.  I felt a tremendous sense of loss for our old life.

Tonight, I went into our craft room to find some thread, and I stumbled upon my travel journal.

Artsy picture taken at Cafe Cubano in San Francisco with a tasty cafecito on the side.
This is a blank book my friend Liz gave me for Christmas from a market in Budapest when we visited her grandma there in December 2000.  Since I had just finished six-weeks student-teaching in London and spending weekends traveling through Europe, I decided to use the journal to keep track of where I had traveled and wanted to travel.  

I still use it to make plans for our trips, listing attractions and restaurants I'd like to visit, then going back and making notes about what we thought about them.  I also include super-helpful things like this highly-accurate map of England and Scotland:

When I came across it tonight, I flipped through it and stopped at the last filled in page from our trip to Germany.

And it's funny, because Nuremburg wasn't even the last place we went.  Like so many things, time caught up with me and I never finished planning the trip. The rest of it just...happened, I guess.  No more notes.

And that's the last big trip we took.  Our Baby Moon to Amish Country didn't even rate a page heading.

And that made me a little misty-eyed.  Remembering that trip, and thinking, as I had when I perused the Viking Cruise Brochure, that it would be a long time before we'd have a trip like that, again.

Then, I glanced up, and on the desk I saw this box of holiday cards, with a bold message on the front:

The best is yet to be.  It is here now and it keeps coming.  For all the challenges, sacrifices and exhaustion, I am generally happier than I've been in a long time.  And, while Kevin and I might never be the same "Us" we were before, I'd like to think that we still have the "Best Us" ahead of us.

PS. Here is proof that Abby is still cute:

1 comment:

  1. I had the same thing after Maddie. Not PPD, but definite baby blues. I had wanted her SO much, had waited SO long, and I felt horribly guilty for feeling so sad about getting what I wanted, especially when so many others were still trying. It was a hard time, but you're right, the best IS yet to come, and I've definitely had some of the happiest times of my life since I had kids.


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