I don’t suffer from depression. At least, I am 99% sure that I do not, but this pregnancy has been hard. And it’s tempting to just wait it out (it will be over in four months!), without complaining (so much) on here about how I feel. Nobody likes a whiner, after all, and it seems to take the self-indulgence of blogging that final unforgivable step further.
But just in case anyone else feels as embarrassed and frustrated as I do about days and weeks of wanting to do nothing, of feeling like part of me is holding her breath under water, just waiting, waiting for this to be over — this THIS that I was so excited for — well, I was never excited for the pregnancy except as a means to get the baby, but you know — I wanted to be pregnant, so it seems so awful to hate it so much, but I do. I hate feeling like my body is not my own, I hate worrying so constantly that something isn’t right, won’t be right with the person who is in my body but soon won’t be.
A dear friend sent an email today about my worrying-Tom-was-dead post, telling me kindly to stop worrying. I know she’s right, I know everything will be fine (or won’t be, but worrying won’t help anything), but I think that’s part of the problem with depression (or pregnancy-worry, whatever it is that I have) — you know things are better than they seem, you know life is better than it seems, that life is acutely fabulous and the sun is shining and your early spring garden is growing despite the temperamental hail, and yet you don’t feel that. You don’t feel as good as you know you should.
Feeling cloudy inside when it is sunny outside and part of you, the part that’s not underwater, is trying to coax the rest of you out to soak up that sun is exhausting.
I don’t know what to do, except go for a walk and let the kids sleep in Tom’s side of the bed when he’s gone and eat Marshmallow Mateys for dinner and damn the high fructose corn syrup. Or is it the artificial color #5? I forget. (Or the grating bites of marshmallow that melt sugar on the tongue but cringe the teeth?)
Spring is here. I’m ready for Easter now (before it was too cold and dead and snowy), I’m ready for school to be out and evenings to be long. I’m ready to have all my chicks about me as we wait for baby Scout. Susan told me yesterday that Sally can have baby Scout in her room for now, but when the baby is three she should move in to Susan and Spot’s place across the hall.
I just realized that the changing of the seasons in Bright Star was almost as spectacular and intrinsic to the plot as the music. Keats isn’t my favorite poet (I don’t read as much poetry as I should to even talk of “favorites”), but from his Ode on a Grecian Urn:
Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear’d,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone
I am not a poet or musician or artist, but I have heard the song unsung, and when it is silent, muted or dim, nothing seems profitable. The kids may amuse, friends may entertain, Tom may say, unrehearsed, that he will miss me, which sounds an obvious thing but is a real, worth-mentioning thing when one has been in the habit of marriage for almost twelve years, and still, I want nothing more than sleep, though every time I wake reminds me I cannot simply stay in sleep.
My rhubarb plant merely existed last year. I planted her (if you have seen a rhubarb’s first nubile sprouts in spring you know she is a she) late in the summer and mourned her stagnant unexploding complacency. But this year, while the spring is yet locked in battle with unrelenting winter, she is bursting, before it is warm enough, before I expected or worried or coaxed or pleaded, she is there, all ruby red at crinkled heart and verdant leaf at stem.
It is disconcerting to have a winter of the mind as nature yawns and groans and my belly ripens and readies this fruit I crave. I remember (from The Outsiders, I think) Frost’s poem Nothing Gold Can Stay:
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leafs a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
In my front yard I have daffodils and hyacinth and tulips almost unfurled I sowed last fall. I also have some green stuff I nearly yanked this week, but Chrysanthemum thought it might be ground cover hardily growing from the last owner two summers ago. I called my across-the-street neighbor with the emerald lawn over for a consult and she agreed: it’s not quite hen and chicks, but it certainly isn’t a weed. A few days later I remembered the columbine I transplanted from another neighbor’s offering in July. Columbine that would have withered and dried before the mallow and thistle beached on the sidewalk next to it hit the trash.
I forgot, and then remembered, just in time to leave it be, to anticipate the delicate pastel blooms. There’s no sign of them at all, no bud, no hint, no taller, centered stems. Just green, and a knowing that last year there were flowers. This year there probably will be too.