Thank You.

I haven’t wanted to say anything about this partly because I’m worried I might jinx myself, partly because I don’t trust my emotions, and partly because Toby returned to work this week and I know things are going to be different now. I’m optimistic today but a little wary of every step I take on solid ground.

The truth is I have felt pretty damn good for several days now. I haven’t cried. I haven’t felt that grand old feeling of dread or emptiness. I haven’t felt frightened. I’ve felt OK. I’ve even had moments of pure joy. I went from mourning all the things that have changed, to thinking about all the awesome things I want to do with my family.

I have to be honest. The weeks directly following Emory’s birth held some of the saddest and scariest moments I’ve ever experienced. I realize those weeks were supposed to hold some of the best moments as well, and they did. I am completely joyous about becoming a mother. And Emory is an absolute miracle. But I still worried about my well being. There were times I wondered where I might be headed mentally. (Would things get worse? How could I possibly live this way and at the same time be responsible for a new life?) My anxiety reached dangerous levels. I worried myself sick. And I have never felt more alone in a room full of people. I never wished away the sunlight before. Dusk dragged on for too long and dawn came far too soon. And I preferred the cloudy days to all those with sunshine. I watched daylight slip by me from inside wanting nothing to do with any of it. And at some point during all of this, something occurred to me; I was experiencing actual depression. This was a different kind of depression from what I had experienced before. This was intolerable. This was scary.

I am not sure what to say as I look back on the last couple of weeks. I do know that I now have a lot more admiration for those dealing with depression every day. (I have a new found dislike toward the Tom Cruise Foundation as well.) I can’t imagine feeling the way I felt for any extended period of time especially without reason. Because a saving grace for me was knowing that the depression I experienced was chemical and temporary, I knew there was an end in sight. I went from being pregnant and pumped full of hormones to having that hormonal lifeline severed in minutes. Some women do pretty well with that cutoff. I am not one of those women.

Now that I feel a bit better, I really want to thank all of those who wrote to me both via email and on here. Your stories had me in tears. Sometimes you made me laugh. Sometimes you made me feel so sad. Especially reading through stories of those who faced “The Baby Blues” alone. The number of women out there who are too afraid to speak up – specifically to their spouses – is far too great. If I could turn back time and make things better for everyone, I most certainly would even if it meant having to live through the last three weeks all over again. No one should have to face that sort of sorrow alone. No one.

I’m hoping that today is the first day of an upward arc. I want to feel this way indefinitely. I think I deserve to feel this way. I want to focus on the amazing career that is motherhood. I want to focus on my son.

Here’s to today, tomorrow and next week. Here’s to more light, better weather, and letting go. Here’s to the women.


  1. YAY! This made me tear up a little. I’m so happy you are seeing light now…and I know that even if you hit some rough patches here and there (and well, that’s motherhood!) you will be okay. Better than okay!

    Great post to read, Michele.


  2. While it often made my heart ache I think it’s great that you shared what you were feeling here. I hope it has given some people a window into what that stage of life can be like. I completely identified with your description of ‘grieving’ for your old life. I felt exactly that way in the hospital & cried for my old life & then ended up crying for feeling guilty for grieving. Those first few weeks were such a blur, but you’ve captured it well. The films they show in childbirth or childcare classes don’t prepare you for the reality of transition from childless woman to parent. Maybe someone is reading your blog will be more prepared for that transition now or someone will find that she isn’t alone. (Even though it’s too soon to think about such things, I found that I didn’t feel nearly as sad or anxious after my second child so don’t let how you’ve been feeling influence your decision for a child in the future.)


  3. Michele, I think you nailed it when you said, “here’s to letting go”. It really is about letting go of the old and embracing the new. Know that you may stumble and that there is a lifetime of emotions good and bad ahead of you. My mother asked me if i was ready for complete vulnerability when I first got pregnant. I did not really understand what she meant until I had Grace. Now I look at that face and think, how did I ever live without you? How could I go on with out you? She is 2 and today I cried so hard leaving her to go to work. She started preschool and I was not there. I realize that I can not be there every waking moment nor can I control everything she experiences in life. Motherhood is the best thing and the hardest thing you could do and you are doing it. Congratulations Michele and here is to letting go.


  4. Knowing you were suffering was heartbreaking indeed. Seeing you climb out is fantastic. The worst for me, now and then, was thinking that I would always feel sad, or scared, or anxious. When I feel good, I say a mantra (to myself, i am crazy after all) to remember how good feels, it gets better, good, better, good, better. Ultimately, having a baby is generally a scary, dark tunnel kind of thing with bright flares once in a while. Eventually, it is more like a merry MerrygoRound which sometimes stops, but thats ok too.



  5. i’m SO glad to hear you’re doing better! smooches


  6. I couldn’t stand the thought of you feeling sad and alone, especially at night- I know that feeling and it’s just cruel and awful. I’m so glad you feel better and I’m glad you have been able to express your feelings, good and bad.

    Here’s to more of the good babe!


  7. life is a beautiful thing! there is nothing fair about it, but we make it the way we can best! you’ve made something that is so wonderful that i can’t even imagine how lucky you are. it’s the beginning of your entire life’s purpose. embrace that and smile since, every day, you get to watch your little boy grow along with you….it’s pure magic!

    love you!


  8. Here’s to feeling better! This post made me tear up. I’m so glad to hear that you’re feeling more like you. (The smile in the F U photo made me think that might be the case.) I hope things only continue to get brighter from here on out.


  9. Thank you, Michele, for being so open, forthright and honest about your experiences. It is appreciated more than you can know.


  10. Hang in there – it will get better. I am a long time lurker, but wanted to let you know all the feelings you are feeling sound very like me when I had my first child. I remember feeling like I was living in a dream – like on t.v. when they go back in time and the clouds appear around the picture. That’s what I (my life) felt like for a month or two. It’s hard learning a new baby – something I had never dealt with. It’s even harder to deal with all the baby stuff on NO sleep. It will get better. Once Emory smiles at you for the first time or calms dowm immediately when you pick him up – or sleeps through the night(Yaaa!) the clouds will immediately clear away. just like that.

    It’ll get easier and easier and I’m glad to read that you are starting to see the sun rays. :)



  11. My goodness, I love you people. I’ve been juggling things all day, trying to get some chores done, clean the house up a bit, etc. And I come back here and find these comments. You bring me warmth, all of you. Thank you again.

    I have another question if those of you can answer. We’re to go look at a house this weekend in Jersey. I was wondering, how soon is too soon to take a baby in the car? We’re hoping to avoid traffic in the Holland and I just got one of those “Baby on Board” signs for the car (i am a dork! But I hate the way these drivers drive. SO aggressive. I hope they are nicer with the sign. Right.) ANyway, I want to go but I am so worried about a possibly long drive. If there isn’t traffic, it will only take about 30 minutes. If there is it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours. :[ I hope there isn’t. This is another reason I want to leave NYC. It’s hard justifying a roadtrip most of the time.


  12. Hey Michele…a road trip now is the best time! Emory is small and likes to sleep, and likely doesn’t mind being confined. As long as one of you can feed him back there, he will be fine.
    Worst case: you have to pull over to change a diaper that is making him uncomfortable.

    It is later when they get a bit more squirmy that the longer trips are harder. BUT, every baby is different. My goddaughter does great in the car no matter what.

    You are looking at a house!!! Exciting!! I can’t wait to hear about it.


  13. Except for latent Catholic guilt(that whole not leaving the house until the baby is baptised thing) there’s no reason you can’t take the baby in a car, as far as I know. Just be prepared for anything, extra change of clothes, diapers, wipes, bottles. We were lucky and both of my kids slept as soon as the wheels started to turn. If possible at this stage try to drive when Emory usually sleeps. With my first born I sat in the back with him for about 6 months(damn those rear facing car seats. They are safe, but frustrating.) For our second-born we rigged up a system of mirrors that you can find in any big box baby store. My only other thought is that you may want to get him a head pillow too. When they sleep their heads flop around at this stage. I don’t think it’s too harmful when they are riding backwards(but I’m no doctor,) but you can get those U shaped pillows that can stabilize their neck so it doesn’t look so uncomfortable. Good luck!


  14. Hmm…I left a comment and it never appeared. Grr.

    Anyway! What I said was, this early on is the best time to go on road trips. Emory is little enough to still be sleeping a lot and not mind being confined. As long as one of you can feed him, he’ll be fine.

    Worst case scenario is you’d have to pull over so you can change a diaper that is making him uncomfortable.

    And yes, I second the head pillow suggestion. :D

    Also..YAY! You are looking at a house!!


  15. Sorry, Sarah. Sometimes Akismet gets overzealous. It does it to me too. Marks my comments as spam. I approved ‘em! Should be fine now.

    You know where I can get a headpillow? I have one built into our infant car seat but it might not be what you speak of. Hmmm


  16. Hey Michele, I had Grace in the car fairly early. Alizim is right about being in the back seat and a neck pillow which I think your car seat comes with. If you leave early enough you should be fine getting out of the city.


  17. Hi (I’m another lurker that hasn’t yet posted. This will be my first)

    I believe the pillow’s everyone is talking about are these:
    (this is a link for target, you can find them there or a number of other stores like wal-mart, kmart, ebay etc.)

    They are called head support pillows. They are similar to the ones that are already built into the car seat but I find that these work better because they are more sturdy and snug, and completely adjustable. Hope this helps!


  18. Thanks, Morgan. I think I’ll pick the one up from Eddie Bauer. Seems like a plan. And the reviews are glowing.


  19. That reminds me, I think I’ll add one to my registry right now ;)


  20. Don’t let a baby stop your life. They love being in a car . . or was it that I loved when mine was in the car – he fell right asleep. But, when he didn’t fall right asleep, he got to see all the trees out of the back window, see the clouds, hear me sing (poor guy!)- he got to start experiencing life outside of the house. Take him with you – he’ll love it!


  21. Thanks for that, Poppy. I’ll let y’all know how it goes come Sunday or Monday. :] I hope he likes the trip!


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