Bunny is 3 days old. It’s our first night home. We are in pure bliss. The post-labor high hasn’t quite worn off yet. We give her a bath. We take the cutest pictures ever. I can’t stop smiling.
Bunny falls asleep and we order pizza.
I’ve been waiting for pizza for 4 months. It was off limits because of the gestational diabetes. I’ve been wanting this pizza more than anything.
Ok – almost anything.
I have a slice.
Something doesn’t feel right. I feel hot. I run to the bathroom. I bend over the toilet – gagging.
It’s nothing. It’s my hormones acting up. This is supposed to happen around three days postpartum. It’s my body not being used to the junk food. It’s me being tired.
Bunny is 4 days old. My milk has come in. The high has worn off. Happiness abounds, but the lack of sleep is starting to reach crisis point.
I make spaghetti.
A few bites in and I can’t stomach it. By the end of dinner I’m once again gagging.
Maybe it’s just too heavy for me.
Bunny is 5 days old.
Sushi. I waited 10 months for sushi.
Gag. Sputter. Gag.
When I was a teenager, my parents used to joke that they knew when I was anxious, because they would hear me cough.
That’s where I used to feel my panic attacks – in my throat. They used to start in my throat.
But not any more. That hasn’t happened for years and years. These days they’re supposed to start with my eyes. With my ears ringing. With a weird buzzing around my head.
Bunny is 6 days old.
I have started a very low dose of a an anti-anxiety med that is safe for breastfeeding. But it’s skittles compared to xan.ax. Does it do the job? Not really. But it helps. It took headphones on at full blast, bunny in another room, and complete darkness – but I slept for two hours.
Chicken meatballs and rice.
Without thinking – I grab a skittle pill.
Right. This is what this is. My body has decided. This is how I panic now. Again. It’s back in my throat.
The skittle helps and I finish dinner.
New Years Eve. Bunny is 3 months old. We have been to a good friend’s house. Eaten good food, drank good Lambrusco, had an amazing time. Bunny is asleep at her grandparents’ and we are walking distance from our beds.
Shmerson reflects on where we were last year. Announcing my pregnancy to the same people we just celebrated with. Two years ago – pregnant with Nadav, taking it easy. Three years ago – on a break from trying – at a restaurant with friends. Four years ago – planning our wedding – no idea what was to come.
Today. Look at us today.
I realize that there is a baby waiting for us – five minutes away.
A baby. She’s ours. She’s mine.
I have to stop and catch my breath.
Gag. Retch. Gag.
People walking next to us are starting to stare.
Gag. Gag. Retch.
I lean on a tree. Bend over.
I try to breath deep. I start rummaging through my purse, crying.
Here it is.
I build up the spit in my mouth between gags. Pop the pill and swallow.