I carried a watermelon.

Me and this blog have been having a bit of a stand-off lately.   (And by lately, I mean for going on about eleven months now.)    It has a lot to do with the postpartum depression I haven’t really talked about, and the crippling, silencing shame I felt while lost in that abyss, but the way it’s manifested is totally weird and making me feel a little schizo.

When I became pregnant and lost my job all in the same month, this place WAS my distraction.   I posted daily.   Sometimes it was about my strange penchant for early Michael Bay movies.   (What?  I said EARLY.  Armageddon is really good. )   Sometimes it was a game-changing culinary innovation.   Sometimes, it was THIS.   But as my belly swelled, more and more often, it was a place to rage against, and sort out, and celebrate, what was happening to my body, and in turn, to my life.   By the time Delilah was born, I realized that what I’d been writing for all those months was, for all intents and purposes, a Pregnancy Blog.   {I mean…THEBUMP.COM said so.  It must be true.}   Every day, more people would come.  To read about my cankles.  And as a writer in an industry where finding an audience, let alone connecting with one, is few and far between, I loved it.

But then the baby in my belly became the baby in my arms, and those cankles returned to non-freakish proportions, and my postpartum hormones came crashing down around me, and all I had left were fleeting thoughts, and 3am drafts, and never enough words.    I had expected to find solace chronicling the early days of Delilah’s life just as I had chronicling the time when she was listening to my heart beat anxiously from the inside.   But instead, I came up wordless.  Staring at my blank screen made me feel crazy, and angry, and useless.   And the more the depression and denial took hold, the less words I was able to find.

My experience of postpartum depression had very little to do with Delilah.  (That threw us off the trail at first, although in retrospect, I was always looking to pass her off when she wasn’t nursing…which seemed like it was always.)  Mentally, it was pretty much all about me.   How I’d failed.   How I’d continue to fail.   How I’d ruin all our lives with my inevitable failing.   Over and over I tried to shake the thoughts that overpowered all other thoughts:

1) You suck. At life.  Royally.

2) THIS IS NOT HOW I WANTED IT TO BE.

That second one was a doozie.  {That first one was no cake walk either.}

I felt robbed.   Constantly robbed.   I’d see other Moms out and about with their little ones, and I’d feel certain that they had everything I didn’t.   They were confident.   They were together.   Their kids had shoes on.  They smiled like they meant it.  They had time for manicures.  Showered.  Wore mascara.  Surely they were much happier than I was.   I imagined their lives, clean houses, cooked dinners, a routine, a rhythm…and I wished and I wished and I wished to BE them, anything to escape that deep burning self loathing and noxious stink of putrid failure that was so potent some days it made me want to puke.

And now that I’ve clawed my way out, there are so many many words I want to share with you that I don’t even know where to start.    I want to finish my birth story.  I want to talk about the year that almost passed me by, and how I managed get up and get moving before shooting many aspects of my life in the proverbial foot for good.   I want to tell you guys about Delilah’s crazy love of music.  I want to scream from the mountaintops about how after ten years on the outside, Scott went back to school.   But then I think about all of those things, and all those words, and I start to get that tight feeling in the center of my chest.   That too much time has passed.   That I’ll tell it wrong and someone will be offended.    That I’ll be thought ungrateful.  That I’ll post it and then wish I hadn’t.  That I’m a total and complete asshole for even thinking that anybody but me cares enough that I should be panicked about it in the first place (the most rational thought I seem to be able to manage in those moments.)

I let my vulnerable emotional state, my fear of making my Mom cry (sorry Mom, I’m feeling better now, don’t be sad…) and my sick need to please the entire universe at once turn my once-safe-place into a looming, monstrous ogre that hangs over my head and makes my stomach turn flips at the very thought of hitting publish.  I’ve let this blog become a reason to beat myself up.   And c’mon, that’s just plain crazy.

So I’m writing this post.   I’m not even really that sure why.   I guess partially because I’m ready to talk about what kind of nasty tricks my mind played on me this year.    And partially because I *think* I’m ready to take my blog back and share all of the funny, and weird, and cool and hopefully heart warming things I used to so enjoy sharing with you, Internet.

And also, I’d like to say thank you.    Y’know…for probably not being as judgmental as that voice inside my head.

*  *  *

…and now a segue.

Did you hear that Jennifer Grey is going to be on Dancing With The Stars? {Obviously you did, it starts in like, three hours.}

I’m a pretty serious SYTYCD fan, so you might think that I’m also a DWTS junkie, but you’d be mistaken.   I’ve never actually watched the show.   But then I saw this post from Bossy about Jennifer Grey’s drastic nose job, and what the hell else might be up with her face (Bossy thinks it’s the eyes, but I’m going with fat injections in the upper lip…) and that got me to googling the girl who made me want to change my name to Shauna and to learning about how DWTS saved her neck…literally.   And then I got to thinking.   Is this fair?   I mean, we’re talking about Frances “Baby” Houseman here.

She can do this:

Which, is really, REALLY hard.   Trust me.   Scott and I have tried.

I kind of found it suspicious when they let Kristi Yamaguchi compete a few years ago, and also Marissa Jaret Winokur, because…Tracy Turnblad, but c’mon.   Jennifer Grey can DANCE.   We know this.   It seems like the likes of Bristol Palin and The Situation don’t really stand a chance against her, am I right?   I mean…the likes of Bristol Palin and The Situation probably don’t stand a chance period, like, in life, but still.

But, still.  Total best cast of Dancing With the Stars ever.   I’m in.  My tivo is set.   And my husband is grumpy about it.   Boo-yah.

Update:

She was amazeballs.  I bawled through the entire fucking thing:

Feed Me Seymour

59 Responses to I carried a watermelon.

  1. emma says:

    i love you for being you, dear friend.
    you’re always in my heart :)

  2. Krystal says:

    I love you. I know these feelings you wrote about so well. Can I have this year back please? On the other hand I am determined to make the rest of her life (and mine) better. Stop beating myself up, RELAX and enjoy! I hope you have found peace and help. I love you (again) xo

  3. Melisa says:

    I just made the discovery that I actually suffered from PPD. My son is 19 months old and I’m now pregnant with baby #2. I look forward to your story because I am terrified about what #2 will bring when they finally arrive.

  4. TheNextMartha says:

    Thank you for sharing just a small part of the journey you have been on. Know that you are loved and hugged from many miles away. <3

  5. Iva says:

    oh my darling morgan. I loved you before and now I love you even more. thank you for your honesty, your sharing and your amazing talent with words.

    you are never alone in anything, and if we lived closer I would have gladly provided you with another first hand look at another mommy without time for so many other things as well.

    most importantly I want to say you are the furthest from sucking at life! I am so happy you are feeling better now and I can’t wait to hear/read about all the beauty surround you now! Congratulations to Scott as well!! 10 years?! wow!!

    xoxoxox.Much love to you and yours and big hugs to Dee!!

  6. Lauren says:

    I often read your blog and never thought I would comment.
    This post made me cry. Really really cry. I remember those feelings and this may be the first time anyone has ever said the things I have felt.

    After my babe was born I felt exactly the same way. I was a nanny for years and yet I felt like everyone was so much better with S than I was.

    I thought I might have PPD. I read lots and lots and lots about it. Read even more blogs that talked about it. Everyone else seemed so much deeper in PPD than I did that I figured I was just having a hard adjustment.

    Thanks for posting. It was amazing to read and get that someone out there felt PPD the same way I did.

  7. I understand. & I love you for it all.

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  9. Amazing post. I didn’t discover blogging until many of you were already e-famous, but this is by far, hands down, my favorite post yet. It’s like we just met.

    Welcome back.

  10. law momma says:

    You are wonderful. And “I carried a watermelon” is probably the best quote from that movie EVER… except maybe when sister sings….

    I think you are brave and amazing. Lotsa love!

  11. Audra says:

    Wow – I feel like you were writing my story as well! Those feelings of failure. They still come back to haunt me occasionally. The hardest was when my second was born (I have 2 under 2) and I started realizing ALL that I missed with my first while in that pit. Failure. Nope – now it’s time to listen to the truth! We are good moms. People DO care about our struggles and our healing!

    Thank you for being brave and posting this.

  12. Jennifer S. says:

    Thank you for sharing! I would totally & completely hug you if I could.

    This whole blogging community, I am coming to find myself, is a great community of people…we’re all here to support you!

  13. Aly says:

    Glad you shared this. I have missed you and your awesome sharing of awesomeness.

  14. Bonzai! says:

    You’re so amazing, Miss Morgan. ?

    It’s like your words describe everything that I’ve felt and more… and you’re giving me a virtual hug and a pat and an assurance that I’m not alone and everything’s gonna be alright. And I know that with this post, you haven’t just done it for me, you’ve done it for many, many others.

    Hear that? That’s the sound of you changing the world. :-)

    I love you so much, and I’m proud of you- I am so very very blessed to be your friend!!!

  15. I love you and adore you and am e-locking my arm with you! <3 You are brave for sharing yourself with the world and I admire you SO MUCH for it. <3

  16. Amber says:

    Thank you for posting this and thank you for your honesty.

  17. Suzy Loo says:

    I’m sorry I ever told you your blog sucked and you didn’t deserve the nomination for whatever the hell it was for. It was harsh, and I had no idea what was going on in your world, and I’m SO SORRY.

    But I think now that you’ve started to climbed out of the depression pit, I think you can kinda see where I was coming from? The lack of posts, etc. Like you said, you pretty well ignored the blog. And I don’t blame you. While I have no idea what it’s like to deal with PPD, I can empathize with your situation and I’m SO SO SO happy you’re out of the closet so to speak, mostly for selfish reasons, because this post was honestly probably the first glimmer of the blogger you used to be and I LOVE IT! and I missed it!

  18. Lindsey says:

    go head and PREACH! right on! xo, linds

  19. adele says:

    this post made me so happy!
    i come home from school everyday (yes i’m only 17…) and check your blog asap
    you are SUCH a good writer and you are SO funny and even though i have zero experience with what you’ve been through, i’m proud of you because you’re talking about it and sharing with everyone who loves your blog so much

    this may sound slightly creepy… but you are sort of a role model to me :)
    i’m very much looking forward to the 2nd part of your birth story, the first part was so good!
    love xo

  20. alex says:

    Incredible post, M!

  21. Krista says:

    Thank you so much for this. Welcome back! We’re here because we love hearing about everything, and aren’t here to judge! Happy, sad, important, unimportant, we’re here because we want to be!
    And, DWTS? I cried the whole time she was on. I’m crazy.

  22. LC says:

    I’ve followed your blog since we were both pregnant (my son is one month younger). As I continuously checked your blog for the kind of posts you used to write while pregnant, I WAS THE ONE TO FEEL INADEQUATE. Because I thought, “Oh, she is living this amazing life with her baby and doesn’t have time to post, and here I am sitting around like a loser waiting for her to blog!”

    Anyway, so glad you’re back. If you feel up to documenting more of your PPD experience, it would really be helpful to a lot of people.

  23. Colie says:

    Im not much to blog or say what i feel, but i relate so much to you. Our babies are basically the same age (i was on the tri boards) and i quit my job to move and have my baby. I have the same fears and thoughts as you. Makes me feel better about myself that im not a crazy person with these thoughts. Thank you for that.

    BTW im watching DWTS just to see Baby dance. I grew up watching Dirty Dancing almost daily. She was amazing and glad i wasnt the only emotial wreck! :)

  24. Amelia says:

    awwwwww, morgan. this is heartbreaking to hear about. but you’re doing and have been doing such a great job. and just the fact that you’re having this conversation shows how brave you are! Can we get together sooon or what?!

    p.s. i love that this post is titled “I Carried a Watermelon.” You’re hilarious.

  25. bdogmama says:

    Just found your website. Love your design, your brand, and the fact that you can so honestly, eloquently, bravely, simply, and with grace and humor, say what I can’t – not yet. Go you.

    PS. Last season of DWTS rocked pretty hard. Subsequently, I’ve decided to boycott this season, both because I refuse to watch Bristol Palin and The Situation, and also because I’m pregnant and this gives me an excuse to go to bed at 8pm if I want to. But those Jennifer Grey clips make me want to set the damn dvr.

  26. Suzanne says:

    Armageddon is the best movie ever. I’m totally serious. I can recite the whole thing.

    I feel exactly the same way about SYTYCD vs DWTS and I’m only watching this season (literally right now) to see Jennifer kick some reality tv star ass.

    And I’m glad you’re doing better. Welcome back.

  27. desaline says:

    Oh, man, this hit me hard. My baby’s the same age as yours and this year has just been a roller coaster of emotions. I could swear swear swear that I didn’t have anything close to depression, but what you wrote matches my feelings exactly and I’m only now coming to terms with the idea that maybe this isn’t normal. So, thanks. I think.

  28. Ivy says:

    Hi Morgan!
    It was great meeting you at BlogHer! This is such a wonderful, honest post that reminds me a lot of how I felt when I was suffering from PPD. Thank you so much for sharing your PPD story. Oh, and it seems I’ve found yet another SYTYCD fan! Hope to stay in touch via the ol blogosphere! :)
    Best,
    Ivy

  29. metta1313 says:

    i heart you. that is all.

  30. Erin says:

    Morgan,
    Welcome back! I found you on the bump as our kiddos are very close in age, and I have loved your blog through this whole time. I am not cool, don’t have a blog or twitter, but I did email you once about modern and green design on a budget. I just wanted to say that PPD or not, we’ve all felt all of those feelings and you are not alone. We as women and mothers are so hard on one another, but we should unite in all the jumbled mess of love and emotion that is motherhood (esp. the first year). Rock on and I can’t wait to hear more about what you are up to, and your take on this grand adventure that is our new lives.

    xxoo
    E

    ps- disclaimer my son is one today so I am a bit extra sappy. but still -xxxooo cheers to you!!

  31. Jennifer Grey says:

    I just can’t wait for Jennifer Grey’s performance next Monday! She’s just a treat to watch, and my, does she look good at 50 or what?!

  32. Have I mentioned that I adore you?

    Brave post, my friend.

  33. James & Jax says:

    Wow, I just stumbled upon your blog after seeing it in someone’s blogroll, and I just have to comment–you’re a great writer! I love your blog! :)

  34. James & Jax says:

    Jennifer Grey is 50? What?!

    Awesome blog. I just wrote a comment saying how I found your blog via someone’s blogroll and am superimpressed. Love it! But I don’t know where my comment went. Stupid Internet…

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  37. Jamie says:

    I stumbled upon this post and wanting to thank you for being so brave I totally understand everything you said as I also suffered through almost two years of PPD after my first child was born. I had no idea what was going on and thought maybe it was just how a NEW mom feels, but later I realized how amazing my husband and daughter were to put up with my craziness through that time. I had always wanted a large family but was scared about PPD again and decided I could keep it in check or I would visit the doc this time. Four years later my son was born and to avoid the solitude I had prev created I started selling Avon knowing good and well that no one would buy Avon from a frumpy grumpy lady and it worked no PPD with my second. Thanks again for sharing!

  38. kim says:

    I’m so happy that you are finding your life again! Reading this post was like listening to my thoughts all over again. God, it hurts. I left you a comment over at BlogHer and searched here for your posts on ppd/depression. It IS scary putting it out there — I only put it out there for maybe 70 people, so this had to be HUGE for you. Well done.

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  41. Robin says:

    As the mother of 2 adult women in their mid twenties, I can safely say my baby days are behind me. But reading this, as well as One Hundred and Eighty One Days, memories of the past come flooding back leaving me with mixed emotions. All I can say is I’m glad to be on this side of motherhood…..not that it wasn’t lots of fun.
    Anyway, so glad you made it through the post partum. I think you’ll find life get better the older they get….just some minor age stage adjustments as you go. :-)

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  44. StayingSaneHome says:

    Just saw this post…after seeing “I carried a wartermelon” under your ‘best of’. 
    Let me just say that Dirty Dancing is THE best movie of all time.  I prove this everytime I watch it while saying every word right along with the character. And my husband LOVES it…….yeah, right.
    On another note…
    reading about post partum just vreaks my heart. Seriously.  I am so glad that you were able to write about it, I know that there is a woman out there reading it that can take solace in your light at the end of your tunnel so that she may find her own.
    Bravo.

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Talk to me. Please. I'm almost always alone or with a toddler.