By: Rosy Barren
I recently had a baby. She is 3 weeks old. I burst into tears a couple days before she was born. I told my wife that I didn’t know if I could do it. I was afraid that I would get post-partum and do something awful to the baby. I was most afraid that I wouldn’t love her. Several of my friends have suffered some degree of depression with their newborn and I couldn’t bear the thought of going through those rocky emotions after having tried for almost three years to have her. I think I scared my better half; she talked me through it but recently told me that she was ready to protect our child from me if she needed to. I hated hearing that but I love her for saying it.
I don’t have post-partum, quite the opposite. I am obsessed with our child. I want to take her away with me to a small desert island and allow no one, possibly not even my wife, to touch her. I want her all to myself. I don’t like it when the grandparents come over. I’m afraid they are going to drop her, I worry that they aren’t holding her neck properly, I watch the clock until it is time for my daughter to nurse so that I can sweep her back in my arms and escape to the nursery. I sit in there longer than necessary, sometimes crying because I want everyone to leave me with her so that I can dote and coo and love her all to myself. My wife is the only person who I realize I have to curb these emotions with. I understand the importance of her bonding time with our child. But everyone else, with their lasagna and gifts and tips and wine, can simply leave me alone.
I have three months, three adoring, loving months, in which I get to do nothing but be with our daughter. I get to lose sleep over her and watch her as she gazes into the light, dance with her in the mornings and sing to her at nights, I want to enjoy every instant of my time with her, I want to make it last. I rock her at night, drowsy from waking every two to three hours and know that I will never get this time back.
I realize my emotions are extreme. There are many books on post-partum but who tells you how to deal with overbearing, protective, mama-bear syndrome? Who tells you how to stop tears of joy that sometimes last for hours –I’m not kidding –hours of which, if we have company, I hide and sob because I want her back in my arms where she should be because she’s mine. All mine. No one else’s. Mine!