A week and a half after starting to wean Norah, the difference in our daily lives is striking. I have tons more energy and I just feel happier in general. I don't know if I actually had PPD or not (I never had it officially diagnosed because I didn't want to deal with doctors trying to put me on meds for a temporary condition) but once again, just as with C, the less I nurse the baby the happier I am. I wish I had a different experience with nursing, but I guess it is what it is. I have always been a low-energy kind of person, and maybe the lactation business just tips the balance a bit and wears me out too much.
All of this makes me wonder about the nature of PPD itself, and how we think about it and label it. I have had a problem with the idea of PPD because of the way I think of depression -- I tend to think of depression as a sadness that comes without a logical reason, or at least out of proportion with the logical reason. But with PPD, there *is* a reason. As much as I love my kids, it is really hard having a kid, and you have to give up a lot, even parts of your identity, your coping mechanisms, all of it.
According to the Myers-Briggs scale, I am an INFJ (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging). I was looking at some information online about INFJ parenting, and I came across a list of things that an INFJ parent needs in order to maintain mental balance. It went something like this: (1) At least an hour of alone time every day (2) an area of the house which you can keep clean and control (3) lots of peace and quiet (4) regular, solitary exercise, (5) projects that have a clear, defined beginning and end.
In other words, the exact opposite of parenting young kids.
So, this is encouraging in that there is a reason why I have felt so frazzled and strung out lately, and as my brain comes back to me -- piece by piece (thank God!) -- I have big hopes and big dreams for the future of the Happy Nashes.