the smell of my desperation has become a stench

For those who live with those like me

Yesterday Jon posted what I think is one of the best things he’s ever written on his website about what it’s like this second time around. A snippet:

My therapist told me a couple of years ago that she thought I suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) around pregnancy because of what we went through as a couple in 2004. I tend to believe her…

In 2007 we tried and were successful in getting Heather pregnant. She miscarried at 10 weeks and suffered some postpartum depression, which was totally understandable, but made me question if I had the reserves to handle severe postpartum depression again. I wanted to gear up for when we tried again. Once Heather’s system regulated and we decided we wanted a summer baby we went for it again and now we have our beautiful, sweet Marlo. Who deserves all the love and generosity we’ve shared with Leta.

If you haven’t read the piece he wrote a couple of months after that miscarriage about what it’s like to live with someone who suffers from chronic depression, you should definitely give it a look:

As a heterosexual man attracted to a woman, I have a range of emotions and ways of dealing with whatever life throws my way. One of those things is to look at a problem and want to fix it. Men like to be fixers, for the most part, and this is great for things like a clogged drain or dead car battery. Also great if the satellite dish isn’t picking up the latest “Nature is Sad” show on the educational channel because it’s buried in snow. It is not so great if your partner needs for you to help her by listening…

I’ve really had to stop myself and let it go. I have to tell myself that I need to LISTEN and to tell myself to SHUT UP. It’s doubly important when somebody is anxious or depressed and needs to get it out. I have only met a few men who are great listeners, and those were professionals I was paying to listen.

So. Listen.

I was interviewed a couple of days ago for a small piece about the Forbes thing for a local news station, and during the interview one of the questions triggered a response I haven’t been able to articulate yet, that this pregnancy and delivery and now living with two kids… there are days when my love for Jon is almost unbearable, and I am so lucky and thankful to have him in my life. And I have glimpses and memories of those heady, crazy times when we first got together in the sweltering Los Angeles summer of 2001 when we were having sex all day every day YES I JUST WENT THERE and sometimes I look at my two little girls and I can’t believe that here I am eight years later and I’m sitting next to Jon Armstrong.

Jon, I love you so much.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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