Why are so many women so sick with postpartum depression? My theories include the disassociation of women's minds and spirits from their bodies during a hospital birth. (Abuse, but not yet recognized as such.) That our bodies are meant to till the fields, hike miles to get water, make our own clothes, grow our own food, and run from the predators. For goodness' sake, when we were doing all of those things we didn't have time to worry about a booger inside the baby's nose. And I do mean worry.
The family I am tending to hired a live-in nanny-type and then fired her the next day because her daughter stole her zoloft and she was manic without it. Apparently, she wouldn't shut up and stay out of the house.
I was there again last night.
I wanted to take a picture of the baby this morning. I mean, I am pretty good at it and all, but I wanted to ask permission. Tentatively, the mom said, okay, maybe one. I just looked at her. As I focused, she turned away, covering him and asking if I had already done it and I said I had not. She said she didn't think she wanted any pictures of him yet. Before I could think, I blurted out, "You'll regret that, too, in about 15 years. These weeks are the most speedy of the changes and someday you won't even remember him being this small." And I packed up the camera and waved. "See you tonight!"
She is a germiphobe. After these pp doula jobs, I wonder who isn't anymore. She was concerned that I was carrying the bottle and nipples outside to the cottage (where the baby and I sleep) without their being covered. I said to her that it wasn't like I was dredging them in the Ganges River where people poop and drink and pee in the same water. I said it lovingly. And she let me go without covering the bottles.
I didn't tell her about the midwifery meeting where we just had a child drop his pacifier under a midwife and when she picked it up, it had a slug on it. She flicked it off and set the pacifier behind her. Sure enough, the kid walked right up and popped it into his mouth before any of us could at least wipe it off on our pants. We laughed hysterically and did comment on the amount of women who would be horrified at that situation. We shrugged and said, "well, he's building slug immunities now!"