Deleted Scenes: The Inner Monologue of a Mom With Postpartum Anxiety

As I finish up the latest rounds of revisions for my memoir about having a perinatal mood and anxiety disorder, I am sharing deleted scenes right here. 

On a Saturday in mid-July, Nathan and I took Pippa to a shady park near our house for the first time.  Pippa looked around in awe at the trees and grassy hills. 

I thought that I should feel very happy and content.

I did not. 

Question after question raced through my head. 

  • Would Pippa need to breastfeed? 
  • Was Nathan enjoying himself? 
  • Had I done anything to make him angry? 
  • Was I doing everything I could to make Pippa comfortable? 
  • We did not have a picnic blanket.  I should have brought a picnic blanket.  Why didn’t we have a picnic blanket??

After the park, we decided to drive to our favorite deli in downtown Los Angeles and pick up sandwiches for lunch.  Pippa had eaten recently, and I thought we could make the forty-five minute roundtrip to the deli before she got hungry again.

Nathan drove, and I sat in the back of the car so I could attend to Pippa’s every need.  She fell asleep almost immediately. 

Nathan and I talked, and a stream of questions continued to unspool in my head. 

  • Was I talking too much? 
  • Too little? 
  • Was I boring him? 
  • Did he hate me for dragging him out of the house on the weekend? 
  • Did he hate the music we were listening to? 
  • Should we change the radio station? 

Then we grinded to a halt on the freeway. 

We could see smoke in the not too far distance and hear the wail of fire engines.  A tanker had set fire, and a freeway between our house and the deli had been closed for the fire trucks. 

It would take hours to pick up our sandwiches.  Nathan called and cancelled our order, maneuvered through the crawling lanes of traffic, escaped the freeway, and drove home. 

I wanted to vomit. 

Nathan had so little free time, and we had wasted a precious hour on a doomed mission to a deli.  I was a terrible, thoughtless wife. 

True, Nathan had proposed the field trip, but I should have known better.  I should have known that there would be a freak accident, forcing the fire department to shut down a freeway. 

Nathan did not need any additional aggravations.  Having a wife with insomnia was aggravation enough. 

As we drove home, I willed myself to be invisible.

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