Hello really-out-there blog followers! When Lori asked me to do a guest blog post I was honored and struck dumb at the same time. I’ve never been asked to do a guest post before—I’m new to this blog thing—and I’ve had writers block for a week. For inspiration I went over some of Lori’s old posts. One of the things I like about her is her unflinching honesty about the reality of life. We all have our moments of depression and self-destruction, but how many of us are actually talking about it? So in keeping with her style I’m going to tell you about something I rarely talk about—the darkness that followed the birth of my oldest.
We had planned a home birth complete with a large tub. Our midwife had shown us videos of orgasmic water births. Oh yes they looked very orgasmic! I was ready for anything—I thought. We ended up transferring to the hospital when my labor didn’t progress. I called my Buddhist friends and we chanted together while I was laboring in the hospital. The Girl finally arrived uninjured with a little help from the Dr. after getting stuck. She was jaundiced and needed eye surgery on a mal-formed tear duct in her first 2 weeks. Breastfeeding was hard, but we got the hang of it and before long she was healthy and growing so fast. I was home getting to know this new little baby—and getting to know my husband at the same time since we really rushed into this baby thing pretty quickly after meeting. She was born in the middle of a beautiful Texas hill country summer. But I was overwhelmed with the new responsibility and didn’t get out of the house much. It became hard to do my morning and evening meditations and I slipped into a fog of exhaustion from lack of sleep. At some point my thyroid stopped producing enough hormones and I would find myself lost in endless cloth diapering laundry piles. I didn’t take walks. I didn’t even go to the store much. After 911 happened I was more reticent to leaving the house. Then I got a call from a Buddhist friend. She invited me to her house to chant. She was at The Girl’s birth and was worried that I hadn’t been out much since. I loaded The Girl into the car and went to her house. She read me a quote from Nichiren Diashonin about winter always turning to spring. Instead of waiting for my spring to come I could create it for myself right in that instant by chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. My life condition was elevated! On the way out of her neighborhood that day we rescued our beloved but very bad Wado Dog. Now I had another reason to go for walks. Before long my hypothyroidism was diagnosed and I got on thyroid medication–which helped with the depression. Over the years I’ve had all kinds of winters but each one has turned to spring.