Post-Partum Love Story: I Hate You

Image courtesy of

Anguish by Moonlight
(Image courtesy of

I stood in the kitchen deciding among three less-than-optimal choices: (1) get a snack, (2) plop on the couch and watch an infomercial for some product hawked by Suzanne Somers, or (3) wake Jeff who was sleeping in the basement.  I mulled over those three choices like an MCAT question, except I had to keep reminding myself what choice #1 was, because I was so fucking tired my eyes were bleeding, which was practically poetic since my left nipple was too.

What had become of me? Eight weeks into motherhood, and I was utterly flummoxed by the prospect of assembling a simple midnight snack.  How did I forget inviolate rule #1 in Christie world: If you are standing in the kitchen in the middle of the night, stop what you are doing and eat a snack.

It was my night to be “on” and Sadie was nursing every 2 hours.  In a moment of fleeting clarity, I grabbed 3 energy bars from our Costco snack bin and went back to bed.  I felt no remorse dusting the crumbs to Jeff’s side of the bed.  It may have been his turn to sleep, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t leave flaxseed bits on his pillow.

I resented that Sadie always slept better for him. I resented stuffing sore breasts into the pump so he could have a bottle to feed her on his nights.  I resented my new 10-centimeter scar, compliments of that last-minute C-section.  (His body remained unscathed like Michael-fucking-angelo’s David.)

Perhaps things were getting a little tense.

After my snack, I still couldn’t relax, because I was sure Sadie was about to cry.  I scoured Facebook to see if any West Coast friends were online.


I asked my depleted new-mommy self, “Why don’t you have friends in Guam who would still be up right now?” She answered back, “Where the fuck is Guam?  And why didn’t you put ice cream on those disgusting snack bars?”  (She’d been pissed ever since I made her wear Liz Lange maternity clothes from Target during pregnancy.)

I put my cheek on the cold side of the pillow, but couldn’t get comfortable.  I tried to punch my pillow to release emotions.  Then I beat the crap out of Jeff’s pillow.

Around 3:15 AM, it dawned on me that I needed Jeff’s help.

I descended to the basement.

I didn’t turn on the light.

I sat on the edge of the bed where I heard Jeff snoring not-so-softly, which sent seismic waves of tenderness and murderous envy through me.

“Jeff, I need some help.”

He sat up, startled.

“I hate you. I hate you for sleeping.  I hate you for being steady while I am a mess,” I whispered, letting each thought tumble out between us.

He held me close.

“Do you hate me too?” I asked, desperately hoping he would say yes to release my shame.

“Sometimes,” he admitted.

Thank God.  And I felt myself finally ready to drift to sleep.

read to be read at


60 thoughts on “Post-Partum Love Story: I Hate You

  1. I always find something to relate to your posts (evidence of your fantastic writing) but this one WORD FOR WORD could have come from my mouth. Except my 10cm scar was my vagina (minor detail?). The truth about motherhood – love it! What a great story and beautifully told.

  2. I shuttered and cried on this one. Perhaps because I lived the exact same thing. Nighttime was always the worst after Ian was born. I hated when the dark would come – and that’s when I knew I had sunk to a place that I would need help climbing out. Still fall back down there sometimes, though in different ways. I walk the edge of that black hole when Rick travels, fueled by that complete and desolate feeling of it being all up to me. Sometimes it tips me over, like last week when I lost my shit with Luke and the cat. Back walking along the edge this week, but so far, so good.

  3. I feel you :(. 2 years in and I still want to punch him in the face sometimes. Maybe my fuse is too short O_o
    “Where the fuck is Guam? And why didn’t you put ice cream on those disgusting snack bars?” – I laughed so hard I teared up. ❤

  4. This was brilliant and I SOOO relate. In fact, I just wrote a post ( whining about my own baby-induced sleep deprivation in which I call my husband “a mammary-less mo*&*her f(*#&ker.” We will only stop resenting them when they grow a pair. Of boobs (in case you missed that). ; )

    P.S. I apologize for the blog pimp, but I really really really relate to this! I read it out loud to my husband and we were thrilled that other seemingly well-adjusted couples periodically hate each other.

  5. Why is it the men get to sleep so soundly? It used to irk me to no end that while I was up with a couple of unruly kids my husband was snoring like a band saw!! GRRR. Then I’d slap him awake, or hold his nose shut….bahahaha….little things you know….little things got me through.

    • Thanks! I remember my therapist suggested that hating Jeff was easier and more adaptive than hating the little baby who was defenseless, but really an asshole with all that waking me up! So hating my husband was the best thing for my family.

      Weird, huh?

  6. Excellent post! I love that you went to him in the end. I remember visiting a happily-married friend and her newborn and she said, “There’s so much stuff they don’t tell you in the prenatal classes, like that you’re going to HATE your husband.”

  7. I haven’t been too keen on having my own ankle-biters, and your post just gave me more ammo. I hate the part that child bearing takes the greatest toll on the mother. Am i being too insensitive?

  8. This perfectly captures those first few weeks. Do you remember not even wanting to fall asleep because you just KNEW she’d be up ten minutes after you fell asleep and it would be even worse to wake up again than just wait up for it? And then she’d end up sleeping another three hours and you’d be kicking yourself for watching Look Who’s Talking 2 at 3 am instead of sleeping?

    • Yes. Oh lord yes. I would sit and stare afraid to move and she would sleep and sleep. But if I drifted off, she’d be all Wahhhhhhhhhhh. It’s funny now but I wasn’t laughing then!

  9. Well, at least the hate is mutual! Also, I can relate to feeling angry towards the sleeping husband. I have a hard time sleeping when I get anxious, and it drives me crazy to see my husband so easily conk out.

  10. Love this — and been there three times (with four kids). The only time in my life that I have called my hubby “useless” while bawling was over middle-of-the-night feedings. Each time — you’d think he’d have learned…

  11. awww mama. i’m glad you were able to get some of that out of you and that he was there for you like that. he sounds like such a keeper.
    to this day, i HATE that my husband can sleep thru anything. jerkface.

  12. “I mulled over those three choices like an MCAT question, except I had to keep reminding myself what choice #1 was, because I was so fucking tired my eyes were bleeding, which was practically poetic since my left nipple was too.” Love that! This was a fabulous post. I also loved the last little interplay between the two of you…a real marriage 🙂

  13. Oh, those emotions, and the nursing. How can something so “natural” be so difficult, right? And how many of us had that unplanned c-section, and why doesn’t anyone tell you how much the surgery will kick your ass.

    At least, you can have a midnight snack, right? BTW – you should market the ice cream energy bar combo.


  14. —Where the fuck is Guam? And why didn’t you put ice cream on those disgusting snack bars?

    bahahahaha haha ha.

    I totally got the same mom-twin in my head. And I freaking love her because she’s so right.

    It all sucks. And it’s amazingly great. And then it sucks again.

    But they don’t put that in Pampers ads, do they.

    • Or the Dreft ads or anywhere. Imma tell it like it is. Strangely, this makes me want to have another baby. How is this not birth control? Because its wonderful and agonizing and it’s how we made our family.

  15. Pingback: yeah write #70 summer writer’s series jury prize winner | yeah write

  16. Immediately after reading your post I went and made myself a snack. (Because that’s what I do when I’m processing things…. and hungry.)
    Anyway, while I was spreading mustard on my sandwich and admiring your incredible honesty I had a thought.
    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if a bunch of us Moms put together a book containing our best real-life-nitty-gritty-everything-falls-apart stories? I think that THIS is the sort of thing that new Moms and Dads should be taught.
    Screw lamaze. Get the epidural and read our book.

    Thanks for sharing this.

    • Yes. Yes. Yes. Let’s do it! I would have loved it. And it would have terrified me. Maybe we could start a site to collect them and it could be on line or a book.

      • You know, we might be on to something here.
        I think a site to collect them all on would be a great start. I bet we could find a whole bunch of Moms (and Dads!) who have at least one story they would like to contribute…
        I think I’ll get my husband to help me do that tonight. Let’s grab the bull by the horns and do this! We need a name. I better go make another snack… this could get awesome.

  17. Your post made me laugh in that ‘Oh God, yes’ kind of way. I’ve stood in my kitchen, savoy cabbage leaf in my bra, blindly demolishing half a cake in an exhausted haze, too wired to sleep, but too comatosed to be aware of what I was doing whilst my husband snored away, oblivious to everything. That intense combination of love, resentment, exhaustion and pain is overwhelming and I recognised it clearly. A great piece of writing that was a privilege to read. Thank you

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s