Shortly after the birth of my son, I was surprised by how much of an identity crisis I had. When I was expecting the kid, my brother, neighbors, strangers told me, “No matter what, you won’t be ready!”  And yeah, they were right. But the metaphysical punch to the side of the head was still more shocking than I expected.

For instance, I understood that I might not get sleep. But the effects of long-term sleep deprivation? I had no clue. I didn’t understand that for months I would desperately long for an uninterrupted three-hour stretch of sleep. That, in the depths of tiredness, I would find myself wailing and lying on the living room floor and asking my husband to bring me something to eat, because I was too tired to get it myself. Then,when he brought me apple slices, I would cry even harder. Apple slices were so crunchy, and I was too tired to chew.

Crunchy apple slices
“Postpartum Me” faced with apple slices.

And I figured that my time would be taken up by caring for the baby, but I didn’t know that (more…)