Postpartum depression is a very common condition that can effect either parent. It's mildest form is often referred to as "The Baby Blues", and usually sees parents just despairing over little things, or getting emotional over what would be an inconsequential event at any other time. Neither of these states is anything even remotely a matter to joke about, nor are they anything to be ashamed of.
But the pendulum swings both ways, and Claire and I have had our fair share of uncontrollable hilarity in the last three weeks as well. Here are my top three moments, in chronological order, where one or both of us have just lost it.
The day we brought Ada home from the hospital was, obviously an important day for both of us. We got to be a family in the privacy of our own home for the first time. Because we were home early in the day, it was also our first chance to Skype family at home and show off our daughter.
I rang mum on Skype so I could video-chat with her and introduce her properly to her granddaughter. Ada was a bit sleepy, but awake long enough to sit in my arms and say hi. Mum couldn't manage to get her video on her end to work, but could see us fine.
About ten minutes into the call mum's house phone rang, and she answered it, explaining to whoever was on the line that she was talking to her son and grandchild. But instead of making an excuse and getting back to us, she continued to have a full half hour conversation, while keeping the Skype call open. That's not an exaggeration. Skype displays the length of the call. It was, literally, a half hour of listening to mum talking to her friend.
Claire had been working on her PC behind me all this time, but not really paying attention to the conversation. At some point, I wandered away into the kitchen, and Claire realised mum was still talking.
"Who's she talking too?"
"Someone on the phone."
And that's when we both broke. Claire started to laugh. I started to laugh. Claire laughed at me laughing. I laughed at her laughing. Then Claire's stitches from the c-section started to really pain her, and she tried to get me to stop laughing, which only made me laugh more, causing her to laugh more. The tears were streaming down our faces before Claire escaped to the bedroom to calm down.
We could barely look at each other for the next hour without falling to fits of giggles.
Not So Sleeping Beauties
Claire had just gotten Ada to sleep. She handed our unconscious little daughter, just a few days old, to me, and Ada didn't stir, resting on my chest, mouth wide open. Claire reached to grab a camera to capture the pose, but when I spotted what she had planned, I tried to mimic the pose myself.
This just lead to Claire and I both bursting out in laughter, Claire once again cursing my name for making her laugh enough to strain her abdomen, me trying my best to not wake up a sleeping Ada, and both of us struggling to see through tear filled eyes.
It took five minutes for both of us to be still long enough at the same time to get one simple photograph, but over an hour to cure our giggles sufficiently to allow us to talk to each other again.
Zapped On The Funny Bone
Ada had been sleeping for a few hours and was in need to feeding and a diaper change. Ada loves her diaper change time, and will lie out on the mat oohing and ahhing and smiling and making faces the whole time. Claire was changing the diaper, but I wandered in to say hi.
In the middle of wiping Ada's bottom, Ada did what comes natural and let out a little fart. Her bottom was still wet, so it came out with a splutter, sounding, in hindsight, like an electric spark, or, worse, an explosive poop! Claire's hand shot away like it had been hit with a cattle prod, and she jumped back.
I doubled over with laughter. I had to grip on to the changing table to stay standing. I was finding it hard to breath. Every time I took a steadying breath, I'd look up and see Ada smiling at me, and crack up again. Claire finished putting on Ada's diaper and getting more and more frustrated at my hysterics. Eventually, she called her parents who were in the living room and they came in, wondering what all the chaos was about. Claire told me to explain myself, which simply caused me to laugh even harder.
At that point, she picked up our daughter and left for the living room. I picked myself up, dried my eyes, and followed her out to start writing this post.
I've been giggling for over two hours now.
Claire was exhausted one day, but Ada needed feeding, so she took her and started nursing while lying out on the couch. Both mom and daughter fell asleep, while Ada was still attached, and, while very asleep, still feeding weakly. Eventually, Ada detached, but stayed asleep against Claire's boob. It was incredibly adorable, cute and funny, but, obviously, no photos to remember the moment.