Postpartum Depression Finally Made Me See Work Differently. It Also Made Me Funnier.
In the beginning, having a kid taught me one thing: EVERYONE IS A LIAR.
They lied about how much your vagina will hurt after labor.
They lied when they told you that only the baby will need diapers.
They lied about how much seeing a penis will give you PTSD.
They lied, lied, lied!
Everyone said how “magical” the moment would be when I finally delivered, how my maternal instincts would "kick in,” and how joy would carry me through the sleepless nights.
I worked hard AF while pregnant. I created so many music video parodies that Ava learned how to twerk in the womb.
It’s like an evil prank. And the veteran moms were the worst; they hear you’re pregnant and they get all excited. “OMG! Yes! Aww, your baby is gonna be so cute.” I see those same people, and I’m like, “Hunny, you knew what was around that corner in nine months, you should have been terrified for me, not ‘over the moon’!”
See, I had been married for six years before I let my husband go full splash. Even in Hollywood years, that’s a long time to do the nasty and not completely finish the deed. But I had worked so hard to get to get to a certain place in my career. Basically, fear kept me from getting knocked up.
Fear number one was that I would never work again. It’s hard enough being a married woman in a male-dominated industry, but then when you add in a whole family, I thought no one would wanna fuck with me. In fact, I remember when male comics would see me working while pregnant, they’d say how disappointed they were that my marriage was doing well.
So I worked hard AF while pregnant. I created so many music video parodies that Ava learned how to twerk in the womb. I booked TV pilots, and though I was fatigued, out of breath, and although my belly button looked like a third nipple, did standup in up until three days before Ava broke my vagina. I should have taken it easy. But when you work for yourself, traditional maternity leave just isn’t an option.
Who knew that the same thing inside me that propelled me to have an insatiable work ethic could also leave me susceptible to postpartum depression.
I was cared for, cooked for, and LEFT ALONE! It was like staying at the Waldorf Hysteria.
Now my ambition wasn’t the only thing that brought it on, but working like a lunatic didn’t make it any easier! I pumped on set, I pumped backstage at comedy clubs, and I’ve pumped at stop lights. I’d go do a set, race home, stick my boob through the bars of the crib and feed my child.
Finally my therapist saw that I was drowning — losing control — and had me admitted to a psych facility for treatment. I was cared for, cooked for, and LEFT ALONE! It was like staying at the Waldorf Hysteria and waking up to a continental breakfast. The only thing more scrambled than my brain were those amazing eggs.
Postpartum depression, the psychiatric hospital, and Spanx made me a better comedian.
My time there — and the work I’ve put into understanding myself — has made this journey I’m on not just manageable but, dare I say it, magical.
Oh… they also lie about how your career will suffer as a result of having a child. Sure you can’t do every show, your schedule is a bit more hectic, but dammit nothing beats Mental Institution material! Having a baby is a gold mine. Postpartum depression, the psychiatric hospital, and Spanx made me a better comedian. They gave me purpose and pain to learn from, and a deep dark truth that so many have but are afraid to tell.