Ann is a seemingly happy and wonderful small-town girl with an electric personality. The audience enjoys her smile and the love she has for her son Jessie who she rocks in her arms at the beginning of the scene. Ann then tells us about the struggles of growing up in a small town where everyone knows everyone, but no one ever really listens. She is initially excited and shares this joy with her husband but as time passes and her body begins to change, and hormones take over she begins to feel emotions that she never thought possible. She is in a constant state of panic and fear. Fear for the health of her baby, is she doing everything right, will the baby be okay, what if the baby is sick and she doesn’t know it. Her body becomes an unhealthy place for the baby and as much as she begs for help from her doctor, her mother and her husband everyone around her continues to tell her to calm down and relax. Often, we don’t realize the pain someone else is in because when they speak about it we aren’t truly listening. Ann has to come to terms with her pregnancy, even if she has to do it alone. She now speaks to us about the struggles of Post- Partum Depression and that it is a real illness because she had it. And though her episode was different from most, and the results of her non diagnoses for so many months affected her for the rest of her life she is still able to share her story. Her son Jessie is born, and she wants to love him but can’t. She wants to be a mother to him but can’t, and in a series of unbalanced moments of the severe depression things happen that she can never forgive herself for nor can she ever take back. But through years of full-time mental care, medication and psychological support Ann is able to tell us her greatest story of gaining all that she wanted in the world and then losing it forever.
Female- Listen to Me
(Scene opens with Ann, a woman in her mid-twenties. She swaddles a baby close to her chest, bounces him with love and admiration. She is a happy mother with a seemingly happy baby. Singing.) “Momma loves her baby boy. Daddy loves his baby boy. And their baby boy loves them to.” (As she trails off as she softy kisses the baby on the forehead and puts him in his crib.)
Being a mother is absolutely rocket science. (Laughs) You have to know what they want or need when they are crying. My mom says that every kind of baby cry means something different but when you are a mother you can hear the cry and know, “Babies hungry, baby needs a diaper change, baby is sick.” (Laughing)What?!? I didn’t hear any of that. When Jessie cries it sounds like, “Hey Mommy lady I am pissed off and I want you to come over here and fix it.” (Laughs hard) And he’s right, I run over and I check all of the usual suspects: I just fed you- check, diaper is dry and poop free- check, clothes are clean- check, you’re not sick- check (as she continues the list her demeanor changes, she get more sad and worried. Looking at Jessie in the crib) Maybe you are sick, should we go to the hospital? (Looking at her watch) It’s only 3:30am, the hospital is close we could be in and out by sunrise. When we went in yesterday, we were only there for a few hours. I wonder if that doctor from last night is working again. (She is out of breath, almost in tears and staring at the audience. A long beat.) What’s wrong with me?