About Baby #3

As many of you know, a third sweet little one is growing inside of me.  I’ve been meaning to write something about this third baby pretty much since I found out I was pregnant…but somehow the words haven’t come.  With 28 weeks rapidly approaching on Monday, I thought that now was as good of a time as any to finally write about her.  But to do that, I have to go back to the beginning…before this baby was even a possibility in our minds.

Continue reading

Advertisements

5 Truths About Post Partum Depression

5ppdMy husband recently suggested that we go in with his family on renting a lakehouse for Super Bowl weekend like we did last year.

Honestly…the idea sounded awful to me.  Last year during that time I was knee deep in the mire that is Post Partum Depression and didn’t yet recognize it.  I was frustrated with everyone, didn’t want to be around people, and was dealing with this heavy grey fog that I couldn’t explain or shake.  Just thinking about it puts my stomach in knots.

I cannot begin to describe how wonderful it is to not be in that fog anymore.  Yet, my heart goes out to those currently dealing with it, or thinking that they might be dealing with it.

Post Partum Depression is surrounded by a a lot of lies and hearsay.  Today, I present you with 5 truths about PPD…from someone who has been there herself:

1.) Post Partum Depression doesn’t make sense.

You may be incredibly sleep deprived or you may be getting a solid 8 hours every night.  You may be dealing with a ton of stress and worry, or you may have absolutely nothing big to be worrying about.  It doesn’t really matter or make a difference.  The worst part about PPD is that you feel a certain way in your heart, knowing full well that there is no reason that you should be feeling that way.  Why would you secretly want to run away from that sweet baby that you are so in love with and that you know is a gift?  Why would you feel hopeless when new life and hope is constantly in front of your eyes?  It just doesn’t make sense.

2.) Post Partum Depression manifests differently in different women.

Some women experiencing PPD may want to run away from their babies.  Others may be unreasonably fearful of even letting them out of their arms.   Others may switch back and forth and become extremely moody.  The common thread is that you know in your heart that something is not right…something is off.

3.) Post Partum Depression is not your fault.

One of the biggest lies about PPD is that women who have it are at fault.  They don’t eat enough nutrients or get enough sleep.  They focus too much on themselves.  They don’t focus on themselves enough.  They don’t get out of the house enough.  They aren’t thankful for the gifts they have.  They haven’t turned to God to help.  Or, heaven forbid, they didn’t encapsulate their placenta and consume it.

My friend, all of these are lies.  Post Partum Depression is a mean, hormonal mess that no woman ever deserves.  Simply put, we live in a fallen world and sometimes are bodies just don’t work right or regulate themselves as they should.  Those messed up hormones can control our thoughts, feelings, and emotions to a terrible extent.

4.) Post Partum Depression is a bully.

My biggest memory of my struggle with PPD is that I felt oppressed.  Feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness overwhelmed me and I felt no power to shake them.  PPD can make you do terrible things like scream at your children or call your husband ugly names.  It can paralyze you with fear to the extent that you’re afraid to step foot outside the front door.  It can make you feel like a terrible mom for not feeling “connected” with your baby.  PPD is a bully in that it intimidates you and makes you act or feel in a way that you don’t want to.

 

5.) Post Partum Depression isn’t forever.

It may not seem like it right now, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.  There is help.  Hormones do shift back to normal.  The fog is not unending.  Take it from a mama whose been there.  Know that you’re not alone.  I made it through…and so can you.

 

If you’re struggling with Post Partum Depression, or think you might be, please PLEASE speak out and get help.  Don’t try to “fix” things or trudge along alone.  If you need help don’t hesitate to email me at thelifenotmyown@gmail.com . 

 

Because the First Step is Admitting that You Have a Problem

Nobody would have known from the outside that something was wrong.  If you asked me how I was doing I would have said “good” or “fine”.  And wasn’t I really?  I had a wonderful husband with a steady job, a cozy house, and two beautiful children that I got to stay home with every day.  I should have been much more than fine.  Yet, inside, I didn’t feel fine at all.
For a time I denied that there was anything wrong.  I’m just having a bad few days.  I’ll get over it.  Yet, despite my best efforts to brush aside what was going on, I slowly slipped deeper and deeper into the fog.   
In public, I put my best face on, terrified that someone would see me for the broken, messed up woman that I was.  At home, those I loved most bore the brunt of my emotions, the offspring of feelings I couldn’t even describe.  I felt terrible guilt for my moodiness and anger.  I shouldn’t be feeling this way.  Strong, Christian women don’t feel this way.  If I would just do ____ I’d feel better. 
A strange feeling of hopelessness was sinking into my gut, silently squeezing the life out of me.  I tried without success to climb out of the pit into which I’d fallen.  I self-medicated my feelings in my own way.  I drank way too many cups of coffee and tea, wandered aimlessly in Target, and ate more dessert than I needed, desperately clutching for a cure-all.  I poured over my Bible, telling myself my problems were so few that I shouldn’t bother God with them…that I should just snap out of it.  The problem was, no problem can really get better until you admit you have one.            
Then came the day that my ever-intuitive mother asked me if I was maybe struggling with some post-partum depression.  At first I denied it vehemently.  As I thought about it more, though, I began to allow myself to consider the possibility.  What if that really is the problem?  Would it be so terrible to admit it?  Wouldn’t it explain all that I was feeling and experiencing?  

I called my mom back and told her that I thought she might be right and then I told my husband what I thought was happening.  Surprisingly, an incredible peace flooded over me.  You see, I couldn’t even begin to climb out of the pit until I first lay everything at Jesus’ feet.  In order to truly lay it all at Jesus’ feet, I had to admit that I couldn’t fix the problem on my own…and I had to admit to myself that there was a problem in the first place in order to admit that I couldn’t fix it.
    
So here’s me being open about something that even my closest friends might not know about.  The truth is, I struggled with Post-Partum Depression.  The good part is, I’m not anymore.  I’ve took steps to help straighten out my hormones and emotions, but mostly I learned to laying every feeling and thought at the feet of Him Who was and is able to fix everything…to fix me.  The fog lifted and joy returned as I came out of the pit.  Yet, I still have days where the devil gets the better of me.  And you know what?  That’s okay.  It’s not my fault.

If you’ve ever struggled with similar feelings, you know the guilt and burden they can be.  Just know that you are not alone and that you’ve done nothing wrong to make yourself feel this way.  There is One who can help…but first you have to admit that you need fixing.  

PS: Not everything can be fixed simply by admitting there’s something wrong.  I strongly encourage you to seek out a good Christian counselor and/or doctor.  I firmly believe that God has given these people wisdom for a reason!  Feel free to contact me at thelifenotmyown@gmail.com if you need help finding a good one.