If you had asked me…I would have said they were weak. Don’t you know in life it is all too easy to just assume what we might do when faced with a certain situation? I had this reality hit me like a ton of bricks 8 months and fifteen days ago when I welcomed my first baby girl into the world. She was beautiful. She was perfect. Not a health concern in the world. My pregnancy was pretty textbook. No complications. Basically what I am telling you is I had no reason to feel the things I did.
Pre-birth I remember telling people “Women who suffer from postpartum depression are just weak. If they just had a relationship with the Lord they wouldn’t experience that.” WOW. Even typing it now and reliving those conversations I feel the weight of the ignorance and lack of grace that I sat in at the time. I can assure you this girl has a moment in time I can look back on and remember asking Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. I can remember being baptized to tell the world publically of my faith. But I can even more vividly remember just recently sitting in a puddle of tears in the living room of my house wondering why I ever got pregnant and if there was a possibility of making it all go away and just pretending like it never happened.
I was the girl that would answer “All I want to be when I grow up is a momma” when people would ask me that age-old question as a child. It’s all I’ve ever dreamed of. As a matter of fact, I was excited as I carried my sweet girl around in my belly for 40 weeks.
I loved being pregnant. I never felt more beautiful, more purposed, more alive. But I was not prepared for all that to come crashing down within hours after my girl arrived.
The weight of all the emotions I felt came quick and they came heavy. It didn’t feel like a roller coaster at all it felt like a semi-truck coming down the highway hot and heavy and I was smashed up against the front grill unable to escape. I had some of the darkest thoughts, some of the worst cries. I felt completely incapable of making words to explain to my husband, my mom, or even the doctor what I was feeling. I looked at this babe I had been blessed with and loved her more deeply than I had ever loved anything but wanted her to disappear as if she had never come at the same time. It was such a terrible feeling. I have never felt so much guilt for the honest feelings I was having in all my life. I knew a few weeks or months down the road…some intervention later I would regret all those feelings and be left with the shame that would come from feeling them.
Spending some time with the Lord and those around me that I trusted helped me understand what I was feeling was very real and it was okay. It was not true of my situation and it would certainly not define me or my relationship with my beautiful girl.
God has made that whole and complete and my girl and I will have all the fullest blessings that God designed for us.
Hear this part, even in spite of the feelings I felt or you might be feeling or have felt…there is redemption, there is grace, and there is help.
The best advice I could give any mom going through these emotions or pregnant and afraid to feel them is to surround yourself with the things that will prepare you for dealing with these emotions before they come. Ask for help. And for heaven’s sake, don’t let satan tell you they are true of you, or true for you. Some of the things that helped me were:
- My husband (just me and him time alone with the baby, not surrounded by family and friends that just wanted to celebrate with us)
- My mom
- My best friends
- Sweet pictures of my girl and me in the early days
- And yes, the occasional glass of wine.
Look how much has changed in 6 months!