So the other day I was thinking of all the things that AREN’T talked about in polite company.
Things like Post Partum Depression, anger issues we have, sin issues we deal with, bathroom habits, and more.
I would like to address a few of those in this post.
I went to a fundraising banquet last night for our local pregnancy center last night and they were addressing the issue of what they do and why they need help. They try to offer hope and healing and help for those that come into their place. From free pregnancy tests, to counseling, to clothing that is much needed when you have a baby and have nowhere else to turn to. There is aLOT more that they do too. Sometimes they help people who don’t even know they need it.
I was one of those that needed help and didn’t even realize it.
Let me share with you:
After I had Claire, I remember hardly anything of the first 3 months of her life. I was SO tired because she had severe acid reflux that would come up her esophagus and choke her so she would quit breathing, often for long periods of time until I picked her up, or moved her or blew on her face, or whatever the many other tricks were that I learned to do during that time…it went undiagnosed UNTIL she was 3 months old. I don;t remember getting any sleep longer than an hour at a time during those first 3 months… she also had jaundice, hip dysplasia and crossed eyes.
Add another child to a mix of any number and usually you are tired for the first few weeks until you get a habit down…add the mix this kid brought to play with another child who also needed attention and it was a case for disaster. I don’t remember reveling in the newness of this new life, I don’t remember being happy, I just remember bone weary exhaustion.
I remember when I went to the dr’s and they ask you to fill out those survey things the question always came up “do you want to hurt yourself or your child” and I remember thinking…this is a STUPID question! no, I don’t want to hurt them. I just want them to shut up and stop crying and stop being kids for 2 hours so I can get rest. Stop needing me. Stop crying…stop stop stop!
Little did I know that this was the beginning of post partum depression. I was not sad, I was not suicidal, I was not angry…I was just…not me.
Now alot of you might be thinking “well if she only had a good support group in place, this would not have happened”…I think I have THE best support group in the world. My husband is an AWESOME support and encourager, my family lives very close by, my mom and 2 sisters are some of the best helpers in the world, my sister in law who is also my best friend lives 3 blocks away from me, I have a great, caring, loving church family, and my inlaws came down for the first week of the babys life to help out, and not the least, I have a relationship with Jesus Christ. I am a wide eyed sanctified, blood bought, spirit taught, bible quoting, scripture toting, born again christian. (that is a quote from a t-shirt from back in the 80’s…but I loved it then and it popped into my head!).
So it is NOT that I didn’t have spiritual/physical support either.
The problem is NOT whether you have a great support group or not…the problem was I did not know what to say to people other than “i’m tired…so very tired”… and that is NORMAL for a momma with a new baby. I didn’t know how to voice what was going on in my head and my heart to those that I had been so recently gushing to about how excited I was for this new life that we planned on having, that we looked forward to having for so long and now…now I was not so sure I could handle being her momma. Let alone just BEING.
I remember going to the local pregnancy center and walking in and just sitting the baby down, letting Sarah play and just sitting and crying. The kind lady (who is now a friend) asked me if I wanted to watch the video on “the baby blues”…I just laughed and I thought “here goes another one asking me if I want to kill myself! I DON’T! why won’t they get it?!”…but all I SAID was ..sure. whatever.
After watching the video and recognizing so many of the symptoms as what *I* was dealing with, I sobbed some more and I thought “How can I be a good momma if I am depressed?! Aren’t I supposed to be leaping for joy that I just brought another life into the world when so many have miscarriages or just ACHE to hold a baby? How can I be a good mom if I feel this way?”… the kind lady offered to pray with me and just sat and listened to me cry and then suggested that I talk with someone. My preacher, a friend or my doctor.
There was NO way I was going to say any of this to my friends and family…or even to my husband..how could I? They would think I was nuts! (this btw, is NOT true I have learned…well..they DO think I am nuts but not for this!) so the next dr’s appt I mentioned to my dr’ what I was dealing with and she said she thought I was dealing with PPD too. She gave me some info on the baby blues connection, a phone number that you can call and just talk to someone. just tell them and they say “thats ok…this is normal. you are NOT crazy for feeling this way.”…they also offer support and guidance on WHAT to do…how to get through JUST that minute. or hour. or day. or week.
After that, I mentioned it to my husband and my close friends and close family. I did not share it with the world, there was NO way I was ever going to blog about it.
Why am I talking about this when the blogs I have recently been doing have been talking about The Tummy Team and the program I have been doing? Why did I bring up sin, anger, etc… because I think aLOT if not ALL of it is all connected.
I just recently had a conversation with my midwife about how so many things are connected. I learned this while in rehab from a car accident years ago. I tried to wiggle my toes and my pelvis hurt. I tried to lift my arms and my pelvis hurt…EVERYTHING was connected.
Its not JUST the physical though. How many times have we seen our kids try to lie to us (when it is not the norm) and we see their “tell”…the twitch in their face or the eyes look away when they lie or the mouth quirks up just so, letting us as parents know that our kid is lying. Its because it is ALL CONNECTED.
Their conscious minds are making connections and their physical bodies are portraying what those connections are… its ALL connected.
My post partum depression was connected to lack of sleep…that is what set it off…(I am not saying well rested people can not be depressed, sometimes that happens too). That set off a chain of events that led my physical body to portray what my mind and heart were going through.
The same thing happens when sin comes into play…lets look at say…rage. When someone gets the feeling of rage, is it just an emotional only response? no. its physical too. Their blood starts pumping, their heart starts pounding, sometimes a vein pops out that is warning signs and then the anger spills from our hearts into our mouths and we do a verbal vomiting at whomever we are angry at…or whomever is closest sometimes.
I struggle with this too! Yes, I am a christian and I struggle with rage and anger.
THAT was hard to share. Sharing about PPD is hard to share. But why do I do it? Why did I write a post about “Bathroom” issues (that, too, was hard to share)? Here is why. Sometimes if we don’t share, people don’t see the real us. They don’t see that sometimes we too are hurting, human beings in need of help from our Savior, and also in need of help from the people he has put here on this earth! We like to be all tough and have this persona of “I can handle ANYTHING that comes my way… I am SUPERMOM…or SUPER WIFE…or SUPER CHRISTIAN” or really any form of Super that we can think of. We want others to think of us as the best.
I get that, I really do. I do NOT like it when my worst day is mixed with others seeing me at my worst…but sometimes its a relief. Its a sigh of “oh good..I can stop pretending in front of you that I have a handle and a grasp on EVERY. SINGLE. aspect of my life and I can go from that to asking for advice, or asking a friend to pray with me or to check in on me after I have a baby to make sure I am doing ok.
I think we, as christians, as HUMANS, need to start opening up with each other. Sharing our burdens with each other so we don’t get bogged down. I know when I have opened up and shared with others my physical struggles, but also my emotional struggles, what I find is that…. I am not alone. I am not the only one dealing with this (whatever THIS may be) and the other person was just DYING for someone to say something first.
So here you go, I am saying something first.
I have been through the battle of Post Partum Depression, I am on the other side and Lord Willing, I will not have to go through it again. But this time I am going to be prepared in case I do. I am working my way through helping my body to understand how it all works together, I am helping my body to understand how best to function in every day life so I have less physical pain. I am learning how to rehabilitate my mind to a different way of thinking so I don’t fall into the temptation of rage, or of some other sin. I am learning to be PRO-active in stead of RE-active. I am planning ahead (hence the study on anger, and talking about PPD and learning how to work with my body). Part of all that learning is WITH the Tummy Team and Kelly Dean and all the work they do. Part of that is with Fit2B studios and the caring love that has been shown to me there (Thank you Beth!)…part of that is with my weekly biblical based study on how to handle anger in a godly way with my girlfriends…part of that is with being open with my husband when I am struggling and ASKING for help and knowing that ITS ok to ask for help. It does NOT make you less of a super mom, super wife, super christian, or super _______ (fill in the blank)…it makes you a better one. When you ask for help, more often than not…you will get it. Please do not get me wrong. I think the ultimate source of all wisdom is God and his word, you will be AMAZED at the answers you find there for the help that you need, and often when I find myself getting angry or down in the dumps, if I start reading Gods word, it helps lift me up and out. Sometimes when I was going through my struggles however… I could not find my bible, let alone find my way to what I was supposed to do with what I had just read…want to know why? Because: I.Did.Not.Ask.For.HELP. Simple right? sooooooooo not simple though. Again, learning to be PRO-Active instead of RE-Active. I am learning that with my mind AND with my body.
If you need help or just want to talk to someone about Post Partum Depression, or having anger issues, or having pain in your belly or back or sciatica or something doesn’t feel right. Feel free to talk to me. I am more than willing to talk or to pray for you or to help you if I can. I know about PPD and bathroom issues, and anger issues…those I can help with, because I have been there… If you are wanting someone to help you with pain in your belly, back, sciatica, etc…talk to the folks over at The Tummy Team, and check out Fit2B Studios because they have been there. Don’t be Re-active…be Pro-Active.
Thanks for sharing my thoughts.
Share yours with me in the comment section.