Hi friends! It is so good to be back to be able to share with everyone again. I have been on a break from the blog after giving birth to our first baby – sweet Elijah! He has been a blessing and a joy every day of the last three months. Here is a picture of him because you know how proud Mamas are of their babies:
Having Eli has been the best and craziest experience of my life (already!). About four days after I gave birth to him via C-Section, the “baby blues” set in. I struggled with long, uncontrollable and intense crying (sobbing) bouts on and off all day on top of heavy anxiety… while also somehow being so happy and full of love I thought I might EXPLODE! I later found out this is pretty normal during the first 2 weeks after child birth for about 80% of women. However, my sadness and anxiety continued beyond the 2 week mark, and I decided to go see my doctor. My suspicions were correct: I was battling true Post-Partum Depression and Anxiety. My doctor prescribed a breastfeeding safe depression and anxiety medication, and with time I slowly began feel the fog lift.
I recently watched a documentary on Netflix about PPD/PPA/PPP called “When the Bough Breaks”. Especially after watching this, I can say that the struggles I have faced are not nearly as severe as what many moms deal with, but for me, the battle was still difficult. I felt so guilty for not being well. Of course I am biased, but I had been given the sweetest, most adorable baby E-V-E-R. How could I feel anything but joy? Why am I constantly crying my eyes out with this little angel looking up at me?
After talking with other moms who have battled PPD, it seems most of them also felt guilty for feeling anything other than elation after the birth of their child. So many moms on the other side of this struggle reminded me of this: that guilt is NOT of God! It is the enemy undermining your identity as a child of God and mother. Easier said than applied, especially in the middle of hard times, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Don’t forget it.
Don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor about medication that can help you, even if you only take it for a period of time. Make a list of everything you are grateful for; thank God for the blessings in your life such as clean drinking water, food, shelter, your sweet baby, your salvation, friends, family, fuzzy blankets, coffee and so on. Listen to worship music and engage in praise. Listen to sermons that encourage you in your faith. Read the Bible and make time to talk to God and let him know how you are struggling. Let people help you; if someone offers to bring you food or clean your house, let them do it! Try to get a shower every day if possible. Go outside and get some fresh air. Don’t isolate yourself, and don’t be afraid to speak up about what you are going through. You are not alone. God chose you to be the mother to this child, and He will equip you to do the job, even on the hard days.
Here are a couple of scriptures that help keep me calm, centered and focused on the bigger picture in the chaos of new mom life and the fog of crazy hormones:
Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 2 Corinthians 3:4-5
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as a reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6
Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court. Psalm 127:3-5
Now I am 13 weeks post-partum. I feel so much more stable and happy. I am not consumed by anxiety, fear and sadness every day, though those emotions do still threaten me at times. I am still so new to this mom life. I am trying to adjust to all of the changes that have come after giving birth – changes in my mentality, my time, my body and so on. I do not claim to be an expert, but this is my story. These are the things that helped me step out of the fog.
Are any of our readers currently struggling with PPD or any type of depression or mental illness? Has anyone overcome any of these disorders? If so, please share your struggles or explain what helps you on hard days.
Abba Father, thank You for the gift of motherhood! I ask you to bring comfort and support to all the beautiful new moms that may be struggling with adjusting to their new role as mommy. Allow them to see the blessing of caring for the next generation of warriors in the army of God. Bring them Godly women that can help them cope with all of the changes and emotions that can seem overwhelming at times. In Jesus name.