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Where I am: the state of my address

I never intended for the gap between the last post and this one, but isn’t that how life works? Right now my life is at the mercy of an infant’s demands and the every day cycle of housekeeping and motherhood.

I think that instead of a big lead up into where I am now, I’m just going to come out and say it: I am dealing with postpartum depression.

If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you might remember me saying that I suspected that I had it with DeanBean, but I didn’t realize it until it had lifted when he was about a year old. I was just so angry all the time. I chalked it up to sleep deprivation and being alone a lot, but I saw after the fact that I was in a fog.

During my entire pregnancy with Peanut, I felt like I wasn’t myself. (Ha! Does anyone feel good in pregnancy?) When he was born, I had a momentary burst of loving him so much, but he also felt so much like a stranger. As my milk came in, so did his reflux. So. Much. Reflux.

Here I am, sore and recovering harder than my first two (thank you, thirties), and I am slave to this stranger who won’t sleep and is gagging and choking so much I can’t rest. He’s crying all day every day, and I’m changing clothes and doing a load of laundry every time I turn around. The guilt over how my older kids are being left to themselves is simply crushing me.

After one particular 24 hours where I just laid him down screaming on the mattress and I just cried and cried, and then the next day I made mental plans to leave it all behind, I reached out to some godly women I knew. I was reminded that I was normal, that my baby didn’t hate me (I wasn’t convinced), and encouraged to call my doctor.

The next day, I called him. I was determined to listen to wisdom this time around, but it was still the hardest call to make. He called me back personally and I told him how I wasn’t sure if I was depressed or just sleep deprived. He told me that he thought we should try something and see how it goes. Almost immediately, I felt a difference.

For the first time, I felt more like I did before I got pregnant and I began to see this beautiful, beautiful boy for what he is.

He’s precious. He’s perfect. He’s loved.

I’m tearing up just writing this, because I could have robbed us of so much more. I had already wasted 8 weeks of that time… but it could have been much worse.

The tone of this will likely be my theme the upcoming weeks. I try to be a person who is open and forthcoming with my life, and I am unable to act like things are absolutely perfect all the time. I think it’s likely that more of us are struggling than not, and if someone else can feel like they are not alone, than I feel I’ve accomplished something.

Here I am. A mother. A daughter. Loved by God. Struggling in my blessing.

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What’s in a name?

Our little Peanut’s birth story will be a little different than Bluebelle or DeanBean’s. Not just because he was a scheduled delivery, or because he’s my final one (God willing!), but because he was by far our most considered.

Peanut’s story begins in April 2016. That month, I went to a retreat called Splendid. It wrecked my heart, began to heal some places I didn’t realize were still broken, and filled my spirit in ways unexplainable. Back then, I was wrestling with the idea of adding to our family. You see, things were good. Our kids were in school and Mother’s Day Out, they were independent and fun, and relatively easy to manage. I’d always wanted three kids, but I wasn’t sure at that point that I wanted to give up my freedoms that I had recently regained.

Also, with every pregnancy I obtain the same fear. Will this child be the one to break me? When I was a child, I was told many times that I was the reason why my mother took medication. I knew she was depressed. I knew she had an addiction.

I just thought it was all my fault.

I was wrestling with this lie during the retreat, and I had just returned home. That Monday morning, I dropped Bluebelle off at school, and my heart ached leaving her again after being away from her for the whole weekend. I said a short prayer to God.

“Thank You, Lord, for her. She is such a blessing.”

I heard back, “Any child I give to you is a blessing.”

It was in that moment I felt peace over the situation, even though I wasn’t sure I still wanted to add to our family. It would be months before I was ready.

Fast forward to January 2017. I had discovered I was pregnant in November, and we were discussing names. Both of the older kids had been named with an A as their first name, and my husband wanted to keep the tradition so Peanut wouldn’t be left out. I’m stubborn, so I was planning to do something non-traditional, although I wanted the middle name to be a family name. My grandmother gave me a list of names she had been compiling and one stood out — Asher. I remembered it from the Bible and looked up its meaning. It means, “Happy, Blessed.”

I remembered that day in April and I knew it had to be his name.

He was to be our blessing.

This was going to serve as a reminder to me in the recent days, and I’ll tell you more very soon. I’m afraid this post is too long as it is!

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I’m baaaack!

Long time no read, my friends. Last year I began to think I didn’t want to write online anymore. I narrowed my focus to my paper journals and I began to have misgivings about sharing stories of my children for the world to see. I think I also began to doubt my writing in light of my many talented friends, which dampened my enthusiasm.

Also, designing and maintaining a blog is hard. I kind of stink at it.

My resolve was to let my blog lapse this August and let it die off. Lo and behold, I forgot I was on automatic renewal. Oops. I had just had a baby and I wasn’t thinking about little details like my WordPress account. Did I mention I had a baby? Well, I don’t think anyone who reads this will be surprised. I’m sure if you’re reading this, you’re my friend on Facebook!

I think the Lord knew I needed an outlet. I hardly have time to sit down to a computer (therefore, I am writing this from my iPhone app), and I’m going to have to spend some time redesigning my blog, but I have a bit to share about my journey during this postpartum time. I’ve been processing a few things, and I’d like to write them down.

I hope you’ll read them! Until then, I’ll share a picture of my sweet, 2 month old baby boy. More about him later.

Until the next feeding, my friends.

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