Life with 3 kids + Postpartum journey // How it’s been…
It has been a long time coming. This post. I finally am sitting down, my favourite playlist (as of late) on. My Matcha latte warm in hand and fire going. Its nap time, and this, this is where I refill my cup. I have heard it over and over in random places lately – you can’t pour from an empty cup. So I sit here and refill mine. I don’t have a direction for this, but writing has always brought me joy, its something engrained in my being, so I will let it flow, like it does. I hope that through sharing that even if one person finds themselves in this place in life, they hear words of hope. Thats always my goal in everything. That I would be anchored in hope and love.
I will state this may be a trigger for some who have dealt with postpartum anxiety or depression, but that being said its more about healing and redemption, and you may find something healing in it for yourself too. So if this is you dear friend be easy with your heart and I just wanted you to know before you read on..
It’s been rough. Plain and simple. There has been many MANY great days and moments but postpartum isn’t always a walk in the park. When Bowen was born he was pretty sick and never slept, I was so exhausted and was plagued with postpartum Anxiety. It was debilitating, to the point I couldn’t even drive over bridges because the anxiety of how I would get Bowen to safety or how we were to survive if the bridge crumbled beneath us. I had nightmare after nightmare of him being torn away from me in some horrific way, so the little sleep I did get was torment. Nighttime was hell and I dreaded it. I asked for prayer from our small group we were apart of at the time, 7 months in, 7 months of torture. And my affliction was gone. In that very moment.
If you are reading this and don’t understand, or don’t have a relationship with Jesus I know this may sound like bull but I truly was healed in that moment. I never had a single nightmare again. I could travel with ease. There was a healing in my heart and mind. When I had Ivy, her birth was healing in so many more ways for me. As a Mama I think there will be worries always but not in the way where it cripples your life. So while pregnant with Holland I always knew there was a chance of Postpartum again, once you have a history the chances are greater. I follow a big God, who is loving and capable, but this world is still broken, we will still have troubles. (John 16:33).
I am here at 4 months and a bit Postpartum. It’s been rough. Satan is no fool, he’s the deceiver, who wants to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). He knows how to kick those who are down. And Mamas who have just had babies, who have a crazy surging of hormones coming and going, who have a lack of sleep, who have multiple babies to look after, pressures from everywhere, and isolation – we aren’t spared, we are a large target. I think that’s why it’s so prevalent. We had a rough start (Read Hollands birth story HERE) and afterwards we had some health scares for myself and Holland. We got through a very rough month. We survived but honestly I felt so much was stolen in that month. This was my last baby, my last belly, my last newborn phase. My baby kept getting one sickness after the other for the first 2.5 months of her life. The fear was great, I know its much smaller problems than some, I know this. I watched friends and acquaintances walk through hell and back. But this was our battle, our story. It left me feeling alone, and incredibly brokenhearted. We have been dealing with a lot of other things in life that have been hard too, ones that aren’t for sharing. So all this coupled together- the anxiety came back with vengeance. It brought panic attacks and the darkness of depression with it. I was a functional mess.
My Husband. I can’t describe to you the gift he is. His heart is boundless. I felt so much guilt, this is a by product of postpartum, of being afflicted. I felt guilty for feeling the way I did, for being a burden to him and my kids – that’s a slippery slope. I felt overwhelmed in motherhood – I felt like I wasn’t cut out for the task of it. Carrying my own weight, and the kids, and our marriage, the family struggles – let alone doing anything for myself felt like too much. But He was there, he asked, he allowed me to talk but I felt like I needed guidance, one he couldn’t give and shouldn’t have to be able to! So I decided to seek help and see someone. A therapist/counsellor/shrink call it what you like. It takes a step of courage to do this, to talk to a total stranger. I was so anxious (haha on top of the anxiety I already felt), I described it to Brent like having a wound that was already started to become a scar, that I then had to re-cut and have it open and exposed. It takes courage. It took about all I had left.
but let me say this.
Its been life changing. Not only that but life giving.
Its only been a handful of sessions, but its already turned around so much for me. I have a place to lay it all, without laying it all on my Husband, who has been holding our family together.
I don’t have much detail to give other than that, I don’t want to over complicate it or simplify it, but I am still working through it. The wound is re-healing, sometimes you have to re-break a bone to set it properly so it heals properly, so that it functions properly. Thats what Therapy has felt like. I am healing.
The two major things I have taken from counselling so far are:
- Depression is about the Past – Anxiety is about the Future : When you are living your life in either, you are not present. So I am taking one or more times a day to do that. Read, meditate on the word of God, listen to a song, WRITE. DO what fills my cup, it allows me to bring a piece of myself back, to remind myself to be present. Even if it means sacrificing doing those dishes in the sink, or the Laundry not folded, or tidying something. I know to some that may sound silly but having those done are a stresser for me. But being present is more important.
- I learned a new term: Ambiguous Grief. Which can be grieving a person or relationship who is still alive or an ideal you had that never happened: It’s brought a lot of closure and still is bringing closure for me. To know that Hollands new newborn stage, that time we spent mainly in hospital, that last birth experience that happened quickly and a bit traumatically, it’s okay to grieve that. That is a journey in itself though, the grieving part, is something I will be working through in a lot of areas of my life, for awhile. and thats okay. But even just having a name for it, it helps. It takes away the isolation of it. Starting to heal my brokenhearted places.
SO I know this has been long, I am sorry if its felt “rant-y” and some of you are maybe like ” Um well this is nothing about how 3 kids has been like the title said..” I am sorry, it’s true. But this is how 3 kids has been: It has been the biggest leap in the line of kids, we used to say none to one was our biggest transition but three trumped that by a bit. I have felt like I have had the most lack of hands, lack of patience, lack of help, lack of organization, lack of energy and a messier house than ever! Its tough! It’s been a lot. Some days I am SO SO done at the end of the day, from the crying, whining, incessant talking – omy lanta! I have had to let some ideals go, say “NO” a lot more to social things just to keep my sanity. Struggled with letting people down, and the unsaid requirements from myself and from others. All this coupled with the above. Its been… a lot.
Some days its felt like too much.
but there’s been so. much. love.
I have never felt more complete, more confident in that this is where I am meant to be. My family is the greatest gift, watching my older two fall so in love with their baby sister, seeing them grow as little people. My marriage has been strengthened once again, it’s through hardships that we have built foundations, and walls and a roof on our love. Iron sharpens Iron, we sharpen each other, make the other stronger (Proverbs 27:17)
It’s brought me closer to Jesus, my God, my Saviour. My Anchor. He doesn’t causes the hardships but when we lay them at his feet, with the last of what we have, he loves us, holds us, changes us and grows us through our circumstances. With Bowen it was a miraculous healing. It happened in an instant. Do I believe he has abandoned me now because it didn’t happen that way again? Not for a second. His promises are unchanging. But the healing is slower, through a different avenue. One I am so thankful for. There is healing. Like his gift of grace, we have to receive it. We have to reach out and take it. In this time I needed to reach out for help, just like with Bowen I had to reach out for prayer and I received the gift of healing, and I will continue too. It’s ongoing. I am so thankful, so grateful, still so much a mess but instead of just being a functional one – I am a healing one, a growing one.
God’s Faithful Promise
13 Now when God made a promise to Abraham, since there was no
one greater than himself, he swore an oath on his own integrity[u] to keep
the promise as sure as God exists! 14 So he said,
“Have no doubt, I promise to bless you over and over,
and give you a son and multiply you without measure!”
15 So Abraham waited patiently in faith and succeeded in seeing the
promise fulfilled.[v] 16 It is very common for people to swear an oath
by something greater than themselves, for the oath will confirm their
statements and end all dispute. 17 So in the same way, God wanted to end
all doubt and confirm it even more forcefully to those who would inherit
his promises. His purpose was unchangeable, so God added his vow to the
promise. 18 So it is impossible for God to lie for we know that his promise
and his vow will never change! And now we have run into his heart to
hide ourselves in his faithfulness. This is where we find his strength and
comfort, for he empowers us to seize what has already been established
ahead of time—an unshakeable hope! 19 We have this certain hope like a
strong, unbreakable anchor holding our souls to God himself. Our
anchor of hope is fastened to the mercy seat[w] which sits in the heavenly
realm beyond the sacred threshold,[x] 20 and where Jesus, our forerunner,
[y] has gone in before us. He is now and forever our royal Priest
Playlist for Encouragement:
Photos by Olive and Bean Photography