Overcoming Postpartum Depression & Living and Loving God's Blessings

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A much larger purpose

I can't stop thinking that I am missing the point.

I don't think I will ever really fully understand the depths of what happened to me this past summer. I am still trying to sort it out. I am still in the struggle. It is much easier to think clearly and to process what I need to do to stay healthy. I feel like I still have this anchor tied to my ankle and I just can't shake it.

Some days I think about this past summer and try to "re-do" it completely. I "what-if" it to death. This thinking is completely destructive and counter-productive. I also still struggle with certain people close to me not wanting to address it as a huge turning point in my life. I don't blame them-it isn't easy to talk about and not everyone knows what to say. It is hard to understand if you never have gone through something like this. I also know I just need to "get over this"
I don't know how to do that. I think I am getting the greatest support from my husband and I am doing all the right things. I am seeing a therapist once a month, I take my medication everyday, I exercise, and I blog and am open about everything that is happening to me. I pray constantly. I am trying to remember to forget.  I really need to get past this and stop living in it.

God's purpose for me is not clear, but it is getting clearer. I think I am trying too hard to make sense of this and finding a reason for it. The more I share my story, the more I find so many people who struggled with depression. I also know many people who have attempted or have succeeded in taking their own lives. I am praying that God would have mercy on them and forgive them of their actions. I truly believe in my heart that Satan will attack and make us weak to keep us from fulfilling God's purpose. He will also try anything to make us destructive to ourselves by his lies.

Maybe my purpose is to educate others on depression and anxiety as a whole-not just Postpartum depression. It is a difficult subject to talk about-especially if you never personally experienced it. My purpose is also to help others find hope and grace in the loving and forgiving Jesus Christ. I truly believe I would not be here if it wasn't for God's protection and my faith. It is so scary to think that people without faith, have nothing to cling to and think that suicide is the only answer. I am not judging-I hope that is clear. I know from my own experience that my faith was tested and I felt like God had abandoned me in my darkest hours. The truth is he is closer to us than ever. I know that now.

I hope whatever struggle you or your loved ones may be going through right now, you give it over to God first and let him lead you to the truth. Don't be afraid to ask for help- you were never intended to go through this life on your own.

The hardest Truth

I still have a hard time watching those commercials for different medications for depression. The people in the commercials look like zombies and usually are laying in bed with their hair all over the place. I never understood depression. I just thought people were being "lazy" or not trying very hard.  But you can't. You physically can not get out of it.
Even though I know they are actors, I still feel an aching in my heart when I watch those commercials. I am glad they are out there and I am so glad there is medication out there to treat depression as well as anxiety.

Our pastor shared his battle with depression and anxiety at church this week. He was suffering this summer too. I looked over at my husband when he was speaking and sharing his story. My heart ached for him. I was so proud of him for having the courage to share this very personal struggle. He continued on to talk about how we are strangers in this world. We have to expect struggles and suffering and be grateful for them. They are also God's way of testing us. At the time, we cannot be grateful and we are usually very bitter and angry. We even question how could a God love us and let this suffering enter our lives? He also talked about how we need to be praying for each other while our brothers and sisters are struggling. He also brought up one of the most important point of all. We struggle so that we can be compassionate and help others who are going through the same thing.

It was finally the closure I was looking for. I told the pastor this after church and thanked him for sharing his story and giving me closure. I joked to my husband that the pastor was my new best friend!

I do not doubt that God allowed me to be tested by Postpartum depression. He loved me enough to allow this to happen to me and my family. I have been blessed several times over through this experience and I would not change a thing about it.
I also know that more struggles will come. Now I know I that when they do come, there is God's blessing behind it 100%.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mom survivors

I took my daughter to her Awana club two Sundays ago. Awana is for children to learn about God and his word. My three year old and I go over lesson plans and go to her class which is called Cubbies. I usually drop her off for two hours and come back to pick her up.  This Sunday we were doing a forest walk, campfire, and picnic. It was amazing.  I loved sharing this time with my daughter and other moms and dads.
After talking to one of the moms, she pulled me aside and asked me if I was Phill's wife.  (I get asked that all of the time. He is kind of well known in this town as a teacher and the new wrestling head coach. Plus he is actively involved in leading high school students on trips to Kenya.)
She introduced herself and told me she read my blog. My husband sent my blog out to the entire school district-without my permission, but I know why he did. I was a little concerned at first, but then I was happy to share my story because I know more people need to be aware of Postpartum depression and how serious it can be.

She told me she was a Postpartum depression survivor also. We talked for a long time, while my daughter was yelling at me to get in the car. I hugged her and had such a great feeling about meeting her. I know God put me in this place to meet her. We have decided we are going to get together and we both share the same passion to get the word out there. She was on the news and has spoken to several different groups about her personal struggle with Postpartum depression.

After the business of the holidays settle down we will get together and meet for coffee. I am so blessed to have met her and I am very confident together we can bring more awareness to others out there. Another answer to my prayers.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Milking it!"

So I am still struggling with this for the past four months.

I was able to breastfeed for two months. Then you know my story. Because of some of the medications with the postpartum depression, I was told to stop breastfeeding. At the time I wasn't able to get sentimental or feel badly about this decision, because I was just trying to survive. 

Now I am the mom who buys formula at the store for my baby. I've had comments from random people about how "breast is best." I smile and politely say, "I did as long as I could."  If I know them well enough, I will tell them why I quit breast feeding.
My annoyance with this is simply, what is so wrong with formula feeding my baby? Sometimes I feel like I am being ostracized for NOT breastfeeding. It is really a personal decision and it really is no one else's business. 
Some women CAN'T breastfeed, so why should they have to feel inadequate? 

It really irritates me even more when it is a man who says it to me. I've had two men, who do not know me make comments about how "breast is best"  I think the next man who tells me that, I will ask him what kind of underwear wears. Then maybe he will get the point!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thank God for Girlfriends!

We love our moms and our hubbies-but let's face it. They just don't get IT sometimes. Moms are wonderful, but they haven't raised little ones for over 25-30 years give or take a few years. If you read one of my last posts, you understand that husbands are great, but you can't confide in them like you can your girlfriends. Nor would you want to sometimes. I usually get the look from my husband that means, "I don't need to know that!"  That is why God created girlfriends.

I love my girlfriends. I need them like air to breathe!  Even though some of my closest friends are hundreds of miles away, Facebook and phone calls make them feel close to home. I love being able to be so honest and open about what is going on in my life and they can do the same with me. Sometimes we don't even say much and sometimes we just vent and we feel so much better afterwards. It is great therapy!  I usually end up laughing hysterically at the latest thing my girlfriend's husband or kids just did because I can usually relate in my own situation.

The other day, my new friend and neighbor and I went for a walk with our kids. I had just had a slim-fast for breakfast. It went right through me- and I needed to get to a bathroom before I had a PE (poop emergency)  I walked to the park bathroom and of course it was locked. Then I quickly grabbed the stroller and my three year old who was still upset about losing her ball somewhere in the grass. I told my friend, Emilie, I needed to get to the gas station as soon as possible. I practically ran to the gas station with my three year old whining and my baby in the stroller. Once we got to the gas station I bolted for the bathroom praying it was empty. It was.
Afterwards we met outside and I thought to myself, I should be embarrassed by this- but I wasn't. Emilie just smiled and said, "I've been there before too!"

That's the best thing about girlfriends. No matter what happens, chances are we can look at each other, smile, and say, "I've been there before too!"

Monday, November 1, 2010


So we are on 14 days and counting of Germfest in my house. I started calling my house an infirmary.

Let's see, I had the flu first and then passed it to my husband and daughter. My baby had a horrible cold and was miserable. I ended up in urgent care and was told he had a viral infection. Yuck!  Then I came down with a horrible sore throat and a cough.  Our foster son was sick for three days with the flu. Just when we thought he was getting better, he had a relapse at 3:00 a.m. Gross! I am glad I got to hear it because I was up feeding a cranky and sick baby.

Then my three year old daughter's eyes were crusted shut. My new friend and neighbor told me it looked like pink eye. She was right. Pink eye in both eyes. So we have to do eye drops 4 times a day for 5 days. Every time we get near her with the eyedropper it is like a wrestling match to get the eye drops in her eyes!

I have cleaned the bathroom more times than I can count, I have finally caught up on laundry, my doorknobs are covered in Lysol (thanks to my mother-in-laws advice) and I am a local favorite at the pharmacy.

Baby Phillip was absolutely miserable so I tried everything I could to make him happy. I tried to play peek-a-boo, but I just scared him and he wailed even louder.  I tried to put him in his new jumper and he liked it for about ten minutes. I know he will love it when he is feeling better. So I gave him a corner of my chocolate bar. He lunged forward to suck on it! He had the biggest grin ever. It was great to give him some comfort even if it was only for a few minutes. Babies love chocolate-even though I am sure they aren't supposed to have it.
But sometimes we have to "just wing it" and throw out the rule book of parenting. Especially when you are going on 14 days and counting of Germfest.

Today I went to the doctor to find out I have strep throat and a viral infection. I look up and laugh... God you have to be kidding me. But now we get to start all over- One big happy cycle of fun!