This is a hard post to write. I’ve considered not posting it for a while. But darkness loses its power when you shine the light on it. So here goes:
I have post-partum depression.
My daughter was born 12 weeks ago and those have been the best and most difficult weeks of my life. First there was the normal hormone crash 4 days after she was born. I literally thought I was losing my mind. I loved her very much but felt so completely out of control of my mind. I would cry for hours at a time and just feel so out of my mind. That got better at two weeks after her birth.
Then I was still having a lot of anxiety and extreme crying sessions every day. I thought it was due to being worried about returning to work when Adeline was 6 weeks old. I prayed so much that God would give me peace, and He did, but I still struggled very much. I thought it would go away once I returned to work and Adeline successfully transitioned to being at the sitter’s house three days a week.
I went back to work three days a week and the transition went much better than I expected. However, on my days off I was still having these extreme crying sessions and the need to fill my day with things to do so that I wasn’t alone. I kept feeling like I was failing Adeline somehow and that she deserved a better mother. I beat up on myself so much because of my struggle. I realized though that God wasn’t surprised by any of this. He knew I would struggle with this and still chose me to be Adeline’s mom. I didn’t understand His reasoning but took great encouragement in knowing He held our future.
I realized at seven weeks post-partum that was I was dealing with was depression and anxiety. I felt like I was being robbed of a pleasant experience in what was supposed to be a happy time in my life. I told my husband and he prayed with me and encouraged me to talk to my doctor. I met with my OB and he prescribed me a low dose anti-depressant. Thankfully that has made a big difference in my mood and life! I am so thankful to the Lord for His guidance, for a supportive husband, knowledgeable doctors, and medicine.
While I was struggling with this, my church was working through a series on the Psalms of Ascent. God knew I needed this series. I found such a kindred spirit in the psalmist and in his cries to The Lord. I was encouraged by how he praised the Lord even while undergoing suffering.
A sweet friend also sent me the Shane and Shane song Though You Slay Me. This song talks about praising God even in the midst of deep suffering. I very much related to this song as well.
Now, please don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that God caused my depression. Jesus tells us in John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” I’m not saying the devil caused it either, I think it’s a side effect of living in a fallen world, our bodies and minds don’t operate how God intended. But I was just so encouraged and empowered to cry out to God and praise Him even in my struggles through this song.
While I have already come so far in the last five weeks, I know this journey isn’t over. However, I am trying to view this as an opportunity to glorify God and suffer well for Him (I’ll talk more about this in a future post).
an encouraging text from a loving friend, and most importantly, in the knowledge that my story is written by a God who is bigger than my suffering, not surprised by anything, and loves me more than I can imagine. He alone holds my life and I pray I live it in a way that glorifies Him.
If you’re a mom going through this, know there is hope! God loves you and has given us His peace. If you don’t know Him, please ask me, I’d love to share more of what He’s done in my life. Know there is no shame in dealing with this and there is help! Your loved ones and doctors care about you and want to help. Don’t be scared to tell someone how you’re feeling. There is no weakness in seeking help. In our weakness, He is strong!!