I have written this blog many times in my heart, and even on my computer, but I have always erased it. It definitely exposes a weak part of me, a struggle I have had, yet is such an intimate story of grace and strength, I felt I was not able to do it justice in a blog post. Now I feel like it’s finally “time”. I’m not so sure that I will be able to fully convey the story, as I only have time to share a very shortened version, but I will try.
My intent in writing this, is I want other moms to know that they are not alone, that God is good in every situation, and that God is trustworthy no matter what He hands to you. Also, to know that we can not depend on our feelings and that many times our minds mess with us; this is the time we have to ground ourselves in the Word and reach out to others for help.
My story starts well over a year ago.
Jeremy and I were very content with the two children God had already given us. In fact, I felt more then blessed. I knew Jeremy would always be open for more (he is an amazing daddy and loves his kids) but my health has never been good and my pregnancies have been terrible. 9 months of misery. 9 months when I could barely take care of myself, let alone my already-born children.
On top of all that, our 2nd child has had her own journey. We have had to watch her fight respiratory issues through her babyhood, and fight for her life on one occasion. It still makes me catch my breath and feel nervous when she gets sick, since her immune system does not handle illness well. We had experienced 7 ER visits, 2 PICU stays, 1 surgery and many long nights before she turned age 2.
Hubby and I don’t do many date nights but during two of the few we have had, we had to come home and rush her to the ER, one due to breathing problems and the other due to a broken clavicle. So, she definitely has shook our lives up.
On top of all that, I have fibromyalgia and have to keep a watch on that. If I don’t get sleep, my pain level spikes and my nerves are shot. Even touch can be painful. For even a child to come rub or touch my body can be so painful. I often joke that it feels like someone ran you over with a truck…and then backed up over you again. My especially-cuddly kids do not know how painful it can be at times and I don’t want them to lose their cuddliness, so it’s a balance.
I lose my patience a lot and have a hard time dealing with simple life situations just because of the pain in my body and fog in my mind.
So I said all that to say that we were very much content with the two children we had and I just felt like I could do no more than what God had already given us.
However, over a year ago, I really felt like God was impressing on me that I should leave the decision up to Him about whether we should have more children. In fact, He had been working on me for probably 6 months or more. I chatted with Hubby about this several times. He knew I was wrestling but was adamant that I make the decision since I was the one who struggled so much with my health. He, of course, wanted the opportunity to have more children but did not want to add to my load. I kept praying and struggling and, finally, I decided, I had to trust God on this one. He was the Gifter of children and I needed to trust Him.
Nothing happened… at first. When we tried for our first 2, we conceived within the first week or month. It was so quick. So, I happily went along with life and my heart sang a tune that sung “I can trust God”! I went on singing for over 6 months… until the end of March.
I knew something was up. I took a pregnancy test and it was positive. Jeremy was thrilled and I was scared…and then I got sick. Physically, I was sicker than I think I ever have been. It started to effect my body and my mind. I went into a very deep depression. Jeremy knew something was wrong but he didn’t know what. It was a very dark time. I would be driving down the road alone and just wishing that a car would hit me. I wouldn’t take my own life and I would have NEVER wanted my kids hurt, but I just didn’t want to live. I had no strength. I was sick and nauseous and I felt like I couldn’t “mom”. This went on for weeks that turned into months.
I tried to put on a good face for my church and family but I wasn’t even around them that much since I was so sick. I stopped talking to my mom and she thought I was mad at her, but I was just so sick I couldn’t deal with life or my health.
I also felt VERY alone. I had close friends who would have gone through much worse just to be able to carry a baby. I kept thinking “There were mothers around me who are dying to get pregnant, what right did I have to not want this pregnancy.”
(Of course, every baby is a special gift and I wanted the baby, just not what I was going through.)
Toward the end of that dark time, I reached out a friend who I had heard had had a similar situation. I had realized that I was going through prenatal depression. I didn’t even know that was possible. At that point though, I was open to getting help.
The turning point was two-fold.
One morning, my mom came to return something she had and she seemed nervous. (Later on I realized that she had used the excuse of returning a car seat to have a reason to come by.) After letting her in, she sat me down and talked to me gently about the fact that she thought I might be dealing with depression. At this point, I knew what I was going through and I finally talked freely with her. We talked for hours that morning. She didn’t just come to talk,, though, she also had solutions. She had a list of things I could do physically and spiritually that would help me with depression.
These things were as simple as going out into the sunshine every day for a few hours. (We started to do home school outside every day and that really helped me). Also, things like taking fish oils for your brain, exercising and talking to people about what was going on. There were all sorts of things on that list.
I started doing those things and, slowly but surely, started feeling human again. I once again started filling my ears with good Godly podcasts and music.
Then, just a few weeks after my mom and I had talked, I was sitting in Sunday School, as my husband was speaking about Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus prayed for God to take away “this cup”. He didn’t want it. This was a HUGE thing that He was going to have to bear. From the pain and abuse to the burden of sin and the separation from His Father, it was terrible. He didn’t just accept it. He asked His Father to PLEASE TAKE IT. At that point I felt the same way. I couldn’t do this. I didn’t want this…but it was the next words that I knew I had to be able to say: “Not my will but thine.” I knew I had to trust God with this. And so, I would say this to myself over and over and over again.
About this time, I stumbled onto a song, THY WILL by Hillary Scott. I would play it over and over. “Thy Will Be Done, Thy WILL Be DONE! Thy will be done!!!!….I know You’re good but this don’t feel good right now….Your plans are for me…goodness You have in store”
One day it clicked. I knew I had finally given it over.
I can’t say that after that I woke up and it was easy. I still dealt with the sickness and lack of strength for a short time after that and over the next couple months I we had some “large life situations.”…but God has been so good.
The next two trimesters have been so different. They have actually been the best two trimesters out of all of my pregnancies. I am in the last trimester and am so excited about this baby. I have never been so excited and I have never felt an unborn baby be such a part of our lives like this one.
My kids are talking to the baby and singing to and giving him/her kisses. The baby responds to us, moves around and wiggles and, often when we are rubbing my belly, sticks out different body parts (as if to say hello).
We can not wait to meet baby #3. I know that God has something really special for this baby. I’m quite sure we would never have been a complete family without this little one blessing our lives.
I wish I could add all the little details to my story, but this post is long enough. So I end with this: If you feel all alone, please get help. Talk to someone who can walk you through your journey. Trust God and His perfect will.
If you think something is wrong with your friend, gently talk to her and help find solutions.
Depression is a very real thing and it comes a lot of times with illness and when the body is not functioning right. You can fight it. You can train your mind and heal your body. It might not ever completely go away but you can learn to live a thriving life with your eyes on God.
Moms, ladies, I don’t know what you are going through, but I do know that God is good. I know that I can trust Him. I know that He has plan for my life, as well as all three of my babies. I know the best thing I can do is to get on board with that.
Life is not always pretty. There are many days where I want my Father to take away that bitter cup, but ultimately I have to be willing to live a life of “Thy Will Be Done!”