{This is Not a Romantic Picnic} Confessions from Postpartum Depression

Tills.CutenessI want to come right out of the gate  and say that God has completely rocked my/our world with this last baby. And when I say “rocked” I don’t mean like “it rocked” or “we are rocking it” exactly. I am undeniably speaking of the kind of rocked that kicked our tails. Call us crazy, but that is exactly what we hoped would happen.

I have beautiful teary memories kissing Tillerman’s tiny head and telling him over and over how much we loved him. You also need to know that I did not put baby #5 down for weeks. His head did not hit the sheet of a crib or bassinet.I did not need any Mom advising me to enjoy it because it would go fast… I was a professional soaker upper.

One afternoon Kris walked into our bedroom where I literally was camping out in a recliner because of my c-section and put some music on for me. I started sobbing…”I love him so much…I can’t believe he’s with us.”  I loved my space to enjoy the baby boo.With 4 older kids that did not need me like toddlers, I was free to sit and enjoy.

I did not love the loneliness and depression that set in at week 6. It was 3 am one middle of the night when Kris came in to check on the baby and I lost it on him. Lost. It. I was exhuasted and needed company. No husband wants to be your 3am wake up call guest. Well maybe yours does but please don’t tell the rest of us (haha). There are many things my man is excellent at like doing all the laundry for all 7 of us all week long. Loosing sleep is not his strong point.

I could not deal and so he was the recipient of an earful. After my speech he said, “This is not a romantic picnic! This is survival.” He was right about both of those statements because there were 4 big kids that still needed life to keep moving…but I was hurt. Where was the sea of daisies?  I wanted to feel the picnic vibe but there was no blanket or sweat tea to be found. One day I was sobbing out of pure delight and the next day I was clinching my jaw and thinking of running away!

I didn’t recognize this girl. I didn’t want to run from my baby or my family, but I felt so alone inside that it just sounded like a good idea. Some of you gals may get a good laugh from that because you think of running away daily or hourly (the bathroom counts and so does putting your headphones in pretending you are busy)…some of you know the reality of this irrational, hormone induced crazy kind of running.

I felt an inner alone that I never knew existed, especially for me. I love people but I love having time alone. This was different. This. Was. Scary. I had never experienced Postpartum Depression before and I quickly became a believer in how very really those feelings are.

I hated it. I tried to describe it to a friend…”I feel like I am sitting next to Jen, the real Jen. I know these thoughts and feelings are not me. I know they are not but I can’t shake any of it. It is a dark stormy cloud that will not lift from me.”

I decided that visiting my OB was necessary. She’s amazing. Do you want to know why I love her so? Other than her heart for her patients mixed with her skill and knowledge? On day one of my pregnancy visit I told her that we were older and this was our 5th baby. I explained that it was kindove like Father of the Bride part 2. She not only loves the movie also but she gained inspiration to become a doctor from Dr. Megan on the show. What a gal. This doctor spoke truth to me that I only understood in my depressed state. I could not speak in full sentences even. I sputtered out what I could.

She handed me the box of Kleenex and grabbed my hand. “I know you are in ministry and your faith is strong…but you can’t pray this away.” She was right.

Thankfully Jesus was very near and helped me recognize the dark feelings and that helped me see that this was not me. I agreed to take medication if it the cloud didn’t give way to blue sky within 2 weeks. It broke and I slowly gained small doses of clarity and deep breaths.

This was the very first rock the boat experience on this journey of having a baby at almost 40. I would absolutely not wish the dark days away or the ever want to miss the darling days. Mommas out there who have been at this place…I get you and you need a helpful voice that can walk with you. Daddy’s who have wives who are here…stay close and ask for help if she can’t. As beautiful as babies are, it’s not always a romantic picnic.

“A message from the high and towering God, 

who lives in Eternity,

whose name is Holy;

“I live in the high and holy places,

but also with the low-spririted, the crushed,

And what I do is put a new spirit in them,

get them up and on their feet again.” – Isaiah 57 MSG

We actually are back to “rocking” for the most part and I am oh so thankful for how God was with my low spirit. He got me up and on my feet again. Stay tuned for more confessions from the first year. Photo Credit: Kristen Reed Photography//Franklin, Tn.

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4 thoughts on “{This is Not a Romantic Picnic} Confessions from Postpartum Depression

  1. Thank you for sharing truth! I haven’t personally been through this yet, but there might be a day for me and I have plenty of friends who have. What can I do as a friend to help someone?! I want to help, not hurt more!!

    Like

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