I wanted to tell you a little bit about me;
I had my first child at 23 with my amazing husband.
I got pregnant with our 2nd child about 15 months later.
It was after my 2nd child that I developed PPD, even though I didn’t realize what was going on in my body.
We sold our home, moved into my parents house and my husband started school again, after I had just quit school, because my healing had become much more difficult and complicated. It was around Christmas when I started to fully grasp how sick I felt. It was all about the alternation between despair, exhaustion and numbness that plagued my days.
I found out after January that I was pregnant with our third child. Needless to say, I wanted to die because I thought God was punishing me for not living blissfully or gratefully with my 2 beautiful babies.
I was surrounded by family and I had never felt so alone. I was miserable and I couldn’t pretend that I was okay, much less happy.
When my husband understood that we were headed down this road, we quickly moved out into a bigger apartment and I isolated myself as much as I could.
I wanted to connect with my old friends or even make new ones but It was so difficult because all my thoughts revolved around how terrible I felt.
I tried to reach out to the people in my life and I think they were completely terrified of my mindset because I had no one to talk to about how I felt and it was overwhelming for most people.
Relief started to come in the form of acknowledgement and resources, even unhelpful ones, that were sent to me by a loving and gracious God; I was happily shocked to see my baby in a sonogram after cursing the physical act of pregnancy while I felt so beat down and worthless because I was so tired.
I was able to talk to my husband about my thoughts and feelings.
I had a friend that would come and visit me.
I also tried eating more whole food and less junk food.
I got more creative with my resources.
I had to get better when my 3rd child was diagnosed with ‘Failure to Thrive” and we were shuttled off to many experts who did not know how to help him.
During that crisis, I lost all my friends, and even our family would not acknowledge my efforts for my son.
But, by then, I had resolved to care for my family, no matter what anyone else thought.
My husband also proved to be my greatest source of comfort and support, as he also felt alone in his quest to care for his family and we felt that we only, had each other’s best interests at heart.
A year after our 3rd child, I went from sleeping non-stop, to being unable to sleep.
I still struggle with this issue today. Some days it gets the best of me, some days I am super productive-out of control, crazy mean, can’t sleep, mom.
I always need a few days of recovery after those crazy days.
After my 4th successful pregnancy and birth, I spiraled top to bottom in anxiety, but it seemed less intense than the previous sleep-filled 2 years that I had slogged through.
By the time I felt ready for a 5th child, my husband was dealing with some intense pressure to perform, in every aspect. Career-wise, socially, and emotionally but he was very stressed. It is a miracle to me that we were able to get pregnant at all.
Our 5th child was born in March and the very next day, he was whisked away to a local NICU because of an unforeseen heart defect. We were able to bring him home safely and full of relative health, after 6 days, and the support of many services within our community and I am grateful every day when I see his little face.
I wanted to close with the only idea that is real to me. I will do what God asks of me and I will do it in a way that allows me to express myself in a healthy manner. This means to me, that I need to listen to my body and give it what it needs, regardless of what the ‘experts’ say. I am in control of my health, not anyone else.
I found out, almost a year after my 5th child, that my body does not like; Chocolate, Soy, Sugar, Nuts, pasturized dairy and gluten. This matters to me because I have had chronic stomach problems since my teens and substituting these above foods, with other helpful foods has made a life difference for me.