Darker Days

There has been a LONG hiatus on Grit & Grace. For a variety of reasons, but mostly…I’ve been struggling to find that happy place of writing again. After Daxton’s birth, my emotional and mental state took a beating. I just couldn’t find a way to put into words the heavy darkness I was feeling. Below is something I started writing back in December, so needless to say it’s been sitting in my drafts for quite some time. I think I’m ready to share it with you. You should know, it’s the ramblings of an overtired, depressed & exhausted new mom. I can’t read this back without crying…that dark place feels like an entire different lifetime but at the same time, it still feels very fresh.

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It’s so funny…becoming a mom for the second time. You still have the same nerves & worries as the first time around, but you feel more confident in your mothering abilities. At least, I felt that way.

I had survived the newborn stage before, I could do it again.

I had managed to make it through all the sleepless nights, seemingly unscathed (or so I remember).

I made it through my maternity leave with Quincy with MOST of my sanity intact & I remember dreading going back to work & leaving my tiny little baby with anyone other than myself. (It should be noted, my sister, my own flesh & blood, is who I was leaving her with & I’ll never forget bawling the entire way to work the first day I left Quincy).

So needless to say, I felt much more prepared & ready to take on motherhood again. What I was NOT prepared for; the non-stop anxiety. The constant worry & fear that this incredibly sweet & simple life would be taken from me. It’s the devil, I know it is. He is constantly attacking my heart & my peace of mind. The amount of physical pain it’s caused me in these few weeks since Daxton has arrived has been debilitating, to say the least.

I know people who have experienced post-partum depression & post-partum anxiety, but I did not experience it with Quincy. In fact, I was so unsure of what was causing the pain in my chest, that for a day or two, I thought I was having mild heart attacks. One night while I was walking downstairs to feed Daxton in the middle of the night, I remember feeling such a tightness in my chest & I knew I needed to tell Jordan, just in case anything happened to me. I legit thought that I might keel over & die at any moment and I didn’t want Jordan or my family to be left saying, “We had no idea…we had no idea she was in pain!”

It was this constant, underlying tightness & physical pain in my chest. As if the entire world was sitting on top of me & I wasn’t able to take a full breath. I felt as if I might crack at any moment, that my life would just start to fall apart at the seams.

I think it was the evening before Thanksgiving that I was sitting in my parent’s room, feeding Daxton & talking to my mom. I started to tell her about this tightness in my chest & almost immediately I started crying. I couldn’t stop the tears from pouring down my face. I felt so helpless, so alone & so confused as to why I was feeling this way. I had just given birth to my son, my baby boy & I should be feeling so much joy & adoration. Instead, I was feeling constant dread & panic.

She encouraged me to continue to pray to the Lord for the kind of peace that only HE can provide & assured me she would have her prayer warrior friends praying for me as well.

The other day, I was home with Daxton & he was refusing to nap & I was so exhausted from fighting him. I sat with him in Quincy’s room, trying to feed him & rock him to sleep & I was sobbing. Out loud, sobbing. All I wanted was to go home. Which made no sense, since I was already home. But it wasn’t so much a physical place I longed for, but a mental & emotional “home” I desperately wanted. I feel so guilty even saying this, but the “home” I wanted to go back to, was before Daxton was born. When it was just Jordan, Quincy and I. We had our routine, we were the three musketeers & while Quincy tested our patience, it paled in comparison to the sleepless nights & endless newborn cries.

As soon as I felt that longing for “home” – I looked down at my baby boy & felt so much shame for wanting something that didn’t involve him. After all, I am HIS home. I am his comfort. He finds rest & peace when he’s with me. And how could I have this feeling, this horrible & selfish feeling of wanting to be somewhere he was not.

I sat down with Jordan that night & sobbed a lot more. I explained to him what I had been feeling & how awful it made me feel. How horrible of a mother must I be, if I was feeling this way? That’s when I knew I needed to take action. That’s when I knew these emotions I was experiencing were not your typical, post-partum blues. I was having serious anxiety and experiencing depressive episodes. What terrified me even more than the anxiety itself, was that this constant pain & nagging was going to rob me of sweet moments with my son. I did not & I do not want to lose out on enjoying my time at home with him. I do not want this pain, this fear and anxiety to steal the joy I have found in being Daxton’s mom.

It’s all very confusing & I’m not sure if I’m explaining this well or not, but it’s real & it’s what I’m experiencing. I started this blog to be real & honest. To share my experiences, the highs & the lows of life. This my friends is very very low for me. I absolutely hate feeling this way, this does not feel like me at all. I get so incredibly frustrated with myself for not being able to think logically, but this is what post-partum anxiety looks like for me. But I won’t let it define me & I won’t let it ruin this time I have with Daxton.

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Wow, so so hard for me to relive such a hard time. But I know that if this is something I experienced, then other moms have felt the same way. What I learned, is that it’s okay to feel these feelings, it’s okay to worry and to feel overwhelmed. And it’s definitely okay to feel anxious or depressed BUT I cannot let those feelings take root in my soul. I need to feel them, acknowledge them & then immediately hand them over to God. They are his burden to carry.

“Cast your burden on the Lord,

And He shall sustain you.”

Psalms 55:22

 

2 thoughts on “Darker Days

  1. Dear sweet Momma, I am praying for you. You are not alone. I experienced that with my babies too it took a few months and many prayers for me to let go and let God do what He needed to do to help me. It is a heart and mind changing time for you to adjust to and with so many things changing physically and mentally our hearts are at times overwhelmed. I was always the strong and stable one and couldn’t understand what was happening to me and I felt like I had to do it alone. I admire your strength and courage to talk about it and reach out to other women about this. I know God will give you the strength and courage to overcome this change and bless you for letting Him take this from you. Stay close to Him and He will show you each and every new day how very much He loves you and has a plan in all of this. You are not alone. You are doing an amazing job and your precious beautiful babies are blessed to have you for a mommy. You are going to grow so much from this experience and come out even stronger than before. God is good and He will not fail you. Love and God bless,

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  2. Rachelle, your words of encouragement are such a blessing! I can relate to what you said about being the strong & stable one…it’s definitely been an adjustment but I feel like I’m finally on the “other side” of things & am able to enjoy my babies SO much more now!

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