Sunday, May 19, 2013

Baby Blues and Most Beautiful Words of Scripture

pardon photo quality.....I can only seem to have time to snap pictures quickly and have little energy to carry my large camera these days....

I heard it said once that the most wonderful words in scripture were these: “And it came to pass.” I chuckled then, thinking how true it was. But I was a teenager and was clueless.

 “And it came to pass….”

late nights and early mornings...such is this phase 

Baby blues were not something I faced with Gracin’s delivery. The transition into motherhood was easy and dreamy. I struggled with learning to handle the new baby and household duties, but it was a precious time.

This second time around with Garrett I have found myself caught in the difficulty of hormonal blues. I toggle between two extremes. I tried to explain it to Kyle this way:

One minute I feel like I am in a bright, white, beautiful room. There are simple flowers absorbing the beauty of natural light dancing in from windows, bordered in white, sheer curtains. In this room I am hopeful, excited, purposeful, thriving, satisfied, and covering all the needs of my family quickly and happily. This room makes my heart beat faster with sheer joy. I want my husband close, I want my boys there to enjoy the sun, and in this place I feel like I could fly. Picture your paradise—be it a beach, mountain’s peak, coffee shop, parents’ living room, or spa….believe me when I say that this bright, naturally lit room with simple flowers is my paradise. It almost begs me to sit and rest for a moment before conquering the world.

It’s true. That’s how I feel in extreme #1.

Welcome to extreme #2:

When the blues hit I feel like my room is suddenly black. The beautiful light that inspires me is drowned in darkness. I feel itchy in my own skin. Restlessness causes me to almost pace the floor. I must pace to elude the alternative of sitting and staring blankly out the window….I see the light but cannot welcome it into my aching emotional abyss. I lose the excitement of taking life firmly by the proverbial “horns” and instead fall into survival mode. In these moments I want to shut the world out. My husband and boys are in this room with me, dark though it may be, and they need me. My men need to be fed, their clothes need to be washed, there is always another chore to do. This is how I plunge ahead, moment by moment, doing what must be done as if by robotic housewife skills. But I wash dishes with tears brimming at the backs of my eyes—tears that have no explanation and no energy to release and trickle out. Sometimes I’m angry. But I can’t explain that emotion either. Angry moments, even these, are accompanied by the desire to ugly cry for no apparent purpose.

My poor husband.  

Usually my blues barge in like an unwelcome visitor in the evenings when I am tired. Sometimes they are prefaced by a long family walk during which I feel excited and thankful to be out of the house and breathing clean, fresh air. Other times they come knocking in the mornings after a sleepless night or easily frustrating event. It’s hard to shake these feelings. I cling to my husband during the “episodes.” Bless him, I inwardly turn into a leech and struggle to let him go outside, to the garage, or even the bathroom. Seriously. I’m not making this up. I do well at hiding it, but from the moment he walks out of my sight until the moment he appears again I feel anxious. I don’t want anyone else in my world…just him and my boys.

I feel like an oxymoron. My heart screams for companionship, for a chat with a friend, for activity, but once the darkness overwhelms my emotional space I want the world outside of my little home to go away. I feel lonely, I blame the world for this painful aloneness, so I desire to push them out. Don't worry, it's not anyone's fault that I feel alone, really. For people to help they have to know there's a problem. I have hidden myself away and tried to mask the struggle. I still post pictures on Instagram, statuses on Facebook, or try to be involved in a virtual social space, but I do it out of a bizarre desire to be part of a world that seems so far away. I avoid negative or “blue” statements in social media because I hate public displays of hormones and, honestly, I haven’t wanted people to look at me with pity. I wanted someone to empathize...not sympathize. 

I can’t explain all these feelings. They are foreign to who I am. I am never, EVER, been an overly emotional person. I didn’t understand PMS-ing girls who use their times of the month to explain away their hormonal outbursts. In fact, they irritate me. I rarely cry in front of people other than family or close friends. In fact, I rarely cry at all. I am typically emotionally stable.

God has been so merciful, so unchanging, so compassionate on me during these past weeks. I know from reading other women’s experiences that I am not alone and certainly not in as bad a position as I could be. I cling to Him for strength and perseverance. I am blessed His mercies are new each morning.

My husband has been so patient, so understanding, so compassionate. He cannot understand these feelings, but sends me for a walk or to a chair for rest when I feel I cannot keep persevering. His only request is that I not close myself off from him emotionally. So I tell him how I feel, as irrational as it may seem, and I don’t caveat the feelings. I’m learning to own them, though I don’t understand them. My boys have never ceased to bring a smile, for even when in my dark moments Gracin’s toddling and senseless jabbering gives me strength to keep changing diapers, cooking dinner, and cleaning up messes. And though I often feel like crying through parts of his nursings, or even cursing them at the very pain of his latching on, sweet Garrett’s warm skin against mine as he nurses and often falls asleep at my chest keeps me in a state of continuing.

I know these are normal feelings for many women, and I’m not ignoring or pushing them away in an attempt to pretend they don’t exist. I’m accepting that they are here, and I am painfully aware of them on a daily basis.  My husband prays over me often as we face these moments together, one moment at a time.

The days aren’t bleak, they are precious. These days with my boys are precious. I need them close, I need their happy chattering, even their whiny tears and messy moments, to keep me moving. I know that the time I struggle with baby blues will be short in the long life we share as a family, but today, I have to be honest with the situation and keep moving ahead.

Aren’t we thankful that our Father is always in the light??? “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:15). I’m clinging to Him.

It is hard to share this with you. I don’t like admitting difficulties as Satan often tries to convince me they are weaknesses the world will label me for having. But that’s what’s going on in our world right now. That’s where I am… tough and “un-beautiful” as it may seem.

Thanks for listening, this confession is like therapy for my heart. We can believe together the precious, beautiful words of scripture together:

“and it came to pass…..”

handsome daddy being silly with G1 before bedtime 

sweet brothers....who look so much like brothers :)

sitting in the back of the car after a family outing

the reality of life at the end off the day with a busy toddler 
painful boo-boos as the right of passage into learning to walk 

precious cuddles that keep me rocking until even the chair
seems to doze with us. 

No comments: