I have been going through old posts, grouping them together for my "popular posts" tab at the top and upon going through the posts I realized I never talked about the emotions and feelings I went through after Eli was born.
I've alluded to them here and there but I've never actually explained it. And I've realized that not too many people talk about it, and sometimes when I do talk about what I went through I will have people scoff at the fact that I would speak these things out loud. WHICH IS WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE WORLD.
Just because my experience wasn't like yours or your experience wasn't like mine doesn't mean one of us was wrong. We are humans with different experiences, emotions, backgrounds and hormones.
Prior to having Eli I was always an emotional person. I would get overly attached to character in books, movies or TV shows and cry when said book, movie or TV show concluded. Which sounds weird but I have found that others deal with this also. Doesn't make us any less crazy but still, together we will stand.
That is just a somewhat silly and vague example but trust me, I am an emotional person.
I always joked around with Luke, even before getting married, that when I had a baby I would probably go through a bit of a funk. I imagined myself sitting around and crying.
I didn't imagine myself LOSING MY EVER LOVING MIND. And by that I mean I thought I would cry and cry and feel down. I had no idea that I would be faced with anxiety like I had never felt before.
The emotions I felt after Eli was born were so hard for me to not only comprehend but also to voice. I felt like there wasn't a soul in the world who understood what I was going through. I would look at my baby with more love than I had ever felt wondering what I had done.
How could I bring a baby into the world that I knew nothing about? How was I going to care for him? How would he fit into our lives? WHY did I think this was a good idea? And on and on.
When I would try and talk to someone about my emotions I was met with "oh I was so emotional over my deep love for my baby also". Which did nothing but frustrate me. Why did nobody understand what I was going through? Why could nobody relate? Why did nobody else feel like having a baby was the hardest thing they had ever done (and I'm not talking labor, that was a piece of cake compared to the emotions after I got home)
These thoughts had no influence on my love for my baby. I loved him and cared for him as any mother should. But these thoughts were swirling in my mind constantly which led to fears that I felt I couldn't express.
I kept just "waiting" for the thoughts to go away. Over time the thoughts of wondering how I could care for a baby went away for the most part but they were replaced with anxious thoughts. Thoughts of overwhelming doom and fear. I'm not talking normal fearful thoughts, I'm talking being afraid of everything involving my baby. It was really unhealthy but I was determined to just "get through it".
I continued going through life looking like a normal person, while dealing with intense anxiety at all times. Sometimes it was almost crippling.
At my 6 week postpartum appointment I shared with my doctor what I had been going through. She strongly encouraged that I get on some sort of anxiety medication.
She assured me that my level of anxiety was not normal this far postpartum. I listened to her words, took the prescription home, put it in my desk and never touched it again.
I have no idea why I did this. I would like to blame it on my anxiety. So that's what we will do.
Weeks went by and I was still having anxious thoughts. I would get so stressed out about the smallest things and feel so overwhelmed about virtually nothing. Finally one day I called the nurse and asked her to call me in a prescription. I have no idea why I decided at that moment but I'm so glad I did.
While I don't know for sure what was going through my mind I think part of me as a Christian was scared to get on medication. Wasn't I supposed to turn to God to help me through these things? Was taking a little blue pill my way of saying I can't rely on God, I don't have enough faith, I need something else to help me day to day?
I have come to the conclusion that all of those thoughts were simply part of my anxiety. I do not use my medication as a way to replace
my relationship with Christ. I do not think because I take a pill to help relieve me of some anxiety that I do not need to spend time in the word. I do not see the pills as a "be all end all" solution.
And it isn't a cure all, there are times where I still have anxious thoughts and irrational fears and I remember to take it to the Lord, not just pop another pill hoping for a sweet release. I am still accountable for my thoughts and actions, a pill is not a coverall. I am still to take every thought captive.
Taking medication has helped me get a handle on my anxiety. But it has not cured it. I still have to work through it.
Sometimes I do get nervous about having a second baby and going through all of this again, but while I know I can't control my hormones, I can go into it more prepared, knowing what to expect and how to better handle all of it.
Through all of this I have learned that everybody has a different experience. I can't tell others what to expect, just as I hope others won't look at my experience and think I did something wrong or handled it wrong or even be scared of going through it. The joy of my baby boy was well worth all of it.