A Final Farewell to Postpartum Depression

Today I took off my last bandages from my surgery and breathed both a sigh of relief and of saddness. This decision took me a few months to finalize and knowing that I am forever done holding a newborn of my own was not an easy pill to swallow. I have heard so many opinions over the years as to why this decision should not be made or taken lightly, but the alternative was far more frightening to me.

Postpartum depression is something I never thought I would struggle with (having never dealt with depression prior to my childbearing years). The thoughts that consumed my mind bring me to tears and the possibility of ever going through it again was too hard to bear for me. 

I am a year away from my thirties and have had three healthy pregnancies and babies. From a medical prespective I am an ideal candidate to give birth to healthy babies due to never having any complications. And as much as this makes me happy, I also feel guilty that unlike myself I have so many friends struggling with infertility, loss of an infant, or miscarriages. My hope is that although my season of childbearing is over I can now have the time, energy, and emotional capacity to better come alongside my friends (old and new) to love on them and pray for them in ways I was unable to before. 

I know at this point what some of you may be thinking: Why didn't your husband just get a vasechtomy? We tried. He wasn't a candidate. End of story. 

In fact my husband came home from going on a walk with our youngest the other day and told me how he was getting teary-eyed thinking about the fact that this is our last biological child together. It was a reminder to soak up the good and the bad, the sleepless nights and the endless teething, becuase one day our kids will be out and about on a skateboard rather than begging to be sitting on our laps. 

This decision was really a decision to put an end to my postpartum depression. I have been off meds for a few months now and besides the emotional changes I go through when the seasons change, (See post Here) I've been feeling great. I am not going to be naive and say depression cannot ever effect me again in the future, but I am more hopeful. In the years to come I hope that we can bring the joy of life into our house again in the form of adoption or foster care, but for now I am thankful for the three little boys God has entrusted us with. My three tiny marks are now a reminder on my body of the remarkable gift of life and how each child brought me down a road that brought me to where I am today and has helped shape me into who I am today. 

If you are struggling with any form of depression and anxiety know you don't have to get your tubes removed like I did. I am not saying this is for everyone, it was a decision for me. But know that you do not have to go through your journey alone.

Ask for help. Find a friend who can listen to you. Go outside. Practice self-care. What you are going through is harder to overcome when you are alone. Message me if you want to talk.

Thanks for letting me open up and be vulnerbable with this decision I made. It may or may not seem like a big deal to anyone else, but for me it marked a closing of one door and an opening of many others. 

Farewell Postpartum depression, you sucked!

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Instead of a “push present” I got a “sterilization present.” 

Instead of a “push present” I got a “sterilization present.” 

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Dry Spells.

For quite a few months I have not written or shared much on motherhood and as a result there has been a dry spell here on the blog. The problem is that I have not had much to say. I am at a point in motherhood where I am trying to figure a lot out. Whenever I think " I got it" in regards to child-rearing my kids throw me a curve-ball and change in some way. I suppose it will be like this for a while since my kids are always changing and are each growing in their own individual ways.

Many days I am at a loss as to what to do and how to best raise my boys. Despite all the books, blogs, and advice I receive I still I feel like I am a referee, chef, house cleaner, doctor, coach, teacher, disciplinarian, and babysitter all at one time. Each boy has their own needs and whether it be a meal, a sickness, or a change in clothing size my days are starting to blur together. The OCD/ schedule-lover likes the monotonous life I live where I can to some degree expect what each day will look like. I am a control freak (and will be the first to admit that) at times and being able to decide what we do each day keeps my nerves at ease. At the same time, I sometimes stare outside or look on Instagram and long to have some spontaneity in my life. I wonder what it would be like to throw our normal routine out the window and just drive somewhere because we can. The struggle is real and as much as I try not to fantasize what my life could be life it is so easy to wonder what it could be like if I was more of a free spirit. I  am content with life right now (and have much to be thankful for) but at the same time I am up for a change in our day to day routine.

There is a quote from the show The Crown (a series on Netflix) where Queen Elizabeth II states " That's the thing about unhappiness. All it takes is for something worse to come along and you realize it  was happiness afterall. " After dealing with PPD for the second time I now know what it is to be happy. I have had days that were very low and now I can embrace and love the days that are no longer filled with the worries, fear, and anxiety that can come with postpartum depression. 2017 was full of change. Change and me don't mesh well. But I can see how God has used all of the change in our lives this past year to cause me to trust more in Him and to see more clearly how my ways are not my own. 

If you would like to share a little bit about your journey through motherhood, a birth story, reflection, book review, and/or want a space to share what is going on in your life please contact me @ ginazdavis@gmail.com and submit a post. This space has been very instrumental for my own life and I hope it can be a place for you to have a voice too. Thank you so much for listening to my ramblings and for sticking around. 

***If you did not know already, there is a private mom Facebook group for the blog called Baby Blue Mom Group. This group of moms are some of the most encouraging, kind, and loving women I know. If you would like to join please find us.

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December was filled with sickness at our house. 

December was filled with sickness at our house. 

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Failing at Your Expectations.

Ever since the day I found I was pregnant with our first son I always assumed that I would make an awesome mom. I even remember one of the first dates I ever went on with Nick where I told him my one dream in life was to be a mother. I told him it was one of the few things I knew I would be good at. Most things in life do not come easy to me, but when it came to taking care of kids I have always been a natural. So it was safe for me to assume that when the time came for me to have my own kids it would be something that would come easy for me. I quickly realized once my kids were born that 1. having your own kids is very different from watching someone else's and 2. there is so much responsibility that comes with raising little humans.

"Expectations ruin relationships" is a quote I heard in the past and seemed to stick with me. In life whenever I have been disappointed with my husband, friends, family, or kids it was because my expectations were not met. Recently, I have noticed I have a short temper and my patience is running on empty. In my mind, I try to blame-shift but really I am failing at my own expectations. I expect to always know how to correctly discipline my kids. I expect to know how to rightly balance my social, personal, and church life. I expect to be liked and loved by everyone. I expect to be listened to. I expect too much and then my expectations are not met. I expect to be this unrealistic super mom who can measure up to all the other moms I see but in the midst of it all I fail to see what I am doing well and right in the here-and-now. 

Instead of having a heart that cries out to God and waives a surrender flag, I am finding myself asking God why don't I have the answers? Why are my kids not listening to me? Why aren't my hours spent reading parenting books working? Why are my recipes not coming out right? And the lists go on.

Jen Pollock Michel wrote in her book Teach Us to Want, "Struggle is the prerequisite to surrender." The struggle part has been happening for quite a few months now and finally I am at surrender. Failing at your own expectations only leads you down a road where you focus on what is not working instead of a road to surrender, asking for help, and becoming more thankful. 

I will never be the mom I always dreamed of being if I set myself up failure from the start. I can't expect everyday to go as planned or prepare for every scenario. My kids are not going to obey me everyday and I can't take that personally. Their sinfulness is not mine, just like my sinfulness is not theirs. My desire for control will keep me from being the mother and wife I want to be if I don't surrender my inabilities and insecurities to the Lord. My worth and identity can't be found in what I can or cannot do, but rather in who I am already in Christ. Thankfully, I serve a God who will never fail and who has clearly laid out what I can expect from him in his Word and through his promises to me and my children.

Jen Pollock Michel goes on to say in her book: 

But the gospel moves us beyond getting stuck in the guilt and shame of our unholy desires. We can courageously own the truth about ourselves because of the sacrificial death of God’s son, Jesus; his innocence has been substituted for our guilt.

Instead of walking in shame and guilt for what I am not, I want the desire of my heart to be that I am pleasing God. God asks for perfect obedience and trust. Knowing our sinfulness and inability to achieve this standard, God sent his Son to do what we could not. God gives us the perfect obedience he requires of us in Jesus. May we rest in the knowledge that Christ has accomplished God's perfect expectations on our behalf. We can't do anything to gain his love and approval, it is a free gift. That is love!!!

Are you failing at your own expectations? Do you wish you could live up to something that is an unattainable self? Be reminded of the truth and remember that God knows our deepest desires of who we want to be, both the good and the bad. And he gifts us with a more satisfying identity through his son, Jesus.

 

My nemesis...the playroom

My nemesis...the playroom

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Poop emoji pumpkin was the special request from max.

Poop emoji pumpkin was the special request from max.

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