Life is a teacher.
This phrase came up in a conversation I had with a friend yesterday. It was so timely. It summarised exactly where I was at.
A little background, after I had Miss K, I was a walking train wreck. Things did not go according to plan, my dream of a vaginal birth ended up in ‘ I’m sorry Esther, you are still at 6 cms (8 hours later). It is Cervical Dystocia. We have to have an emergency cesarean section’. I crumbled. This. Was. Not. The. Plan. I cried ( if you’ve been reading my posts for a while, you can tell that my eyes are cleansed often 😉 I was scared. Disappointed. Ready for the pain to end immediately. Because those contractions had me calling Jesus in every language I knew.
The after was difficult. She was jaundiced. She HATED phototherapy. The little incubator was called ‘Hawaii’. You go in clad in a diaper only and get a tan. Her cries woke up the other babies in the nursery. It was bad. Miss K dislikes the heat, imagine Hawaii in Mombasa. I think there were two days she spent more time out of Hawaii than in it. This mama was tired. The cries were ruining my ‘honeymoon’ phase. I couldn’t even stare into her eyes because they were bandaged. Let’s not even get into the squint that formed because the patches were letting in light ( story for another post).
I was not ready for the after. So I stopped. I stopped doing the things that I loved.
Then we discovered that she was a high need baby. Guys (she uses this word a lot now) THIS. WAS. HARD!! Wondering what a high need baby is? Check this out.
I sunk into a pit. I remember one day my husband found me wailing on the bed. I could barely speak. My world seemed grim. I was physically exhausted, mentally and spiritually drained. I had stopped living. I was merely existing. This experience of bringing forth life was draining me of life. I was dying; dead on the inside. And I didn’t know how to get out of the pit of darkness. I struggled for months on end. I had stopped writing. Stopped doing the things that made me feel alive.
I don’t know what the days to come hold, but I know who holds me.
I’m not afraid to ask for help. If you see me slowly dashing in the supermarket (in my mind I’ll be moving at super speed, my legs may be moving much slower) know that it’s just me being proactive.
Staying indoors depresses me. So I will go out, look at the ocean. Enjoy some sunshine with the girls. I will write. I will live. By God’s grace, I will stay out of the pit. Even if it tries to draw me back, I know that God is able. It’s so easy to slip into the pit but so difficult to get out. The longer you stay inside, the deeper you sink. Only the hand of the Almighty can raise you out.
Postpartum depression is real. God’s love, grace and mercy are real too.
Here’s to applying the lessons learned in the pit. And trusting that the God who rescued us, is able to sustain us.
Say hello to Mr. Octopus, my crafting with Miss K of the day. My little reminder that I am still alive.
For any mama going through the pit, I pray that the Lord will rescue you. May He be the fourth man, as He was with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.