MOMENTARILY MIXED UP MAMA
No one really told me exactly what to expect after having babies. It was all the rage in CT in the 80’s to go all natural. With my first pregnancy we went to the Lamaze classes, toured the hospital, read the books on natural child birth and bringing baby home~ but no one warned me about the hormones and how messed up I might feel inside afterward.
I ended up going the “all natural” route with our first until the last five minutes and even though the Doctor told me medication would take at least 20 minutes to kick in, I insisted. Three minutes later Jessica was born. So, my next baby was born with no medication whatsoever. First and last time I did that. Ohio had different views on labor and delivery. The doctors there were all about the epidural and being pain free (thank the Lord) so, I actually got to enjoy my last two deliveries. But~the hormones with each baby when I got back home~ that was another story, and I never talked to anyone about it. I held it all inside. I felt like a failure as a mom and a wife. Both sets of parents came all the way from MI to CT to visit after Jessica was born and I can remember feeling so confused inside that I wanted to hide in my tiny bedroom. I didn’t even confide in my own mother or husband. I cried about everything, things that made absolutely no sense at all. I cried when I cleaned house, I cried when the sun was shining, I cried when Jessica wouldn’t sleep and I cried when she was sleeping. I cried when Mike left for youth activities and I cried when I caught our little kitchen on fire because I forgot I was preheating oil to brown some stew meat in. I felt like I was in an out of body experience. My body was doing the motions of wife and mother but my brain was far away and scared. The thing is, I felt like I was crazy or losing my mind so I was too scared to talk about it and even if I did talk about it, I had no idea how to explain my feelings to anyone. I couldn’t even explain how I was feeling to myself. So I bottled it in and cried.
Things are so different today. Mothers are encouraged to talk about postpartum, to get help, to understand they aren’t crazy. As encouraging as it is to know that other mothers have been where you are, it’s still a very lonely and scary experience and it’s doubly hard because our husbands, our knights in shining armor, have no idea how to help us and probably think to themselves that their wife has lost her mind.
So what are we supposed to do? NOT what I did. One thing I have learned in the 32 years I have been married is that open communication is critical in your relationship. Two have become one. You are not alone. Talk to your husband even if you don’t know what to say~ tell him exactly that! Tell him you can’t even explain what’s going on in your head and you have no idea what he could do to help you except possibly listen, have compassion, hold you and allow you to cry without trying to fix you. Ask him to try to understand that you don’t even understand. The second thing I learned is~ don’t feel silly telling your Doctor what you are going through. God put doctors in our lives for a reason. They will not think you are crazy because it has been happening to mothers since the beginning of time. They are there to help you, so allow them to do just that. And most important~prayer is vital. When I thought I was crazy, the only thing that brought me comfort was the fact that I knew my Heavenly Father knew me even when I didn’t know myself and He was with me through all the tears and every mixed up feeling. When I didn’t even know what to ask for or how to pray, when the only words I could utter were “please help me”, my heart knew that my all knowing Savior would do exactly that.
Whether you are expecting and don’t know what to expect or you have just given birth to a little miracle yourself, take heart precious mama. Allow your husband, your Doctor and most importantly, your Savior to help you. God knew that only you would be the perfect wife and mother for your family when you were still in your own mother’s womb. Remember~you are exactly that~ a momentarily mixed up, gloriously grace covered, absolutely perfect and adored mama. 💕