Gone Coastal

Friday, September 29, 2006

The ugly

I recently posted an updated perspective on a post I never found time to write back in June. I can't begin to count how many different posts I wish I could've made in the last three weeks. So much to share, and it all goes by so quickly.

But here I am with some time and a little energy to post again. This will probably end up something like four different posts in one, so please pardon the chaos - it reflects my life quite well. Some of this gets ugly, but it's real, and it seems important to me at this point to share that, too.

This week I found myself flirting with the post partum devil, depression. All the great roller coaster of the last few weeks, the short, and occasionally non-existent, nights, the attempts to get Trinity to gain weight back and overcome the jaundice while balancing the long-term trade-offs of all the different options, dealing with the Bear's brutal thumb injury, then his four days away, visits and tensions with families; all of it started to catch up on me. Wednesday morning, after the longest stretch of sleep I'd had in weeks, I found myself second guessing everything I did, including allowing myself to catch up on sleep. Would the time for myself set Trinity back again, as it had twice before, now that she was finally pink and gaining weight? Why wasn't she hungry yet? And later, why won't she latch anymore?

The cycle had actually started later the day before, and for pretty much two days, I could hardly look at my precious daughter without at least a lump in my throat, and often uncontrollable sobbing and crying. I was paranoid about every action I took, and every sign I saw, or didn't see, in Trinity. And the paranoia extended to other areas of my life and relationships. I knew I was irrational, and yet the rational arguments I clung to seemed unable to hold me. I spent much of the time tied to the nursery, and the deeper I sunk, the less I ventured out, not even going online for three days.

Thursday afternoon, I mustered the strength to go online and pour out my heart to a good friend by e-mail. Just that release of letting it out, confessing as it were how helpless I felt, seemed to stem the downward spiral. I think sometimes the Lord calls us to reach out to those he's given us, to take the steps to let someone else in when we're keeping it all inside. It's not the first time that I've witnessed an answer to prayer begin even before the request could possibly have been read. I dare not say that that's the end of the emotional struggles. Yesterday morning brought another wave with a voice crying 'Failure!', and there will no doubt be many new challenges to test me in the weeks, months and years ahead, but I'm grateful for the reprieve when it comes. For the peace and the perspective to look at Trinity, even as she cries for another hard fought meal (more on that later), and to smile, even cry with joy.

Often that initial reprieve, that which comes without reason, beyond understanding, is enough to let me check my perspective, and maybe hear that other small voice, offering encouragement and ideas for what to try next. The prayer coverage from friends is greatly felt and appreciated.



  • "The Ugly" is a very real expression of the overwhelming experience of parenthood. Your comments brought back a flood of memories for me as I remembered my own personal struggles. I remember times where the only thing that saved my sanity was a whisper from God. There was one time when the whisper said, "You are enough". I was feeling particularly inadequate that day and just that whisper gave me strength to go through the day and believe that I was good enough. I didn't have to be superhuman...just enough to take care of my baby and us. That was good enough for me. Every day was a new beginning.

    By Blogger jem, at 9:51 a.m.  

  • Dear Heavenly Father, I lift up this sister in Christ to you right now. I ask that you will speak hope to her heart, and comfort to her soul. Lord I ask that you will open her eyes to see how wide, and high and deep is your love, and that you will bless her in her inner being. And more than anything I pray that she will have eyes to see blesing and eternal significance in even the most mundane tasks. We praise You, Lord, and thank you for your peace that passes understanding.

    By Blogger Mrs. Cowan, at 6:30 a.m.  

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