I hit rock bottom… or maybe the rock hit me… either way, the other night was a heavy one I could not bear.
The myriad of changes that came to our home as a new (again) parent were normal but escalated to a 3rd-child degree. There was the increased laundry from the baby pooping and/or spitting up on himself… and me, the rescheduling of normal life around every 2-4 hours based on his appetite, responsibly moving with just enough “what if” items in the baby bag- yes, another bag to carry, making sure the other boys are presentable AND smellable (says the mother of an athletic 4 year old), making sure I”M presentable and smellable, and the ever so common lack of sleep at night, otherwise known as “playtime” and “Iate night snack” time to the baby.
I DID however get somewhat used to this schedule only to have THAT MOMENT when everything blew up like an invisible landmine that the foot of Time and Circumstances stepped on… and our baby’s crocodile tears.
The night was going as normal, with him beginning to fuss a little around his 9pm feeding time. I did what was needed & fed him, taking note of my surroundings. The dishes in the sink looked like a volcano about to erupt. The laundry I did was on the couch- half of which was folded, more in the dryer and another load in the washer. A few of the boys “cleaned up” toys were in the kitchen and the hallway. It’s cool though, I said to myself… I’ll take care of things after he finishes feeding. Burp. Good job. But then he starts crying. Confused. Maybe there’s a few more burps. Is he wet? Moments later, I realized… he won’t stop crying, and soon… neither was I.
For two hours, our little one was discontent with every position my arms and mind could provide. Dry and full, he went blue and purple until we laid down around midnight for his next feeding. My thoughts of inadequacy, unfairness, anger, sadness, joy, loneliness and more had mounted and my emotions sought to hold on to themselves like the hands of a little child trying to hold fists full of marbles… until they all slip out and fall… like the tears down my face as I lay there looking at our little one whose discontentment loosed so many emotions I could not keep in.
My mind went to places it had not been in years.. places of depression and even darker, suicide. Then came the guilt. Then came the temptation to run- drive- go out as far as my conscious would let me and then come back. I realized amid the tears my baby was crying that I was in a very bad place… that place where you are under a rock suffocating and don’t feel you have the strength to lift the load to breathe. So I put myself out there to save someone else- my infant, my husband, my other boys, myself- and reached out to five people I KNOW have and value greatly the thing I needed the most… prayer.
I’ve read the articles and been told repeatedly about “Post Baby Blues” but when you actually have the moment, it is surreal. My brain took the inconsolable cries of our baby and processed so many MIXED emotions & thoughts within me in such a short time, I could literally feel myself going crazy. Thankfully, because I reached out, I was immediately flooded with Scriptures via text and then a call from my mother. She gave me practical wisdom about the post-baby brain and being a mother to 3 little ones (I always seem to forget she’s a certified Christian counselor lol). She then prayed the blood of Jesus over me, and I started to feel the anxiety being pulled out of me and God’s peace fill me.
Where was my husband? He had been asked to do a last minute, late-night training session for work, so he was in his office down the hall during this time. I didn’t want to interrupt him, but at my peak, I wisely did. With blurred vision, I texted him: “I’m losing my mind…” All I remember is seeing the hallway light up from his office, his frame in our bedroom doorway then moments later, him crawling into bed behind me and wrapping me in his arms. My chest heaved with more tears followed by this complete sense of God’s presence.
It’s Emmanuel. God is with you, Esther.
If you are a new mom or new again mom or even dad, I encourage you to not take lightly Post Baby Blues or PPD but also don’t take it too “heavy”. You may be trying to get adjusted and find “the schedule” or routine, but you cannot always do it on your own. When moments like these hit, reach out and call someone you can trust or just anyone. This moment can easily implant and grow vain thoughts and imaginations in your mind that would be deadly if manifested. Kill the need to be Super Mom and humbly reach out to someone else so you, your newborn and your family can be saved from what could be detrimental.
If you are family or friends to a new mom, the most important thing she needs is PRAYER and to know she can reach out to you and you sincerely care to respond. LISTEN more than talk and when you do, speak in Biblical love. Hug her like you mean it. Be mindful that even though she & baby are home and you SEE that she’s healing physically, what you DON’T see (brain’s chemicals; body’s hormone levels) is still adjusting. See and say “Hi” to her (and daddy lol). Look her in the eyes. Ask her about something not baby related. Don’t believe EVERY smile she gives (we are happy people though!) but be discerning by the Spirit and read between her lines.
I am so thankful to have people of the Word and prayer that I can call on who will sincerely give me what I need, not what I want, and who know how to pray and send encouraging words. If you are a new mom or know a new mom in need of some life, I share these Scriptures with you to meditate on or pass on. I pray they incline you or her to rest fully in God’s peace as I & our little one finally did on that unforgettable night.
Psalm 73:26 “My heart and my flesh may fail, BUT God is the strength of my heart and portion forever.”
Psalm 28:7 “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trust in Him and helps me.”
Isaiah 40:11 “He tends to His flock like a Shepherd: he gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; he gently leads those who have young.”
2 Corinthians 3:4-5 “Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence cones from God.”
Psalm 63:7 “Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.”
Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”
Psalm 61:2 “From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
2 Corinthians 1:8-11 “For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.”