I always wanted to be a mother. I dreamt of being one for as long as I can remember. I would picture holding my baby, caring for her, and only hoping I’d be half the mother mine was. It was the only job I imagined having. Why would I want to do anything else? I thought for sure it was the only purpose I had. I found myself planning my life around being a mother. When it would be, how many I’d have, and what kind of mother I’d be. ‘This is ALL I want’, I thought. My husband and I knew we wanted kids and after a year of being married, we started trying and after a few months, we were excited to know we were pregnant! I have always struggled with anxiety, so it was no surprise to me or my family that I was quite anxious moving forward with my pregnancy. Lots of ‘what ifs’, and ups and downs. Because I knew I was an anxious person, I kind of expected to feel overly worried about everything but figured it was okay. After all, this was all I ever wanted, how could it go wrong? I’ll be a super mom and just love every second of this new experience. I really thought that’s how I would feel.
Pregnancy had its ups and downs. I was very lucky to be healthy and so was the baby but boy was I nauseous for most of the pregnancy. This made it hard for me to be myself, and to feel the excitement I’d always imagined. Anyways, 9 months went by, and our sweet baby girl was born, on her due date! I had a great delivery, and Hunter and our midwives were amazing. As time went by, from the moment I held her I really struggled with the search to feel that connection everyone talks about with their new baby. That feeling that was so strong it would take away the ‘no sleep’ and ‘having no idea what you are doing’ feeling. The search for that feeling continued. I found myself spending most of my days with this new amazing life in my arms, crying, feeling frustrated with her for not sleeping, or for crying, or for just needing me all the time. In turn, I would feel this awful guilt that I didn’t feel the way I was “supposed” to feel, the feeling I wanted to feel. I knew I loved her more than anything but I couldn’t help feeling so sad, angry, and tired. My husband would try and help me in so many ways but because I was anxious, I wanted to take care of her and do everything myself. “I can do this,” I thought. “This is my purpose!”
After months passed by, I didn’t feel any better. I remember I was getting more sleep, Layla was thriving, but I still felt sad and angry. I remember looking out my window one day and watching a couple walk by without a baby. They were holding hands and all I thought to myself was, “I wish that was me”. Feeling that way made me so angry. How could I feel like this when I had this amazing gift from God who I loved so much? How could I feel this way when it’s what I always wanted? And when I knew people who were struggling to have a baby. I was mad, mad at myself and mad at God. I had amazing support around me, a great family, and friends. One day I messaged a dear friend and just fell apart. I told her I didn’t think I could do this anymore and that I was so mad and so upset. Being the friend she was she drove over, took care of Layla, and me. We talked about how I might be suffering from something and she encouraged me to seek help.
Hunter, my mom, and family were so encouraging and helped me get the help that I needed. I was diagnosed with Postpartum Depression and Anxiety. Hearing this was very hard but a relief at the same time. To know that it wasn’t going to have to feel this way forever and it wasn’t my fault was the beginning of healing for me. Layla was around 6 months old at this time. After support from the doctor, medication, and the huge support from Hunter, my family, and friends, things started to get better. Slowly, but better. God is good, always good. The struggles I was going through made me angry and it still makes me mad sometimes when I think about why I went through that. But God is good! He knows me more then I know myself, and gave me the support and love I needed and never left me throughout the whole process. He has taught me it’s okay to lean on others and most importantly he has revealed that I have other purposes here than to just be a mother.
I’m an EA at a school and I love my job. I believe that God placed me at my school. I love my family, friends and sharing my time with others. I now know that it’s okay that I may not have it all figured out. That it takes a village to raise a child, and that I can be a mom and work. That God has a plan for me, and to follow that. God was revealing to me that asking for help is okay. That maybe I imagine things the way I want things to look in my life, isn’t always the way He has it planned. I am thankful for the support I have had and the healing I have received. The battle was hard and still continues, but my God is bigger than that. Only looking back now, can I see all this. Isn’t that always the case? Looking back and seeing the works God has been doing all along, what He has been preparing me for? Not always at the moment. I am so thankful for the strength God has given me to get through this and for opening my heart to him. It’s a challenge every day but because of this, I can say I am healing. I can say I feel the bond with my sweet girl, and that she makes this world better for me every day. She is such a joy in my life, always has been.
“I am found, I am Yours I am loved, I’m made pure I have life, I can breathe I am healed, I am free Here’s my heart, Lord.” These are lyrics from the song “here’s my heart” that spoke to my heart while healing during this journey, and it’s so true!
Thanks for your courage in sharing your story. So many woman struggle with these feelings. They are so real, yet the guilt, anger and confusion that fills your mind through this is such a challenge to unwrap and make sense of. Society wants us to believe that we are strong woman who can conquer all, but in reality, God is our strength and He has provided family and friends (and church family) to help us through these challenges. So glad to hear that you have been brave enough to tap into the resources that God has provided.