My dear sister in Christ, though you may feel that there is no one else who can understand the cries of your heart, I want you to know that you are not alone.
Our Lord, who loves you infinitely, sees your tears and your darkness. He is with you in your suffering.
And there are many other women who have suffered, too. Here are some of their stories. Find comfort in their solidarity with you.
And hold on to the hope that you will be well again, you will be alive again, you will find joy and flourish again.
I have known dark days, and even darker nights. I have tasted the bitterness of despair. I have been suffocated by overwhelming guilt and shame. And I have longed for endless rest and peace.
But this wasn’t how it was supposed to be.
As I stared at the face of my stunningly beautiful baby girl, I knew that her dark eyes, porcelain-doll lips, and bright smile should have made my heart explode with joy.
I had been thrilled the morning that I saw the little plus sign on my pregnancy test, and I was ecstatic the day that the ultrasound pictures revealed that I was carrying a girl. I loved watching my one-year-old’s face light up with excitement whenever we talked about “the baby in mama’s tummy.”
But then, about halfway through those long 40 weeks, something began to change. [Read more…]
It doesn’t matter if you lost a baby through miscarriage, still birth, soon after they were born, or by SIDS, the grief that you feel is tremendous and you are not alone.
My first pregnancy ended early in a miscarriage and the grief was overwhelming. I did not want to get up and do anything. I felt like my heart had been wrenched out of me. The pain was more than I had ever imagined was possible. [Read more…]
Dear fellow suffering mother,
I see you, forcing the smile as you hold your precious young child. You were up in the wee hours of the night, putting the baby back to sleep again. Your exhaustion is palpable, your nerves racked, and your newly altered body a stranger to you.
The sense of Isolation encloses you, trapping you in its prison. You miss the company of other adults, but you are afraid to reach out for help. In your mind all of your friends have their own problems to deal with. You think to yourself, “I should be able to do this on my own. This is my responsibility. I just need to try harder, be stronger, and things will come together.” [Read more…]
Throwing in another load of laundry — I wonder how much will get done today. Quickly, I finish some overnight dishes that have accumulated in the sink. Glancing at the flickering baby monitor poised precariously over the mess, I ponder the task of emptying the diaper genie.
The baby’s wail is heard above the running water. Drying my hands off quickly, I glance at the closed office door. A muffled business call can be heard in full swing. Going into the baby’s room, I am greeted by a wet, drooling, smiling five-month-old boy.
Not my baby, my laundry, my dishes, or even my house, but this is where He has me growing and learning right now. Whether 25 or 55, my needs remain the same. God-confidence becomes necessary and purposely overshadows my independence.
The office door swings open as the call ends. My daughter appears in the doorway, looking busy and distracted. She takes the baby easily into her arms as she refocuses her view. The baby smiles widely at my daughter and my daughter smiles back. It’s nursing time.
This could be about a working mom and her support system, but instead it’s a story of redemption – mine.
Writing about postpartum depression is sticky, and I’ve erased more versions of this post than I can count.
Why? Probably this little issue I have with pride. You know that saying, “pride goeth before a fall”? For me, pride has consistently goneth before all. I don’t like being wrong. I don’t like letting people know I need help, nor am I a fan of receiving aid.
When it came to postpartum depression, I was too proud to seek treatment and too afraid to admit that I needed help.
And so I survived untreated for nine years, letting it smother nearly a decade of my family’s life.
Hey, new mama. This could be your first baby, your third, or your sixth. Doesn’t matter. Somehow every precious new life makes a mother feel like a newbie all over again.
Sit down. I want to tell you something important. I want to tell you something you need to hear. Because I care about you.
Image Credits: *The images in the You Are Not Alone collage are not stock photos — they are real Catholic mamas, struggling and persevering amid the joys and trials of motherhood, just like you.* Professional Photo Credits: BellaFace Photography & CM Photography.
Want my best tips for great postpartum self-care?
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