Sometimes, life doesn’t go as planned. Okay, when does life ever go as planned?
My whole life, or as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a mother. I remember watching 7th Heaven as a child and thinking, ‘I want a big family just like that! I want to be a mom just like her!’
When our first daughter was born, I was beyond elated! I couldn’t believe I was finally a mother. Those first weeks for me were pure bliss. I couldn’t get enough of my baby. The day I packed away her newborn clothes, because she had outgrown them, I sobbed. (Like ugly cry, sobbed).
I already posted about my worst day ever, the day I left that 8-week-old baby and returned to work. That day led to a landslide of feelings and emotions I had never felt. It led to months of depression, anxiety, and fear. I went from pure bliss to barely able to get dressed each day.
The Lord heard my desperate prayers and of course answered them through the hands of others. I had several people I would talk to, vent to, and seek help from. I was a job coach at the time and had so many individuals I was working with that I knew the Lord had put there to help teach me. One of my associates I was working with at the time was a new mom, suffering from postpartum depression, who had recently moved to the United States to try and make a better life for her new son. She had it ten times harder than me!
I went to counseling, changed jobs so I could work part-time, exercised, and found a new hobby I really enjoyed (vegetable gardening). Then, I slowly started loving life again. I was loving being a mom again! I was me again.
When our oldest had just turned 18 months we found out we were expecting again. My second pregnancy was hell for me. I can think of no other way to describe it. With morning sickness for 9 months, I felt myself slipping back into my old feelings of depression as I spent many of my days camped out on the bathroom floor.
Mourning the loss of time I was experiencing with my daughter and husband, I sobbed, ‘I can’t do this anymore,’ multiple times each day. I worried constantly that our new baby wasn’t receiving the nutrition she needed to developed properly.
The day I went into labor all I could think during each contraction was, “This is getting me one step closer to no longer being sick.” Finally, after hours of labor, our second daughter was born! I again experienced that flood of euphoria. I was beyond elated that I got to be a mother again. Those first few days’ home was bliss! I didn’t have morning sickness anymore AND I had a new beautiful baby in my arms.
I just knew it was going to be different this time. This time, I didn’t have to go back to work! This time, I was better prepared and knew some of my triggers for depression.
Our second baby was not like our first. Silly, silly me. She had reflux and would cry and cry and cry. Not only would she not be sleeping through the night by 4 months, but she would still be getting up 5 times a night.
I had never experienced exhaustion like that. My body reacted, this time with postpartum anxiety. Only this time it was of a whole new caliber. I had never experienced anxiety like this. It was never ending. It affected every aspect of my day and night.
My experience in bringing my two perfect little girls into this world have been both the most joyous and the most challenging times in my life. They are experiences that have tried me to my limits.
Now the trial for me is questioning if I can experience that again. Can I handle another 9 months of pregnancy? Not only physically, but mentally and emotionally. How strong am I? What are my limits? Now, I am faced to mourn the children I may never have. By my choice. I am faced with a form of infertility that I never expected I would face and quite frankly, had never considered.
Sometimes, life doesn’t go as planned. For me, it seems to never go as planned. I have tried to learn during these times to stop and smell the roses. To enjoy the journey, even if it is a stretch sometimes. I have so much to be grateful for. I try to enjoy and learn and grow and understand the things that happen on my path in this life. It doesn’t always make it easy but it makes it worth the journey.