When my oldest child entered the world, everything changed. Motherhood is something no one can prepare you for. Even if I read all the books and got all the good advice, no one could have warned me what it feels like to have my heart outside my body.
My birth plan was turned upside down when my beautiful daughter was born with fluid on her lungs. She spent 2 grueling weeks in the NICU and I couldn’t even hold her until the second week.
I walked around the hospital halls like a zombie, filled with so many negative emotions. When we got to go home, I felt a deep sense of relief and while still challenging, nothing my husband and I experienced as first-time parents was as difficult as those first two weeks.
“Baby blues” like I had are fairly normal as you adjust to having a new baby and your hormones are all over the place. Difficult birth or issues after can make it worse. (Watch this great video by Dr. Walt on how to combat baby blues.)
But what about when that overwhelming feeling of hopelessness doesn’t go away? For about 15 percent of moms, baby blues can turn into Postpartum Depression (PPD).
Some PPD Symptoms:
- Difficulty eating.
- Difficulty bonding with baby.
- Overwhelming guilt.
- Overwhelming sadness.
- Thoughts of harming yourself.
- Thoughts of harming baby.
As a Christian, the temptation may be to try to ignore those feelings or feel guilty for even feeling them. We may believe subconsciously that it is not something we “should” be dealing with.
The important thing to know is having those thoughts is not a sin. There is no condemnation in Christ, only peace. He wants to comfort you in your grief and depression.
If you have any of those symptoms above, Kytia L’amour’s new book “Postpartum Depression Devotional: Compassionate Devotions for Reflection, Strength, and Prayer” is a wonderful resource. In her book, Kytia uses her own experience with PPD to help other moms with daily biblical readings and encouragement.
If you’re suffering from PPD, know that you’re not alone. Talk to a trusted care provider if you haven’t already. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to get help, whether that looks like counseling, prayer, medication, or all of the above.
Don’t feel guilty about taking time for yourself. Motherhood can be so draining and you can’t pour for an empty cup.
Know you are seen and you are loved. God wants to meet you in your darkness and pull you into the light. Jesus wants to bring healing and restoration to your mind so you can live that abundant life He has for you.
Watch this this powerful video from Kristen Dalton Wolfe about grieving while God is healing you.