My Second Pregnancy And Postpartum Anxiety

second-pregnancy-postpartumI tried to come up with a clever title for this article, but I just could not seem to fit the words together in a rhythmic way. I want to share with you how I am feeling about enduring my second pregnancy and how I am feeling about postpartum anxiety.

My first child will be turning two in November. Being a mother is incredible and every bit rewarding. I love watching my son master new skills and gain a wider vocabulary. The joy I have received from mothering is indescribable. However, despite the joy that has swirled around in my heart, I have also battled a force I was not prepared for: postpartum anxiety. For nearly 9 months following the birth of my son I experienced the worse case of anxiety I have ever dealt with. It was dark, it was dreary, it was horrible.

I had prepared myself for depression and what some call the “baby blues,” but I had no idea that some women can experience postpartum anxiety. I was paranoid about everything, I feared everything, and I lost more sleep than the normal new parent, because I thought death was impending. This problem negatively affected my marriage relationship because I didn’t fully comprehend all that was going on with my body. That uncertainty made it very difficult for me to think about my husband’s needs, and it also made difficult my ability to keep my attitude in check. We fought often.

After a few doctor visits I finally found out that my thyroid played a huge role in the anxiety I was experiencing. {I talk about that in an article titled: Living With Thyroid Problems.} I praise God that my body finally balanced itself out, with only a few lingering effects that still rise up from time to time.

What I endured through those first 9 months of postpartum was enough to keep me far from ever thinking about having another child. But then, as time went on, a desire in my heart for another child grew wildly. I tried to push it away, in fear of experiencing another rough recovery, but God kept bringing it back with a gentle reminder that He wants me to trust Him with every aspect of my life.

Well, in August I found out that my husband and I are expecting our second child. We both are over the moon for the opportunity to extend our family. Although I have joyfully embraced this second pregnancy, the thought of postpartum anxiety has definitely crossed my mind more than a few times. And each time I have to remind myself that God is in control and that I need to trust in Him. My fears are based on “what if’s,” circumstances that might happen but are not guaranteed. What I need to have is faith, confidence that no matter what happens God is going to help me through it.

I also wrangled up a friend who is going to walk through my pregnancy and postpartum recovery with me. Someone who I can talk to about all that I experience so that I do not get sucked back into the darkness that is anxiety. I am also very blessed to have a husband who is willing to be patient and share encouraging words with me, also reminding me to trust in God every step of the way.

I am curious to know if you ever experienced postpartum anxiety or depression and how you felt going into a second or more pregnancy? Let us all learn from each other’s experiences, please share in the comments!  


– Jennifer Smith   Unveiledwife.com

Autumn Quotes To Print

Give-Thanks-ImageMy mom is great at making my childhood house a home.  I loved it when we were home at Easter and she had pretty Easter quotes framed in the entry.  She smiled:  “I found it on Pinterest!”

As a blogger and designer, so much of my life revolves around social media that I had forgotten the true blessing it can be, sometimes in the form of simple printables.

So, in this season of thankfulness I thought I’d make something my mom can print up and use to decorate.  I’m hoping some of you will like these images too!  These are sized as 8×10 or 4×6.  Click the links below the images to print.

Attitude-of-GrattitudeAttitude of Gratitude 8×10

Attitude of Gratitude 4×6 GIve-thanks Give Thanks 8×10

Give Thanks 4×6

Blessings to you this autumn season,

Christy

 

A Holy Encounter in the Middle of the Night

a holy encounter in the middle of the night

Motherhood is something I have longed for my entire life.

Motherhood is also proving to be far more challenging than I could have ever imagined…and far more rewarding, of course. Yet the most surprising thing is the way in which it is difficult.

Yes, you’re sleep deprived. Yes, you’re covered in bodily fluids and more. Yes, it’s physically and emotionally exhausting.

But the most paramount of surprises in regards to motherhood is this:

Motherhood sheds such stark light upon my own faults. Shortcomings. Selfishness.

History has proven that on many a night spent rocking a sick baby, as a battle has raged deep within me.

I’m tired. I just wish she would sleep so I could sleep. I’m so sick of puke and poo and laundry.

But not this night.

This night, I hold his fevered body against mine and listen to the ragged breathing.

I stroke his soft hair, noting how the silkiness of a babe is gone and the thickness of a wee boy has come.

His head nestles under my chin and my breathing falls in time with his. His breathing, so shallow and strained.

Heat radiates as I rub his small back up and down, up and down, up and down.

No, this night there is no pleading with the Almighty for the sweet release of sleep. No counting the minutes until my head finds the pillow.

This night, I cherish. My heart full nigh to bursting with the gratitude of being in this place; being his mother. Full of awe and wonder that so precious a thing could be entrusted to me. Overflowing with love and compassion for the little man splayed across my chest; and for his precious sisters sprawled, limbs akimbo in their beds.

This night it is not hard. This night the veil of self that so often blinds and distorts Truth is pulled aside and the glory and wonder that is this calling of Motherhood stands bright and stark and clear.

And this night, I embrace it with thanks to God for His good and gracious gift.

Have you ever had a moment like this, when the hard suddenly doesn’t seem so hard, rather a blessing miracle? Or are you in the middle of a night in your mothering right now? How can we pray for you?

Praying for you today,

Jen Deibel

Praying at 3:21 AM

chicken

 

It was 3:21 AM when I first heard the music.

It was Labor Day morning.
It was supposed to be a sleep-in-morning.

I was having a dream about blind chickens…which totally makes sense.
And then somehow the theme song to Jay Jay the Jet Plane overtook the tragic atmosphere.
Eventually I woke up enough to realize that I really was hearing music and picked up my alarm clock.

3:21 AM.

I stumbled down our hallway and saw light streaming from under our 3-year-old’s door.
Slowly…
I cracked the door open just a bit and found–
Lydi dancing with Minnie Mouse to her Jay Jay the Jet Plane music CD.

Toys were everywhere.
Pajamas were removed.
Music was blaring.
Minnie was showing off her moves.
And I was greeted with a big smile.

I wasn’t smiling.

Lydia said: “It’s WAKE UP TIME !!!”

I said: “No. It isn’t.”

Okay, maybe I should insert…

I said, (with a growl).

After clarifying our morning expectations and a long-winded speech about–

…the selfishness of waking up your mom who needs her sleep and you are not allowed out of bed and why aren’t you tired and using a black sharpie to circle the numbers on the clock that DO EQUATE WAKE UP TIME…

I had a difficult time going back to sleep.
Which honestly isn’t like me.
Usually I can sleep anywhere, anytime.
I’m the perfect kindergarten-nap-mat-candidate.

And so as I lay there wondering about blind chickens and such,
 God reminded me that I could use the time for prayer.

And that’s something I’m still trying not to miss…
Those opportunities that God provides for me to pray.

The ten minutes when I’m waiting in the car line at school, and have the choice of checking Facebook or–
The pasta-stirring-moments when I could flip on the 6 o’clock news or–
The times when I’m folding laundry and my mental-to-do-lists are streaming or–

I could choose to pray.

Even those conversations where a friend is asking for prayer and I give my promise.
When maybe better-best would be to not delay.
And just pray.

That night a few years back, was a sweet time for me to talk with God.
And to listen.
Even if it was 3:21 AM on Labor Day.

Prayer is labor.
But I need it.
And it changes me.

I want to always be on the look out for open windows,
when God provides time for me to pour out my heart to Him–
In prayer.

“I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God- it changes me.”
― William Nicholson, Shadowlands

With Love,
Kara @The Chuppies

 

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