Monday, July 8, 2013

Consider It All Joy: Surviving the Baby Blues

 Life is kind of like one of those heartbeat monitor things. It has ups...and it has downs. The ups and downs represent the heartbeat of a life being lived. We have moments and we have days that are as near perfect as we can get this side of heaven. I guess those would be our ups. Then again, we have moments and days and sometimes even longer expanses of time where all we can do is put one foot in front of the other and keep going. Those would be the downs. And as difficult and lonely as those downs sometimes feel, we need to remember that there will be an up again.

When I first came home after experiencing the joys and pains (oh my, the pains!) of having my baby girl, I expected to be elated. I expected that I would be overjoyed at this new life sleeping in my arms. I didn't expect the combination of labor recovery, lack of sleep, and so many new things to learn to overshadow the gift and miracle that I now got to touch and see and hear. But it did. It was a downward spike on my heart monitor. I was panicked that I would never feel like myself again. I was ashamed. How could I not be overcome with joy at the beautiful baby God had blessed me with? Feelings of incompetence and unworthiness overwhelmed me. I was locked in fear that, because of my sadness and perceived lack of gratefulness, God would take this baby away from me.

I lived in fear and shame and overwhelming sadness in a time that (I thought) should be filled with joy and laughter and energy. I was surrounded by people and yet felt so alone. I didn't know how to love my baby well, and felt like I would never know how to be a good mama. And then, slowly, the heart monitor began to go up again. I grew more confident in my feeding and diapering skills, and I learned how to comfort a crying baby. I still had days when both my little one and I spent the majority of our time crying together...but they grew less frequent. I began to open up again, and see joy in this little miracle.

Looking back, that time was a haze. In retrospect it makes sense that I would feel overwhelmed and frightened at the vastness of the greatest responsibility of my life. It makes sense that due to my hormones having a wild party and my body not getting the sleep it needed, I would be out of sorts. But at the time I felt like I was the only one. Have you ever felt that alone? Do you now? If so, you need to know that this is a season. You will find joy again. You are not a failure. And God understands exactly where you are and is loving you right there. Let yourself rest. And learn. Don't add the pressure of feeling like you have to be at an "up" right will get there. And in my experience, you'll get there faster if you give yourself grace to be where you are at right now, and live in the grace God has given you for this moment.
Today I am linking up with Hope For the Weary Mom.


  1. Your last paragraph is the lesson of the cross. Left alone, suffering physically, mentally, spiritually, after all he had done, after all the good works, he felt so alone that he cried out, "Why hast Thou forsaken me?" Yet... God was there, guarding and guiding Jesus in his overcoming of death of his supreme proof of God's power in the lives of men. This was the culmination of Jesus' life work and he felt forsaken. The biggest moment of his life. Even Jesus was not spared the torment of feeling alone, as if he could not handle it. But, like you have grown to acknowledge, God was right there despite what the human picture presented. Gives new meaning to the saying, "I am Alpha and Omega, the begining and the end." In other words, "I am always there, from start to finish."...

    1. Excellent point! Thanks so much for reminding me of that truth, and reading the post. :) And how glad I am that even in the darkest hour, when we feel most alone, Jesus is right there with us holding onto us.


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