Being a new mom is like a coin. On one side it is incredible, rewarding, and joyful, but on the flip side it can be frustrating, hard, and overwhelming. I had previously mentioned how I faced some serious pitfalls early on that I had wished I could have known ahead of time. The first pitfall was the impact it had on the body. Well, for this post, I want to focus on some of the mental pitfalls of being a new mother.
I was no stranger to having the occasional mood swings that occurred with my fluctuating hormones. As my husband can attest, this was heightened during the early months of pregnancy. When you have become a human incubator, your hormones are literally on overdrive to keep the baby safe inside and also help the baby grow. I knew in my head that after the baby was born, I would go through all kinds of changes physically and emotionally. Unfortunately, I assumed the mental/emotional changes would feel similar to how I usually felt when I had spikes and falls of my hormones previously,
but I was in for a
very rude awakening!
Initially, I definitely had the emotional high of actually bringing a new human into the world and all of the love that just overflowed without any effort. Physically meeting my daughter outside of my womb for the first time was absolutely incredible! I didn’t care about the hours of labor and pushing. It was all worth it to finally meet my baby girl. She was a miraculous gift from the Lord! From the moment I laid eyes on her, I knew that I would lay down my life for her no questions asked. She was perfect!
Unfortunately, there were also incredible lows on this emotional roller-coaster that had no exit or stops. In the midst of the exhaustion, the pain, and the sleep deprivation, a much more sinister darkness seemed to overwhelm me like a suffocating blanket.
There was a literal war going on in my head and my heart, and in that darkness I could not see the deadly edge that was close by.
Looking back, that period felt like it transpired over months, when in reality the majority of it happened in the first three weeks. Those weeks are no longer vivid in my mind’s eye like they were a few months ago, but I wonder if that’s actually God’s grace. He not only rescued me from that darkness, but He has made a way for me to look back without being swallowed by those times. In order to really talk about the mental impact I will divide it over the next two posts. On this post, I will focus on the sadness and loneliness.
I can still recall feeling
the “baby blues.”
Even when there was no reason to feel sad, I would just feel so down. I would randomly cry or tear up without a moment’s notice. Despite trying to use logic and reason with myself that there was no reason to feel sad, it was to no avail. The waterworks still kept coming.
With the tears and the sadness,
loneliness also reared its ugly head.
Even though my house was full of people with visitors coming in and stopping by, I felt so isolated. Of course everyone around me was so congratulatory and positive, that I dared not tell anyone how I was actually feeling which made me sink even deeper into that void. When I did try to talk to someone, it was as if someone grabbed my tongue and I could not really describe what I was going through.
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him,
my salvation and my God. | Psalm 43:5
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. | Psalm 73:26
Even as my heart and mind tangled with darkness and despair, I still clung desperately to the only One who did understand and know exactly what I was going through.
Ultimately, I had to surrender it all—my thoughts, my heart, the sadness, and the loneliness among other things—over to God and trust that He would carry me through. By the grace of God as well as some key people that God placed into my life, after a few weeks I was feeling more like myself again, but it really made me think of the other mommies out there who suffer from much worse such as postpartum depression. What I went through was just a small taste in comparison!
If I can relay one thing from this experience, it is to not give in to the darkness of your mind or emotions but to cling to the Lord and His everlasting Truth, which is the Word of God!
When you are vulnerable,
you will be attacked by unseen forces,
but do not succumb to the enemy!
Remember that we will always be victorious in Christ.