11/28/2012

Humbled

True story: every once in a while Jules sleeps on her own for a few minutes. It's rare and she has to be in a VERY specific position:

Every once in a while this happens. It's 20 glorious minutes.
And really, it's wonderful. But it's also stressful. Don't do anything that I can't immediately stop! Or if I do, be prepared to run back and forth trying to get her to suck on her pacifier so I can finish. 

Last night I, in tears, conceded to Jason's wise point: until Juliet is to that place where she can chill out for a few minutes, I have to really prioritize and only do what's absolutely necessary. The rest of the stuff either doesn't get done or I have to let Jason do it. He's been so amazing, not complaining, even sweet and servant hearted (truly, one blessed bundle of a man to me, he is) but I feel guilty. I can't tell you how many times Juliet has been crying and I'm trying to eek out just a couple more minutes of getting ______ (the dishes in the sink, the food put away, the mail at least into a pile that I'll have to deal with eventually, etc). It's just a sad mess. 

And right now, I am writing in a flurry terrified that she'll wake up any second. But I ran out of room on my phone because I keep taking videos of my adorable children and needed to get them onto my computer so I could have room for more :)

But I am writing and it's...I can't even put words. Well, I'm me, so yes I can. One time I was swimming in a lake and one of my friends said that if I went far enough under this huge floating dock out in the middle of the lake then there was this awesome hollow place underneath where you could come up out of the water but it was a secret cave of sorts. But I really hate being underwater (I nearly drowned three times as a kid, like flailing underwater drowning and got saved three times, but that's a story for another day), and it was a lake out deep so it was fairly dark. I couldn't see and was stuck under a not hollow part of the dock for a few seconds that felt like a zillion years. But eventually I got to the hollow place and then I could breathe. 

Writing right now feels like that. Like I've been flailing and panicked and honestly wondering, "Is this it? Is this where my story in this life ends?" But then there's what break in the darkness and confusion and I burst above the waterline, my inflamed lungs burning further still as I devour the first few oxygen rich breaths. 

Here's the most amazing part: every time I write I feel the sweet joy that I'm doing something I love, something that feels right. It's like for a few minutes there's a taste of that joy, even though I'm recounting something I never, ever wanted to be my story. No woman thinks, "I'll probably have postpartum depression someday. That sure will be great." 

[Disclaimer: I am not diagnosed; I see my doctor next week. I plan to talk with her very honestly and trust her judgment. But I now recognize that any possible signs of PPD I almost subconsciously cleaned up last time I saw her because I so wanted to be fine, just fine, wonderful even! But regardless of official diagnosis this is a dark, painful time. It is at least postpartum darkness, so PPD is still appropriate.]

What has been incredible is that I truly battled to write about this because I feared being judged. In relation to yesterday's post, I have a habit of cleaning myself up, usually waiting to write about something until I feel in control enough to not look like the mess I am. I can't tell you how much of me constantly filters what I'm writing so as to, I hope, leave no room for people to think I'm anything less than the epitome of worshiping Jesus well. I knew I could jot some stuff on my phone but I just didn't. I figured I'd feel better soon and say, eventually, "It was dark for awhile but let me tell you all about the light! Yay, Jesus!"

[Ack. She's stirring. Enter turbo mode!]

Another rare, rare sight: letting Daddy hold her while she sleeps.
Back to the incredible: I still don't even know why I wrote that first post two days ago. I just realized that Jas could hold Jules for a minute and maybe I could write for a second, and suddenly if I didn't write I felt I would just burst. So I wrote. And I told Jason how amazing it was to be writing, and could he try to keep her at bay so I could finish (side note: not only does she insist on being held but the vast majority of the time she insists on being held by only me unless she's SUUUUUPER sleepy, and it gets worse as she gets older)? And he did, so I finished.

I didn't expect much, just prayed no one would Jesus-juke me. 

But then the emails and Facebook messages and tweets and Facebook comments and texts and blog comments started pouring in. The two biggest themes were this: 

1. I love you, Tami, and I am praying for you [and, from some, offers to serve or a high protein snack dropped off at my door and a text telling me it was there].

2. Thank you. Not only are you not alone, but I felt every single word you wrote because I was there after my baby was born and I felt completely alone. 

In one case, the husband of one of my most beloved friends wrote me and Jason and thanked me for writing what I wrote because it helped him understand his wife, who had experienced a very similar time after having their first baby, because what I wrote more clearly articulated to him what his wife struggled to put into words. Talk about humbling.

And then Jason told me that reading these posts helped him understand me better because in writing the things he's only gotten from me in small bits and jumbled pieces had so much more clarity. 

I didn't do this for accolades and I certainly hope that I don't go to some "milking it" place. But just as I was standing in the bathroom, washing my hands (without two crying babies--another rarity in Hus av Hagglund as of late!) and ruminating on how amazing it is that something I love so much as writing would somehow b used by Jesus to bless others, Jason said to me, "I'm glad you're writing and I hope you keep writing. You have a gift and it's a source of joy for you and others and Jesus gets glory." 

So I'm going to make writing a priority. At this moment little lady is actually awakening and I have about one minute before she cries, so I'll say this: I will go to Jesus and pray he relieves me of the fear that everyone's over it and I need to shut up about this PPD stuff already. I'll just keep writing it like it is and by God's grace as his narrative in my life changes then so will these posts. But until then, I'll write honestly and pray that I and you readers will see Jesus in each post through the journey. There's already so much more I would love to get from mind to prose.

Now, to nurse this hungry mongrel (truly, term of endearment!) and spend some time in Psalm 77 (and twitter and facebook, I won't feign more spirituality than there actually is!).

2 comments:

  1. Oh Tami, my heart aches for you. As I approach baby Abby's due date I have to admit this makes me a bit nervous. I pray for both of us, that the Lord would grant us sleep, rest and grace for ourselves, our babies, and those who are doing their best to help.

    Love you!

    Julie

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  2. Thank you, sweet friend! But also, please don't stress. Pray that Jesus would give you the grace of not this experience, and pray that you'll cry out to him and cling to him and realize you're desperate for him no matter what. But, and this is coming in a post eventually, my experience with Rog was NOTHING like this. Like, I had the not sleeping, scary suicidal stuff but only in the first week. After that it was truly dreamy. I just loved being a mama and found him to be a piece of perfection gifted straight to me from Jesus--not exaggerating! The first moment I really wished for a break was when he was nearly a year old, and even then it passed in a moment. And even now I simply adore both kids and that adds to the guilt--how can I love them this much and be this horribly sad? I know it's got to be the hormones, the lack of sleep, the stress of them crying, etc, but I still feel bad about feeling bad :(

    But I do pray you won't be fearful! In fact, the hardest part for me with Roger was when people would say, "Oh, it's so hard, isn't it?" and I would just sort of nod my head, fearing how they'd think of me / respond if I admitted that, while yes, it was incredibly challenging, I loved it and pretty much never had a bad day because life with him every day was simply that wonderful. And that's stuff I'll write more about, but just know that not everyone has a hard time!

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