Monthly Archives: May 2011

I Am No Theologian

I am no theologian.  Let’s just get that out there.  But I am a Christian.  And there are a few things I believe to be true.

I believe Jesus is the Son of God, that He was born a man of the virgin Mary, that He lived a sinless life, died on the cross for our sins, rose from the grave after three days and ascended back into heaven where He sits at the right hand of God the Father.

I belive in the power of prayer.  I believe it is important to have that communication with God.  I believe He always hears us.  I believe He answers in the way He sees fit.  I know it is not always the way I think He should answer.  I believe He is able to heal us of all diseases and does so.  I believe sometimes He heals without the use of medicine, I believe sometimes He waits until we are in heaven to heal us completely.  And I believe sometimes He uses medicine to bring about healing in our lives.

And I believe that sometimes that is not the way I wish He would do things.  I most certainly wish the postpartum depression were gone.  I wish it would have never come in the first place.  I could have lived my whole life without experiencing the depression and anxiety of the last 9 months.

When it became apparent the postpartum depression was not going to leave on it’s own, my midwife and I began talking about possibly using an antidepressant.  I really struggled with that.  I really struggled with not being able to read my Bible enough or pray enough to get rid of the depression and anxiety.  I worried about what needing medication for my mental health would do to my witness as a Christian.  Would people see that as a failing in my faith?  Would it make non-believers, and believers, think my faith wasn’t strong enough or my God wasn’t big enough?

To be honest, I still worry and wonder.  Am I weak?  Am I not allowing God to work mightily enough in my life?

My friend Ali talked about postpartum depression in one of her recent posts.  She asks some very important questions, including am I overtired, am I exercising enough, and the tougher ones, how is my prayer life, am I spending time reading my Bible.  Everything she asks are valid questions.  And important to ask.  And I have asked them.  And they are a key place to start before making any decisions.  We do need to be taking care of ourselves in the basics of our physical life and our spiritual life.  Things go sideways when we are not doing so.  Rough times gets rougher if we don’t take care of ourselves.

And I will admit, I am lacking in some of those areas.  Could this time with postpartum depression be easier if I weren’t?  Maybe.  Do I wish I could pray my way out of this?  Definitely!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But after asking myself the questions Ali brings up, I found something was still needed.

Right now the Lord is working in my life through medication and treatment, through help from other Christians lifting me up and carrying me, through introducing me to other ladies who are walking the same road of PPD.  I don’t know why I must go through the PPD, but through it seems to be my only option.  So I walk through it.  I cast my burdens upon the Lord.  I ask others to lift me up in prayer.  And I learn to trust the Lord more.  He knows the plans He has for me.  He knows why I am walking the road I am on.  He knows He is not punishing me.  He knows what the future holds.  And I know I will be okay because I know He holds the future.  And He holds me.

I pray you are able to let Him hold you in whatever joy or struggle you are living right now.  I pray He is drawing you closer to Himself regardless of the circumstances of your life.  And I pray my struggle with PPD has not confused your view of God.  He is all powerful to heal and to save.  I am frail and weak, but He is not.  Please know God wants to know you personally.  He wants to walk with you throughout all that is in your life.

Please let my blog, thoughts and Christian walk point you toward God, not away.  I am by no means perfect, but I desire to see the Lord working in my life and in yours.  Please ask me questions if something you see in my life is confusing, please ask if there is something I can join you in praying about.  Please know my heart is to see His glory, no matter how I might be acting!  Please.

Saturday Snapshots

Sue’s first dentist appointment

Patrice and Caitlyn

Babies sleeping in their high chair is soooo cute

Patrice in a dutch baby hat

Sue at the wooden shoe factory

There is more cuteness over at An Ordinary Mom.

A Deep Breath–5 Minute Friday

The Gypsy Mama hosts a blog carnival specially for Friday…Come along and join in:

Wanna just write? Without wondering if it’s just right or not. You’re welcome to play along. The rules are easy.

Write your heart out for five minutes and show us what you’ve got.

Tell your readers you’re linking up here and invite them to play along.

And most importantly, go visit, read, and encourage the fellow five-minuter who linked up right before you.{I humbly beg you to turn off word verification for the day to make this easier!}

Easy peasy.

A Deep Breath.

Today I am pausing and taking a deep breath.  It is my birthday and I am only doing what is necessary.  We are keeping things very low key.  I have another TMS treatment today and then we will go out to dinner as a family.

I take a lot of deep breaths during the TMS treatments.  There is some pain/discomfort with the pulsing.  It feels like someone is poking my head and hurts in my nose.  The treatment is 40 minutes, with 4 seconds of pulsing, and a 26 second break.  The machine makes a chime sound before the 4 seconds of pulsing, so with the beginning of each one I take a deep breath.  It helps me get past the discomfort.

Do you ever need to take a deep breath to get past something?  I sometimes have to take a deep breath when my kids are pushing my buttons, a deep breath before I start a run, a deep breath when I want to correct how my hubby has done something (I try not to be critical, he is amazing and does so much for our family, I don’t want to accidentally dishearten him by being a nag).  Sometimes life just requires a deep breath.  Tell me about those moments you have to pause and take a deep breath!

A Quick PPD Update

First off, let me just apologize to my loved ones, family and friends who are sometimes reading things here that normally I would share more on a one-on-one basis. I have to admit the last weeks and months have been hard with the postpartum depression. It has often made it hard for me to communicate with people. All people. It is absolutely no reflection on anyone if you have not heard from me. I appreciate your support whether it is love from afar, phone calls, text messages, cards. I truly appreciate it. I hope, as things get better, to communicate more comfortably with everyone. Thank you for your grace and understanding.

On to the most recent, I have been off work for the last week due to issues with the postpartum depression. It made it completely impossible to work. My hubby was required to be with me for a few days. We strongly considered going to the hospital again, but were both very gun shy due to the horrible experience we had in October. I saw the specialist on Thursday and we tried a new medication. It hasn’t really helped. Running, and the ensuing endorphines, now they helped. So Saturday was an awesome day. It was a gift from the Lord.

The other days, not so nice. The specialist strongly suggested I try Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, a non-drug treatment for depression. He suggested it months ago, but we had some reservations. But with medication no longer working, we were all running out of good options, particularly with my desire to continue nursing Patrice.

Tuesday I reached a crisis point. I could not stop crying and the anxiety was building to completely unmanageable levels. I called my wonderful midwife in tears. She got ahold of the specialist who agreed to see me right away. I saw him and the TMS specialist in his office. They were both patient and wonderful. But I still wasn’t sold. So I headed home still undecided.

My hubby and I talked about it. But ulitmately, it was my decision.

I had a few more questions, I sent them to the doctor, he answered them with a sense of urgency that we start this new treatment for two weeks or I return to the hospital for treatment.

Just so we are clear, I do not want to go to the hospital, but I do not want to continue to be this ill. I want to be well for my husband and my children. I am willing to go to a hospital if need be, but we found it to be a situation sorely lacking in many ways. The TMS on the other hand is completely outpatient, it is about an hour out of my day, can be worked around my schedule, carries no side effects for nursing and allows me to be home with my family while I work to get better.

It was with mixed feelings that I began the treatment Wednesday. The first one takes the longest as many measurements and exact requirements have to be sorted out and ascertained. I should feel slow improvement over the next week and additional improvement over the 2nd week. The remission rate from depression with this therapy is 80%. I like those odds and the future they are likely to give me.

We appreciate your prayers and encouragment as we embark on this new therapy. And I look forward to sharing with you how it goes.

Weight Loss Wednesday Week 10

Keeping less track of how much I eat seems to be the key to my weight loss journey right now.  I have continued to leave out sweets for the most part, though this last weekend, while we were camping (more about that tomorrow), I had a few treats, including a small s’more. 

But something must be working, I lost another pound.  Maybe it was my race I did Saturday.  It is the third one I have done since Patrice was born 9 months ago. 

As you might remember from last week’s weight loss wednesday, my goal for this race was under 40 minutes.  I really pushed myself to make that goal.  Here I am at the end of that race, kind of “limping in”.

But I made it, with 10 seconds to spare, 39 minutes 50 seconds.
So on to the warrior dash.
How are you doing on your goals?  What plan is working for you?

A Couple Days Late–Saturday Snapshots

We were away this weekend enjoying spring, so I did not get a chance to show off our fun this weekend.  Take a gander at Tulip Time.

And you need to check out the arrival of spring at An Ordinary Mom

Motherhood Should Come With–5 Minute Friday

 
Another Friday, another fun 5 Minute Friday with the Gypsy Mama.  We write for 5 minutes, no editing, just 5 minutes.  Check out what I have to say and then head over to see what others think.
 
Today’s prompt, Motherhood should come with…
 
A friend who has been to the dark side of motherhood.  A friend who is willing to ask, how are you emotionally.  And not believe you automatically when you say fine.  And not be scared when you share what a wreck you are inside.  But totally believes you when you say how much you love your kids even though you are a wreck inside.
 
I have found mothers like that in my recent journey with postpartum depression and anxiety.  Some I knew about beforehand, others, I never would have dreamed had walked this road.  I have also met several more via Twitter.  There is this amazing group of women out there under the hashtag #ppdchat.  They are amazing.  Some are at the beginning of the journey, some are survivors.  All have a heart for each other and what life is dealing us right now.
 
Can I ask you, please check on new mamas you know.  When you ask them about nursing and how the baby is sleeping, also ask them, how are you mama?  How are your emotions?  Ask, you never know what life you might help save.

Improvise a Craft for Try Something New Thursday

I’m not the craftiest mama on the block.  Not by a looooong shot.  I need instructions and pictures to picture out projects.  But I enjoy doing them with my girls, a lot.  The girls got this pipe cleaner craft book for Easter and have been bugging me to play with it.  It has cute colored punch outs to make into window clings with included pipe cleaners and suction cups.  So we set out to make some window friends.

Each girl chose a fun punch out to do.  All was going well, until we found some of the suction cups were missing.  A lot of them for that matter.  This did not phase the girls at all, they just wanted to play with it, so we improvised a craft.

What have you tried lately?

Weight Loss Wednesday Week 9

I know I already posted today, actually in preparation for tomorrow, but I didn’t want to miss a chance to join my sweet friend over at Weight Loss Wednesdays.  She did great this week, make sure you check it out!
I have found a happy solution for my eating right now, not really strict and no tracking, I just have cut out sweets.  I will admit this week I have eaten a lot of honey nut cheerios, but on the upside, I finished them off today so they are no longer here to tempt any of us!  And I said no to a whole lot more foods than I normally would, even knowing I have to track them. 
Right now it is just working out better to tell myself, don’t eat those things.  Tracking is just too much right now.
I am also still exercising.  Have actually stepped that up a little bit this week because it helps me in some other areas of my life. I did a 5K race in the pouring rain with my sister a couple weeks ago and am doing another one this coming Saturday.  There is rain in the forecast, but this is mitten country, that can change by Saturday, right?
My sister and a girl I work with have me considering something absolutely nuts.  The Warrior Dash.  Yup, I am thinking about it.  Seriously.  I’ve made a little bit of a deal with myself, if I can shave 3 minutes off my 5K time on Saturday, I will sign up!  Wish me luck, or not, depending on how crazy you think I might be.

A Few Random Musings

I am not full of answers right now, I am more of a gloomy guss, truth be told, so today I just have questions.

Why must we hurt?  I am in the best time of my life with three perfect little girls and the postpartum depression and anxiety threaten to overtake me.

Why must we cry?  I cry but it brings no relief so then I just feel spent and stupid.

I wish there was more, but that is what I have right now.  What are you thinking about for Thought Provoking Thursday?

 I started to push publish, but that is not quite all there is on my heart.  In the midst of struggles, I am thankful for

Glimpses of spring
Text, e-mail and Twitter friends
A lovely daughter who loves to do chores with mama
Little girl smiles and giggles
Ruffle butt baby jeans

What are you thankful for?