Caly turns two next week. As all mommies say, “It feels like yesterday” that I brought my sweet girl home from the hospital. And, well, to be quite honest, it feels like yesterday that my friend “postpartum depression” also followed me home from the hospital. (Maybe I should deliver somewhere else with my next one!)
Having watched my mom and sisters all have babies and not experience postpartum depression, I was completely unprepared for the three months following Caly’s birth. My c-section did slow down recovery a bit, but even after most of the physical pain was gone, I was still feeling tired and rundown. I would wake up each morning thinking that I was feeling better only to find myself exhausted and overwhelmed a few hours into my day. Tears were my constant companion. This continued for about three months and then, as quickly as it came, it left.
In the same way, the first trimester of my current pregnancy has brought similar challenges. Along with the vomiting and exhaustion, I have experienced that familiar “down” feeling, just like with my friend postpartum depression. All someone has to do is look my way and I start to cry. Boy, I don’t sound like someone that you want to hang out with right now. (Hee-hee!)
So what’s a girl to do? You may not be experiencing postpartum depression or pregnancy blues, but perhaps PMS or menopause is where your struggle is. For me, one of the most encouraging things that my mom told me after Caly was born was…“THIS IS NORMAL.” Yes, it’s common. As it says in 1 Corinthians 10:13:“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.” These hormonal challenges are a temptation—not an excuse to sin, mind you—but a significant temptation to be sure. And we are not alone in this struggle. Women all over the world experience the same things. We aren’t the first and we certainly won’t be the last.
I don’t know about you, but this truth brings comfort to my heart. I’m not some strange person experiencing a unique trial with no known cause. The Lord allows this and He will grant all of the grace needed to endure.
In fact, that’s exactly what 1 Corinthians 10:13 goes on to promise: “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
Our Lord does not stick us in the middle of hormonal craziness and leave us alone to find our way out of the maze. No, He graciously provides a way of escape so we can endure it. He provides a way of escape so we can rejoice in Him (even when it’s the last thing we feel like doing). He also provides a way of escape so we can serve others (even when it’s the last thing we feel like doing!). We’ll spend the next few days considering some of the “ways of escape” God has so graciously provided.
For me, God was faithful to help me endure in the months following Caly’s birth. That same help is here in the midst of morning sickness and pregnancy hormones. And I know He will be faithful once again in the months following the appearance of this next little one. I won’t be surprised this time. No, I’m planning on welcoming “postpartum depression” home right along with Baby #2 because I know that the Lord will grant me the strength to endure. That knowledge will dry up a few of those tears!