Knowing how to recognize the signs of depression put me at ease when we found out we were pregnant again this time around. I knew that denial wouldn't do anyone any good, and that fixing the problem was fairly simple, and to ask for help asap.
What I was not prepared for was the apparently common phenomenon of "Well, the second time around, my hormones were unbearable."
The past few weeks, I haven't kept make-up on for a full day. Eamon and I will have a disagreement, Lily will decided to dump her pee out of her potty on to the floor, I leave the butter on the stove while the oven's on leaving it to melt- and my world crashes in. This is not "Oh em gee, I can't watch ASPCA commercials anymore without crying!" I am more than welcoming to the cute weepy hormones that accompany 90% of pregnancies, but I wouldn't wish these "mood swings" "growing pains" or whatever you want to call them on my worst enemy. It's exhausting.
Now I am not one to question God, truthfully. I will complain about a situation till I'm blue in the face, but rarely turn my nose up to the world and my head up to the heavens, screaming "WHY ME, GOD?! WHY ME?" But I did recently. Not only did I do that, but I convinced myself on more than one occasion that I never want to get pregnant again. Ever.
That's when my husband, despite my protests and pleas, decided to give me a word that I didn't like. "God has created your body to have your babies a certain way."
Uhhh, God wants me to be miserable so I can have a baby?
That's what I heard anyway.
I went to bed angry with Eamon, angry with God. Why do I have to have this burden to carry? Why me? Why can't I [insert ridiculous comparison to other pregnant women in my life]?
I woke up yesterday morning determined not to let the crazy get to me, and was quite successful. I went to take a meal to a friend who just had a beautiful baby girl. Not expecting much conversation outside of "She's gorgeous!" "Congratulations" and "How was the birth?"
This mama had a very...well, laborious, labor with her first and had been praying for a more peaceful experience this time around- and received it. Baby E was born peacefully at home after a 2 hour labor. That glowing mama started telling me about conversations that she had with other experienced moms that encouraged her through her pregnancy and preparation for labor. When telling me about another woman who had an "easy", short labor that she talked to, she said something that almost brought me to my knees. She said,
"Just because I had and 'easy' labor, doesn't mean I didn't labor with her throughout my pregnancy."
I heard C's voice saying the words, I pictured Mrs. A saying them, and I felt God's whisper rumble through my body saying "This is confirmation!!!!"
After yoga I came home and told Eamon what happened, and despite being on that..."full tank" high, I shortly after had another breakdown- all the way back to square one. The crying, the shaking, the questioning, the sinful lack of trust all came back in a blink of an eye. After fighting him for almost an hour, Eamon took my hand, again to much protest, and asked me if I believed in what the bible says. Anger and resentment welled up inside me. "I don't need a sermon, I need for you to shut up and leave me alone!" was all I could think. After walking me to the heart of the issue Eamon said.
"Think about the hammer and the nail. I'm sure the hammer feels like it's being attacked over and over again..."
I imagined a pair of weathered hands holding a rusty nail in one, and a hammer in the other. Every drive of the hammer drove the nail deeper and deeper, but eventually, that nail helped hold up a magnificent structure. Peace washed over me as I thought about my creator hammering away at me. Yes, the pressure is intense, and often unbearable, but His other hand is holding on to me!!!
Growing this baby and shaping my heart for the His glory has been a confusing, challenging, and unbelievable experience, and I still have about 12 weeks more of it. I think I'm ready for it now [late is better than never, right?] How has God used you? Has He ever used you in a way that hurt, that you didn't understand, that left you questioning Him? Don't pity yourself! Embrace it! Use it! Ask Him to strengthen you to grow you!
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Isaiah 55:12 You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.