Rescued From the Darkness: A Journey Through Postpartum Depression

 

When I married into the Stone family, I gained a beautiful little sister. Loren has always had a special place in my heart and an even deeper place in my husband’s heart. She is the baby and he is the oldest of the brothers so I am sure you can understand how priceless she is to him and to our family.  In August 2012, Loren was married to the perfect man for her. We were all excited to welcome Danny as our brother. That special day came, January 17, 2013, when the family got THE TEXT….Loren and Danny were expecting! With three sister- in- laws, and two of them pregnant at the same time, of course we all shared our stories and encouraged her, BUT none of us could have known or prepared her for this journey through postpartum depression that she would face shortly after the miraculous and eventful birth of her son, Henry Boone. Please read her story below. I know her journey will help many others on this uncertain road in motherhood.

 

My Journey Through Post Partum

Rescued From The Darkness: A Journey Through Post Partum Depression

This is my story.

 

My story might be jumbled because there was a lot that went on. This journey went on for about 6-8 months and was THE hardest thing I have ever been through including death of family members and friends. I think I struggled with depression some before this journey even began. Situational depression is way more common than people think. Depression in general is way more common than people lead on. Depression is not only hard because of what it does to a person but also because the majority of christians put a shame on this disease and people in general do not understand. I’m guilty of this myself. I can remember friends and family that went through some form of depression and/or anxiety. I could never understand why they couldn’t just give it to over to God and rest in His peace. I didn’t understand how they could let something take over them like that. I would think to myself “They aren’t trusting in God enough.”

The truth is…we are flesh…we are human and as much as our broken bodies are susceptible to physical disease we are susceptible to mental disease. I know when I write this I will get judgment and those that think the same thoughts I thought about others. But I’m okay with that. I have come to terms with what I went through. It was very real. Only by God was I rescued. I pray and hope this helps another woman. I pray God uses each and every word….To God be the Glory.

Loren its a boy

I’ve always been a kid lover I was “The Babysitter.” I was the one all the kids loved. I worked in daycares, nursery, etc. We even had kids stay with my family and I helped take care of them.  It was natural for me to want kids early on in marriage especially since I married an older husband and he was ready, too. We got pregnant our fourth month of marriage and we were so excited and nervous. My pregnancy went great other than being really sick. I had decided to go to Austin to record some songs for Danny and thought I would bring my grandma along to see the grandkids. I was a healthy 32 weeks pregnant woman, this is where my journey began. 

loren pregnant

 

ll tell you a shorter version. I started having contractions about 3:45pm and had Henry at 7:23pm. My grandma and the nurses held my hand through it all. My husband made it when I was pushing and was able to see Henry born.  We were at Memorial Herman in Katy, TX. My parents were out of the country. Everyone thought I would be sent home when actually I came really close to having Henry in the car. Danny and I had a beautiful baby boy who weighed 4 pounds 9 ounces.

Loren Meets henry

Because he was early he had to stay in the NICU for two and half weeks. It was all so crazy and hard. I didn’t get to hold my baby boy until he was 3 days old. And after that I was told when I could and when I could not hold him. It was an emotional roller coaster. Danny and I both were on edge.

Loren and danny in hospital

 

We knew that although Henry was doing good, things could turn at the drop of a hat. It was so emotionally draining to only be able to visit our son. It was emotionally draining to worry about Henry constantly, to wonder when we could take him home. I don’t even remember all the emotions I went through. All I know is I played every thing, every moment, every word in my head over and over and over again. Its all I could think about. Although I was surrounded by people, I felt lonely. I wanted to grieve everything that had happened.

loren and henry in hospital

I know that my birth story wasn’t as intense, crazy and sad as others. It still was a shock. It was still my journey and my kid. Because of things people said I felt like I wasn’t able to grieve. I felt like I would have been selfish and a baby for grieving. Because of what people said I felt like if my son could, he couldn’t grieve for his own self.  All of these emotions were a lot to deal with. I was angry. It took forever to want to forgive these people. But I did. God calls us to love like He does. I wish I could go back and my attitude wouldn’t be anger but love. Even when I am hurting, when I am at my worst, when I have no strength, when I am broken I so desperately need to call on Jesus to help me love others more than myself. This is the hardest thing to learn and want. I pray one day I will be able to.

henry going home

We finally came home two and a half weeks after Henry was born. It was the best feeling. I know bringing home your first child can be nerve racking but bringing home a baby that barely weighed 5 pounds had my stomach all in knots.  My mom and dad came to help and I also had my mother and sister n law.  It was so exciting to be home and we couldn’t wait for everyone to meet Henry.  I didn’t realize how hard on me it would be to have others holding Henry all the time. It was a feeling I suppressed but it festered. I felt angry I never got to bond with my son. I couldn’t sleep at night for fear that Henry would stop breathing. Also I couldn’t stop thinking about the whole birth experience. I would go back and look at texts, pictures and facebook.

henry newborn

We weren’t able to get out of the house until Henry was about 8 weeks and even then we were told to be careful. When I would get out of the house and someone watched him I would be upset. About a week after Henry came home, mom went home and Danny went back to work. Henry decided he literally never wanted to sleep. Little did I know my baby had horrible reflux and was allergic to his formula.  All you mothers know…..sleep depravation is horrible. I see why they use it as a torture tool. Thankfully my mother-n-law and sister-n-law would sometimes come over to let me sleep for a few hours. Again, i couldn’t sleep because I replayed everything in my mind.

 

Reflux continued and constipation set in. I hated seeing my baby like this. So many emotions of feeling helpless to angry. Why did my kid never sleep and almost never stopped whining? I don’t want to even tell you the thoughts that went through my mind. I began to hate my son. I began to be scared of sleep. I began to resent my husband. ( because he worked shift work and worked a lot I was almost always by myself)

henry newborn 2

I couldn’t control my feelings. One moment I couldn’t stand my son, the next moment I was jealous and angry of anyone holding him. I hated myself for feeling this way. 

I cried….all the time

I yelled…all the time

I was scared all the time

I was angry all the time

I was anxious about everything.

By this time I was deep into depression & anxiety and I just had started to notice. I still thought I was okay and decided I would just start going to counseling every now and then. I went to my sessions and I look back and realize….I wasn’t there. Physically I was there but emotionally and mentally I wasn’t there. It scares me to think I was around my son like this. Thankfully God protected him.

I began to physically be scared and have panic attacks when Henry was home. When he was there I would cry the whole time and eventually leave and not come back until Henry was gone. My husband would finally get me home and I would sit in Henry’s room and cry for awhile. I felt like a failure as a mom. I was a complete mess. I was broken. I’m so thankful for a husband who didn’t leave me. My counselor and I decided it was best for me not to keep Henry when I was like this. Honestly I couldn’t keep him. My mother-n-law so graciously understood and took care of Henry. I hated myself for this.

Feelings of post partum depression

Not only did I get horrible anxiety around my son but out in public, around others, around friends, around family and my husband. If you know me I am a people person….at this point I wasn’t

People started finding out what was going on and of course made several comments. Including my poor husband. I feel so horrible for taking him through this. I wasn’t in a place to deal with these comments like normal. It drove me deeper. I continued to

be scared

to be angry

to be anxious

to cry

to yell

and this time….suicidal thoughts started taking over. I wanted to leave my husband because I didn’t want him to keep having to go through this. I saw no end in sight. I could hardly be around my son and resented myself for it.  I didn’t know what to think or how to feel. One person would tell me to be one way and the other would tell me to be another. It was a lonely feeling. My husband was struggling with it all so I felt even more resentment toward myself. More suicidal thoughts flooded my mind. I wrote several notes goodbye. My husband came home early from work worried a couple of times. I was tearing my family apart. I couldn’t stand myself. There were even times I felt like I needed to make myself throw up to get this awful disease out of me. It was a vicious cycle. The more deep and depressed I got the more I tore my family apart. I would get more deep and depressed the more I hated myself. I didn’t want to suffer anymore, I didn’t want my family to suffer.

loren and henry kiss 2

I decided to get on medicine, it only helped a little. Again, I felt no end in sight. My doctor decided to put me on a different medication and a different dose. This time the medicine started helping! Just like when you are physically sick it takes sometime for the medicine to work and in this case I had two that needed to start kicking in. Counseling and medicine. Thankfully the counseling started making sense and I had tools to use when those “intrusive thoughts” flooded my mind. I also started learning tools to cope with my anxiety around others and my own son. I still had ups and downs and I had to come to terms that this was a process.

Little did I know, soon I would be almost back to my old self. I so graciously ended up with a part time job. I had some set backs but this job also helped me tremendously. It helped remind me that I am my own person apart from being a wife and mommy. I am God’s daughter. I am a worker, I am a singer, I am a painter, I am a photographer and so on. Eventually I was able to keep Henry all the time with little anxiety and was able to do more things.

I’ve learned so much through all this. I learned things I haven’t even talked about and things I am still learning today.

loren and danny

I learned that God is my only sustainer. He alone can heal me. He understood when no one else would. My husband completed me, I looked up to him like my god. I relied on him and people to make me feel a certain way and be there for me. THATS GODS SPOT….NO ONE ELSE.

He will take His spot in your life no matter what it takes. I’ve learned that even in your so called “inconvenience” He will use your situation to help others. I know several people that my situation helped them with their problems and depression.

All I could do was sit at His feet. I had to trust Him with my reputation, my marriage, my son, my family, my future. I don’t think I’ve ever had to do that. I could only just sit and let Him work in me. I was helpless and broken and this is when He worked. It was only Him that kept me here on earth. It was only Him that kept my husband with me. It was only Him that let Henry still know I was momma. It was only Him that gave me in laws that tried to understand and were there for me.

loren and super henry

God rescued me from looking at my husband  as my god. He rescued me from letting others thoughts and words reflect my heart and drive me. God reminded me that although with people I may have to earn their love. With Him….I CAN’T! He rescued me from the darkest place of my life. He rescued my family. 

loren danny and henry

handsome henry

 

19 comments to Rescued From the Darkness: A Journey Through Postpartum Depression

  • Bless you for sharing your story, honey. It helped reading your words to get a glimpse as to what my sister must have been going through. She suffered with postpartum depression and had just gotten on medicine two weeks after having her baby. She committed suicide and shattered our entire family. Thank you for being brave to shed light on this subject to help others going through this so they can hold on and trust in God. One of my sister’s last words were, “Only God can help me now …” and so she went to Him. Oh if only we could have done something more to prevent this from happening. If only she would have held on to see the light from our Savior rescue her here on earth, if only our love could have saved her, if only she would have felt hope deep within her being. There’s no judgment here, sweetie. Just another sister in Christ appreciating your honesty for speaking out on a topic that needs to be addressed so other mothers suffering with postpartum depression don’t have to feel so alone.

    Shirley
    http://www.lightlovehope.com
    Shirley ~Light Love Hope recently posted…Be Present and AvailableMy Profile

    • Shirley,
      Thank you so much for sharing. I am so sorry for the sadness that your family has faced. I have sent your comment to my sister in Law and she was very touched by it. May God bless your family.

  • Thank you so much for sharing your story. While I never suffered from postpartum depression, I did go through antepartum depression from my third – eighth month of pregnancy. It was horrible and I really didn’t know what was going on with me. I felt so much guilt because I was supposed to be the happy, glowing, mommy-to-be. On top of that, some people dismissed it as hormones. It wasn’t until I finally broke down in my OB-Gyn’s office that I discovered that I actually had a mental illness.

    God bless you and your family (and thank you for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely day.
    xoxo
    Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom recently posted…Shine Blog Hop #12My Profile

  • Thank you so much for sharing! So many people live in shame due to postpartum depression and it desperately needs to be brought into the light. I know the anguish and debilitating nature of this illness from personal experience. Over time God healed my heart as well. He worked through His Word and the guidance of a Christian counselor to bring a sense of peace into my life. Peace that I desperately needed. He replaced hatred with love. There are still days that are tougher than others, but I am reminded to run to Him rather than trying to fix myself or expect others to make me feel better. Thanks for you honesty and fearlessness. Stay strong 🙂
    Brittany recently posted…Five on FridayMy Profile

  • As I read through this my heart breaks, because I know first hand what you’re trying to hard to describe. I know the darkness and confusion of postpartum depression, and it’s scary to know what it can do to people. I’m so glad there are women like you, willing to talk about it, because I think so many women don’t understand what they’re going through. Like you, they blame it on themselves, instead of understanding that it’s a physical thing that can be helped!
    Thank you for sharing your victory so that others can see that they don’t have to suffer with this!
    Beth Cranford recently posted…Developing The Habit Of Reading More (Healthier-You Challenge)My Profile

  • Thank you so much for being brave enough to share your story. I think so many women suffer in silence because they don’t realize how many other people have gone through similar situations. I know that you being willing to share your experience will help many other women.
    Lauren recently posted…#ONENEWFOOD: Teaching Kids to Try New and Healthier FoodsMy Profile

    • Thank you and yes, it is such a silent struggle. Many are so ashamed to talk about it. I will pass your comment on to my sister in law. I am so thankful for her openness and vulnerability on this issue!

  • Cassandra, thank you for being brave enough to share your story here. Depression isn’t just in your head. It is not an illness of ingratitude or sin. Depression is a medical illness that affects your mind, your mood, your body and all aspects. I am so grateful that you got help and were able to overcome. Sadly, I think many don’t have enough information about depression and are spreading myths about it. Sometimes even the best of intentions can cause someone to hurt more that is already struggling with such a difficult illness. Thanks for sharing your story here.
    Elizabeth recently posted…6 Life Lessons Learned from Doing My LaundryMy Profile

    • Thank you Elizabeth. I completely agree! This is actually my sister in law’s story and I am so blessed that she let me share it. I will share your message with her. Thank you for reading and for your kind words.

  • My heart hurts for what your sister-in-law went through. I dealt with it on a much smaller scale. We also had a traumatic situation with a newborn (he had lung surgery to save his life at 6 weeks) and that triggered a downward spiral of deep fear and anxiety. I struggled with flashbacks and uncontrollable tears & sadness. It was overwhelming, but it only lasted a short season (Maybe as long as 4 or 5 months?). I can only imagine the struggle they went through and the toll it took on their marriage and her ability to be a mommy. So much pain, yet God redeemed it. Great is Thy faithfulness.
    Gabby@MamaGab recently posted…Finding Breastfeeding HelpMy Profile

    • Gabby, I am sure those 4-5 months seemed like forever for you. I hate when I hear of women going through these struggles! It breaks my heart that in the time they are to be most full of joy, their hearts are surrounded by such darkness and to add to it, they feel ashamed! Today my sister in law just celebrated her 2nd anniversary and I am so thankful for God’s grace in their marriage and in her life!

  • This is a very brave piece. Thanks for sharing your story and helping so many.
    Vicky recently posted…30 Easy Picnic Food IdeasMy Profile

  • Thanks so much for sharing your story. Postpartum depression really should be talked about more. I am hoping to get a post up later this week about my struggle with my youngest. I love your beautiful pictures.
    Sara Sherrell recently posted…Back To School NecessitiesMy Profile

  • My story is very similar. It’s hard to read your story because it makes me remember those feelings that are now, praise the Lord, so foreign to me. God indeed spared us from what we almost did and helped heal the damage we did do. Gonna share this with my FB page.

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