Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Back to work blues
Often people asked me if I was struggling with Postpartum depression. I think it is a fairly common question and I can't blame people for asking... I have been a bit on edge but that isn't new. I like to describe my anxiety as if I were a squirrel that is constantly moving and scanning their surroundings. My brain is constantly going. It can be paralyzing. After some intentional prayer I realized I wasn't struggling with postpartum but I was struggling to really give my fear over to the Lord. When you become a parent you instantly want to protect your child from every illness, cut, stick with a needle, and pinch of the car seat. It became very easy for me to get caught up in how much weight Louisa was gaining. I have become obsessed with her weight and making sure she is eating every meal. I believe they have a name for parents like me, "helicopter parent" is that right?
I know I sound crazy but let's face it, I have a touch of crazy in my bones, I am okay with it. The truth is I was scared to come back to work. I was scared that once I came back to work Louisa would stop eating and start losing weight. I was scared we would have to get her on a feeding tube. I know a feeding tube is not the end of the world, but it feels a little like failing in my heart. I don't want it to, but it does. I desire with everything inside me for Louisa to fight and fight hard for her life and herself. I am telling you if I could drink a bottle for her I would. I find myself every time I feed her sucking on the inside of my mouth... seriously... I know... it is bad...but every first time mom is like that right?...right??
I came back to work last Monday. It was a sad day when I dropped Louisa off with Elise but she could not be in better care. Elise Holuta is truly a gem. She is everything I am not. She is calm and sweet and soft spoken and rational. Very rational. She doesn't get bogged down with the little things. She loves the Lord and cares about Louisa. She has a son James who is wonderful and smiles and laughs at me. Elise has agreed to watch Louisa. Right now Elise is watching her 3 days a week so we can transition slowly. I don't want to overwhelm Elise because James is only a month older than Louisa. Two babies and she doesn't even bat an eye. Mike said he walked in last week to pick up Louisa and both babies were sleeping next to her on the couch. He calls her the 'baby whisperer'. I value her friendship so much. I am so grateful Louisa is with her.
After leaving Louisa with Elise for 3 days I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders. God is taking care of all of the details. God is in control of Louisa's life and I have the opportunity to watch Him move. I don't want to miss out on what he is doing through her because I am constantly stressed out. Yes things are still overwhelming trying to pack 5-6 bags every morning. Seriously, I thought I was a bag lady before but after having a child I am at an entirely new level of bag lady. Yes my mind wonders off into the world of Louisa and wondering if she is crying or sleeping or eating but ultimately I am happy to continue working. I love my job and I feel like God has placed me in this position right now for a reason. I would love to stay home with my sweet little girl and hold her for hours but right now that isn't where I feel God calling me. Some day in the future He may call me to stay home and play a completely different role but right now He is asking me to trust Him and continue as an Interpreter.
My favorite parts of the day are holding her first thing in the morning and right before she goes to bed at night. She snuggles me and places her face right in the crook of my neck. She only wants to feel skin. When she is trying to snuggle she does not want hair or clothes to be in the way of her face and her mommas chest. I love when she stares at me with her big almond shaped eyes. I love changing her clothes and watching her kick her legs and stretch out her arms. These are the moments I don't want to lose because of stress. I want to breathe in these moments with her. I don't want to get fogged with worry but I want to see this baby how the Lord sees her...perfect.
The other day I was worrying about something as I so often do and I remember thinking, "God probably wants to punch me in the face." Not lying.. that is exactly what I thought and then I immediately thought, "that is the craziest part, He doesn't want to, He loves this mess of a woman I am." I am not justifying the fact that I have crazy anxiety and often don't release my fears to the Lord but even in the moments that I hold tight to the fragile He still holds me in His stable hands. Even though I am so weak God still uses me. God still looks at me through the lens of Jesus and calls me His child. He looks at Louisa that way and He looks at you that way. I pray that you experience God's unconditional love. I pray that if you have never experienced unconditional love, that God will change your life with the unconditional love He pours out on His people. I pray that we all can breathe in the moments with the ones we love here and now.
Thursday, September 01, 2016
The Struggle is Real
Wow. Being a parent is the most humbling experience. I have had so many moments of leaning HARD into the Lord's presence. Louisa's thrush has cleared up, however, she still wouldn't eat. Feeding her became some my weakest moments. She would struggle and pull away from the bottle after only taking 10 ml. She would cry and I would cry. She would be so hungry, fussy, and still refuse to eat. I started to become more and more anxious over this of course.
My entire life I have struggled with anxiety. Not just a worry or nervousness but mind paralyzing anxiety. It will come over me and I start to lose all sense of reason. I am ridden with fear and just cannot function. This started happening with Louisa's feedings. I dreaded them. I would start to shake and overcome with fear that she wouldn't eat. I only let this go for two days and on the third day of her not eating during the day and then screaming all evening I finally called her pediatrician. We brought her in and that is when he found the thrush. I thought once we got the medicine for that she would eat and I would have my baby back.
She didn't eat. Her eating actually got worse. I cried and cried. My husband thought I was going to shut down. On the third day of her struggling to eat I once again called the pediatrician and took her in. She had lost an ounce in two days! My heart sank. The doctor believed she had gas pains and that is why she wasn't eating. That could have been the case for that moment in particular but in my heart I knew that wasn't it. There was something bigger.
Monday morning I called her cardiologist. I, of course in all my mom glory, sobbed and said, "she won't eat. She is so hungry but won't eat." Dr. Cottrill said, "Okay, we will figure this out together." Dr. Cottrill thought it might be reflux. We started her on a medication two days ago and I already feel like I see a difference. Last night she cried and cried because she was hungry and every time I offered her more to eat she drank every bit of it. I am hoping and praying this is the solution to our eating strike.
I am so humbled by the Lord. Honestly, when I was pregnant I just kept saying, "I won't need any help. I will just figure it out." Oh I was so wrong. I needed a lot of help and thanks to my Mom and my Mother-in-Law I have had the BEST help out there. The Lord has truly blessed our time together and I cannot be more grateful.