I sat still, quietly still, as I listened to my baby boy breathe heavily in his sleep. My hair was in knots, my body was aching in pain from slouching during feedings, and my shirt was covered in spit-up from the other day.
“This is my new reality,” I said to myself in the darkness of 3 a.m.
I desired this new life pretty much my whole life. Never did I imagine this life I longed for would actually make me so depressed.
I have read many books, joined virtual mom groups, and talked with loved ones about my feelings. I have felt so abnormal since the day my son was born. The emotions range from anger to sadness to joy and then uncertainty. It is agonizing that I jump from thought to thought.
I feel guilty when I am not taking care of my son, when I need to pass him off to someone just so I can clear my head or to get away from my screaming babe. Then, I feel resentment for being the sole provider of food for my son and having to be the only one to lose sleep or feel the achiness of overflowed breasts.
I look in the mirror every morning, and I don’t even recognize the woman staring back at me.
The thoughts encapsulate every detail I see and feel. The dirty dishes, the endless piles of laundry. The nonstop of the day. It feels like I am on a carousel, spinning faster and faster. I scream for it to stop, but it keeps going on and on forever.
My reflection can see my pain. She knows we both have thought of running. Running as far as the sun’s horizon. I look back at her, feeling the hot tears stream down my face. I feel like I am a visitor in my own mind.
Then . . .
A soft whisper flows into my ear like sweet honey that says, “You will get through this.” A gentle warmth from a hand touches mine, assuring me I am not alone. A Savior is with me, day in and day out carrying me through the dark trenches and holding me up high on the tallest mountains. I can feel the coldness of my body begin to fill with warmth.
My reflection is no longer a stranger. She is me, a brand new woman who has taken on the toughest and most important role: a mother.
What God has taught me in the season of postpartum is that it is going to take lots of prayers, crying, patience, and clear thinking in order to get to the other side. I have been clutching His word closer to my heart.
He never leaves my side. He is there when I am crying while holding my inconsolable son. He is there when I am up at 3 a.m. wondering if I will ever get a full night’s sleep again. He is there when I question if I should be my son’s mother and everything that goes with being a mother.
He does not leave.
He does not judge.
He holds me. Comforts me. Heals me. Loves me.
He knit my son and set him aside for me long, long before I even knew of his existence.
I am no longer feeling the need to run away. I want to run to my Savior when I feel weak or I just can’t seem the muster the strength to get through another day. My hope is in Him and He will sustain me with His never-ending love.
Originally published on the author’s blog