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lifeafterbaby:

Originally posted March 2008 by Jenna, this post has gotten so much attention that I thought I would re-post. ~Diane

Originally posted on life.after.baby:

I appreciate it when men weigh in and share their perspectives of PPD. This was written by the husband of Katherine Stone over at Postpartum Progress.

“My husband Frank surprised me with this yesterday, which he wrote from his heart and asked me to share with you.  It is about our experience with postpartum depression from his perspective, and what he’d like husbands, fathers and partners to know:

I am writing this because my wife has made it her life’s mission to illuminate the pain, anguish and recovery that surround postpartum mood disorders.  I have felt compelled for some time to reach out directly to men because postpartum mood disorders are devastating for the entire family.  It requires a family effort to recover, and husbands/fathers are critical to that recovery.

First of all I need to share a little of the story.  Katherine and I waited to have children until…

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Hello,

It’s been a while since I have been here. A lot has happened since I last posted, like 3 years ago. I will go into that another time. For now, I wanted to say hello and that I am back. I am not sure how often, but there are at least a few things I want to write about. For today, however, the writing will wait as it is after 10 am, and I am still in my pajamas, there is stuff to be done, and my girls are waiting for our bike ride to the library.

I look forward to interacting with you and hearing your stories as I share mine.

Diane

Hurt

by Diane

I’m surrounded. I’m surrrounded by pregnant women, and it hurts. It hurts because I so badly want to be pregnant. It’s hard to understand why it hasn’t happened yet. I know God’s timing is best, but I don’t want to wait anymore. There are parts of me that are glad that I only have to chase one child but other parts that think it isn’t fair.

I feel forgotten. Don’t get me wrong; I’m glad for my friends. I know that pregnancy is exhausting. I know that those who are pregnant are just trying to get by because that’s all they can do. I really do sympathize. But, I am tired. I am tired of dealing with the hurt. I am tired of trying to time it right, taking my temperature, etc. I am tired of thinking about it. I’m tired of hearing about pregnancy sickness. I’m just tired.

I think this is getting harder because of the amount of time that has passed. One year ago on this past Sunday Oct 18, the baby in my womb went to be with the Lord. Oct 24th marks one year to the day that I learned my baby had died. I would have thought I would be pregnant by now. The others I know who have also lost little ones are expecting again. I don’t understand why it takes so long for me.

I don’t want to be that person who gets upset when others become pregnant, but I am there. I want to rejoice for others. Their babies are theirs and have nothing to do with me. Life isn’t about me, and I don’t like these emotions that arise. Alas, they do arise, so I have to deal with them. I have spent time hiding, not wanting to see certain people. I still want to hide, but I have realized that my emotions are too strong to keep to myself. I know that if I express them, they won’t be so crippling. Then I have a better chance of being able to celebrate with my friends. Also, I hope that some will take a moment out of their pregnant experiences to remember me and others who hurt for our losses.

I won’t always feel this way, but today I do. I know that my God is good and that his timing is perfect. I know that I have friends who love me and hurt with me. So for today, I shed my tears and know that I will be taken care of.

Please attend our “Kids FREE Fire Safety Event” this Friday, January 16th from 5-8pm at Kohl’s Rivertown (1st floor mall entrance).  This event is “hands-on” and is geared towards helping kids learn and practice fire safetyFree loaded goodie bags for all kids that participate (for the first 80 kids)!
 

by Diane

I feel blah, down in the dumps, unmotivated. I knew that Christmas was going to be difficult due to the loss of my baby. What I did not anticipate was the difficulty I am experiencing now, after all the hype has passed. I was so focused on just getting through all the family gatherings, and I set my grief aside, somewhat, to survive.  I survived the holidays, but now I have to survive the aftermath.

I am just tired. Tired of feeling down. Tired of dealing with family. Tired of having to see family members who don’t really know me. Tired of plastering on a smile. Tired of making sure that one family member knows just how much I appreciated their presents. Tired of dealing with the family member who refuses to accept my daughter and won’t put her name on her gifts. Tired of carrying these burdens. Tired of  having such deep sadness below the surface but not being able to get it out.

I KNOW that this difficulty will pass and that God will bring healing. He always does, but this time of sorrow is just so hard. I wish I could just sit down and cry it all out and then move on. It is hard to be patient with the process, but there is hope. I am thankful that I am not alone. All I have to do is cry out, and someone will reach out to me. God is faithful like that to never leave me alone. I know that every tear I shed and even the ones I cannot shed are not in vain.

On the other hand, I do have many small things to smile about every day. My daughter is a true joy. I love how she calls herself Ashie and is proud to say her entire name. I love her “Hip! Hip!  Hurray!” and accompanying gestures when she completes her bathroom duties. Most of all, I love her sweet affection and undying devotion. Her little pats on my back, sweet kisses, and telling me my hair is pretty bring me joy in my darkest of days.

I feel blah, down in the dumps, umotivated, but I will be ok.

Update

by Diane

Hello, Friends,

As I write this post, I am happy to report that I am feeling better. I believe that is due to several factors: lots and lots of prayers that have been said for us, the meals given to us (these have eliminated much stress), rest, God’s grace, and my medication. I think another reason is that I haven’t really dealt with any miscarriage details for several days. Setting it aside really allows me to set aside my grief until I can deal with it again.

I am thankful to be feeling better, but many questions remain for me. I wonder if I am feeling better because I am really better or if the medication has just boosted my system. I don’t think that is true, but I struggle with that thought because I want to get better on my own or least with my support system and relying on my relationship with God. I don’t want my medication to numb me so that I bury my painful feelings and just go on.

I have been struggling the most in my relationship with God. Never have I experienced pain and loss like this. Never before have I lost my joy in this way. Even during my PPD, I was able to feel joy and know with confidence that God had purpose. This time, I know that God is at work, but I struggle to see his purpose, and right now this knowledge is only in my head whereas before it was in both my head and my heart. My heart just feels so empty even though I know in my head that God is near. I am trying to rely on what I know to be true and not on what I feel. My heart feels lost, abandoned, and empty. I know that I cannot stop with what my heart feels, that I must stumble forward and reach up to God, even though I am not sure why this is happening.

These things I know for sure: God IS good, even if I don’t feel good. I am loved. So many people have reached out to help and have shown such care that I must believe God has not left me alone. One day, I will be whole again, even though I am broken right now. I know that God is the Great Healer and that He will not leave me broken. I also know that God’s voice is speaking to me because so many comforting Bible verses and songs have been brought to my mind without my asking or trying to remember them. I know that is God’s whispering words of comfort to my broken heart.

As I write this today, I am crying tears that haven’t come out in a few days, but I am doing better. I am trying to do what I am supposed to, but it is hard to know what that is. I look forward to the day when the hurt is not so strong and the pain is not so raw. This journey is difficult, but I know that day is coming.

A Sad Day

by Diane

Many of you may have wondered why the blog has been so silent. I have been unable to write due to my deep, deep sadness. Here is a letter I wrote on Oct 30 to some friends and family concerning our recent loss:

Dear Friends and Family,
 
I apologize for the group email, but this is the easiest way to give details on what is currently going on.
 
As many of you know, last Friday, we learned that the baby we are expecting has gone to be with the Lord. I went in for a routine ultrasound at 8 weeks 3 days pregnant and learned that the baby does not have a heartbeat. The baby passed away on Sat Oct 18, which was when I was 7 weeks 4 days pregnant. I know that many of you did not know we were expecting, and that is because it was so early in the pregnancy that we were waiting to share our news.
 
As of today, my body still has not passed the baby, and I am not yet experiencing symptoms of a miscarriage. The pregnancy hormone in my system has dropped, and my pregnancy symptoms are basically all gone. Now, it is a matter of waiting for my body to let go of the baby. I saw my doctor’s colleague on Monday, and he encouraged me to wait for the miscarriage to take its course, rather than having surgery.  Surgery sounds terrible, but so does passing the baby at home. I need some type of concrete experience to help me say goodbye, but I really dread what is to come.
 
God is sustaining us in both our emotional and physical needs. Last Friday, I cried all day. I just kept hoping that they were wrong and that my baby was ok. Over the weekend, I came to grips, at least somewhat, that the pregnancy is no longer viable. I began to realize that my pregnancy symptoms really were disappearing. Saturday and Sunday, I did not have as many tears to shed but felt more numb. Seeing the dr. on Monday was helpful because I was able to have some questions answered. I cried through my entire appointment but have not had as many tears since. Mostly, I am just exhausted. I think that being in limbo with waiting for the baby to pass has put some of my grief on hold.
Lee is doing ok but is struggling a lot too.
 
We have been blessed by the love given to us from the people around us. I am thankful for the listening ears, the hugs, and how people have been checking in on us. The practical help in doing our dishes and bringing us food has also been incredibly sustaining. These things are God’s love in action and are helping us to keep going.
 
As we wait for the next step in the loss of our baby, I fear what is going to happen next. I am nervous about the physical process and how I will feel about it. I worry about what caused the miscarriage and hope it won’t cause problems in the future. I worry about being forgotten when it’s really hard. Everyone has been amazingly loving, but I feel that the hardest part is yet to come, and I hope that people will continue to remember us in prayer and with practical help. I know that may sound odd to say, but it is a real fear of mine, and most of you know me well enough to know that anxiety is a problem for me.
 
Right now, we are clinging to God’s strength and comfort to get us through. I do not understand why God has allowed us to experience this hurt, and I have told him that. I do know that he has not left us alone in our pain and that he is helping us.
 
We are taking one day at a time and are not making too many commitments. We are trying to keep ourselves busy with enjoyable activities to help us deal with our grief. Please do not be offended if you call and we don’t feel like talking or don’t respond right away to an email. All of these contacts mean so much, but sometimes, I don’t have the capacity to respond. We are going moment by moment, trying to take care of ourselves and our little girl.
 
I thank you much for your love and support.
 
Diane for Lee and Ashlyn too
Since I wrote this letter, the physical process has started and is hopefully almost done. It started on Ashlyn’s birthday, which to be honest, made me angry. I lost the baby 2 days later. My body decided to let go of my little one at 10 weeks pregnant.
My heart is broken, and I wonder why God would allow this. I know God is good and works things for good, but I am trying to understand His plan. I am just so sad, exhausted, and overwhelmed.
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