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Posts Tagged ‘healing’

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.

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by Dan

This morning I printed out 900 sheets of paper which when cut divided into 2700 marketing slips for Life After Baby. Last year, my wife (with the help of a few friends) started a journey of ministry to women who suffer from Postpartum Depression and other stresses related to raising small children. This ministry was birthed through prayer and a desire to redeem the time we lost during our journey through the darkness of PPD. The ministry and blog caught some traction and gave Jenna some opportunities to advocate for PPD related issues. It was a good time, but it’s come to a close for us.

This year, Jenna is on the other side, feeling healing and renewed strength everyday. It’s time to move on; the copies I made this morning are most likely the last time I will help out with LAB. In so many ways, I feel that this is the end of the PPD chapter of our life, a chapter that has been open for the past 5 years in one way or another. We will OF COURSE still advocate and promote PPD resources, but we’ve decided that it’s time to step back and allow others to carry that torch.

This last year has been one of considerable growth for Jenna and me. We’ve gotten our finances in order (FINALLY!), had some setbacks but have seen tremendous healing, and are (for the most part) writing our story together on the same page. PPD rocked our everliving world, and being on the other side of that is like our eyes are open to colors we haven’t seen in years. It’s absolutely a testament to a faithful God who carried us every step of the way on the roller coaster of life we’ve experienced. This past year set us up for this coming year which is starting out to look very different than any roller coaster we’ve ever ridden.

Rather than expanding our ministry, this year we’re expanding our family. And with every step we take towards our new son from Ethiopia, I am filled with gratitude for the life we’ve lived, those ups and the downs that have brought us here. I just can’t wait to see his picture, know his name, meet him and bring him home to a place that is sometimes chaotic but always full of love.

I’m liking the prospects of this year so much more than the one that just passed.

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//www.graduationandprom.com/Graduation_and_Prom/images/graduation_cap_felt_black.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.I haven’t written here a lot lately.

I’m in a tight and prickly spot.

You see, I’m ready to “graduate” from being a PPD survivor to attempting a ‘normal’ life.

It’s a wonderful feeling, riddled with guilt at leaving friends and friendships ‘behind’. Namely any of you reading this that aren’t where I am right now. Maybe hurting your feelings (unwittingly) in the process of going and growing.

I need to see if I can handle being a healthy mom. Part of that for me means putting my PPD past behind me and moving on. Healing. Sealing. Sailing.

Not writing on LAB every single day. Not attending support groups until I’m ready to come back to them after having a few years of successful “normalcy” under my belt.

Taking a big step back from my responsibilities with LAB. Stepping into a weekly Bible study that I desperately need and have no idea whether I’ll be able to ‘handle’ in the weekly homework department.

I want to try to live out what I wish for each LAB mommy friend I’ve met and made. To see you flourish as you get healthy, and seek new growth.

So, that’s why it’s been so quiet on the LAB scene. At least from my perspective.

But on a lighter note, I’m also afraid that every PPD friend I make will up and move to a new state out of the blue (Bobbie, Lisa, who’s next? You?)

So forgive me if you feel it’s been a long while since you’ve heard from me. It’s on purpose, but not in a bad way. I’ve been busy basking in health that’s not been marred by a “bad day” or “funk” for months. And figuring out what’s next for me and my family.

And boy, howdy, wait ’til I tell you what “what’s next” is…

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by Diane

Today, I was given the opportunity to attend a meeting of the Kent County Coalition for Postpartum Mood Disorders. I was invited in as a spokesperson for LAB and what we are trying to do to help our mom friends. This coalition is an amazing group of health professionals including representatives from area hospitals, social workers, the health department, and more. This is an impressive group of individuals who are committed to raising awareness about postpartum mood disorders and offering resources to families in need.

I was honored to be invited because we would like to extend the outreach of LAB. We deeply desire to reach out to moms who “don’t have it all together” and are looking to network and make additional connections. I was welcomed warmly, and the members of the coalition expressed interest in using our group as a resource. Despite feeling ill prepared, I felt acknowledged as a representative for LAB.

Toward the middle of the meeting, my head began to spin with all the ideas going around the table, and I began to wish I had spoken more eloquently. At the end, however, all my doubts were settled, and I am happy to say that I received great affirmation that I was meant to be there.

First, I was able to speak with the organizer of MomsBloom. This is a wonderful organization that is doing great things to help new mothers. Although this individual really sounds like she knows what she is doing, and I did not, she was humble, encouraging, and wanting to work with me. That in itself was uplifting.

Second, when I told the Spectrum nurse coordinator of the group that I felt very underqualified, she told me that I am very qualified and that my voice is important.

The most important interaction for me today was with a nurse from a local hospital. She, in fact, was one of the nurses who cared for me after the birth of my daughter. Initially, I questioned myself for telling her that fact, but after the meeting she approached me, wanting to know about my experience with that hospital in my journey with PPD. I was honest and told her that I had been let down, and her response was incredible. She wanted to hear my story because she is passionate about helping moms. I was blown away when she asked if I would be willing to share my experiences as a patient at this hospital with some health professionals who work there. I am humbled and honored by this potential opportunity.

I am still processing all that happened today, but I do have some initial responses. First, I am thankful for this coalition. This dedicated group of caring professionals is giving us a voice. As hurting moms, we don’t have to go unheard. I feel like we are being heard and that we have a voice even when we cannot speak for ourselves.

Second, I am incredibly thankful specifically that the hospital where I delivered my baby is involved in this coalition. I am thankful for the chance to share with my former nurse. I cannot tell you how redemptive that was for me. I find that as I share with different people I encounter in my journey, I find healing. First, I have been able to help moms who are struggling, and second, I have received answers and closure for some questions and gaps in my own experiences. Talking with this nurse was so incredible for me. I have tears in my eyes right now just thinking about it. It is healing to know that I am not just lost in the shuffle, that she cares about my experience and appreciates my openness to sharing. It is HUGE for me to feel appreciated and cared about by someone from an organization that had previously let me down.

Third, I want to encourage you to share your story. It is scary, and you might feel dumb, but there is redemption. Others will relate and will encourage you. By sharing, you can get closure that you might otherwise not receive. Sharing is a risk, but I have found that the benefits outweigh the risks, and I have always received affirmation for sharing. Of course, I choose whom I share with and when I share. Not every person will understand, and not every situation is right, but sharing is a powerful avenue for healing.

Today was another step in the healing process for me, and I am thankful beyond words.

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