My parents and I were getting ready to walk into a magical, olden-time Christmas village. I was pushing my stroller, with our infant son snuggled up inside. It was cold and snowy – the perfect time to visit the Christmas village. This was a tradition. We loved always coming here, and I was excited to be joining my family for the tradition again!
I pulled out my camera and was ready to start snapping pictures when a bright red, “no card in camera,” message blinked back at me.
Tears welled up in my eyes and a heavy cloud filled my chest. With a lump in my throat and trying to keep my tears at bay, I said out loud, “The camera card is not in my camera.”
“It’s okay, Lydia. You can use my camera,” my dad replied.
Rationality left me, and I lost it. Tears erupted down my cheeks, as a panicked feeling overtook me. Continue reading →
I have this peach-colored, stretchy kind of shirt that had been sitting in my shirt drawer for what seemed like forever. It had been a while since I’d last worn it because it seemed to always fit the wrong way.
It hugged all of my curves, both the good ones and the ones that I would rather keep hidden. You know those unattractive back rolls? Yeah, this momma has them. One of these days I won’t have them anymore. I hope.
But, I did just spend several years in a row being pregnant constantly. As much as I tried keeping the weight off, six pregnancies in 5 years (four of them resulting in live births) don’t really give the body adequate time to recover. Throw in a couple years of severe postpartum depression, and you can imagine the impact my weight has received.
I decided to give the shirt another try. I slipped it on and stared at myself in the mirror. I looked slim. I felt beautiful. It didn’t seem to hug my curves like usual. A burst of confidence surged through me!
I got so excited and ran to the bathroom scale. I stepped on it, eager to see my apparent progress. The number that blinked back at me was not what I expected. Instead of losing, I had GAINED two pounds! No, it was not a result of working out and gaining muscle. I haven’t worked out in quite some time. I know; shame on me.
My confidence shattered and sprinkled all over the floor around me. I got off the scale and put it away, discouragement slowly filling inside me.
I stepped in front of the mirror again, and this time I didn’t see the slim woman I saw before. My curves looked awkward, and the shirt no longer seemed flattering.
There I was, standing in the street, screaming at the other car, demanding the other driver get out of his car. . . . I only wanted to share the love of Jesus with him, I promise!
Actually, in all seriousness, I wanted to knock his teeth out for committing that egregious, despicable, heinous act.
He cut me off.
I mean, how dare he?! Who does he think he is?
I clearly had the right of way, and he just took it! I had to slam on my brakes just to avoid hitting him! I was right and I was more than willing to inform him, shouting at the top of my lungs, and saying some things that I will not repeat here.
As a man, I thought I could handle it. I thought I could get through it, but I discovered that I too was suffering during my wife’s postpartum depression.
*Another post written by my husband, Evan.*
The stress caused me to lose almost 10 lbs and gave me irritable bowel syndrome. It was the hardest thing that I have ever had to watch. Lydia was sick for over a year and even though my last post was a little comical, there was nothing comical about watching my wife struggle that way.
Just because my wife was the one going through the actual postpartum depression doesn’t mean that it didn’t affect me at all.
I remember the sleepless nights as I sat awake in our bed listening to her cry, feeling completely helpless. I remember the fear of leaving for work, never being sure of what would happen while I was away. I remember the desire to take away all of the hurt and all of the pain and deal with it myself, because that would be easier than watching my wife, my best friend, and my children’s mother suffer and hating myself for not being able to do anything.
Your wife just had a baby and something is really off with her. It’s called postpartum depression.
If you are a subscriber to my email newsletters, then you knew that this post was coming. For those that don’t know, my husband will gradually be co-writing for my blog, and I am so excited for this to become a team effort! Today, my sweet husband is here to share his thoughts on postpartum depression and how husbands can help their wives through such a difficult season.
*written by Evan, my husband and the Marine behind the blog*
You’ve just had a child – a little bundle of joy – and you couldn’t possibly be any happier!