Browsing Category:

Hope & Healing

post-natal-depression

When I got married just after I turned 18, I was sure that I was on-track to having the life I’d planned.

You know the one. Just like the TV ad families with a happy marriage, beautiful kids, a nice house and permanently tanned and fit bodies.

And 15 months later, when a bubbly blonde little girl made us a family of three I expected her arrival to be the next step towards our perfect life.

But I knew something wasn’t right when I sat there holding this darling little human, feeling empty and confused.

And when my milk refused to come, that was when I started to believe that I’d ‘failed’ at being a mum. I had started taking notice of what I considered were my failures. I was a harsh critic.

Share:
storm-pass

I am going to be completely honest with you:

I have not had the easiest year so far when it comes to motherhood.

Other areas are all going well, but this mothering gig has been a lot tougher than usual the last few months.

Whether it was the start of a new school year (and for my youngest that meant getting used to 5 days a week away from mum) or the fact that we had just returned from a 4 week holiday  trip back to South Africa, living out of suitcases and traveling from pillar to post or maybe just a random turn of events, both my children hit a big wobbly.

For my oldest that meant a severe bout of anxiety over a variety of things, even though he has always been my easy-going adventurer that didn’t know the meaning of the word fear. My sleep was interrupted several times each night as he struggled with nightmares and falling asleep again afterwards.

My darling youngest returned to the tornado-like temper meltdowns he had when he was two. We all bore the brunt of his angry outbursts, copped an enormous amount of verbal abuse and had to tread on eggshells constantly.

Share:
comfort-pregnancy-loss

Isn’t it funny how one little call can change so much?

A few weeks ago, I got a call I didn’t anticipate, letting me know that two little embryos, two little lives my husband and I had created, had been stripped of their life. The babies we wanted to love and cherish every moment of their lives were no longer alive. They were gone before we even had a chance to name them.
The heart that had swelled with more love than I ever imagined possible for little cells multiplying in my womb sunk deep within me. I had been praying. I trusted in God to bring the babies safely into my arms. But in His wisdom, He called them to Himself instead.
When I had calmed myself, I texted a dear friend and told her that my little ones were no longer on this earth. Her response stopped me in my tracks. 

“Oh no,” she wrote, “Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Share:
banishing-bitterness

I never need to look far for bitterness to come calling.

Something will happen, or someone will rub me the wrong way, and without thinking I snap my fingers and bitterness comes running over, wrapping me in a bear hug and covering every bit of me.

But bitterness is not my friend. Bitterness doesn’t comfort me; she doesn’t make me feel better. She doesn’t serve me at all. She clouds my brain. She taints my colour. Bitterness actually grasps hold of my heart and twists it, forcing me to respond to things in ways that I usually wouldn’t. She takes my tongue and pushes words from me that I don’t usually find myself saying. She even invites her friends Jealousy, Offense and Righteous Indignation in, chuckling “Come on guys, it’s party time!” So what kind of self-destructive person am I, that I would cry out “Bitterness! Come to me! Let’s wallow together!” – knowing that she’s going to make me feel worse, not better?

Share:
redemption-shalom-birth

Image credit: Amelia Hambrook Photography

Do you like birth stories? I do.

At first I loved them because I needed to hear how labor and birth could be – for others, all normal and beautiful and full of love and connection.Redemption and Shalom: More than a birth story

My first birth experience was quite the trauma, and I went to see a therapist when my first baby was 4.5 months. I realized it was probably not normal to still be in tears every day, think it’s okay to leave my baby by herself in her bouncy chair thing, and notice her stop smiling.

Share:
loss-pregnancy

**Trigger Warning: This post contains content on miscarriage and infant loss, which some readers may find distressing. Please be aware of your triggers and don’t read on if you don’t feel comfortable doing so.**

“You must be sooo over it by now!”

My protruding belly is the subject of all mindless supermarket and bump-into chit-chats.

“Oh you know, this is the easiest part!” Truly. It is. If you’re a mom, you get my drift.
Right now baby does not need to be changed, carried, fed, changed, dressed, undressed, changed, bathed, changed, rocked to sleep while I lose my mind.
I don’t have to figure out why she is crying, wear dodgy nursing bras or wake up for feeds and function on half a brain the rest of the day.

Share:
heart-aches-infertility

Infertility was never a part of my plan.

I’ve always been slightly obsessed with babies. From an early age, you could have seen me wandering around my house and the neighborhood with a Bitty Baby, you know, the one from American Girl, strapped to my chest. My parents must have figured this was a sign that I needed siblings because they quickly had nine more children and until I left for college, my arms always had a baby to hold. When I got married at the ripe young age of twenty-one, I couldn’t wait to start a family of my own.

Share:
rejecting-lies-pnda

Some days are not so good and I’m not the best mother on those days. Some days I don’t deserve to be your mother. But my prayer is that you won’t remember these days and you will never doubt how much I love you…

The above entry was added to my journal when my first baby was almost 3 and my second was 18 months of age. Soon afterwards I was diagnosed with PNDA, however I’d been struggling long before then.

Share:
weary-reminder-labor

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” -Galatians 6:9

My mom, a saint who is still in the process of raising ten children, quoted this verse to me at least once a month throughout my upbringing. Homeschooling brought some unique challenges, one of which was not being affirmed in how her parenting choices were correct. Until I was in college, it was hard to see where I stood with my peers and how her parenting philosophies held up to time.

Share:
12