Friday, February 24, 2012

The Baby Blues

Thanks to Brooke Ledbetter Photography, here's my favorite pic of my two boys. When I look at it, I feel like they might be perfect. But then I see Braden punch Bennett in the face. *Sigh*

Those of you who know her know that I am incredibly blessed with a mom who rocks. She really does. She was preggers at 18, had me at 19, and the rest is history. Because of her experiences—she pours herself into encouraging me and my sisters. She has always told me I have the ability to work hard enough to do whatever I wanted. She never put a stipulation on what occupation I chose—she wanted me happy more than she wanted for me to make millions or even a large number of thousands to buy her a ski boat. Although, I’m pretty sure she’d still like a ski boat. And if I can’t do that, she’d probably settle for a tennis court. She loves tennis almost as much as she loves Dad—what was I talking about?

I have ADD.

My mom also encouraged me to not have children young (I had already done what she’d said not to and gotten married at 19). Let me define “encouraged.” She threatened me. As in, “If you don’t finish college first and have a baby instead, I’ll kill you.” You don’t wanna make my mamma mad. Trust me. You see, my mamma knew something. She knew I was going to have a hard time. Because she had a hard time. She knew I’d look at that little boy straight in the eyes every time he woke me crying for a feeding, and she knew I’d fall in love to an extent I never fathomed. She knew I’d then be confused when at 11:30 in the morning, I’d want to run out the door and feel accomplished at a job or make some money and I’d feel sad so I’d want my first beer of the day. She knew that then I’d feel guilty for feeling like that and I’d beat myself up. She knew that then I’d look at that little boy again and cry because then I’d be happy again, and I’d never want to leave his side, and I’d want to kiss his little face, his soft hands, his perfect little feet—I’m gushing. And then I’d clean the house and get mad because Jed wasn’t helping me clean the stupid house and instead he was working and he got the fun job and got to keep his sexy body and run all the time while I got stretch marks and an extra 20 pounds I had to starve myself to lose. I didn’t really starve myself. But to me, eating healthy and dieting feels like starving. I like dessert. And bread. And wine. And dessert. And pizza. And dessert.

You with me still?

I am not trying to communicate that I was miserable. I am also not trying to communicate that I am not grateful for my son. Lastly, I am not blogging as an outlet for me to whine. Well, maybe sometimes, But that’s beside the point.

I am communicating that I was hormonal, happy, tearful, joyful, resentful, laughing, bitter, and content all rolled up in one ball. “Not possible,” you may say! Let’s have lunch.

So back to my rockin’ mom. All this time, she was saying that maybe I needed to consider that I might be struggling with some anxiety and some post-partum depression. Psh! Not me! I don’t do that. There is nothing wrong with me.

You see, my entire family knows that my life mantra is, “I do it myself!” You are stuck on the incomplete grammar part. Stop it. I was two when I adopted it as my own. My parents would attempt to sing along with a song I was singing, and I would explain to them my personal belief by desperately screaming, “I do it myself!” At the ripe old age of 26, I was still crying out, “I do it myself!” when my mom would suggest that I might need some help.

But I did eventually give in. When Braden was six months old, I had reached some sort of desperation. So I invited a friend over who was wise and who could speak into the subject. She’s a counselor, and she spent 5 minutes listening to me before she said. “You need some medicine, girl!”

And now--I'm going to get the entire pile of our belongings from behind our front door because I think Jed might want to walk in it to come home at some point. Poor thang. And sorry for the abrupt ending. I'll write more later.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Anxiety Begins

After Braden was born (May of 2010), Jed began a normal adjustment period—exhaustion, frustration with our new life, joy in our son, getting used to my being a mom and wife, happy moments, rough moments, etc. And I began to be anxious.

I entered some very dark times. I worried constantly about what would happen to Braden. I worried about how I would get to him (literally 30 feet from my bed) in the middle of the night if someone broke in. I worried about whether or not he’d stop breathing in the middle of the night. I worried about what would happen to him if someone broke in, murdered Jed and me, and left him there helpless and alone. I worried I’d be raped. I had incredibly invasive thoughts in the middle of the day which would stop me in my tracks and literally cause me to weep in fear. I could not sleep at night for fear of missing something that happened to Braden. I cried on a very consistent basis—as in, every day at least once. My fears dangerously mingled with my emotions, and I was not myself.

During this time, I tried so many fixes to make it better. I knew that my fears were absurd, and I’d tell myself that even in the midst of an invasive thought, but it didn’t help. I’d quote Scripture, preach God’s promises to myself, and pray. These would work momentarily, but then my brain would wander and I’d begin a horrible scenario all over again. I’d feel guilty because I felt like I was not experiencing Braden the way that I was created to experience him. I felt ungrateful, sinful, and dirty for having these thoughts because I knew in my head that I had a healthy baby, a supportive husband, an incredibly loving family, etc. Who in their right mind would feel sad? Who in their right mind would have thoughts about things that had never threatened them before?

Don’t get me wrong. I also had moments of joy. Believe it or not, I fell more in love with Jed during this time period. He was so strong, so supportive, and so gentle with me. I also so enjoyed getting to know Braden and witnessing new life. I snuggled him and prayed for him and loved him. But I felt so fragile.

This entry is so depressing. Ha! Promise that it gets better....ish. :) But now I have to go watch Bennett grin. He's in a good mood, and I'm not about to miss his infant babble!


Monday, February 20, 2012

Your Maker is your Husband!

I saw this passage on a friend's blog today...

Fear not, for you will not be ashamed;
be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced;
for you will forget the shame of your youth,
and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.
For your Maker is your husband,
the LORD of hosts is his name;
and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,
the God of the whole earth he is called.
For the LORD has called you
like a wife deserted and grieved in spirit,
like a wife of youth when she is cast off,
says your God.
For a brief moment I deserted you,
but with great compassion I will gather you.
In overflowing anger for a moment
I hid my face from you,

but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,”
says the LORD, your Redeemer.

Isaiah 54:4-8

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Five to Ten, Baby!

One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to write more this year. I know you totally guessed that by the fact that I haven’t even told you that Bennett was born in December and instead I just posted a picture of the picture that I still have not mailed out because I suck at my to do list lately (did I say lately? I was deluded for a moment. I meant always.). Apologies for that precious run on sentence.

This writing thing sounds easy. It is so hard. I know what I want this cute little space to be. I know I need a new header (nobody said I was a techie). I know what I need to write about and I even think God has called me to write about some specific things. But it’s very difficult for me because I am a people pleaser and I wonder what people will think. I wonder how if it will affect my undeniably professional image *cough*. I wonder if my more conservative friends and family will be embarrassed. I wonder if people will expect more out of me—like maybe they’ll expect me to be a nicer person or to have it together more or to wear cuter clothes or learn how to put on makeup the right way or stop biting my nails.

But I also know that it shouldn’t matter if those things happen. Part of my resolution is that it doesn’t matter who reads or doesn’t read this blog, I just know I need to write because I really feel convicted that it is what God wants me to do. I have a hard time listening to Him, but in church when Daddy or Chris preaches or our worship team is leading us in worship, I hear the Spirit telling me to write sometimes. It kind of embarrasses me to write that. Like my whole Presbyterian life I thought that those crazies who God spoke to were, well, crazy. And then He brings me to a new place in my desperation for Him and He starts to ask things of me because He wants to show me some things.

So I’m actually going to try to write for just 5-10 minutes a few times a week. And I’m going to stop the expectations on myself that I need to write for longer, and I may even have to end a blog mid sentence because Bennett’s diaper just exploded or Braden turns the graphics sideways on the computer (like he did this morning when I was in the other room keeping a very watchful eye on him and NOT reading tweets. ahem.)

And there's the end of that one. I think I wrote for 12 minutes because I’m an awesome mom and Braden and Bennett are actually sleeping. Or maybe I just forgot to turn the monitor on.