It's been way too long since I've written on here. It's slightly humorous to me that it hasn't been a life crisis or trial that has kept me away, but rather the steady humming of ordinary days.
Since Chris and I got married in 2013, our life has been one un-ending crisis after another. No joke. We lost our first baby to miscarriage, we have dealt with extended family issues that created so much turmoil in our hearts, we moved 3 times, and then on top of that all that we went through with Eli. I really can't remember a season of just normal life.
And it's been hard to adjust.
I know that sounds absolutely insane, but it's been true for me. Without the drama and chaos of circumstances outside of my control whirling around me, life can seem somewhat unexciting. My heart has struggled to find a proper place to rest in the monotony of daily tasks.
Fighting Depression With Two Babies To Hold
After 55 days in the NICU, Eli was finally able to come home. What a joyous day! The Lord had seriously answered all of our prayers and moved mountains before our eyes. My baby was finally home, in my arms. What relief!
What I did not expect was a severe wave of depression to sweep over my heart in the weeks after his arrival home. I have never truly struggled with depression...I've had really sad times. But this. This was different. It's almost like I didn't even know my own self. I couldn't laugh. Sometimes I couldn't even cry. I just felt stuck in a fog that sucked every ounce of joy out of my life.
On top of that I felt so guilty for feeling so unhappy. I had a husband who loved me, and two precious babies to love and spend my days with. And Eli had just survived the impossible...shouldn't my heart be exploding with joy?!
It took a few weeks for me to even realize that I was having delayed postpartum depression. Once I knew what I was fighting, I was able to cry out to the Lord, meet with friends who had walked that road, and just fight for joy. My heart had so much to process from the traumatic past few months:
I almost died. Eli almost died.
I had to leave my baby at the hospital every.single.day. I cried every time I drove away.
I felt guilty for not feeling that instant "mommy-baby" connection with Eli, because I had missed those early days with him. I worried it would never come.
So many feelings were weighing on my heart and processing and feeling them all took time and it was painful. But I survived. The Lord healed my heart, pointed me to the truth, and helped my heart to rejoice once again. It wasn't instant, but in the end, the sun did rise again. The fog had lifted.
For any of you reading this who are in the midst of fighting through depression, I now have a whole new understanding of what that feels like. It is awful! Keep fighting, don't despair, surround yourself with a few close friends who have been there and have won the battle, and just keep going! You can make it!
Learning to Thrive in the Quiet
Although my days were now much less traumatic and stressful, I still had a lot to get the hang of. Being a mom to two was a whole new adventure, and they brought twice the amount of fun, but twice the amount of responsibilities. I have become a master of multi-tasking. (ha)
I have never been so tired in my entire life, but my soul has also never been so full. When we found out the news about Eli, and realized we may lose him, all I could think of was, "I'm never going to get to see my two boys playing on my living room rug together." It was an image I couldn't stop thinking about.
Now, I watch Eli as he is mesmerized by his big brother. He could watch Rhett play for hours! Rhett doesn't always notice him, but sometimes he sees Eli and walks over and smiles...and then pokes him in the eye while declaring "EYE! EYE!" My heart sometimes feels like its going to explode from the love I feel for my two little boys.
To add to the joy, we found out when Eli was 4 months old that we were expecting another little one! I will be honest and admit I had equal feelings of "YAY!" and "OH MY GOODNESS HOW AM I GOING TO DO THIS?!" when I saw the positive test, but we are so thankful for another little life growing inside of me. Dealing with the fatigue and nausea while taking care of two little ones has had its hard days, but I am 13 weeks today, and I'm hoping to start feeling a little better soon.
One thing I have loved about our new pace of life is being able to be more involved in our church, which for us means attending services as regularly as possible (I'll admit I've skipped a few here lately due to severe morning sickness), being involved in our small group, and helping out with any church-wide events in our community. We got to help freshmen move into their dorms and clean up our local dog park to name a few. We are so thankful to be a part of a local church that loves serving others! Chris has been leading our small group the past few weeks as our normal leaders just had their first little baby! It's been so fun!
I'm learning to find my rhythm in the daily tasks of diaper changes, story reading, lots of giggles, and only a few meltdowns. I know that like the ones before it, this season will soon pass. We will be faced with difficult seasons again, but for now the Lord has given us a breather. I am learning to inhale deeply.