Friday, October 25, 2013

I'd like to tell you a story that's close to my heart ( part one )

I have two beautiful boys. This story starts with them but it's not really about them.

With my firstborn son Jesse, I had a tough pregnancy. He was as healthy as could be but I barely saw a 'glow' period. As much as I wanted to be pregnant more than anything else in the world, it pretty much felt like the longest nine (and a half) months. And he was big. And so I was big. His birth was one part beautiful beyond belief, but the other part scary due to some un-forseen circumstances. I was on a forced bed rest for weeks of his first little stages of life and everything from breastfeeding to sleeping didn't seem to come easy for me. 

Slowly I got into the swing of being a proud new mum and the difficult moments were just that, fleeting moments of discouragement that after a day or a week would pass. If i was anxious or upset, it would either be a good rest that would alleviate the problem or a time of prayer with the Lord to put my heart right and to start all over again in peace and with a hope.

And then came my little boy Jack. My pregnancy was just the same as before except this time Jack was even bigger. And so I was even bigger. His birth was just as beautiful and this time I didn't forgo any additional complications. I was on my feet from day one. He fed well, he slept beautifully and I had a perfect schedule between the two boys. When Jesse was at play school in the morning I would catch up on sleep and bond with Jack and then switch over in the afternoon. I remember feeling so happy that I didn't ever want that time to pass. He grew out of newborn size at once and I cried putting his clothes away at the thought that I would lose any time with him. I was happy and in love with my family of four. 

I can't pin point the exact day, but it was around the time Jack was about three months old. He was sleeping through the night at this stage. I was getting a full night's rest. At first it was around 4pm that I felt like I had led in my limbs and a tiredness took over that was almost completely crippling. To say i felt "tired" just didn't' do any justice. I hit a wall and I couldn't push past it. I remember it getting progressively worse and after the boys woke up from their nap one afternoon I lay on the couch watching Jesse play blocks and Jack on his mat and every part of my body ached and begged to be shut off. The wall was now at 3pm. My husband was coaching sports until five and I lay and counted the seconds until he would be home and then the minute by minute struggle to stay alert and responsible would be over until tomorrow. Every morning I would pump myself up that 'today would be different' but the same pattern repeated except the wall was now at 12pm.

I took a trip to our family doctor and asked him to run some tests and see what deficiencies I could have that would bring on this kind of fatigue along with a myriad of symptoms I was now experiencing. Besides a slightly underactive thyroid which we successfully stabilized over a three month period, there was nothing my body was lacking. I tried a strict and specialized diet for a month as well as twice weekly Vit B jabs amongst other supplements just incase. No energy increase whatsoever.

It felt like I was being suffocated. The completely adoring mother who loved being a home-maker, being creative, multitasking, trying new recipes and whose heart would light up at just the sound of one of her children approaching, was now just trapped in a body that would not budge. I just wanted to "get there" and nothing I could do helped. I have served the Lord for many years now and I couldn't even utter a prayer. I was a failure in my own eyes and I hated the way I had become. What was this nightmare I was living?

Before this time I had heard of anxiety but could not be truly empathetic to it. It's a strange feeling that you carry around for a while until someone says the word out loud and it sums up everything in just that one word. I can now say to anyone who is reading this that struggles with any form of anxiety, "I understand". I look back and I can see that there was a war of guilt waging in my heart and my mind and what started as a 'knot' in my stomach from the time I woke up until the time I went to bed soon developed into daily panic attacks. I wish I was making this up! Don't worry it'll get worse but then better. 

I believe that the Lord will use situations to test and shake things hidden deep in me that need to change, but at this point I wondered if I even had a relationship with the Lord anymore. I was blinded to see how much He still loved me despite of how I may be feeling. I stopped attending church meetings - just the social interaction alone would set off a panic attack. I felt broken beyond repair and desperate. I enjoyed a few hours of the day with my beautiful boys and then I would sink back into my bed for the rest of the day. I was no longer able to run my business and creativity was buried under a haze. After more than a dozen tearful trips to see my doctor, he gently addressed the white elephant in the room that was 'Depression'.  

I have a happy post coming your way in the next week on how I am doing now. For those who know me but didn't know this part of the story, don't panic - Stay tuned! 

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