Finding the best you

 We are back this week after technical difficulties last week with our series the best years of our lives. I am so thrilled to introduce you to today’s guest my best friend Karen. We met in high school about 17 years ago, and have been the best of friends ever since! She is the Mama to Lincoln’s baby bestie Phoenix who was born just 8 days after Lincoln!

Sorry I couldn’t help myself! Thank you so much Karen for your openness and vulnerability. Enjoy friends!

I would say the best year of my life was the year that I finally became a Mama. My husband and I decided when we got married that we would wait a few years to have a baby because we wanted those first few years to be just the two of us. We knew once we had a baby that our marriage and our lives would never be the same again! Now when I say the year after our son was born was the best year, that doesn’t mean it was the easiest year.

That first year was full of joy and challenges. There aren’t words to describe the moment when I first saw my sweet baby boy. In that one moment, my life was changed for the better. God had given us this precious gift that I would forever be grateful for. I was overwhelmed with love for this tiny person but I was also just overwhelmed. Those first few months were spent figuring out how to take care of this tiny baby who couldn’t do anything for himself. I was sore and sleep deprived but also so in love with him that it was all worth it. There were times I wanted to cry, times I did cry, and other times I was so overjoyed to be this sweet baby boy’s Mama.

I have wanted to be a mom since I was a 4 year old little girl pretending to breastfeed my baby dolls. I had baby names picked out before I was 10 years old. Anyone who knows me knows I’ve always loved children. I babysat, worked at a daycare throughout college, and went on to become a nanny for 4 years after that. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do as a career, but I always knew I wanted to be a mom! So it felt like a dream come true when it finally happened. However, reality rarely lines up with our dreams.

I was about 10 months into motherhood when I realized something didn’t feel right. I loved my sweet baby boy and I loved being a mom but some days I would just lose it. I felt out of control sometimes. I just didn’t feel happy anymore. I didn’t feel like myself. There were some days I just wanted to run away. I didn’t feel like a good mom. I wondered could this be postpartum depression? I thought it couldn’t be though because my baby is 10 months old. Surely I would have had PPD right after he was born if I was going to have it. So I started to do some research and found out PPD can hit you anytime during the first year after having a baby. So after talking with my husband, I decided to talk to my midwife about how I was feeling.

My midwife was so understanding and made me feel validated in my feelings. It made me feel better just talking to her about it because I wasn’t holding it all in anymore. I hadn’t talked to any of my family or friends about how I was feeling. I’m not sure why because I knew they would be supportive but I guess I was just afraid to talk about it. I’ve realized since then that I think a lot of Moms are afraid to talk about it. I think we are ashamed like something is wrong with us but that is just not true. It’s just something that happens sometimes after having a baby. There is nothing to be ashamed about and there is nothing wrong with you! I think a lot of Christian women are afraid to talk about it because they think they’ll be told to just “pray themselves better.” While prayer is definitely an important part of your healing, I think sometimes God wants us to seek further help.

When my midwife asked me if I’d be interested in taking medication I said yes because at that point I knew I needed help. I had been praying and I believe God directed me to talk to my doctor so I could get the help I needed. After starting the medication, I began to feel more like myself again. I felt more in control of my emotions. My husband even told me he noticed a difference. I felt better and because I felt better I could be a better mom to my baby boy. That was the most important thing to me.

Motherhood is not easy but it is the best thing I’ve ever experienced. I’ve learned a lot about myself and I’ve learned I have to take care of myself so I can take care of my babies. I am a few months away from having my second baby boy and I am still taking medication because, after talking with my midwife, I feel that it’s what is best for me and my babies at this point in my life. There is way too much Mama shaming out there so I want every Mama who is reading this to know that you are a great Mom! God gave those sweet babies to you because He knew You were the Mama they needed. If you feel like you need help, ask for help, because the best thing for your sweet babies is for you to feel your best.

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