Thursday, January 14, 2016

Comfort in the Darkness - Part 5

Life was good again.  I got a job at my church.  I started volunteering with the youth group.  I started dating the man that would become my husband in November of 2005.  We were married in August of 2006.  In October of 2007, we received shocking news.  I was pregnant with twins.

Just a few short weeks later, a simple urinary tract infection caused me to dilate and I was forced into bed rest until the babies were 36 weeks along.  God was faithful and provided for us through donated meals and good health.  At my 37 week ultrasound, I watched my babies move from the ideal vertex-vertex position to the oblique position.  The natural birth I planned was being scrapped for a c-section.  I imagined my OB smirking in satisfaction, as she had been pushing for a c-section since she found out there were twins.

The morning of March 3, 2008 the cesarean section went without complication.  My babies were whisked away with my husband trailing behind to get weighed and cleaned.  The two obstetricians chatted about their vacation plans as they put my body back together.  I was wheeled to a recovery room where a lactation consultant had to manipulate my still numb arms to help me hold these wrinkly little creatures so they could nurse.

I was so afraid of losing my babies to a complication, that I hadn't bonded with them while pregnant.  Rather than the immediate love a new mom feels for her new children, I felt as though I had undergone a major surgical procedure and then someone had just handed me these two screaming babies and told me to take good care of them.  They didn't feel like mine.  I still couldn't even grasp that there were two of them.

The next year was dark.  I thought I would be returning to work, but the reality was that we couldn't afford daycare for two babies on my meager income.  None of this happened the way I planned it out.  I didn't know how to talk to these babies.  I didn't know how to love these babies.  They cried and I cried.  I told God in the middle of the night when I was up with the babies that He had made a mistake.  He wasn't supposed to give me more than I could handle and I couldn't handle two babies.

I was increasingly bitter and hostile.  I didn't think about suicide.  I knew these two babies needed me.  I mostly just dwelling on how much I resented the fact that I didn't get to enjoy my babies because there was always another one there screaming at me and I felt robbed of the natural birth experience that I had dreamed about.

My husband was a trooper.  Every night he came home, even though I gave him plenty of reason to not want to.  Every day he told me he loved me and gave me a kiss.  As that first year drew to a close, I was finally able to draw a little closer to my girls.  I gave God the silent treatment when I wasn't yelling at Him.  I knew I couldn't keep going on like this.  My husband would eventually break and it wasn't fair to my kids.

One day when I was taking the girls for a walk - we did that a lot because they didn't cry when we were walking - I finally humbled myself before the Lord.

I love these girls, God, and would never want to lose them.  I know there is a reason you gave them both to me at the same time.  But, I don't like it and I have been very angry that you chose me to do this.  I'm sorry for the way I've behaved.  I'm sorry for not trusting you.  Most of all I'm sorry for the way I've treated everyone who loves me most - You, my children, my husband, my parents.

Once again, a weight was lifted.  Once again, I was freed.  Once again, it wasn't until the very end that I was able to put a name to what I had been going through.  This was yet a different Depression.  Postpartum Depression.

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