I know, I know....it's been a really long time since I have written anything. A lot has happened. Today God won't let me get away from sharing this, so here goes.
Most of you who have followed me for a while know the story of my teenage pregnancy with my first daughter. I have shared the weight of the unwanted pregnancy with her on several occasions. Now I am married to an amazing man and we have two beautiful daughters and those wounds of my unwanted pregnancy were totally healed! Right? I thought they were......until I found out I was pregnant March of this year......
I was driving home from church on a Wednesday talking to my husband and he randomly asked me, "Have you started your period yet?" I giggled, became silent, and said "No." He said, "I think I am going to cry!" I asked if it was a good cry or a bad cry and he said, "I really don't know."
I had been hoping that he wouldn't ask me until after I had taken a test that Friday. I was really, really late this month but I was hopeful that my period was just still irregular from it only being less than 6 months since I had stopped nursing Chloe. I just knew that a baby was not a part of God's will right now, so surely Aunt Flo was just waiting on a delayed flight. LOL I had so many plans and desires for 2019 and a baby was not on the list. I had promised my husband we could try in 2020 but I was really thinking more like 2021.
Cordell then asked me why I hesitated and I told him that I had been hoping that he wouldn't ask me that. Once we made it home and into bed he looked at me and said, "You're pregnant and it's a boy. This is the same way I felt when you were pregnant with Chloe." I laughed and told him that I would take a test the next day. We tried to find a resolve that all would be well, but the internal storm was slowly brewing in me already.
The next morning I went down to the employee pharmacy at work, got a test, and went into the same stall I did when I found out about Chloe. That test came back positive so fast and my eyes were so big. I sent a picture to Cordell and of course he was sooo excited. Some of you may be thinking, "But a baby is such a blessing!" While that's true, it didn't feel like that for me, and I felt bad for feeling that way. Initially I swallowed my feelings and I tried to make myself be happy about this growing little one because the last thing I wanted was to insert the spirit of rejection into him while he was growing. I knew the work required to overcome that all too well myself. My husband was so excited and how dare I steal that joy from him????
After a couple of weeks we decided to tell close family and friends that we were expecting. I think in my mind I was hoping that some of their excitement would rub off on me so that mine would become real. While some were excited some were sincerely concerned about the practicality of us having another baby. This was not what I wanted to hear or face. I knew that having a baby was expensive, I knew that we were already so busy with our lives and our current children. I didn't need to hear that from anyone else. I was regretting saying anything.....why? Because, I wanted to WANT this baby and the negative comments just fueled the lack of that desire for me.
P3 as we used to call him remained a secret from certain friends who I knew were TTC (trying to conceive) because I didn't want to lie to them or tell them my true feelings. All the hiding did was make me depressed and anxious. I had not had an anxiety attack since I was postpartum with my oldest daughter more than 10 years ago. So when I had one at work I seriously thought it was a an upper respiratory infection or that I had a pulmonary embolism (thanks nurse brain lol). Not once did I stop to acknowledge that my body was manifesting what I didn't want to acknowledge. I WAS FREAKING OUT!
I was in the middle of my doula training, I had dreams of being a stay at home mom and this was my way out! God was continuing to give me favor with people as I jump started this new adventure and what I saw as ministry and He had even given me a huge vision for how it was to progress. WHYYYYY would He allow me to get pregnant NOW? I know this sounds selfish and self-serving but it was the truth of how I felt. I felt like He had taken my plans and thrown them in the incinerator without a single care for how I would feel or deal with the after effect.
The next few months were the heaviest months of my life since my pregnancy with my oldest. I was angry with God and myself for letting this happen and I was upset because I couldn't find the blessing in being pregnant. I felt ungrateful, stupid, carnal, and like I was losing my whole mind. I could not shake a feeling and thought that was too familiar. My life had been ruined by an unwanted pregnancy.
I remember waiting for our first ultrasound appointment being hopeful that seeing "the little thing" as my husband called him, would make me somehow magically excited. I was so wrong and I tried to hide it from my husband that day but I couldn't.
The truth of it all was that I had lost the control I thought I had over the trajectory of my life. I was realizing that I had no control and that this was happening to me whether I wanted it to or not. So buckle up, butter cup! I kept pretending I was okay in public but I would go home and be useless for my husband and children. What happened to "Not my will but yours, Lord."? I was upset because I thought what I was doing was His will! Geesh, talk about confused! I wanted to be more than a wife and a mother. I wanted a a part of my life that was all my own and that did not include being either of those things........
The final straw was a day my husband expressed his dislike for something very small and I snapped. I cried from the time I left the house, dropped off my daughter, and it continued even after I made it to the parking lot at work. I couldn't stop, I couldn't think straight but I also couldn't stop thinking either. I felt like a failure at so many things, I was sad, I was angry, I felt undeserving of my life and my family. The tears flowed for over an hour.......This was the day I knew I needed help.
When I was finally able to stop the tears for a few minutes, I drug myself into my office and shut the door. I cried even harder for about another thirty minutes. This was what I would not allow myself to do for months and it was all coming out. Every fear of the future, every bit of disappointment about the delay of my plans, every bit of anger, every bit of confusion about what to do next, and every bit of doubt of my ability to be a good wife and mother of three.
I recall crying to my mom and confessing to her that part of my pressuring her to move to little rock when she was unemployed was secretly rooted in my desire for her to be closer to help me with the girls and now baby number three. I could hear her get choked up as she said, "Oh Tiara!" and assured me that we would be fine and that she would do as much as she could to help. But that didn't help me......I felt so unsure and scared of how to do it all.
This same day I made the decision to find a therapist. I couldn't keep spiraling and only throwing scriptures at my feelings. I couldn't keep praying and not really believing what I was saying. I couldn't keep creating shaky ground in my home and watching my husband be sad and nervous because I was so sad and watching him feel helpless concerning the woman he loves.
When I left work that day I went straight to the clinic where I had found a therapist my insurance would cover and filled out paperwork to start the journey to a healthier me.
I am sure you're wondering why I am sharing ALL of this but I know that I am not the only woman who has dealt with these same feelings before. The only difference is that others may have suffered in silence with no one to relate to. Your feelings are valid and you have every right to feel them. What we don't have the right to do is bury them for the sake of others and pretend this is best for us and our appearance. You're not ungrateful, you're not selfish, and you're not a bad mother or wife for not feeling equipped for your added blessings.
We talk about depression and postpartum depression but never about depression during pregnancy. If you're struggling, please get help. Don't suffer in silence or alone. Yes, you can still love your baby and be depressed. Yes, you can still love and be happy with your spouse or significant other while you're depressed. Yes you can love God and still feel depressed. Release the thoughts, release the feelings, and become a healthier you.
One of the biggest lessons my therapist taught me was I had to break the cycle of not acknowledging how I felt in life for the sake of not offending others. I am currently six months pregnant and I am finally able to truly enjoy the future coming of my little man, Caleb Cordell. I almost let depression and anxiety steal this feeling but I am so glad I didn't. :)