When mamas send me their story about who they are and how motherhood has impacted them, it blows me away the bravery and vulnerability that comes from it. And it always, always reminds me that each of has a story. Meet Maggie, the third mama to share in my series unveiling the mother, you can read about the other mamas who have shared here and here.
[words straight from Maggie's heart...]
"Motherhood has truly been the biggest blessing in my life for a number of reasons. The number one reason is our two precious babies. I can’t imagine a day without them, and am so proud and honored to be their mother. The second, and equally amazing reason, is my new relationship with God.
Growing up I attended church, was active in the youth group, was sprinkled as a newborn, but never really had a “relationship” with the Lord. After unexpectedly losing my father to a massive heart attack in 2010, then losing my grandmother (one of my best friends) in 2012, I lost hope in my faith. I was merely going through the motions of life.
My husband, Clint, and I learned I was pregnant during the summer of 2013. We were showered with gifts and love, and I was blessed to have an easy and uneventful pregnancy.
Isabelle Marie Harrell was born April 25th, 2014. We were so in love and grateful for a healthy girl. Everything seemed normal at first.
After a month of struggling with breastfeeding, I decided it was time to transition to formula and immediately stopped breastfeeding. Little to my knowledge, this can wreak havoc on a postpartum woman’s hormones.
Days after our transition, I completely lost my appetite, was unable to focus on the smallest of tasks, and started having extremely dark thoughts.
Luckily, I have the best husband in the world. He noticed I was struggling and suggested calling the doctor to see if this behavior was normal. I was hesitant, but knew something was not right! Days later, I visited my OBGYN who prescribed me to a low dosage of anti-depressants and referred me to the best local psychiatric doctor.
I had postpartum depression.
The days and few weeks which followed are just a blur - a God gift. I can’t really even remember them. I do remember; however, just praying over and over, “please Lord, if you get me through this, I promise, I will go to church and get to know you the right way.”
After months of medication, sessions with my psychiatrist, soul searching, and unwavering support from family and friends, my new life started. Clint and I started attending Sherwood Oaks Christian Church, joined a life group, and I found a wonderful moms’ group.
All of these things helped me build my new relationship with God. He pushed me out of the dark and into a new life.
I now understand I never properly processed and grieved the loss of my father and grandmother. Those events, coupled with my unreal expectations for life and motherhood, were resolved through my postpartum journey.
Almost exactly two years later, March 23rd, God blessed us with Owen Edward Harrell, a chunky, laid back boy!
This time, we prepared for the postpartum experience. We had my medication refilled and prayed nonstop for strength and support. Fortunately, it’s been completely different and I haven’t dealt with the same issues, nor have I taken any medication. Praise the Lord!
Now, if past issues reemerge, or new ones present themselves, I know I can rely on God and not just hope he hears my requests for help.
If you know someone struggling with postpartum depression, please let her know she isn’t alone. Resources are readily available and there is always someone (ME at a minimum) to talk to and direct her in the right direction."
I'm so thankful that Maggie shared about something that I don't think is talked about enough--postpartum depression. It is a very real, difficult thing to experience as you navigate having a baby. If you have experienced PPD or are currently going through it right now, please don't be afraid to speak up. Seek help. It's not your fault and you are not alone.