Believe it or not… That was me. That was me almost 20 years ago. Gosh, it almost hurts to say that. 20 years. Don’t do the math.
I was a different person back then. I rode motorcycles. I have a scar or two to prove it. Things were not the adventure that they appear to be. They were pretty tough actually and I rode to escape. I found great joy in our Sunday rides. I lived in Dallas at the time and almost every Sunday morning we rode in search of the best cobbler in Texas. Sounds silly, I know. We rode to small towns and ate at cafes. There was something beautiful about seeking out the most common dessert that can be found in a southern state, cobbler. And to be honest I can’t even remember if we ever actually found the best cobbler in Texas. It was an allusive goal. But what I can tell you is that I remember the freedom I felt in every ride. The wind in my hair, the coolness of a creek as we crossed a bridge and the common bond you felt with other bikers.
Fast forward a few years, okay a lot of years. (You did the math.) My life looks drastically different. Soon after that picture was taken, I gave my life to the Lord. I have lived out better adventures with Him than I ever had on a measly old bike. I now live in the Midwest, Sunday mornings are spent in church, I hung up my helmet for a pair of running shoes, I found the love of my life and we have a beautiful daughter named Pearl. Pretty good, right?!
Until one Sunday morning a few months back. I remember thinking…I wish I was back on that bike. As soon as the thought entered my head, my hands began to sweat. It was a crazy thought. Those times were really, REALLY hard. And somehow, I longed to be there than where I currently was. I knew I was in trouble. I wanted to escape the life I loved so dearly.
It finally dawned on me that I was struggling with postpartum depression. Something that I argued with the doctors for three months that I did not have. And here I was, knee-deep in depression. I assumed that I wasn’t depressed, I was busy. I was trying to manage a business, a home and a brand new baby without any family nearby to help. Even at the hospital, I responded to brides and two weeks after giving birth I taught a calligraphy class. Crazy. I know. I set out to be a momprenuer that was going to be a full-time mom and a full-time boss lady without any hitches. Ha!
But the depression didn’t stem from the busyness, the business or my hormones being all over the place. It stemmed from something much deeper. I believed a lie that kept me in fear throughout my entire pregnancy and the first few months of Pearl’s life. See, for years we thought that I may not even be able to get pregnant. We decided to try anyway and immediately got pregnant. Praise the Lord! But I was labeled high risk and made several trips to the ER with the fear that I would loose my sweet girl. It was rough. While the whole time, I kept my business running and put my game face on.
I waited a long time before telling people that I was pregnant for fear of loosing her and having to explain. I came out publicly when I was 6-7 months pregnant and people were shocked. I had not registered for baby items until two weeks before my shower. My nursery was finished the day before she arrived. People laughed at my ability to be such procrastinator and I would make a few jokes, while deep down I was scared that I would never get to bring her home.
Pearl arrived promptly on November 20th, on her actual due date. I like to think it was her way of keeping me from worrying, but I still worried. I was consumed with the fear that I was going to have to live without her. And though I knew that Jesus would be there for us if she was not with us, I seemed to sink more and more as the days passed on. I would watch her while she slept and become overly concerned with any bug she caught. It really was more than I could bare.
When the reality hit that I was struggling with postpartum depression and where those feelings stemmed from, I was able to move forward. It took awhile, but I had to come to place where I trusted the Lord with my daughter. He cares more about her than I ever could.
I decided to right this blog for multiple reasons. First of all, many of my dear friends have recently lost their babies and my heart hurts for them. Secondly, this Mother’s Day I was keenly aware of how many women I know are carrying the secret of a Mother’s Day that they cannot fully enjoy due to the lost of their loved one. Lastly, I wanted to give people hope this Mother’s Day. There is an end to the sadness. There is a God who cares about the details of your life. And you are not alone.
In fact, there is a support group locally that I have been attending at Plume that helps women who are either struggling with infertility or loss. I encourage you to come, share and get your life back. No one said being a mom was going to be easy. You’re always welcome!
Feel to share your story with me in the comment section. I would love to hear it. I also included a good ol’ Texan cobbler recipe below because who doesn’t love cobbler.
Peach Cobbler Recipe
4 cups sliced peeled ripe peaches (about 2 pounds)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (about 5 1/2 ounces)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
Dash of ground cinnamon
1 cup 1% low-fat milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
Directions: Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare filling, combine first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl; set aside.
To prepare batter, place butter in an 8-inch square baking dish. Place dish in oven 5 minutes or until butter melts. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through dash of cinnamon) in a medium bowl. Combine milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla; add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Spoon batter over butter, spreading evenly (do not stir). Spoon peach mixture over batter, gently pressing peaches into batter. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes. Sprinkle with turbaned sugar, and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until crust is golden.