Confessions of the Anxious Mama: My Postpartum Story

34076010_1594520523930454_2046302696771682304_o“You’re f***ing miserable all the time.” The words someone told me when I was neck deep in my postpartum struggles. Words that weren’t supportive. Words that just made feel worse about how I was already feeling.
If you would have told me that just weeks after my babies were born I would experience postpartum depression I wouldn’t have believed you. I waited years to finally become a Mom, I didn’t think the “baby blues” would even be in my vocabulary. The truth is the postpartum blues, exhaustion, and the lack of confidence as a Mother can sneak into your life overnight and it is paralyzing. The fear of failing my kids, not knowing their needs, and the pure exhaustion through me into a battle with anxiety and depression.
The triplets had GERD and needed individual attention during feedings. I quickly became overwhelmed with being a Mother. Breastfeeding didn’t help. My body became strictly a funnel for milk. There was no connection, no bond, just pumping and milk. I often wondered how God thought I could be a Mother to triplets. I was failing them and myself. Comments like “I guess you prayed a little too hard” weren’t supportive or helpful either.

Three months into my postpartum I finally saw a Doctor. I knew I needed help. The bright, outgoing, confident me was gone. I was embarrassed, ashamed, and disappointed.

There are many things we thrive for as a Mom, but honestly, we just need to survive. I did what I needed to to get though my postpartum journey. This meant admitting I was struggling, seeing a doctor, and going on meds. It meant getting help with overnights and hiring a Mommy Helper. It meant throwing my pride out the window and saying “I cannot do this mom thing alone.” Little did I know it would take a full year before I could feel more like the me I once was. But truthfully, I will never be her again. I’m a better me. Being a Mother has brought on an anxiety that I have struggled with on and off since their birth. But here I am, nearly 3 years later, and I am surviving. I know how to help myself when the anxiety kicks in. I know the value of leaning on others. I know I can’t do this without Jesus. And I am a damn good Mom. ❤️👊🏻🙌🏻

Follow: @thefortintrio

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Confessions of the Anxious Mama: I Just Need a Break

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Where do you go to hide to deep breathe before you go all monster on your kids? To inhale a sandwich or a homemade cookie so you don’t have to share?

My bathroom break moments are usually always the deep breathing kind of moments. Although every now and then I just need to peacefully eat a peanut butter cup.
My kids are far from perfect and they really know how to throw a good tantrum. Those moments can be incredibly overwhelming. They are a trigger for my anxiety and sometimes result in panic attacks.
After going to therapy last summer, I learned a lot about myself and how to help my anxiety. Sometimes excusing myself from the chaos is the best thing for me, and for my kids. There have even been times where I have gone into our garage and screamed, sometimes cursed. Not my proudest moments, but sometimes stepping away from the chaos is the answer at that moment. I may even just need a “come to Jesus” bathroom moment so I respond in love to my kids and breathe normally.
I have also learned the value of actually taking a real break. And by break I mean going to target alone, getting coffee, having some kid free time. There is no shame in taking time for yourself. I have learned that by taking care of myself and allowing myself breaks (guilt free) is healthy for me and I’m a better mom because of it.
Today our morning started off bad and it just got worse after Daddy left for work. Even my “come to Jesus” moments in the bathroom weren’t helping my attitude. I have a gym membership that offers childcare so I decided to take the kids to gym. I had no plans of exercising. I spent the entire hour and a half laying on the couch in their lobby. I didn’t even feel guilty about it. I just needed a break.
Be encouraged to do something for yourself. And find your hiding place to deep breathe, eat treats, and have your own “come to Jesus” moments because sometimes that’s just what is needed. After all, we are all just trying to raise good humans and sometimes that means taking a break because it helps us become a better Mom.

Confessions of the Anxious Mama: I Have a Mean Side

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I never even knew I could get so angry until I had babies. I am embarrassed to even admit it, but it is true. The mean mommy in me, my angry side, is one of the reasons why I found myself in counseling last summer. I had to do something to help me control my anxiety so it wouldn’t hit the point of anger. It was a side of me I felt only the triplets were having to bare and it made me feel awful. My anxiety tends to fuel (for lots of reasons) but especially when all 3 of my kids decide to throw a tantrum at exactly the same time. No one is patient and everyone is screaming, crying, kicking-you name it. I feel like I have no control over the situation. In those moments my body would heat up and before I Knew it, I would be screaming too, which results in nothing and tends to make things worse.
There were times where I felt so lost in Motherhood that I would throw my own tantrum wondering how God could even entrust me with my kids. There was no grace for those moments, just shame. I hated who I was. Who knew I could get so angry? I certainly did not. It is those moments that I am not proud of and it is also because of them I knew I had to get help. I had to learn how to respond to my kids midst tantrum in a teachable and loving way, rather than just yelling.
Along with getting on medication for my anxiety, I saw a therapist to help me work through this. It is not easy coming face to face with a side of you that you hate. We are all human and it is natural for us to get angry, upset, hurt, etc. But we can choose to respond in a way that doesn’t make the situation worse for everyone. During my therapy I had to work through some rooted things from my childhood that were buried in my heart. Things I didn’t want to face, but knew I had to because sometimes freedom is found in doing hard things. I had to learn grace because I am not perfect and I will fail. It’s okay to step away so you can breathe normal and respond calmly. I had to find a community of moms to share life with. I had to communicate well with my husband about my needs because some days are just hard. I had to fully relay on Jesus because I can’t do this Mom life without Him. ❤️

Confessions of the Anxious Mama: Silently Grieving

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Sometimes we face things that are really hard to process, work through, and overcome.
About a year ago, I told a friend who was struggling with infertility that I would be her surrogate if it came to that. After much hope for my friend, she finally conceived. My heart was overwhelmed with joy.
As time went on, I still felt like it was on my heart to be a surrogate so we found an agency to work with.
We met with my Doctor to discuss surrogacy and if the complications during the delivery of my triplets would prevent me from even qualifying. “You have 3 beautiful babies at home that need you,” she said as she proceeded to share the potential things that could go wrong considering my history. “You could lose your life, Des.” Ultimately, carrying and more so delivering another baby, would be life-threatening.
I knew right away I would likely not qualify for surrogacy, but all I could think about was my 12 remaining embryos. “Are you saying the same risks apply to me if I got pregnant with my own biological child?” She was silent for a moment. I knew the answer.

Grief struck.

It painfully struck.
My heart broke because I truly wanted to help someone become a Mom. And I deeply grieved my embryos and my broken body. I was ashamed for wanting another baby when I have 3 miracles right in front of me. I was ashamed of my body for not functioning once again the way it’s supposed to. I felt like my desire to have another child was stolen from me. Silently, quietly, privately, I grieved- which was usually the few minutes I had alone in the shower. I cried and I cried hard.
It was a matter of time before my grief was crippling me. I started to have panic attacks every couple days. That’s when I knew I needed help. Ultimately, it was my silent grief that was the culprit to this painfully difficult season I’ve been in the last several months.
However, my silent grief also showed me how God is always at work in us, revealing and renewing our hearts. I have to choose to trust Him in the story He has created for my life, especially the fine print. And I don’t know what our story holds, but I do know God is doing something good in me.

Follow me: @thefortintrio
#confessionsoftheanxiousmama

The Cleo Madison

I am so excited to introduce you to Cleo Madison.  I am in love with this beautiful boutique that offers modest, yet incredibly gorgeous and stylish apparel for women.  I also love the heart behind this brand. I think it is … Continue reading

Confessions of the Anxious Mama: I hated Breastfeeding

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I hated breastfeeding.
There. I said it.
When my triplets were born I experienced some complications and nearly lost my life. My Doctor told me I would likely not be able to breastfeed, but miraculously my body produced enough milk for all 3 babies. It was such a miracle and I was so proud of my body for functioning the way it was supposed to. I came to the NICU everyday with milk that I pumped the night before and I would take turns nursing the triplets hoping to experience “the bond” I often heard about.
When we finally came home with our babies, I pumped exclusively. The triplets all had GERD, which made feedings stressful because each baby needed individual attention. And I was already so exhausted, pumping didn’t help. But I kept telling myself I needed to do this for my babies. I felt like I would be failing them (and myself) otherwise. A “friend”even told me that “formula is poison.” What a disappointment I would be if I chose to stop.
The weeks continued to go by and I was in a fog. I knew I wasn’t myself. I started to despise breastfeeding and even felt jealous of my husband as he laid in bed while I stuck a machine to my boobs.
There was such a tug-a-war in my heart. I felt so ashamed and embarrassed because I didn’t want to breastfeed anymore. Guilt can ruin you.
When the babies were 3 months old I finally saw my Doctor to seek help for my postpartum anxiety and depression. It was one of the hardest steps, but the best thing I could have done for myself. I needed help. I was exhausted, in a depression, just not my normal self. The very first thing she suggested was to stop breastfeeding. She even wrote me a prescription that said “stop breastfeeding.” I felt like she gave me permission to stop.
So I did.
If you take anything from this, take this:
Fed is best. Breastfed. Formula fed. It doesn’t matter. Either way, you’re an amazing mom. Surround yourself with people who will support you because you need that, especially as a Mom. Ultimately, we are all working hard to raise good humans, so let’s stand together Mama’s and support each other.

#confessionsoftheanxiousmama

Follow me: @thefortintrio

Confessions of the Anxious Mama: I just want to Sleep

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Lack of sleep is like a poison.
Like all new moms the sleep deprivation kicked in hard when the triplets were born. It was a whole new level of exhaustion and the culprit of my postpartum depression and anxiety.
One night when the babies were just weeks old. I had just finished nursing Charlize. I cradled her in my arms and dosed off. And by dosed off I mean, I fell into a deep hard sleep.
Suddenly, frantically, I woke up, shouting “we forgot to feed the babies.” I startled Ryan as I jumped out of bed without even realizing I had Charlize in my arms. I remember Ryan shouting “Babe. No!” as if he was watching a slow motion film. Fortunately, Charlize was cradled in my left arm so she slipped right into the bed, but if she was in my right arm, she would have fallen on the floor. My sleep deprivation put me into a delirium. I was exhausted all the time. This moment told me lies about who I was early on as a new Mom and instilled fear in my heart.
Sleep is a need. It is medicine to our soul. It helps us stay healthy. I was not prepared for the lack of sleep that would intrude my being and ruin my functionality as a Mom. It heightened my anxiety and put me into a depression. I wanted to be in bed all day, but I couldn’t. I was a Mom to three tiny newborns who needed me. I felt so incapable.

Ashamed.

I had no clue what I was doing. The triplets suffered from GERD, which didn’t help. Feedings required extra help and individual attention. I often wondered how God could entrust me with all 3 of them. I hated feeling like I needed help, like I couldn’t be a mother on my own. But what I learned is that it takes a village to be a good mom. I needed to ask for help. I needed to go on meds to help me function. I needed a Mommy helper. I needed to do things that would help me get through such a hard season.
My babies are toddlers now and I can tell you, I still need my sleep. If I am not getting the sleep I need I turn into a monster. I have less patience and am sometimes reminded of all the lies I believed about myself back when my babes were newborns. However, what I’m reminded of more than anything, is that, it takes a village and it’s okay to ask for help.

To The Woman Struggling to Face This Mother’s Day

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To the woman struggling to face this Mother’s Day,
I know this day may be a hard day. I know you’re heart is hurting and grieving. You long to be a Mother and I know this Day is reminder that your womb is empty. Trust me, I know. I know Moms everywhere are celebrated and you desire so deeply to relish in a role so special and honorary.
This Mother’s Day, I celebrate you. You are strong and brave. I celebrate you for not losing hope and being patient in the midst of God’s details. I celebrate you because infertility sucks and fertility treatment is exhausting emotionally, physically, and financially. Trust me, I know.
I celebrate you because the scar on your stomach represents a child who was welcomed into Heaven’s gates sooner than you imagined. I know you’re grieving, Mama. I celebrate you because it takes so much bravery to bury your baby. Mama, I’m sorry. I know the day you lost your baby it was heart wrenching-the ugly cry kind of heart wrenching.
I celebrate you because even though your baby left your womb far too early in pregnancy, you’re a Mom. I know you were dreaming of life with her. I know you think of her often. And I’m so sorry for your loss.

Mama, I celebrate you because you take kids in that need a home until they find their forever home. Being a foster parent is not an easy job! We need more Mama’s like you in our world

Mama, I’m so sorry the adoption process is taking forever. I know you desire so desperately to hold your baby in your arms. I celebrate you because adoption takes a special kind of Mother’s heart and your babies are lucky to have you.

Mama, thank you for being a spiritual mom. Even though you may not have given birth, you are a Mom to many. You have a Mother’s heart. Never forget that.

Friend, I’m so sorry your Mama is gone. I know it must be hard carrying on life without her. I’m sorry you can’t share this Day with her and tell her how much you love her.
On this Mother’s Day, I remember you! You are not alone and you are not forgotten. To the mama struggling to face this Mother’s Day, I’m thinking of you
Sincerely,
I once was you.

Just a Casual Stroll with their Babies

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It doesn’t get much cuter than THIS!!!

All three of our kids are obsessed with babies. For Christmas, I got Charlize a baby doll and the boys boy baby dolls (in which they both named Rufio haha). With every baby doll you need the perfect baby doll stroller.  And I couldn’t be more excited to introduce to you: TRIOKID.

Triokid shares the idea of “true toys.” This is something I love because it motivates children to create and explore their own ideas and experiences. Triokid brings so much inspiration in turning family moments into quality family time together.

We have both the blue and pink Sportline Stroller. This stroller is durable and features a carrycot for the baby doll to lay, which can be adjust forward or backward. It is very sturdy and the handle can be adjusted, which is great because as the triplets grow we can adjust the handle to fit them perfectly.  It also includes a storage basket, which I love. This is something I know will last years in our family.  Seeing them create moments and care for their babies is the sweetest and I love watching them use their imaginations in this way.

@triokid releases the power of imagination and I love seeing my crew creating and sharing moments and new experiences together. Be sure to check out Trio Kid to explore all they have to offer.

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