Prepartum/Postpartum Depression

On the outside, everything seemed fine. I had a happy marriage, healthy three-year-old daughter and new baby baking. My husband had a great job, and I was able to fulfill my dream of being a stay-at-home mom. Yes, it appeared to be all bliss.

Inside, I was dying. I was stuck in a real hell. I cried all the time. I lived in a fog. For the first and only time in my life, I didn’t even want to live.

Everyone told me I should be glowing, happy, excited. But, I couldn’t think logically. I felt like an outcast that no one understood. This wasn’t a few bad days, normal hormones or lack of energy. I had been pregnant before, this was completely different. It was like I was watching myself slowly disappear, but I didn’t have the strength to fight. I didn’t care. I was hopeless.

I had been reluctant to visit my doctor because I felt ashamed and weak. Why can’t I just be happy? My husband insisted that I make an appointment. It was then I heard the diagnosis, “You have severe prepartum depression.”

What? I love my life, how could I be depressed? I was immediately prescribed medication and referred to a counselor.

Seeking medical treatment was only the first step to my recovery. I coupled it with the support from my counselors, family and friends. I opened up about what I was really feeling inside. Through the whole process, I tried to keep the faith. I prayed, “Lord, I can’t do this. It’s just you and me. Jesus, please be my strength.” I had this verse posted all over my house:

“Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.” Isaiah 41:10

There was not an overnight fix, I learned that beating depression is a process. It took months to finally feel like me again. I remember my mentor saying, “You will start seeing glimpses of yourself.” She was right. I would think a happy thought and realize that actually felt like me. Eventually, my normal, joyful thoughts returned and the negative, overwhelming fog evaporated entirely. Now, five years later, I feel so blessed that God carried me through and made me a stronger person.

I had never struggled with depression. Before this experience, I thought it was someone choosing not to be happy. Oh, I was so wrong and stupid! With my prepartum depression, there was no choice in having it, only in how I was going to deal with it.

My depression got worse because I made a terrible mistake … I didn’t get help right away. It takes incredible strength and courage to ask for help. Visit your doctor immediately. Seek support. Keep the faith. Open up. Fight for yourself. Never, ever give up!

Am I Clingy?

As I watched the furry caterpillars wrap around his sweet little hands, I couldn’t believe how they clung to his skin. It was like plush tape on his fingers, needing to be peeled off. They were completely attached, hanging on, resisting separation.


When you think of the word “cling” – what comes to mind? For me, it’s my sweet four-year-old son screaming, in different tones and at various noise levels … “Mommy, Mommeeee, Mommmmmeeeeee!” I hope I’m not the only one who experiences this lovely array of sounds. I love it, but really, he needs me ALL the time!

In Luke 17, beginning in verse 11, we learn about the ten men with leprosy. They seek Jesus so He can heal them. They yell, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” Those men clung to Jesus with desperation for the hope of healing.

Jesus gave them instructions to go to the priests. And, they were healed. I love this extra lesson here – listen to God always, even when the instructions may not make sense. Jesus could’ve healed them instantly, but He chose to give them directions. They listened and were healed.

Then, we learn in verse 15 that only one returned to thank Jesus. Life was good now, all was right with the world, and only one had the time to praise Jesus for this miracle. The audacity of those ungrateful nine little punks! No more clinging or crying out to Jesus in desperation.

Ouch! I’m guilty of being an ungrateful little punk, I shouldn’t judge. I remember the recent storms in my life – miscarriage, prenatal depression – the days when I was desperately seeking God. I would let nothing separate us. I was like a clingy caterpillar constantly praying … Jesus, carry me through this moment. It’s You and me, Jesus. Only You can do this, I cannot.

Then, God healed me and blessed our family. I was so thankful for the restoration. But today, as things are going well, I no longer constantly think those thoughts. I am grateful and thank Him, but I don’t desperately seek Him like a clingy caterpillar. I’ve gotten caught-up in my worldly bliss and busyness.

I will strive to cling, to grasp, to seek God with every decision. I will be like my son, seeking a parent ALL the time. I will desperately hold on to Jesus always, not just for life’s tumultuous storms. In every moment, I want to be a clingy caterpillar.

“Barricade the road that goes Nowhere;
grace me with your clear revelation.
I choose the true road to Somewhere,
I post your road signs at every curve and corner.
I grasp and cling to whatever you tell me;
God, don’t let me down!
I’ll run the course you lay out for me
if you’ll just show me how.
God, teach me lessons for living so
I can stay the course.”
Psalms 119:29-33 (The Message)