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its a girl

April 21, 2010

a repost from february 2008. thought it was fitting beings my little girl just turned 16….
Monday April 18, 1994 5:52 p.m. I delivered a tiny miracle baby girl, one month early. There were no complications during the delivery. The only people in the room were my doctor, a nurse, Brent and me. It was quiet, almost too quiet. There seemed to be heaviness in the room something only I was aware of.
The minute she was delivered I looked to see her in my Doctors hand and I said, “Isn’t God good?” The doctor replied, “I was just thinking the same thing”. Immediately after those words I felt a tremendous darkness come over me. When I think about it even now I can recall very well that lost and frightened feeling. It was as if I wasn’t even there. That wasn’t me in that bed and that certainly wasn’t my baby next to me.

I’ve heard all through my life the minute you see your newborn child you instantly bond with her. There’s an immediate connection that is unlike any other in your life. I kept staring at my newborn while they cleaned her up, weighed her and exclaimed over and over how perfect she was, wondering when that “moment” would happen. But I felt nothing, at least nothing good. I wasn’t feeling the waves of overwhelming love and connection. I wasn’t anxious to take her home and dress her up in all her new little fashions. I didn’t even want to hold her.

Then they brought her to me and I thought, ok…maybe I’ll feel differently when she’s in my arms for the first time. The nurses propped me up, gave me a brief lesson in holding a newborn and then held her out to me. But I didn’t reach out for her. Finally they placed her in my arms. I could barely look at her. I don’t know if I resented her for being chosen, or if I was simply so burdened with guilt that I was too undeserving.

Certainly with her being early we ran the risk of complications and God could snatch her away from us. Surely I would have deserved that with having snuffed the lives of 2 other babies. I clearly had no concept of God’s love and forgiveness.

But through it all I never let on of any problem. I quickly became very depressed within hours of the delivery. I managed to hide it all. Nighttime was the worst. Anyone who has dealt with depression knows how dreadful the “dark” hours are.

After 3 weeks I couldn’t bear it any longer and had a “coming out” party. I just simply admitted one evening I was depressed. Post Partum Depression. I got some wise counsel from my in-laws and truly did feel a release. I know now that God was tenderizing my heart preparing me to come clean of my 2 little secrets. It was a small but monumental moment in my life. Although I still did not tell Brent about the abortions God began that night revealing Himself to me through my newborn daughter.

As the depression began lifting from me, I held Kass in my arms, and for the first time I really looked at her. How marvelous she was! So fearfully and wonderfully made! She smiled for the first time while I held her. Brent maintains it was gas. But as I looked down at her face it wasn’t her that I saw at all. I saw the face of Jesus. It was as if through her smile He comforted me. And I knew then, I was under construction. The transformation had only just begun. I spent the next several months praying and reading God’s word. Seeing things I’ve seen before for the first time! It was as if God gave me new eyes.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. April 21, 2010 12:23 pm

    Beautiful. All of it. Her, you, this post, that story of grace. I love this.

  2. April 21, 2010 12:49 pm

    i didn’t connect with two of my children immediately, and my youngest set me into depression..but i did adore him..odd..i do remember this struggle as well.

    the past is gone, new has come…God is truly good! (even when i just don’t get it)

  3. April 21, 2010 1:34 pm

    Love it!

  4. April 21, 2010 3:38 pm

    thank you.
    i have been there.
    i appreciate your open heart.

  5. April 21, 2010 6:23 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. I have a friend that suffered from post partum and even nearly three years later battles depression.

  6. April 21, 2010 8:17 pm

    maybe that’s why she has such a soulfulness about her… maybe God equipped her with extra so you could be given extra through her.

  7. April 22, 2010 7:28 am

    Fantastic post.

    “Anyone who has dealt with depression knows how dreadful the “dark” hours are.” Tell me about it. What scared me the most was when I finally reached a point that I craved the dark hours because I felt safe in the isolation.

    Oh…and Brent was right. It was gas.

  8. ristowswife permalink
    April 22, 2010 8:56 am

    Been there, done that. Twice. What a humbling experience to go through.

    But I remember the moment that I fell in love with both of my children.

    My God is so good.

  9. April 22, 2010 10:40 am

    i have always had a hard time understanding motherhood because everyone always says, “it’s a love you will never understand until you walk in it” or “you’ll love your kids when they are your kids, you’ll see”… i often feel like i’m on another planet because i don’t understand this “mother love” thing. i mean, i love my pugs, but have been waiting for that “maternal” thing to pop into my genetics since ah…. age 25? (I’ll turn 40 this year)

    Your post gave me a glimpse of understanding… this is the FIRST time I have been able to see through the eyes of a mom to the love that she has for her daughter… 🙂 thanks!

    • April 22, 2010 10:42 am

      translation of the above: it means I think your post touched me profoundly.


    • ristowswife permalink
      April 22, 2010 11:38 pm

      those maternal instincts will kick in right when they need to. don’t rush it. or force it. cause then you’ll be in the boat of feeling guilty that you don’t feel something you think you should be feeling. pugs are cute… but not as cute as a little twelve month-old mini- you that’s learning to say “mama.”

  10. April 22, 2010 2:59 pm

    I love you, girl…and your little girl.
    I remember reading this story the first time around…before I “knew” you or kass.
    oh how iloveyou

  11. April 26, 2010 4:19 pm

    So precious.

  12. April 27, 2010 6:01 am

    I hope that this goes in your book. All of it. Just the way it is. It’s beautiful. Just like you. THANK YOU for sharing this.

  13. ristowswife permalink
    April 27, 2010 1:54 pm

    Such great stuff.
    Something I have always found great as a marriage tool are the “Love Languages.” This is totally worth learning more about if you don’t know
    What prompted this little comment was the statement that women are needy. Yes, I am, and am working on that. However, I have also learned that the number one way I feel loved by my hubby is when he spends time with ME. So, if he doesn’t spend any time with me in a week, I start feeling insecure.
    I got lucky, because his love language is the same.
    We also both share the love language of “touch.” And that’s just always a good one.
    All spouses should know what each other’s primary love languages are. It will make a world of difference.
    Oh… and God. He’s pretty much the key. Without Him, there’s not much of a foundation.
    Just my two cents.

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