february reflections/ postpartum and naming my fears

I actually have felt myself growing this month. I feel wide open, aware of my weaknesses and am able to look right at them. Aware of my fears. Able to name them. It's not often I have this sort of clarity, so I am counting this as a blessing, though it is a vulnerable place to land.

I chose this picture to put with this post because I want my kids to forever see me growing and becoming the woman God made me to be. I want them to see me treat myself kindly, listen for God's leading and not afraid to be vulnerable and tender.

February Reflections:
A Humbling: Without going into all of the details I have been humbled this month like I have never been humbled before. In a task that I felt fully confident and empowered to lead, I think I may have missed the mark. And this has left me with my head bowed, my heart softened and my ego deflated.

God's Will: I have a dear friend who has lost three babies. I heard a story of three sisters in a fatal accident that knocked the wind out of me. I have a friend who just had her ultrasound and was told the very thing a mom and a dad hope never to hear. It has left me in a place where I wonder why some live to 98 and others will never take a breath out of the womb. But I've been reading my Bible and finding comfort. And that feels good. And better than good, it feels loving. I always feel so loved when God continues to teach me. Through Job and Isaiah, Matthew and Paul I am learning much.

Postpartum: I looked up symptoms and signs of Postpartum Depression. I found one very helpful site that listed six surprising symptoms. Anger and Irritability was number one. Trouble falling asleep and going back to sleep was number two. I've had these symptoms in spades and I took some comfort just knowing there really are intense hormones at play in my body. I also think this has been a long winter and that moving to a new home has played into my daily outlook, but I also think postpartum is real and I've been affected.*

Hard on myself: I think this is a result of the above, but I have been terrible to myself. I come home from gatherings and replay every stupid thing I said. I beat myself up for having talked too much. I replay conversations and feel guilty for having missed obvious topics that deserved a quality follow up question. It's ridiculous. I can write about this today because I had a nice day of good conversations. But I have spent far too many evenings laying in bed wishing I had acted differently, reacted differently, said something or not said something. It's exhausting. And it is time to start accepting myself, foot in mouth and all.

And so this is where I begin the month of March. I have a few goals for this new month:
1. Be nicer to myself
2. Keep reading my Bible
3. Pray and Meditate
4. Get outside for walks, take my multivitamin, buy more daffodils and tulips, drink lots of fresh squeezed citrus juice and play more music

March should be good. It's my birthday month, afterall!


Casey Fuerst said...

Becca - I'd like to e-mail you some thoughts on this. Can you shoot me your e-mail address? Casey (cfuerst@fuerstdesign.com)

hootenannie said...

To treat ourselves kindly, listen for God's leading, and not be afraid to be vulnerable and tender... such worthy, important, dangerous aims. Thanks for your openness in this space - it's an encouragement to me.

Becca Groves said...

Casey, can't wait to connect.

Annie, I always think your blog sets the bar for encouraging honesty, so coming from you, this means a lot.

Mary Hess said...

Becca, I have family members who have had very bad bouts of postpartum depression -- please take seriously your symptoms and don't try to diagnose or fix it yourself! Reach out to friends, but particularly give your doctor a call.

Paige Lathrop said...

I'm so grateful for your honesty and vulnerability, Becca. How often do I follow blogs in which there never seems to be any drama or sadness in the blogger's life. I begin to wonder what's wrong with me. Not only is your honesty helpful in making me feel "normal", but it is also a fantastic example of just the kind of digging and reflecting I so desperately need to do in my own life. I think I'll take a quiet hour or so tonight to cozy up with my Bible, my journal, and Jesus. So refreshing. Thanks for the gift you've given me!

And bring on Birthday Month!!!

Paige Lathrop said...

Oh, one more thought. I just listened to a two-part podcast from Focus on the Family this morning from the Lysa TerKeurst, author of the book "Unglued" (also the president of Proverbs 31 Ministries). Anyway, she spoke about our emotions and how we react to situations, and she also touched on the negative self-talk you were referring to that women do so often. Which, by the way, is one of my personal bad habits. Just thought you might enjoy this podcast as much as I did. Now, I need to read her book!

Becca Groves said...

Thank you for this. I have spoken to my doctor and we have a plan. I think I take this most seriously because I, too, know where this road can lead without any help.

Paige, my friend Heidi just told me about Unglued and said I have to get it. With the two of you backing this book, I can't wait to read it. Thank you for this.

[not the] Best Blog Ever said...

Thanks for reminding me that we can legitimately play the "wild postpartum hormones" card for awhile yet! Hee. (p.s. Presley is 7 months old today. :)

Anonymous said...

We would love to have you at MOPS in Northfield tomorrow!(9am at Northfield E-Free). We are all just plugging along trying to do our best as moms and wives and women and that is why need each other for encouragement and support.

Chris Feldman

Grete said...

Hi Becca,
Missed seeing you on Tuesday...very sorry to hear things have been tough lately. Would love to have a playdate with our two 2 year-olds :) and/or go for coffee or something! I think you have my contact info. Let's talk soon!!

Becca Groves said...

Chris, I have wanted to get to MOPS since we moved, but Elsie is taking these awesome naps in the mornings. I already mess her up with Thursday bible study, and two days in a row seems mean...but I'm not counting it out. I really, really want to get there.

Grete, yes. Let's do it.

Anonymous said...

You can always join us during the summer for our weekly play dates at the soccer park or come in the fall! I'm guessing her nap schedule will be changing by then:)

Chris F.

elsak said...

Love you, Becca. Hugs! Remember we are through February, a very tough month in the north. Easter is this month and yea for spring! New beginnings and more sunlight to come. :)

Nancy Holte said...

Oh sweet girl, we need to have some tea. I'll call you. Keep being good to yourself.