Before I started having babies, I wanted four of them. My husband (wisely) wanted to take things one kid at a time. When he told me during my last pregnancy (#3) that it would probably be our last, I cried. I wasn't ready to be done.
And then...10 weeks after baby #3 was born, I mentally crashed. After coming through that valley, I decided that my body and mind were done, and that I would enjoy my three healthy, beautiful babies that we already had. I told people that we were totally done. I donated most of my maternity and baby clothes. No more breastfeeding! And finally, everyone was sleeping through the night.
At the end of November, my pants started to get tighter, which was really weird because I had started eating incredibly healthy (Eat to Live), I began to wonder. Heartburn led to a dollar store pregnancy test which led to a digital test which led to blood tests at the doctor, and the answer was always the same: PREGNANT.
Please don't misunderstand me; babies are such a miraculous gift. Even though this baby was not in our plans, it was definitely in God's, and we are very, very grateful. This baby will be a much loved part of our family. But...pregnant?! A recurrence of postpartum depression is a real possibility. And I'm nervous about managing four kids. And I'm pretty sure I'm going to decline the offer of that leadership position I was planning to take in our homeschooling group. And SLEEP. And breastfeeding. And, just...all of it. It's overwhelming.
I've had OCD/anxiety/depression for long enough that I can recognize the signs of a coming valley. And I was experiencing those signs (see this post) even a few weeks before the tests came back positive. So I've been really on my guard these last few weeks, because I know that feeding the wolf just makes it grow. The bigger it grows, the harder it will be for me to crawl out of the valley. So I'm doing what I can to cope and manage it well. Exercise (not easy with morning sickness), Rest. Connecting with friends. Continuing counseling. Exposure Response Prevention.
Pray for me, friends. We've got quite a journey ahead.