Monday, March 17, 2014

A Beautiful Journey -Pain, Depression and Faith

 Today was a beautiful day and Tank and I decided to go on a walk.  Tank wanted to walk up the hill instead of walking down to the road.  I love how green and beautiful everything has turned.  I know it isn't going to last long so I wanted to take full advantage of all the beauty.  The above picture is the view on our way up.

Next is our view looking down.
 Tank and I decided to extend our walk further then we normally do and we discovered all kinds of beauty.

 We walked so far that we made it to the very top.  I carried Tank on my back for a lot of the way because he wanted to keep going but his legs were tired.  When we got to the top, we were rewarded with this beautiful view.
 And this one . . .
 And this one.
I carried Tank all the way home, listening to him chatter in his own little way about the flowers and the sticks.  He had so much fun just being with me and exploring all around.  I didn't mind all the work of carrying him and it was confirmed to me for the second time this week that my body is strong.  In a recent conversation with a dear friend we both shared with each other how we felt like our bodies had been broken down from having and nursing babies.  We both felt this was worth it because of the little beauties we now had in our lives.  Last Tuesday while at yoga, a powerful realization came to me that my body wasn't broken.  I am a strong person.

I haven't felt this way recently.  Some of you know how nursing Baby H has been a struggle for me.  Nothing hurts so bad as desperately wanting to nourish your baby in the best possible way but having it cause so much pain.  I sought help, believe me.  There was nothing wrong, at least nothing that was obvious.  For nine months I struggled with this.  Baby H also refused to take a bottle which meant there was no relief.  Constant pain and something called weening depression (even though I wasn't trying to ween) hit me hard and it was like someone had thrown me down a deep dark hole with mud up to my waist and no possible way to escape.  It was like nothing I had ever felt before.  It turned me into a person who was unrecognizable to me all while knowing that it wasn't me.  It was like a constant out of body experience where I could see this person and what they were doing and feeling, knowing it was me doing it but while not having the control to stop it.  Bryce ended up giving me a blessing one evening after a particularly difficult day and I was told that I needed to seek medical help immediately and that I shouldn't wait.  The very next day I was in to see my doctor and he told me what should have been so obvious to me.  I was depressed.  He talked to me about hormones and pain and how the best way to give my body a fighting chance to get back to normal was to stop nursing.  It wasn't the answer I wanted to hear but it was the one I needed.  He said it was up to me though.  I could keep nursing if I wanted but things weren't going to get better.

Well I didn't want to just quit nursing.  It made me sad to think that I could possibly be ending my breastfeeding experience on such a bad note.  That evening when it was time to put the kids to bed I cuddled Baby H in my arms and proceeded to try and nurse him.  Before getting very far, he bit me so hard I nearly threw up from the pain.  My heart sank and I knew I couldn't do it anymore.  I prepared a bottle and steeled myself for the fight I knew was going to happen with him refusing the bottle.  I gave it to him and he eagerly drank.  No complaining.  No crying.  No turning away.  In that moment a miracle happened.  As I held him in my arms while he drank, the Spirit whispered to me that this was ok.  Everything would be alright.  

Well, as you know, formula is a little expensive.  In my hormone raddled brain I thought that I would get better if I didn't have the pain anymore so I decided I would pump breast milk as often as I could to give to Baby H and then he could still have the benefit of my milk without me having the pain.  So for the next few days I pumped.  One evening, something horrible happened and I discovered that I was pumping blood.  I immediately stopped.  I cried that night in frustration, truly believing that I was broken.  From that time on, Baby H only received formula.

More miracles happened.  Baby H became a happier baby.  He was more satisfied and he went through a growth spurt.  With the pain gone, my nerves began to relax.  I began taking yoga which gave me an opportunity to get out of the house, be with other women who were in all stages of life and share in their experiences.  I was taught a new way to relax.  I also received more blessings from my husband and my bishop.  Talking with my bishop was a great blessing to me and his counsel helped lift me.  Prayer, fasting, and having faith in my Savior helped the most.  Only He knows perfectly what I have gone through and I feel as though I have drawn closer to him through this process.  This experience truly has been a beautiful journey.  It has changed me.  I've been remolded into something more then I was.  I will never be my old self again.  That's ok though.  I'm not broken.  My body is strong.  I am strong.

3 comments:

  1. Beautiful, Nichole. Thank you for sharing this. Yes, you are strong. I have always admired your strength and your wisdom. Miss you guys. ❤Summer Kellogg

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  2. I loved this. A beautiful essay with gorgeous photos. Thank you for sharing!

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  3. Nichole - this is a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing so completely. I think you will now be able to help and strengthen others who may also be suffering.

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