How Postpartum Depression is Filling Me with Joy

Wow. I truly thought I would be able to blog before this point. Ha. Haha. Hahahahahhahahaha.

That’s how it feels with two kids, I’ve found out.

I love my precious Emma. And I adore my Samuel. Put them together, and some days are great. Some days… are impossible.

Let’s add on to the 1+1 = chaos a massive hormone change at 7 weeks postpartum, and what do you get? Baby blues? Postpartum depression?

Call it whatever you want. It’s nasty.

It includes bouts of crying, vivid nightmares, ginormous mood swings, anger, and sometimes the inability to put one foot in front of the other. It’s overwhelming.

How can my kids thrill me and fill me with happy thoughts one minute and make me feel so utterly destructive the next?

And unlike other times in my life when I’ve experienced depression, this time I actually did pray through it and remember God’s word. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit just the week before helped me reflect on 1 Peter 1.

In verses 3-5, Peter lays out the blessings of our salvation: great mercy, living hope, an eternal inheritence, guarding by our faith – all of this through God’s power and via the resurrection of Jesus.

And he starts verse 6 with “In this you rejoice.

In THIS. God’s mercy. The living hope we have in our eternal position. The certainty that our eternity is guarded and secure. The language in verses 3-5 make me realize that we are going to be shocked by what eternity holds.

So I kept telling myself, In THIS you rejoice. Knowing what THIS is.

My kids (or lack thereof) are not the source of my joy.

My husband (or lack thereof) is not the source of my joy.

Funnily enough, today, on a current hormonal upswing after a very rough week, I read the rest of verse 6. (In THIS you rejoice hit me so hard that I had stopped there to soak it in.) Look…

…In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith – more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire – may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:6-7, ESV, emphasis mine all mine)

This period for me (maybe it’s over but more likely it will fluctuate back), has been deemed necessary by the Father so that my faith may bring more glory to Him. 

In the deepest moments, I clung to Him after I sinned against my children in anger. I focused my thoughts on the true joy that I have by His power rather than despairing in my present circumstances. My husband and I fell further in love as I shared with him what I was feeling, and he embraced me and is helping me dig out of it in prayer.

Glory to God? Glory has already been brought to Him by this. I feel like my faith is stronger than it has been in a long time.

Do you think that the glory that will be brought to Him through this is going to end? I don’t think so. Because all of our lives and trials are also part of our ministry to others, and each time our faith grows, and we become more enamored with Jesus, we have more of that to share with the hurting, the broken, and the lost.

14 thoughts on “How Postpartum Depression is Filling Me with Joy

  1. BTB's mom

    Hey Steph,
    Didn’t know you were struggling with this. I can certainly understand the big adjustment part! Hang in there! And I think my hair is finally starting to fall out!

  2. Karyn

    Great perspective. I went through ppd with this last birth, it’s nasty and some days deep. Praying you continue to find joy through it!

  3. Karyn

    Yes, for the most part. Although the worst of it now feels more like complete apathy – which in some ways is worse than the intense feelings. I now know how common it is, but I was certainly caught off guard.

    1. Stephanie Post author

      Ah, I see. I will watch out for that. I can see how that would be worse.
      I think most women must have PPD to some extent bc of the huge hormonal shifts. Thankfully, Dr. Hoffman warned me that it is more common after having a girl, so I was on the lookout. It does help to know hormones play a big role… makes you feel less nutso ya know?

  4. Stefanie Brown (@stefanieybrown)

    I deal with anxiety/depression. Several years ago they came on me like a crashing wave. It unsettled me, throwing me off track. Finally, I went to my doctor who started me on medication, medication I still take to this day. There was a time I thought myself weak, not “spiritual” enough to deal with what I was experiencing. I’ve since come to learn my diagnosis is just the same as any diagnosis.

    I cling to HIM, trusting, believing, loving. I’m thankful he sent a doctor my way who was a believer and who knew exactly what to do for me.

    Thank you for sharing, Stephanie!

    1. Stephanie Post author

      I absolutely think there is a place for medical intervention, and i’m glad it’s there for anyone who needs it.
      I am hoping I’m dealing with hormones that will fix themselves, but I can’t tell yet!

    2. Stephanie Post author

      And thank you for adding that! I realized after posting that I didn’t address that fully.

  5. Jane Sadek

    Thanks for being so transparent to us. I’m in such a different place (dealing with my parents’ issues and way past hormonal swings) yet facing the same sort of emotions.

    1. Stephanie Post author

      I have followed some on FB about your parents and cannot imagine what you are going through!
      I pray God will lead you to healing Jane.

  6. Jenna

    Hi Stephanie. I have enjoyed following your blog. Congratulations on the birth of sweet Emma! Absolutely beautiful. Over the past eighteen months since Harlen’s birth, I too have suffered from postpartum depression. I am still fighting everyday to recover. If you ever need a shoulder to cry on or someone to talk to who understands please call or email. I will be praying for you. I know how hard it is to care for two kids while struggling with PPD. Much love to you and your family.

  7. Deanna

    Bless your heart! I am a youth pw and headed toward being a pw one day. My hubby has been in seminary part time for about 5 years, and we are almost done. That being said, in these 5 years, we’ve had 2 kiddos. I had more PPD with the first than the second, and both were girls. My eldest will be 3 soon and my baby just turned 1. It has been amazing. Let me clarify: both amazingly difficult and amazingly wonderful. Through the PPD with the first one (which lasted about 6 months and was compounded by nursing problems) I learned so much about myself and my God. He is patient and kind and allowed me to go through PPD in order to know Him better. With my second child, I ran into SMS- selfish mommy syndrome- as I balked about not getting to do what I want, when I want, how I want, without a crying baby and whinning toddler making it harder. Being a mom requires us to be so selfless. God has been using this past year to teach me about selfless love. Hubby working full time, youth pastor, AND in school part time plus a baby and a 2 year old- I look back and wonder how I survived this past year, and you know what? God’s grace is amazing. Truly, deeply amazing, and more than sufficient. Cling to Him and His Word each and every day and a year from now you will look back and see His hand at work in your life.

    1. Stephanie Post author

      What a great testimony, Deanna! Thanks for sharing this and for the encouragement. I had a very difficult time during seminary and didn’t even have children yet! I have experienced both PPD and SMS this time around and have been relying on the Lord so much lately. I’m thankful for His grace and for my family and that the enemy cannot win!

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