OVERCOMING THE STRUGGLES OF MOTHERHOOD (Chapter 2)
Written by Lawrenta Onipede
My husband held the pregnancy test result in his hands and I anxiously waited for him to read it out to me. It’s Negative I heard him say as he handed the result to me . I quickly glanced at the paper and I saw boldly written Negative . Then why do I feel so sick if it’s Negative I asked him. No Lawrenta , read it again he said and I as I took another look I saw Negative suddenly transformed right before me into Positive.
I clearly wasn’t ready to be pregnant again not with my other toddlers running around the house and all the changes that goes with pregnancy. Besides I had other plans for my self and having another baby wasn’t one of it.
I have spoken with a couple of other women who identify with this feeling. One particular woman broke down in tears as she shared news of her pregnancy with me. What will happen to my plans, I thought I was through having babies and now this she exclaimed . I lovingly held her hands and assured her it will be fine, we then looked at her situation and tried to come up with ways she could still achieve her goals.
An unexpected pregnancy not only knocks the wind out of a woman but can be the beginning of a steady descend into depression. Which has far-reaching consequences not only on the mother but on the children and the marriage.
Let’s check some of the emotions you may encounter when dealing with an unexpected pregnancy in marriage.
Deep sadness as well laid plans to perhaps resume a career that had been on hold, pursue that promotion at work or have time to build a business, will be reconstructed to accommodate the pregnancy. The loss of our dreams or the way we envision the future, most often leads to grief as we come to terms with change.
Grief gives way to resentment towards our selves for being careless and mostly towards our spouse for “insisting” and life for being so unfair.
with so much mixed emotions going on, we soon begin to battle with conflicting thoughts. It isn’t the babies fault so why all the grief we ask ourselves . Yet despite our best efforts, we are unable to shake off the sadness so in comes guilt with all its condemnation to make us feel worse.
Condemnation makes us feel we are not good enough and do not match up to the expectations that we think family, friends and God may have of us. So our esteem takes a dose dive as internal conflicts, envy and fear feed on unresolved conflicts within us.
If you have or are experiencing any or all of this symptoms then you need to know you’re not alone. All of the above are signs of depression . Most women battle with depression on and off during child bearing years due to hormonal changes, sleeplessness and stress. But an unexpected pregnancy can plunge a woman into a full-blown episode of depression which may linger for years.
King David must have had many unexpected turn of events that made him depressed for the Psalms are filled with great examples of how to overcome grief. Here are three ways we can overcome
1. Turn to God
Psalms 34:4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me ; as he delivered me from all my fears.Psalms 34:18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Turn to God ,not away from him. Be honest with your feelings. Nothing you say can shock him . He already knows how you feel and wants you to show that you trust him enough to share your truth with him. The Lord is a loving father who is always ready to wipe our tears and calm our fears . He understands and has already made plans to attend to your hurts and fears. Go to him!
2. Encourage yourself in God
Psalms 42:11 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
Encourage your self in God . When we seek the Lord, he also reaches out to us. Believe what you hear him whisper in your ears. Trust what is in his heart for you and then anchor your hope to his unfailing love for you. Then you will be able to speak peace, peace in Jesus name to your soul.
3. Wait patiently for change
Psalm 40:1-31 I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.3 He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.
Wait patiently on the Lord for change. Change is a gradual process. As you hope in his unfailing love, trusting in his word. You will find the depression lifted. Your strength will be restored and as the baby in your womb grows so will hope, love and joy abound in your heart towards the baby and the future.
I particularly love verse 3 of psalm 40 when we trust God to work things out for us he does it in such a way that, that which we are so terrified of becomes a great source of joy and fulfillment but most of all is that many are also encouraged to trust in him .
Isn’t God great? Hallelujah!
Some other things you can do to overcome
Talk to your spouse
Be open about how you feel. Hopefully this will make him more sensitive and more supportive. You and your spouse can come up with a plan so your dream doesn’t suffer.
You have to reach out for help
You will be surprise to know how many women can identify with your struggles. Friends and Family are a great support and are always ready to help. And if you do not have physical support you can always find support groups online that can encourage you.
You could go for professional counseling
You should also see your doctor. There are medications that help with depression and your doctor would be the best person to prescribe one that won’t hurt your baby.