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Putting HOPE in the Driver’s Seat

My baby is almost five and I’ve having a hard time with that fact. How can she be five, if I’m just starting to feel like I can handle my life? Is there any way I can go back and hold her as a baby again? I can handle it now. Please, let me go back.

Life doesn’t wait for you, does it? Life just happens and you have to roll with it.

Trauma just happens too. And you have to roll with it, at least in the moment.

The hardest part about trauma is living with it. How do you learn to live with trauma? How do you care for three little children, learn to live with trauma AND try to find the right treatments to recover from Postpartum Depression and Anxiety, all at the same time?

Very, VERY carefully.

Very, VERY slowly.

I’ve been through a lot of trauma. Lots of moms with postpartum depression and/or postpartum anxiety have been through trauma.

Experiencing rage during pregnancy? Trauma.

The hospital nurse coming into your room 8 hours after you give birth to tell you your daughter’s oxygen levels dropped and she has been moved to the NICU? Trauma.

Having intrusive thoughts about driving off the side of the road when you are 6 weeks postpartum? Trauma.

Experiencing immobilizing anxiety and not being able to get out of bed to take care of your children? Trauma.

Admitting yourself to the psychiatric unit at 7 months postpartum? Trauma.

The list goes on and on.

Depending on the day, I feel differently about my traumatic experiences. Some days, I am thankful for the experiences. Some days I feel a lot of anger towards them. Some days, I look towards the future and think about the wonderful progress I’ve made. Some days, I look to the past and am saddened by what I missed.

These days I’m choosing to put HOPE in the driver’s seat.

My trauma has had its time in the front seat. I know it will always be with me, but it does not have to control my life. I can now say I am a better person, a stronger person because of my trauma. I am more empathetic, more compassionate, a more HOPE filled person. I can now hold up HOPE for other moms who are going through their own trauma and illness. I can sit with them, listen to them and empower them to put HOPE in the driver’s seat.

I can’t hold my baby girl anymore, but I can hold my five year old. I can hold her hand as I walk her to school. I can hold her head when she is sick. I can hold her spirit when she is sad. I can show her how to hold up HOPE when life is not easy.

I think she will be good at holding up HOPE though. She has been watching her mama hold up HOPE for five years now. :)

Happy Birthday, Evelyn! I love you. - Mommy

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