Fear’s Words- Post by Hannah Rosenboom

This is a guest post, or you could say a “re-blog with permission” from Hannah Rosenboom of Sincerely Hannah. 

Find original post and blog here.

This specific writing of hers hit me so hard that I immediately wrote to ask if I could have her guest post like, right now on my blog and if she would even consider letting it be this exact post. 

One of the reasons I started Courage is in the Leap was to have a place to band together, creating a community of real people who are fighting to live courageously and who realize the power of doing it together. Hannah is just such a person and an amazing communicator. Her beautiful vulnerability shows not weakness, but amazing strength and inner fortitude. You can’t share deep authenticity without experiencing the “20 seconds of brave phenomenon”- basically just jumping out there and doing it. That takes so much courage. So here is her post and please go give Hannah some love over at sincerelyhannah.net

“How are you so weak that you can’t even handle adjusting to one baby? Heaven help you if you ever have to adjust to more than one child.

Why are you so pathetic?

No one else is having such a hard time with this.

Why can’t you get it together?

Just stop being so sensitive and needy.

You’re fine, stop complaining and pull your head up.

You’re not praying and in Scripture enough, and that’s why you’re dealing with all of this.

If you could just get it together and stop being so tired and lame and apathetic and actually do something, you’d be better.

Why can’t you lose the weight?

You’re not pretty enough.

You look like a mess all the time. You can’t even do your hair anymore. You look crazy.

Why can’t you at least look like you’re making an effort?

Why do you have to have so many panic attacks?

Why is everything so much more difficult for you than it is for everyone else?

You’re so pathetic, you can’t even handle a small inconvenience without having a meltdown.

Get over yourself, it’s not about you.

Stop being so selfish and start caring about someone other than yourself.

Wow, you did a terrible job handling birth.

You’re not a very strong person.

Other moms are at least normal. But you’re over here falling apart after a minor thing.

It’s been almost a year now, and you’re still dealing with this stuff?

I’m telling you, you’ve got to be a better Christian. Good Christians don’t struggle this much with minor difficulties.

Why do you have such a hard time making friends and being friendly?

People think you’re too hard to get to know, so it’s not worth it to be your friend.

You’re always misunderstood.

You’re too sensitive.

Why are you always the friend that cares and invests more? You always give more and don’t get the same level of friendship in return. It must mean people don’t want to be your friend.

You’ll never have a solid group of friends.

Can you please just act outgoing and friendly so people don’t think you’re rude and bitchy?

You’re never going to make friends if people think you’re rude and bitchy.

Pull yourself together, you’re being so dramatic. Things really aren’t that bad.

Wow, you’re having super dark thoughts. Your brain is messed up.

Well, you used to be a happy person. But things are different now. You’re not going back to that person. She was younger and more naive. You’re older and wiser now. It’s not possible to erase the last few years and get back to being happy.

You’re going to be like this for the rest of your life, just get used to the constant anxiety. The least you could do is make peace with it so you’re not constantly fighting.

Why are you so upset?

You have everything in the world to be happy about.

You have a great husband, a beautiful daughter, a cute house, good food, enough money, and your life is full of good things.

All of that and you’re still pouting and crying all the time. Unbelievable.

You’re so ungrateful.

You feel hollow inside and it doesn’t go away even when you’re doing things that bring you joy?

Your fault. Fix it.

Your daughter is growing up and this is what you’re going to teach her? This is the example she’s going to have? She deserves better. She doesn’t deserve this.

It’s almost her first birthday. You’ve spent the entire first year of her life dealing with this, and you’re never going to get this year back. You’ve really missed out. You could have been the mom she really needed but instead you chose to be anxious, sad, fearful, and hollow.

__________

I have spent the entirety of the last year in my head with these thoughts, constantly rushing through my brain and never being put to rest. I couldn’t turn them off.

The first step in getting better is recognizing that THESE AREN’T MY THOUGHTS. This is NOT my voice. This is NOT coming from my head. This is certainly NOT the voice of my Father.

These are not my words.

These are Fear’s words.

These are the words of someone who hates me. Who wants to beat me up so hard that I lie on the floor and never get up. These are the words of someone who wants me down for the count. Who wants me living as a shell of myself. Who wants me barely making it.

These are the words of someone who wants to take me out.

Who would really love it if I were dead inside. Who would really love it if I were dead period.

Well, this blog post is little me, as weak as I am, recognizing who is speaking to me, and refusing to tolerate this any longer. This is me saying, “ENOUGH.”

I’m getting up off the ground.

So Fear, you better run. Because this girl is about to fight back.

I may be weak, tired, beaten up, worn out, and covered in bruises, but I’m not dead, and I’m getting up now.

Every thought in my head that tells me I’m pathetic, weak, stupid, ugly, unloved, not enough, too much, and so on …. IS A LIE.

Fear, you better be scared for your life. Because now that I know it’s you who’s been speaking to me all these years, I’m fed up with you.

You’ve robbed me of rest. You’ve stolen my joy. You’ve stopped me in my tracks and pulled me out of the game. You’ve kept me trapped in a cage. You’ve taken my weapons right out of my hand and thrown me on the ground.

And I’m waking up to the truth of what’s been happening. And I’m saying ENOUGH.

Your words have tormented me for far too long.

Anxiety, are you listening? Fear, do you hear me? YOU BOTH CAN SUCK IT.

____

Quick word for anyone dealing with postpartum depression & anxiety – things are not all in your head. See your doctor and if you don’t feel heard, see someone else. I’ve learned that sometimes, your brain chemistry is off or your hormones are very out of whack – both were/are true for me. Get on a medication to fix that if that’s the case. Overall, talk to someone who is professionally licensed and has gone to school for these kinds of issues. While you wrestle against principalities and powers of darkness, stay grounded in truth and scripture. Do these things ALONGSIDE of taking care of yourself physically and emotionally, whether that means taking meds, seeing a therapist, or both. You have a mind, body and soul, and it’s not going to work to only target one of these areas if you’re struggling in two or all three.”

 

How I Prepare for Labor & Birth- Homebirth or Hospital

Hello friends!

I’m here with another topic that requires courage! Labor & birth.

I am 30 weeks along with my 2nd baby and starting to prepare for labor & her birth.

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This post is inspired by my conversations with many amazing moms who have had many amazing different birth stories.

I love gaining tips from them and sharing stories.

My main goals for labor and birth are to strengthen my body gently, rest well, and supplement effectively.

How I Strengthen My Body:

  1. Drink red raspberry leaf tea or take it in my multivitamin. It’s simple, tastes pretty great to me and is a very effective strengthener of the uterus. I think regularly consuming it during my second and third trimesters contributed greatly to my strength in pushing with my firstborn. He was born in 5 minutes and even though labor had gone on for 26 hours, I felt very strong in pushing.
  2. Balance not over-exercising, but using your muscles each day. If you have a toddler who you pick up and run around with, you’re probably set. I’ve tried to add an extra workout in, but each time I find my strength zapped for the whole day & not enough energy to keep up with my 1 year old! During my first pregnancy, I definitely over-exercised but loved every second of it. I paid the price for quite some time by not listening to my body though. Even after having my son, I couldn’t carry him for awhile & had to rely on strollers, baby swings, etc. (I mean, he was also almost 10 lbs, so he wasn’t a feathery light newborn 😉 ).
  3. 30 squats every night. It works for me at night because I get tired out & helps me go to sleep. Squats are so good because they strengthen sore areas like your back (from all the frontal weight), quads and kinda your whole body. I really needed a strong back & legs for the work of labor, just made it a bit smoother.

How to Rest Well:

  1. This is probably different for each person. I try to get 8 hours of sleep a night (not possible for everyone, I know!) and let myself nap as needed. I really try to nap when my toddler is napping, but if I get enough sleep at night, I find that I don’t need it.
  2. Listen to my body. If I need to lay in bed because I just overdid it, I do that. If my hubby is able to help, that works. If I’m still in charge of my toddler and it’s not nap time, I lay down and turn on Peppa Pig in the background with no guilt. I supervise him, but keep drinking water and resting. Especially when experiencing Braxton Hicks, it’s been a sign to me that it’s time to drink water & lay down!
  3. Take Epsom salt baths. So huge for me. The magnesium intake helps with inflammation and soreness; the relaxation of being submerged in water takes some pressure off!

How to Supplement Effectively:

  1. Goals for supplementing for me are to pick the least amount of supplements, but the ones that help with energy, iron, folate & support pregnancy, labor and birth.
  2. I take alfalfa from 28 weeks on. This builds up Vitamin K2, which greatly helps with clotting and preventing hemorrhaging. I did have a pretty severe tear with my first birth, but I didn’t hemorrhage. Since it’s a leafy green, it’s also great for iron stores & helping milk supply.
  3. I drink red raspberry leaf tea. To tone my uterus as that muscle is about to see a lot of work! This tea is great for energy, iron stores, B vitamins and so comforting in my opinion. I made batches of it as an iced tea for my June birth and now drink it hot for my January birth!
  4. I take a multivitamin. I just look for folate, Vitamin D3, choline, and DHA/EPA. And a few others. I currently take the Smartypants Prenatal gummies and love how I feel on them! I used to take Megafood Baby & Me and loved those, especially during breastfeeding.
  5. Vitamin D3 was something I tested low in and along with issues I’ve had with digestion, it’s been something I definitely supplement with. You might have 1 or 2 areas of deficiency that you know about & add into your supplement regime, as well.
  6. I mostly try to eat well to get everything else needed to support pregnancy and my body! I’ve been addicted to 2 egg yolks, toast with butter & wilted spinach this pregnancy! (I couldn’t eat greens last pregnancy, so alfalfa was huge for me to take each day!)
  7. I begin the Gentle Birth Formula herbal tincture at 35 weeks and continue through to the end. I believe this also helped me to push so strongly and effectively. (I decided after a week of taking this and monitoring myself that I’m not going to continue with taking this herbal tincture this time around. I found myself unable to sleep and feeling down which I had not felt prior to taking this except in small, surmountable moments).
  8. I took Evening Primrose Oil orally at 36 weeks according to a dosage my home birth midwife gave me for my first pregnancy. I’ll do it again this pregnancy. You can look up the benefits of this one! Too long to explain! (I decided not to continue with this one, this time around. I will probably use it as a suppository at 40 weeks but will not take it orally, again due to the effect on my emotions).
  9. It’s best to share every supplement with our healthcare professionals and get their opinions. Just wanted to put this here.

How I Strengthen my Mind:

  1. I found a birth affirmation cd early on in my first pregnancy, when I had a miscarriage scare and really needed the support.
  2. I aim to agree with the affirmations I’ve chosen at least twice a week and notice that it helps massively to fight fear, doubt, etc.
  3. I let myself cry for a bit if I need to and move through the emotional release, but this time around, I don’t take it too seriously. It’s just a part of pregnancy, postpartum & all the hormonal swirls and it’s okay!
  4. Surrounding myself with positive people is a big one. Preferably people who can speak good things over you, too and listen to your fears, but then speak positivity over them.
  5. I also talk to at least a few moms and moms-to-be and it’s amazing how normal that makes me feel and how strengthening it is! Thanks, ladies!! Any and all of you throughout last pregnancy & this pregnancy! The sisterhood of motherhood rocks!

I am hitting the publish button now on this post that I had written at 30 weeks pregnant- I’m now 37 weeks and looking forward to a smooth birth with this girl in a few weeks!

Xoxo,

Ailene