I was done. I had 3 boys in under 3 years. I had them young. When my third was born I was only 22.
My hands were full. Busy was the only word I could use to describe my day but still it wasn’t adequate enough to describe the chaos of what I lovingly referred to as my “wild things”.
Even so I was a very intentional with my boys. I made sure I was on the ground playing with them, jumping on the tramp with them, watching a million eapisodes of whatever their favorite tv show was at the time.
Through this all I had finally found the balance of taking care of myself in the midst of this. I was at my best mental health ever. I had just worked hard to get my body “back” after three pregnancies including healing my diastasis recti.
It was December 2016. On a whim I decided to take a random pregnancy test I had because I’d been nauseous a few days. Not expecting anything but peace of mind till my period started anyday. I peed on the stick, put the boys in the bath and went to look at the test. I think my heart stopped in shock when I saw two pink lines… the last thing I expected, after all we were using birth control.
I’d always reacted with joy upon finding out I was pregnant but all I could think this time was I can’t do this again. I can’t do four. I just can’t. I was immediately in denial, and freaking out inside.
I wanted to call my husband, Trevor, freaking out but knew I couldn’t and so I went to my youngest son, just 18 months old and knelt down. I looked at him knowing his whole world was going to change and then leaned in and quietly whispered “you’re going to be a big brother.” I spent the rest of the day with the morning on replay in my head.
That afternoon I made a collage photo of the kids and the pregnancy test. It said “I spy with my little eye a baby coming Aug 2017”
I showed Trevor without warning and his response took me off guard. He said okay. Okay?! Okay?! How can you be okay with this? How have you already accepted this? I sure hadn’t.
Pregnancy was anything but a walk in the park. From severe morning sickness to an emergency appendicitis’s surgery. Then a very painful recover. Being allergic to all painkillers I was in an incredible amount of pain for the following two months in bed. Somehow I made it through that but the difficult experience only compounded with the feelings I was wrestling with about being pregnant again.
*trigger warning talk of suicide*
I left the birth feeling amazing. It was the most magical birth to end on. It was fast and intense and it was just us. Trevor right there reassuring me and keeping me focused. Eyes locked. The midwife was still setting things up when I brought Graysen into this world. I gently caught him and brought him up out of the water and laid him on my chest. Covering him with a towel I just looked at him. Relieved he was finally here and expecting this to be the turning point for me. That I’d look at him, fall in love and after the typical rough transition stage of adding a new baby everything would fall into place.
Well one part of that was true. I did look at him and think I love him so much, he is so precious, I did that. I carried him, I birthed him. He is part of me.
Trevor was able to take a few more days off then usual and was home for a week after Graysen was born. It was so nice to have help with the oldest three and be able to focus on Graysen’s needs and my healing. Even so I was anticipating Trevor going back to work and it was always in the back of my mind.
So when Graysen was a week old I kissed Trevor goodbye and asked him to pray for me in a joking but ever so serious way.
If I described that day in one word it would be inadequate. I could not juggle the needs of my children.
Graysen was only 2-3 weeks old when I knew something was not right. I thought this had to be more then not transitioning to four kids but still it was early on and I thought i just need to give it more time.
Then one night when he was nearly 3 weeks old I was standing rocking him to sleep when I saw it. I knew without a doubt there was a man outside my window holding a gun up wanting to kill me. It was like I could hear him. It scared me. I didn’t want to be murdered but yet I’d been suicidal for two weeks already. How did that make sense.
I didn’t tell Trevor about this man. I thought it was more a crazy fear. Maybe I didn’t hear him or see his shadow and it was something else.
But they didn’t end there. I knew he was following me from window to window day and night. Never leaving me alone.
I was spiraling out of control and didn’t know how to tell anyone. So I stayed silent. At times putting the kids in front of the T.V. with snacks, feeding the baby, laying him down in the swing completely set on ending my life. I’d walk to the closet and end up screaming, and crying in agony to God. Why was I going through this?! Then I’d hear Graysen. He was screaming and somehow I scraped myself off the floor and walked out of the room and picked my baby up, tears still running down my face.
And still I stayed silent.