On the twelfth day of Dismissmas,
Postpartum sent to me
Twelve ladies praying,
Eleven instant cures,
Ten women drifting,
Nine ladies grinning,
Eight maids no longer nursing,
Seven sins a-lurking,
Six women a-denying,
Five hours of sleep,
Four Just Snap out of Its,
Three perfect babies,
Two depressed parents,
And a wailing mess in a pear tree.
Prayer is a powerful tool for any deeply religious person. I believe deeply in the power of prayer. The past year has taught me to rely upon God for all things and to trust Him for all my needs. He has provided every single one of them.
There’s a story I would like to share with you that I use as an example for people who tell women with Postpartum Depression to just pray harder and they will be healed.
Once there was a great flood. A man, who had faithfully sandbagged his home, witnessed the flood waters rise over his meticulous sandbagging efforts. Forced to abandon the first floor of his home and eventually the second floor, this man became trapped on the roof of his home.
He began desperately praying for God to save him.
Shortly thereafter, a police boat motored up to his home.
“Sir, come with us. We can save you.”
“No thank you, I’m just fine. God will save me.”
With that response, the boat left.
A fire boat soon came by as well.
“Sir, you really need to come with us. The flood is only getting higher and will not recede any time soon.”
Again, the man answered with a calm, “No Thank you, I’m just fine. God will save me.”
With that, the fire boat left as they had several other families to save who gladly accepted their help.
A few hours later, with the flood waters now lapping at his toes, a helicopter came by, winch lowered. The crew madly encouraged the man to grab on in a last ditch effort to save his life.
The man refused and was swept away in the flood just thirty minutes after the helicopter left.
When the man reached Heaven, he had a question for God.
“God? Why did you not save me?”
“Son? I sent two boats and a helicopter. You didn’t really expect the Heavens to open and scoop you off the roof, now did you?”
God’s response to our prayers may not be in the form we desire. They may not be within the time frame we desire. All answers are His and His alone, within His time frame. Our answers may come in the form of therapy. Or medication. Or social connections. Or herbal supplements. Whatever path you choose, whatever faith powers your life, do not turn your back upon it when you are struggling. Lean hard upon your core values, trust them, pray if you so choose, but do not let anyone at all tell you that praying harder alone will save you from Postpartum Depression. Postpartum Depression is not a sin for which you must ask forgiveness. It is not a punishment for a prior sin. It is a mental illness from which you can recover through the aid of the approach of your doctor and your own personal beliefs.
Thank you for this. I just had my 3rd baby and had great hopes to get through this pp without the d. My baby is 3.5 weeks and the tears have started. I swore that this time I wouldn’t waste any time and would go straight for medication. And yet I’ve struggled with how psych drugs mesh with my faith. This analogy helps. Thank you.