Tuesday, April 24, 2012

One Year (reflections)

When I was pregnant with Jovee I had a skewed view of what life was going to be like after she came.  Now don't get me wrong...I knew things were going to be different.  Life would be more hectic, traveling would be a little more stressful, caring about how people here in Egypt drove would frustrat me and sleep would be non-existant.  But I was not expecting what really happened...
depression, dispair, depression...oh and did I mention depression?!

I thought when the doctors put our little baby in my arms I would feel an overwhelming love and life would be perfect...even if only for that moment.  But after I pushed out my baby "boy" (I thought for sure I was having a boy) and they handed Jovee to me...I felt nothing.  Then a wave of guilt and frustration hit me like a ton of bricks.  Don't get me wrong, I loved her.  I kept telling myself over and over again, "You love her.  Why can't you act like it?"  I knew that I would be devistated if anything happened to her...but I did not want to touch her, hug her, kiss her, nothing!  I remember the day we left the hospital I just sat in the backseat next to her and cried.  Poor sweet Norris did not know what to do.  He tried to talk to me about it but I did not have a clue what was going on.  I kept telling myself that I was sad Norris was leaving in a week and I needed to be glad for the time we had while he was here.  But nothing seemed to work, the tears still came and the emptiness was intense. 

We had a few days of family time, then he was gone.  Norris had to get back to Egypt and I was left with this "thing" by myself.  Now don't get me wrong.  I was surrounded by family.  I stayed with my parents for a while, and then with Meryl and Eden, and Norris' parents, and with my bestie Amber and her little boy Noah.  But the entire time I felt like I was alone with this "thing".  Then the moment I would think that, I would cry harder.  "What kind of mom does not even love her child?"  That was the thought going through my head for what seemed like every moment of the day.  Then I would try to tell myself "You love her, really you do love her."  (I mean how could I have not...she looked just like her daddy and she had the lungs of a singer (she will be a soprano) and that smile.....oh my goodness out of control cuteness.) 

Norris was such a great dad and husband even from 9,000 miles away.  He would sit on skype with me while Jovee cried and then I would cry and he may not admit it but I am sure he was crying too.  He just did not want to let me see it!  Every night I would sing "Jesus Loves Me" to Jovee before I put her to bed.  I know I did this more for me than for her.  I would remind myself that Jesus loved me...  I would read my bible while I fed Jovee and nothing seemed to help.  It was the first time in my life I felt like I was grasping to reach the Lord and I could not find him.  I was stretching out my arms and there was nothing to grab onto.    Then a glimmer of hope.  I went to my 6 week doctor visit and she told me to go to a mom's group at the hospital!!!!!!!  By the was the IU North hospital in Carmel Indiana is AMAZING!  I swear almost every women that worked with Norris, Jovee and I seemed to be a Christian.  It was very refreshing!  It was the best thing I have ever done.  I only attended for two weeks, Norris came back from Egypt, but it was sooooo helpful.  It was wonderful to see other mother's who were struggling with the same things I was struggling with.  It was the first time I did not feel alone.  

When Norris came home after two months I thought everything was going to be perfect.  Surly all the emotions, and frustration, and depression was because Norris was gone and I was having to do it "alone".  Strangely enough, to me, nothing changed.  I felt alone and helpless and depressed.  Now, looking back, the emotions were not as strong as when Norris was away, but I was shocked they had not all gone away. 

After a few weeks of Norris being home I finally had a moment that I realized I loved Jovee.  It is hard to admit that you did not love your baby for the first 2 months of their sweet little innocent life.  I was feeding her a bottle one night and reading my Bible I just started to sob.  I felt for the first time the feelings I thought I would feel when she was laied in my arms after birth.  Such a love came over me I can't express it in words!  I still had feelings to deal with but for the first time in Jovee's tiny life I knew without a shadow of a doubt I loved her. 

As this year comes to a close and Norris and I begin talks of adding to our little family I have to admitt I have a few fears these emotions will come back if we are blessed with baby #2.  But our Lord is the ultimate healer and I must put my faith in him to plan our future not me! (I am weak, helpless, and broken!)  He has give Norris and I more than we could imagine.  Jovee is the sweetest, happiest, funniest, cutest little girl he could have given us. 

We are so grateful everyday that GOD healed me from my post-pardum and that he has allowed us to be parents to Jovee Marie Ham!


  1. Angie- not sure if you remember me (Jen Lillie). We stayed in the same townhouse in 04-05 at Bethel. I've been following your adventures in Egypt. Thank you for sharing your heart and testimony with regards to PPD. I too unexpectedly received this trial. I had it undiagnosed with my first (i look back in horror at the thoughts I had and why we didn't seek help). Then, to our surprise I developed it prenatally with our second but was medicated and more managable after birth. Now as we are expecting our third we pray feverishly for these thoughts and feelings to be healed, but also thank God at the same time for modern doctors and medicines to help along the way. It was an unexpected testimony I never thought I'd have and I sense that it was the same with you. I pray that as you journey forward you too will be healed. Let me know if you have any questions about my experiences- I'm very open to sharing what I've journeyed through. Bless you!

    1. Thanks Jen, and yes I do remember you, I pray that you have a time free of any PPD after your sweet babe is born! Thanks for following!

  2. Wow Angie...I'm sure that was very difficult to go through, but I think it's so great that you're sharing your story. I'm sure more women go through that than we know, and it always helps to know other people have gone through the same thing!

  3. Ang.. You are so brave in telling your story! I know someone will read this and feel inspired! You're amazing :)

  4. wow. precious post, Angie! What a blessing to be able to share the testimony of how God helped you through! Thankful you found the help you needed... thankful that God works through people to touch our lives for Him!

  5. This post was such a blessing Angie. Gavin was in the NICU for 2.5 weeks, and I had a super hard time connecting with him. Thank you for sharing your journey. Hugs.

  6. Hey sweet friend... my heart aches for you even though you're past that phase now.. that must have been incredibly difficult! I so wish we could have been there for you more. You are an amazing mother! I am blessed to watch how you and Norris adore and love and serve Jovee. You will be amazing with all your babies too, I am sure.

    Love you and grateful to the Lord for His healing, perfecting work He does in us.

  7. Thanks for sharing your story. Praise God for his faithfulness and healing. I bet he uses your story to help others later! Love ya girl!