Postpartum Depression after Miscarriage and Stillbirth Pt 1: The Dream

postpartumFor my regular subscribers, you will have to bear with me for a little while as this is something I am learning about and going through and I feel it is something that needs to be shared for the emotional well-being of a multitude of women as well as men who are the unfortunate, silent victims of this terrible and politically inconvenient form of suffering.

One week ago, I knew that postpartum depression was something that happened to the women who had given birth to living babies. I thought I knew it, anyway. I am about to share something that may shock you as much as it shocked me. For the record, I don’t take kindly to people trying to interpret my dreams and have never had anyone ever give me something that I didn’t already know or was just flat out wrong. So please just don’t. I am not giving all the details or all the interpretation – just what is necessary.

I had one of my house dreams, but this dream was unlike any I had ever had before. The house, from my view of the inside, was white and beautiful. It had three stories, with beautiful balconies. Now, every other “house” dream I have had showed a lot of damage, much work to be done – done by me. As in real life, God shows us things about ourselves that we need to work on, and then we need to get to work. Every one of these dreams has preceded some sort of blow to my ego as He shows me that I am really not all that and a bag of chips. This dream was completely different – I couldn’t see the problems, but a professional contractor was making major renovations. I didn’t have to do a thing.

As I went through the house, a house that I was moving into, I found a file drawer, and in it were the files of the woman who had lived there previously. I went looking for her, not wanting her to forget her private things only to find her outside with her husband and kids, but rather set apart from them. Her kids were reading from a scientific journal with their father and they gave the article to me. I was joking that these should be my kids because I am a scientist and I would love to read science articles with kids who enjoy that sort of thing. I started reading the article and it was about postpartum depression, which I wasn’t really interested in until I noticed it was the story of two women who had it – the mother of the two boys I was with and myself. The story said that I had postpartum depression.

I woke up confused. It was a house dream, but this was a ridiculous dream. I had a bunch of miscarriages between 1999 and 2003, but never a live birth – I could not possibly have postpartum depression. I dismissed it, even though I have never ended up having a house dream that wasn’t a huge harbinger for change.

It was about ten o’clock in the morning that the overwhelming grief hit me like a freight train out of nowhere. It was as though I had gone back in time seventeen years to the loss of our third baby in an instant. It was like all those years in between had vanished and the pain was back, raw and ferocious as ever.

****

We lost our first baby a few days before Mother’s Day 1999. I was almost 30 years old and getting pregnant hadn’t been difficult. As it turned out – it was staying pregnant that was difficult, or rather, impossible. I didn’t know it then, but a spinal cord problem, coupled with a back-flipped and deformed uterus, and a body that only makes two days worth of progesterone a month – well, my ovaries worked, but my womb itself was not capable of supporting life and never had been.

The first miscarriage was grueling, I was in labor off and on for about two months – a constant and cruel reminder that my baby was dead (as if having to sit through a Mother’s Day service in Church the very week that I lost the baby wasn’t bad enough). But once that passed we were quickly pregnant again, lost that baby as well and by my original due date in January – we had conceived and lost yet another child.

I cannot express to you the depths of my grief. My grief was deep and intense and the attitudes of the people around me were almost always ambivalent, and often cruel. People who railed against the inhumanity of abortion based upon it “stopping a beating heart” gave no thought to saying, “Well, at least it wasn’t a real baby.”

“It’s probably a blessing, the baby was probably retarded or deformed.”

“You are obviously cursed, God gives a quiver-full to the righteous.”

“Why are you so upset? It was just a miscarriage!”

“You need to relax, your stress is killing those babies!”

“You need to be grateful that you never got to hold them, it would be worse to lose them after birth.”

“Hmmm… have you considered praying about this?”

“You need to remember that God is good and be grateful for what you have.”

“You want kids? How about you take mine off my hands for a day?”

“I am just speaking the truth in love: You are miscarrying because of unrepentant sin in your life.”

The pain that I felt from the death of my precious little ones was horrible enough, breaking my heart to pieces, but these horrible comments from believing women were destroying me psychologically as well. I felt as though my life was being quickly and systematically dismantled.

For some reason, and I actually know some of the reasons – people don’t want us to mourn and so they try and shame us. One of the reasons is the abortion culture – this reason explains why pro-abortion individuals cannot afford to have compassion for people who have miscarried or given birth to stillborn children. They can neither politically nor emotionally acknowledge the humanity of the situation and the actual loss of a real life. We have to have lost a fetus, a sub-human, a potential life — not an actual child. This has resulted in a callous disregard for a huge segment of the population which has been forced to suffer in silence – we are the unreported casualties of the abortion culture. We dare not be named or acknowledged – it would be political suicide to do so. We are expendable, cannon fodder in the drive to make all abortion as available and as guilt free as possible.

But what of the pro-life people who can be are are often even crueler – because their comments often throw God into the mix, undermining what is often our only refuge in the time of our greatest distress? They say they care for life but the truth of the matter is that most of them are simply offended by sin and cannot bear to really seriously contemplate the real lives lost to abortion. I think that living in an abortion culture has simply destroyed our empathy – we cannot care about the miscarried babies because then we would really have to think about what is being done every single day. So we turned all our feelings of outrage towards the sin of murder; we cannot bear to think of all those real little lives. Again, the silent victims of this are those women who have miscarried and given birth to stillborn children. Being self-righteously offended at sin is easier than doing the hard work of being compassionate and loving. I do not see this changing.

Like I said, I was already dealing with all of the cruelty and loss when my original due date hit in January of 2000 and all of those websites I had registered on – the due date websites, and the parenting websites – all of the congratulation announcements started flooding into my email. I laid on the floor of the nursery and tried to die, but I couldn’t. I laid there for about a week, completely alone – even my husband couldn’t understand. I didn’t even understand.

I had postpartum depression. Like any woman who had given birth to a living child, I had gone through the hormonal changes, I had gone through labor – but unlike a woman who has given birth to a living child and is depressed, I had no happy ending to look forward to. I had, beyond just depression, real death and grief to be dealt with. From the responses I have had on social media over the last day or so – I know that I am not alone. There are legions of us who have been given no name for what ails us, because it is not politically expedient to recognize us at all. No one wants us to exist. We represent an inconvenient truth – our pain is proof of the life and worth of the unborn.

But we do exist. Our babies were precious and wanted, and real. They weren’t “just miscarriages.”

I will continue this in a few days. I need to have you understand why, seventeen years later, I am still suffering with postpartum depression – why a lot of us are and why we will get through it if we do acknowledge our right, as mothers and fathers, to mourn. If you are suffering, I want you to know why, and that you aren’t alone, or overly emotional, or unreasonable. Truly, your grief is a measure of sanity in a world gone mad.

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8 Comments


  1. Thank You Tyler as usual your passion and vunerability is powerful, I will mourn with you and for you and praise with you and for you …As you are ….in all things…. peace and love….

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  2. i realize now that i have been holding so much inside. i was made to feel it was no big deal, and that i was being over dramatic, and “milking” it for attention. but i have, in reality,mourned the loss now for 8 years. but i really felt like i had to suck it up, and get over it, and sweep it under the rug. thinking back, my 20 year old daughter was the only one that acknowledged my pain at all, and brought me flowers, and was genuinely concerned about me. I heard so many of the same comments. I especially hated the ones about “something being wrong with it”, like she was better off dead, or wasnt lovable. what a horrid thing to say. I remember feeling like i had gone insane when i waled at the doctors office after realizing my baby had been thrown away in a garbage can like yesterdays garbage, and standing in that room alone, fighting the urge to dig through that can!! I can see now that I have not been the same person since that day, but never realized why. I wasnt allowed to grieve, didnt talk about it, and tried to just go about life as usual, and i see now what a huge mistake that was. Tyler, reading what you went through, not once like me, but 3 times, just rips my heart out. reading this has opened up an old wound, but in a good way. instead of festering, maybe I too am on the path to healing. every august, (when i was due), i think about how old she would be, and what life would be like, but i never voice it. again, i keep it all to myself. I want to thank you, and im sure there are so many more out there who also feel the same way. I admire you for speaking out, and telling your story to complete strangers like me, so that the Father can begin His healing in us. It has already helped me alot knowing im not totally crazy, but that this is a genuine pain. this is also the first time i have ever talked about it. so thank you so much for sharing. Shalom.

    Reply

    1. Thanks for sharing that sis, there is strength in numbers and they can only shame us and keep us silent as long as we keep allowing them to. I am done with that, they need to keep quiet – we need to be allowed to grieve. Wait until you see the positively sarcastic post I wrote this morning. I will either put it out in a few days or wait until I have finished telling the story. I pray your healing goes quickly. Much love to you.

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  3. Hello Tyler,

    I am sorry about the loss of your babies, and the callous & insensitive comments you received later. I’d like to think you werent surrounding yourself with a very healthy bunch of believers at that time. I truly cannot understand where those hurtful words could come from!

    I have had two dear friends who have lost babies. The first one carried for five months before she began to feel sometging was terribly wrong. The other friend, miscarried within 2 months of pregnancy. She learned she had been carrying twins. In both instances I simply put my arms around them and grieved with them.

    On a completely topic switch, I have a question to you regarding your dream and perhaps ‘dreams’ in general.

    What I’m about to say may come off as a little forward, but I’d really like to understand. Do you consider your dreams a special gift from the Father? Could you really remember these dreams with such high level of detail and accuracy? Two of the dreams you have related have seemed sensible and even constructive in nature. But, where do we find a precedent for this in scripture?

    Dreams given to the ancients seem to be of greater consequence to the future of the people not merely for self or other’s edification

    I confess to being skeptical and even weary of individuals who talk about dreams and their interpretation. In some instances, there seems to be a desire to draw attention to the self or create an illusion of having something others don’t have.

    In the account of Joseph we read he was given the ability to dream dreams and give the correct interpretation to the king’s dream. These dreams involved the future of many people’s.

    I don’t have much more to say on that but wait for your response.

    Best to you!

    Lena

    Reply

    1. Lena, As you can see from my blog, I am deeply in mourning right now. I was excruciatingly difficult for me to write what I wrote. One, from the responses I have had on social media, my experiences are the norm, not the exception. People say these things without a clue that they are being unkind. I find that is true in general for everyone on every matter – people never see what they say as inappropriate no matter what they say – they always think that they have spoken in love. Self-deception runs rampant in the Body. As for your other question, yes it is very forward. If this comes off as a bit angry, understand that I am feeling very vulnerable and in the anger phase of my grieving at the moment and your comment really comes off as condescending on many levels – and this was not the time. You can be skeptical, I get that, but the way you are speaking sounds very similar to the comments I have gotten about my miscarriages. I believe you spoke without really considering the timing or the way your words would be perceived. Do I think I am special and do I think that somehow I have something that others do not have? Not really. Any more than perhaps you think you are special because you simply threw your arms around the friends of yours who had miscarriages, unlike so many of the people I and others have come across – probably because, not having had miscarriages, you have not experienced it from up close, it is external for you and not a shared experience. You pointed out something that you do, I pointed out something that I do. Were you trying to show how special you are, that you were kind to them? Do you see it as different somehow?

      As for my dreams, I share them because a lot of people dream all the time and sometimes they know a dream is from the Lord, but as he said to the children of Israel – when He spoke to Moses it was face to face, as a friend, everyone else gets dreams and riddles. I don’t think I have ever met anyone who doesn’t dream at all. In fact, when I share my dreams, the most common response it, “Oh my goodness, I had one just like it but had no idea what God was trying to tell me.” I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t have dreams from God from time to time, so no, it has never occurred to me that I am special – what I have is a gift for expressing things in writing, and so I can write about what others experience.

      Now, not everything is recorded in the Bible. Really, almost nothing is. Only things of importance to everyone. Normal, everyday things are not there or the Bible would be endless – even if only concerning everything that happened in the lives of the Patriarchs.

      As for remembering with “such high accuracy” – I am puzzled by what you mean – I mentioned nothing about a high level of detail but in fact, they play out like a movie in front of me, except I am in it. When I dream a dream with a message, I remember what is important – as long as it bears good fruit in my life, that is the point, and that is why I share. If you follow me on social media at all, you know that I routinely share unflattering things about myself as God is working through my character flaws. I believe it helps others who are working through the same things. Now, the dreams of the Butcher and Baker are classic examples of “normal people dreams” – it showed them their own future. There were no international repercussions. We just don’t know everything that everyone that the Bible was written about did, and we don’t know their personal dreams – why on earth would we? The Bible doesn’t tell us everything that is good or everything that is bad. The Bible was written to reveal the character and mission of God in this earth to return us to the original Covenant in the garden, the restoration of all things, and that means that we have to be constantly working to develop the character that man had in the beginning as well. If someone is using dreams in order to create doctrine for others, then run from them – but if someone is using a dream as an act of compassion, and sharing a hurt in the process, as I have – then it is best to give them their distance. Maybe my dreams, with the frequency that I have them, are a special gift. I have no idea, I have no idea what He does with others. We all have special gifts, we generally just don’t see them. Frankly, we don’t value our own gifts because we are generally looking at the gifts of others. Those who prosper in the Kingdom, don’t worry about the gifts of other people, or whether their own gifts are *special* because all gifts are very precious, they just figure out what they are and what they are supposed to do – and do it. Everyone in the Body has gifts that other people don’t have, and it is no illusion, but dreams are incredibly common. Not everyone has learned how to interpret, which is precisely the reason why I occasionally but rarely share mine – in order to teach people the ins and outs of common types of dreams that i know pretty much everyone has. I dreamed vivid dreams all last night but none of them was from God. Some people vivid dream every night – I have since I was 7. It doesn’t seem like a special gift when you wake up tired every morning because you are practically leading a double life. My husband rarely remembers his dreams, but every time he does, I pay close attention because there is always a message in them.

      I pray I won’t have to talk about this anymore. Putting out this blog was very difficult for me so soon after this, it made me feel very exposed – like an open wound for people to poke at, and I was not expecting to have to address this. Asking this question on one of my other dream blogs would have been kinder, as you were not addressing the subject at hand.

      Reply

  4. Tyler, I will agree that my timing in asking this question was poor, perhaps even inappropiate given your present state of mind.

    Will you forgive me?

    I will echo what Job said, ‘I spoke of things too wonderful for me to know…’

    As you say, not all things that took place during the lives of the patriarchs or in the renewed covenant are recorded. I assume enough for us to walk in wisdom within the parameters of what is true and right.

    Abba does not micromanage our lives nor do we understand what He has given each of His children to do. He allows us freedoms that sometimes we don’t grant one another.

    You clarified another point that really resonated with me and that is, if someone uses dreams in order to create doctrine for others then watch out!

    When Joel and Kepha say that in the last days, ‘Yah will pour out His Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men (women) 😘 will dream dreams’ I think its referring about the spread of Yah’s kingdom. Ananias (Acts 9:10-15) is given a vision to go commission Shall for missionary work. Kepha’s vision (falling into a trance) was to take the good news & Spirit to the nations at Cornelius house.

    I don’t do social media due to user privacy issues so I will come here again in the near future.

    Could you at some point write or speak on your current understanding on the topic of ‘speaking in tongues’? (Thats another sore topic for me as I have witnessed many abuses there…would like to gain a better grasp there too)

    Shalom to you & healing for your wounds from Abba Father,

    Lena

    Reply

    1. Yes, of course I forgive you.

      The scope of my blog is teaching about emotional healing, the development of character more like Yeshua’s and the Ancient Near Eastern and First Century historical context of Scripture. Unless I come across something historical that is related to speaking in tongues, I won’t be able to cover it because I don’t teach doctrine. I myself speak in tongues, privately, but I have also seen it very terribly abused where it is made a salvation issue. Really, everything is abused that can possibly be abused. Wherever people are gathered, someone will want to wield authority, it is inevitable. I honestly do not know of a responsible teaching on tongues, but one of my co-teachers, Matthew Vander Els of Founded in Truth ministries, has been researching it. I don’t believe everyone can do it, I haven’t found any gift yet that absolutely everyone has. As far as I can see, the people who can do it sometimes say it is a sign of salvation and those who can’t say it is of the devil. Frankly, that is typical for a lot of things. I don’t believe in litmus tests like that, I look at a person’s fruit over time. A person with a healthy relationship with our King – their character will improve over time while never being entirely perfect – someone who is merely faking it, they will pretty much remain the same or get worse over time. But tongues as a sign of salvation? Nope. No way. I know too many genuinely wonderful believers who don’t do it – people who are a heck of a lot more faithful on their worst days than I am on my best days.

      Reply

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