During this pregnancy my psychiatrist told me I needed to find a significant amount of help for the first 12 weeks postpartum.
12 weeks is a long time. That’s 2,016 hours that could potentially be filled with tearful meltdowns, bored children up to no good, sleeplessness, a colicky baby, piles of dirty laundry and dishes, hungry stomachs, poopy diapers, and other variations on the definition of chaos.
In the months we took to thoughtfully prepare for our new addition, I continued to get the impression from the Lord that this prescribed help would come from a lot of different people. And that a good portion of that help would come from people I didn’t know all that well.
This made me uncomfortable.
But, as we drew closer to Beatrice’s arrival, God sent people who committed to help. Sometimes it was because we asked; other times people knew to ask. That 12-week period ended a few weeks ago, but we didn’t even have to contact all the people on our help list. That’s a blessing I did not anticipate!
I want to publicly thank those that have supported us in the last few months, and that’s what the rest of this post is for. I also wanted to write this all down so I can come back and remember. This is how Jesus came to us in this season and got us through.
*These thanks are not in any particular order and if I’ve forgotten anyone please, please forgive me and know that I appreciate you.
Jason – you are still married to me because 1) you are extremely loyal 2) God has given you incredible strength and 3) He holds all things together. Thank you for not only wanting me and us to get through this, but for wanting us to thrive and for doing so, so much to see that happen. You are also amazing for doing night duty for three months.
Mom – you’ve done pretty much everything for us around the house. And you never cease to entertain us either! You’ve also listened to me when I’m crazy and empathized when I’m in tears. You’ve just generally been motherly and I have needed that. And you’ve been there for Ian and Imogen during a time when they need extra love and attention.
Sarah T – you have kept our household from falling apart! I can’t say thank you enough for your care of the kids, your hard work, your flexibility, and your asking how I am. You and your family are a Godsend.
Cindie – thank you for being there, once again, for the birth of a Haggard baby. You have given me such thoughtful and personal care and counsel with each pregnancy, but especially this one. And you are always so good to remind me that you are thinking about me and praying for me. You pray harder than anyone else I know.
Sherri – for giving breastfeeding expertise and encouragement in the first days and weeks as Beatrice and I tried to figure things out. It was so nice to have you come over or to know that I could call if I had questions or didn’t know what to do. Nursing has continued to go smoothly.
Jessica – for being my dear friend and now I can also say, my doula. I am really glad you were able to be such an integral part of this pregnancy, labor and birth. One more drama we’ve walked through together!
Jane – you just kept bringing food. And more food. And more. It was wonderful.
Ben & Allison – thank you so much for taking care of our kids on the spur of the moment, on several instances. They had a lot of fun and just today they asked if they could go over to Isaac’s house again 🙂
Sara B – for seeing me at preschool in the months while I was pregnant and getting the sense that I needed some help (which I did!). Thank you for giving Ian rides home from preschool. I’m glad Ian and Ellie have become buddies and I really hope to get to know you more in the future.
Alicia – for donating breast milk I could use in the early days after birth. It really took the pressure off of me and aided my ability to sleep at night. And thank you for offering to continue to pump if needed.
Amanda R – for being so excited for us when my water broke that you stayed up the rest of the night and then still took our kids for the rest of the day so I could go about the business of having a baby. Also, for dealing with my inconsolable child who didn’t want to sleep at your house.
Lynette – for bringing us your amazing pot roast plus other food, as well as handmade baby gifts and a big tub of clothes to go through. And that day you took my kids for like five hours–that was amazing, too.
Emily N – for coming over, taking care of your kids and mine while also somehow managing to clean parts of my kitchen that had been neglected for months. I don’t really know how you did that!
Amanda D – for your life coaching and for offering to be my birth assistant. I really felt honored that you would ask and want to be there. Also, for the great foot rub. I look forward to pow-wowing with you soon and setting personal goals for the future.
Michelle – thank you for supporting me through prayer and emails as well as the specially made Chinese postpartum food. Also, when you nod your head when I share parts of my story at BSF it makes me feel like I’m not so crazy after all.
Brenna – for knowing I could call you if I needed to talk and for calling at the right times to check in. I really appreciate it.
Kathy – thank you for offering your postpartum doula services to us at just the right time. You’ve helped me gain confidence as a mom and it has been so nice to know I can ask an expert questions when I have no idea what to do with my baby (which is more than you would expect with a third child). If anyone needs postpartum help, connect with Kathy!
Brittany – for coming over and doing night duty (and doing it so well), even though you have a little one at home to care for. We got some great sleep that night.
Lisa – thank you for giving us your Sunday afternoons so many times and finding creative ways to entertain the kids. I know Jason especially appreciated that he could nap during that time since he was so dead tired there for a while.
Monica – for being so excited to see me back at BSF and for praying for us.
Nathan and Natalie – for coming over and cleaning all the floors in our house (they were nasty!), and with smiles on your faces. They looked so shiny and pristine, which is a treat for me, and so I am thankful for your elbow grease.
Sarah L – thank you for being so available to come over and help and for being so persistent in getting here even though Jason gave you the wrong address!
Linda – for spending the good part of two days of your visit here cooking in my kitchen so I could have delicious freezer meals to get us through the last few weeks.
Alyssa – for the absolute perfect voice mail you left me. I still have it on my phone to listen to on particularly crappy days. It makes me miss you, too.
Ashley – for holding my baby so I could take a shower, even though your baby was screaming on the floor. I found it amusing, I’m not sure if you did at the time!
To everyone who prayed for us. We really needed it and God was faithful through your intercession.
To everyone who responded to my requests on our church’s website for baby supplies – absolutely everything you’ve donated or lent has come in incredibly handy. Julie – I especially appreciated all those newborn diapers!
To everyone who made food for us. It was delicious and we had plenty extra to carry us through. Also, thank you, Blythe, for organizing meals for us and for everyone else in need at our church.
To friends and family who sent cards, money, gifts, and congratulations. It feels really good to know that those who are far away are thinking of us and celebrating with us. It’s also nice to get a fun treat in the mail or put cash towards diapers or medical bills 🙂
After this experience I can say that it has become a lot easier to ask for help (and that’s saying a lot). It also makes me look forward to the day when I am more fully able to help others – hopefully that day won’t be in too long.
Many, many blessings,
(and Jason, Ian, Imogen & Beatrice)