I knew that God had told Kobus in the dream that we would have another girl, Sarah. But honestly, at that stage of my life, I thought that if God was still going ahead with His plan, He would have to speak to ME as well! I was wanting an audible voice or a burning bush type of confirmation.

After a lot of prayer and bargaining with God, I was filled with such peace and told Kobus that I was ready to try for Sarah

There was now a 4 year difference between Abigail and Sarah. The older two were a lot more independent and at school in the mornings, so I thought that it would make things a lot easier.

I was determined to make this pregnancy the best ever and followed a pregnancy eating plan, went to Pregi Bellies exercise classes and made plans to regularly get together with two other friends who were pregnant at the same time.

I loved this pregnancy and felt different from the word ‘go’. With two challenging babies successfully raised, I was confident that all would go well.

But the dark cloud was blown back to shore and settled deep down over me.

I don’t know what happened or how it happened! I was doing so well, the birth was amazing, Sarah was the most chilled, easy baby.

Yes I was tired, yes I struggled to adjust to having three children, but I was coping.

Looking back over those days, I tried to understand what had happened. Perhaps it was the fact that when I went to see my GP for confirmation of the pregnancy, a stand in doctor was on duty and she scared the hell out of me when she heard I was on antidepressants. She insisted that I immediately stop or else my baby would be brain damaged.

Now, going cold turkey off your meds is never a good idea – especially if you are hormonal! I fell apart.

I went back to see my GP, who was now back from leave. When he heard what had happened he was furious! He immediately contacted my gynae who recommended an antidepressant that would be safe. Maybe those two weeks of withdrawal made my serotonin levels badly unbalanced again?

Perhaps it was the fact that I had a very stressful job during my pregnancy which I still worked at for the first 8 months of Sarah’s life. I was in ministry and maybe the stress of trying to help take care of a whole church and a new family was too much?

Perhaps it was the devastating blow of my beloved dog, O’Malley dying. O’Malley had been my constant companion for 14 years. He was my best friend and counsellor when I was single. He saw me meet Kobus and get married, he jealously guarded all three of my children. And then he was gone…..

This depression was worse than the previous two.

This one saw me unable to get out of bed, to constantly sleep, to not even care about taking a shower, washing my hair, brushing my hair, make up, getting dressed. I just didn’t see the point and even if I had, I had no energy to do anything other than the most basic of biological functions.

To be honest, I don’t remember much of those days. I don’t particularly want to.

My church and loved ones saw me become a shadow of who I was and stepped in to help me. My church arranged for me to see a fantastic psychologist who let me cry and ramble on incoherently for a while. She then helped me to work through my emotions and my fears. We discovered the root cause of all of my struggles and depression and began to work at it.

She also referred me to a psychiatrist who was an amazing woman of faith as well, and not only did she bear with me as we tried to discover what medication would work best, but she also listened and encouraged me to keep moving forward.

I was getting better. Slowly.

There was so much baggage to work through. Things from my childhood, from my adolescent and young adult years.

Like my constant need to be perfect or risk losing the love and acceptance of people. Finding my value in what I did and not in who I was. My habit of wanting to mother everyone and fix them but yet to not look after myself. As well as the mistake of never setting healthy boundaries.

Who knew I was such a mess?!

It’s been 3 years and 8 months since I fell apart. I have good days and bad days. As Joyce Meyer says, “I may not be where I should be, but thank God that I am not where I was!” It’s frustrating. Even to this day, I seem to be doing so well and then something happens that knocks me back. I then spend a few days/week/or weeks where I wander in the fog of the dark cloud.

But I don’t stay there. Shew! I don’t stay there!

When I am lost and wandering there 2 men in my life who come find me and bring me out. My Heavenly Father and my Heaven-sent Husband. I don’t know what I would do without either of them. Both have loved me unconditionally even when I was so unlovable. Both have patiently waited on me and given me encouragement to keep moving towards healing.

Both have picked up the pieces when I was not able to.

In Ephesians 5:25, Paul encourages the husbands to love their wives in the same manner that Christ loves His Church. He sacrificed everything for us, gave us everything – even His life!

Kobus gets full marks for that. He has truly kept his marriage vows to me, he has loved me in sickness and health, for richer and for poorer and will do until death parts us one day.

I love this man more than any words could ever express.

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