Frequencies That Soar

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Jenny Rose Foster -Frequencies that Soar3

Do you ever have those moments when everything within you can no longer stay within? When the emotion deep in your gut–right there in the heart of your stomach–fills up to capacity and, for survival, you have to let it all out?

In those moments, did you, too, leave your house and drive off in your car alone to scream? Did you, in your desperation to let all the sounds out, scream so loud you roared? At the top of your lungs and from the depth of your soul?

It’s not just me? Do you sometimes feel this too?

I would like to talk story and share the real stuff, then–the stories that make up who we are. The stories that build us up and chisel out the shapes of our character.

After my first baby, I suffered postpartum depression. The crazy thing about depression is that, often, you don’t even realize you are in it until you are really in it. Or, when you are past the dark cloud and looking back and you see your yesterday-self struggling to rise above the waters.

See, I was never the kind of little girl that dreamed of having babies, making a home, or being a wife. In fact, I have no memories of envisioning those kinds of futures for myself. I don’t ever remember creating names of what my children might be someday, like so many other little girls did.

I was the girl that ran barefoot, curls tangled, climbing trees, searching for earthworms and bugs and playing with toy cars on dirt paths. I was the girl that would rather be hiking or camping than attending any social function. I remember trying to avoid the youth group trips that segregated the boys from the girls. The boys got to go on backpacking adventures; the girls got to have slumber parties, playing make-up and painting nails. I was bored and fake laughed a lot and wished that I was up in the mountains.

That was me. I tried. I had a hard time fitting into that world of pretty things.

When I was only 19, I fell in love with the man of my dreams, a crazy punk rocker named Josh. We got married. We got jobs. We got an apartment. We met up often after work at Elmer’s Restaurant and mapped out plans on napkins: to save our earnings, get a van and travel the country. To be free.

Then suddenly I was pregnant.

I was shocked but I was also mesmerized with wonderment. I read every page of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,”a couple of times.
I began mentally preparing myself, as if in survival mode, for what I had never planned for: a child. Then one day, I began to bleed. The doctors told me that my body was reacting in a miscarriage. All of the ultrasounds, all of the tests, they all said that I was going to lose the child. My family was concerned and worried and surrounded me with condolences, and all I felt was numb.

Can I admit to you a secret in this sacred space? Can I tell you that on that day, I felt relief? A relief that I would no longer have to wear the weight of motherhood. I was afraid of my own feelings and I felt alone.

But my emotions were torn. I loved this little person living within my womb. We resonated with one another, even then. And I held her there. I wouldn’t let her go. With all of my might I kept her.

I lied flat on my back in bed for three months. Meals were brought. Prayers were prayed. The doctors said that everything was going to be OK. I was lost in a dullness. Day after day. I held my head up high. I gave everything that I could to fight for this life and I became a mother.

She was born on November 25th, 13 years ago. She was my Thanksgiving baby. The rush of labor and birth and life all happened so fast. And then, it was Josh and me and our baby. It was so deeply beautiful. I could write love songs and poems and stories of pain and joy and singing and crying all mixed into one melting pot of a beginning.

But I also remember sometimes wishing she would just sleep a little longer, this little baby. That we could both just sleep away these first few years. I was young. And I didn’t know what I was doing.

My depression was deep. It was there in the highs and the lows. Depression doesn’t mean endless sadness. The best I can explain it to you is that it is like a heavy cloud that becomes almost like a friend. It was there in all the moments. The familiar cloud was there. So I carried on. I didn’t know how to ask for help. I held it all on my own. I tried to carry the weight.

My first recognition of resonance, as a child, was in music. The words. The sounds. The rhythm. So it was music that I turned to. It was music that helped me to step forward as I learned to be a mother. I played songs–endless songs as I rocked my little baby. I wrote songs for her. These were songs of hope. Reverberating in the atmosphere. It was through singing that I was able to see beyond the clouds. 

To resonate is to rise up with a deep, reverberating sound. A call! In frequencies that soar! A volume that cannot be contained. A volume of love.

So I rose to each day with a song. I began singing. Singing prayers. Singing hope. Singing words into existence. Singing worship. Singing praise and singing sorrow. These were love songs that echoed into the heart of my daughter and this is what carried us through. This was our good medicine.

And those times that I told you about, when I drove off in my car to be alone? I see, now, that I was becoming freedom in real-life. Freedom’s call projected from my lungs, calling out the deep agonies of this life. And in the release of pain, my prayers were–and still are–always heard, even without saying the word “amen.”

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Note from the author: 

Statistically one in seven women experience postpartum depression. When I gave birth to my daughter, at the age of 21, I didn’t even know there was a name for what I was feeling. I had no idea that there were support groups and ways of addressing what I was going through. You are not alone. If you need help, you can start here or here.

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Jenny Rose Foster
Jenny Rose Foster was born and raised in the rainy green state of Washington. Here she lives a life of adventure with her best friend and husband, Joshua, and their two children, Jade and Jethro. Together, Joshua and Jenny journey through this life as a team; partnering in their own remodeling company and home-schooling the kids. Jenny loves to spend her winter weekends on the mountain slopes skiing and her summers in the great outdoors paddle-boarding, hiking and camping. She treasures opportunities that bring people together and writes with a desire to create beauty that preaches beyond the limits. Find her on Instagram or her blog.
Jenny Rose Foster

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  • I had a November 25th baby as well — and ppd hit like a freight train that I didn’t see coming! I tried to convince myself that “it was nothing I couldn’t handle,” but that was foolish and needlessly put my life and that of my sons’ at risk.

    The level of awareness and help available now is such a gift, and it’s wonderful that you are making readers aware of the need to swallow pride and accept help.

    • November 25th baby also! Cheers!! — I think for me, I didn’t even know there was help out there, I didn’t realize what it really even was that I was going through, I hardly knew who I was as a young woman…sometimes people just don’t know to ask for help or how to…I think it also takes courage — I am thankful that the topic of depression is beginning to be addressed more. Especially within communities of faith. It is an important topic. I appreciate you taking a moment to read and sharing your words. Thank you for your thoughts.

  • Megan Gahan

    You know I love this piece, my friend. Beautiful writing. Thank you for spotlighting postpartum depression with such vulnerability and boldness. Much MUCH love. xx

    • Much love to you too. This is the first time I have talked about it publicly. Somehow writing the story through SheLoves feels like a safe place to start. Much love to you as well!

  • Robin Baldwin

    Jenny, thank you for sharing your story. I have struggled with depression on and off since my 20s. I had twins at 38 and those first few years were a blur. But I have hit low points in the years since and am finally seeking to balance my needs with everyone else’s.

    • Balance! So important. Thanks for also sharing your story. It is an important story to share. Much love!