This week has been a hard one for me, emotionally and physically.  It’s almost as if my body and mind said, “Okay, that’s enough” and just basically stopped feeling good…..it’s been so hard.  .

I started having nights of insomnia.  Take away my ability to sleep and I turn into a mess.  Panic, anxiety, fretting, guilt, tears…..why why why am I all of a sudden like this?

(Rich was gone this week…I had two days and two nights on my own, taking care of everything here.  I think that is what pushed me to my limits.  I had to go out with all the children on Monday, to David’s school.  The older kids had art and then I went to the library with the three little ones, carrying that heavy infant carseat.  I don’t think I should have done those things.)

Today is Friday.  I’m sitting in the chair in my robe, my hair pulled up in a messy ponytail.  Caleb woke up wet, so he has clean clothes on already, and his bedding is in the washer.

I made the kids scrambled eggs for breakfast.  David has been asking for them for days.  Grace cracked the dozen eggs for me.  They’ve all had their breakfast and their milk and/or juice and their toast and David is on his way to school on the bus.  Table is cleared, dishwasher is filled.

Jacob, Ethan, and Grace are busy cleaning their rooms.  I have someone coming here today, at 10:30, to look at the house.  I am going to hire a cleaning service.  I’m not sure how often I will be able to have them come, it depends on the price.  Rich said, “Do what you need to do, and don’t worry about the cost.”  (EDIT: The maids have been hired!  And they will come every other week for now.  The cost was much less than I imagined, and I am thrilled to say the least.)

I’m also in the process of trying to find a doula (thanks to my xanga friend Danielle for the suggestion!).  I spoke with someone yesterday who was encouraging to me, and she said that it would do me so much good to have some extra help for a few weeks (or longer).  The doula would come once or twice a week, for at least 4 hours at a time, and would help me with light housework, children, running errands, and meals.  I am somewhat hesitant about having a stranger in the home, but I hope and pray that whoever the Lord sends here (if it works out) will be a friend from the beginning and willing to work hard for me.

I’ve been working very hard here ever since Seth was born.  I guess I’ve been doing too much.  I like to work, because it makes me feel normal and gives me a feeling of accomplishment.  But this week I have gotten to the point of utter exhaustion, so tired that I can’t settle down to sleep and then my mind goes and goes. . .such negative thoughts, bad thoughts whirling around in my head that I can’t seem to stop.  I pray and tell God about it, but there are times when even that doesn’t seem to help.

The children still make me smile.  My heart still feels joy over my baby.  I do have times when I feel normal.  For that I am thankful.

My lips (this is sort of funny) are sore, I realized yesterday when they started to hurt, that I’ve been pulling my lips in and biting them in my stress, over and over until now they hurt!!! 

I started a low dose antidepressant medication yesterday morning.  I hesitate to admit that.  For some reason, it makes me feel weak and guilty to admit that I’m on medication, despite the fact that I’ve been on it 2 other times after 2 of my other babies.  During this time of my insecurites, I have relied on the judgement of the people in my life that I love & trust the most (my husband, my parents, and my closest friends) –they have all encouraged me and tell me that it’s a good idea.  I am so thankful that I live in a time and place where this option–of medication– is available!!  PPD is a very real thing!  And not fun to get through.

I just do not have the time to feel this way.  I have to be well.  I cannot spend any of my newborn’s early life a miserable mess.  I want to remember these days with fullness of joy, not heartache.

I thank you for all your prayers and encouragement here.  I know that God is answering them.  I don’t know why I’m in this low point, except that maybe God brought me here so that I would ask for help, and let people take care of me. 

My sister was here yesterday for about four hours and I spent most of that time resting.  She is coming over again today.  I can’t thank her enough. 

My angel of a sister:

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Rich is working so hard during the day, but has found a way to help me at night and he is happy to do it.  He sleeps on the couch with Seth nearby, in his playpen.  When Seth wakes up, Rich brings him to me so I can feed him.  After his feeding, I take him back out to the livingroom and put him in his playpen.  Then, I get a snack for myself and go right back to bed.  If Seth is a stinker and doesn’t go right back to sleep, Rich takes care of him.  This takes so much worry off me, knowing that I won’t have to get up again.  Now, if only I can fall back to sleep, I’d really be in good shape.  Last night I just tossed and turned.  However, I think I did get about 5 hours of total sleep.


Rich actually ENJOYS the night times with Seth.  It is helping the bonding process, because Rich does not get to spend as much time with baby during the day.  Seth looks just like his Daddy and Rich is so so proud of him!

My mom is also a huge encouragement to me, she told me to start reading in bed again, which she knows relaxes me.  TeaLady, do you see what I chose to read?  LM Montgomery is a tried and true “friend”.  Just as cozy as a warm blanket . . . . .

Also, my friend Christie each day has sent me such reassuring, caring emails.  THANK YOU CHRISTIE

Hannah has sent me so many notes and letters, I smile whenever I get the mail and see another envelope from Alaska, thank you Hannah!

I will say, Rich has another business trip next week that I am aching over.  He will leave Tuesday night and get back on Thursday night….which means three nights of evening/night hours without him.  I honestly do not know how I will get through that.  Just thinking about it makes me panic.  Rich feels terrible but there is nothing we can do. 


Okay.  Enough.  Now for some pictures.

Oh the neck….is so cute!


Those happy eyes.  Who’s my pretty baby?

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Look at his thumbs!  Gripped so tightly in those little fists!  Oh, the little love . . . .

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Amanda just called me to see if I needed anything at the store before she leaves to come over.  She sounds bright and happy this morning and had another good idea for me—she said that our local grocery store has a service in which we can order groceries and pay for them online, and then all we would have to do is drive over to pick them up.  She also reminded me that I am doing great… and that any mom with five children plus a newborn would need help and a support group.  Silly me, I’ve been trying to do much on my own…and now I am in the process of surrounding myself with HELPERS.  Hope….is a wonderful thing! 

Okay, I must go……Seth is awake and ready for breakfast #2.

Love, Shanda


Jacob took this picture, we are both proud of it.  I so wanted one, of my little Seth yawning. 

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0 thoughts on “

  1. It was so good to hear from you.  It sounds like you are making some wise decisions – like getting someone to help with the children and house.  That is so necessary for young mothers.
    Love and prayers!

  2. Praying for you during this time. God is so amazing, and how his simple reminders for us come through those we love. Enjoy you precious family.

  3. Hang in there. You know it will get better with time. Things feel like they are finally settling into routine for us since the baby came. I cannot imagine life with a baby and a bunch of other children too. Also, things could be worse. Yesterday I was at the post office and a couple was there getting passports for their newborn…TRIPLETS! Whoa, could things EVERY be worse!

  4. Praying for you.  Having no children, it’s hard for me to understand, but you are in my prayers as I think what you are doing with 5 children and a newborn is a miracle.  God knew what he was doing when he blessed you with your beautiful family.  Hang in there.

  5. Shanda,
    I’ll be praying for you.  My sweet baby is 4 weeks now and I  know what you’re feeling.  I felt it with my other 2 kiddos.  I have been on an anti-depressant since after my first was born….the ppd was just too much.  I will tell you that it has never affected my babies with breastfeeding them, and sometimes it’s just something to get you through this season.
    Have a good day today!

  6. Shanda, After Jakey was born I was SO overwhelmed. I would get up in the morning feeling like the world was spinning out of control and I was so BEHIND with all my “duties” (many duties that I foolishly obligated mysefl to). I was trying to homeschool 3 kiddos, nurse a newborn, clean, cook-was a teacher in a co-op, pianist for our church, had three kids in music lessons in 3 different parts of town, part of a history club and was teaching KAH!! And I wonder why I felt overwhelemed!!! (LOL)   My friends one day grabbed me by the arm and said, “What are you trying to prove?” It was a rude awakening….and a very eye opening experience. After that day- I hired a lady in our church to help me with my laundry and signed a 2 month cleaning contract with a cleaning service…..and I spent an entire Saturday cooking and freezing meals that I could take out of the freezer for when I felt overwhelmed. PLUS- I cut back on the amount of schoolwork we were accomplishing in the day.I realized that doing “bare bones” minimum with a light heart and smile on my face was A LOT better than doing EVERYTHING perfectly with a growl, heavy heart and horrible disposition. I learned a lot through my friends rather harsh message!! Set priorities (like baths, food and homework) – after a few months you’ll get back to yourself and slowly start adding more to your life and feel up to par. πŸ™‚  Don’t feel guilty about the medication- I really, really, really wish I would have had enough humility and honesty in me to have admitted that I needed it when I was in your situation. And you know what?? I only had  two less children than you!! πŸ™‚  I am so glad that your husband is considerate towards you. I will be praying for you….your surrounded by loved ones who seem to be giving you the right advice and all the love and support you need. πŸ˜‰

  7. If I lived about a thousand miles closer…I would be there in half a second to help you out with anything and everything you need! Know that I’m thinking about you and your family often and you’re at the very top of my prayer list…have a wonderful day of resting while your sister is there…aren’t sisters great?! Love and several hugs to you Shanda!

  8. I was reading those verses in Isaiah 55 this morning about God’s ways being higher then ours and his thoughts higher then ours… i find so much comfort in those verses and i’m praying you will find that comforting in your storm as well.  He will carry you and is with you even in the eye of the storm.  I know you will make it through and I’m glad you are getting people to help through this time.  You’ve been on my mind.

  9. Shanda, thank you so much for being honest about the good and the bad. I also appreciated your post about taking time off before. It is good not to feel like you have to post every day (although we love it when you do)! I am glad you are going to be able to get some help and will be praying that it will be a perfect fit for you and your family!!It is funny how I am sometimes a little jealous of you… all your space and the ability to hire help, but reading your post makes me so thankful… that my husband is home every night!! Praying for you next week while he is away!!

  10. Nothing but NOTHING goes very well when you are exhausted! You do whatever you need to do to feel good again, sweetie, and don’t you feel guilty about it! I am amazed by all you have been doing, but perpetual exhaustion will eventually take its toll. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I am especially praying for some good sleep!

  11. Oh, Shanda!!!!  I feel your exhaustion with every fiber in my own body!  I’m so sorry it’s hard.  Let’s have a good cry together and then eat some cookies.  πŸ™‚  Try drinking some chamomile tea before bed.  Do everything you can to relax.  I have a sort of rule about newborns–no work for mommy until the baby is at least 6 months old.  πŸ™‚  Okay, well, I still do dishes and laundry, but that’s it.  I’m glad you’re hiring a cleaning service.  I think that’s wise.  I was up with Lucy last night (and the two nights before that) 6 times!!!  I don’t know what’s going on except that she wants the stupid pacifier.  I’m running LOW on all the things a mommy needs to be a nice mommy.  πŸ™‚  Here’s to resting in Jesus!!!

  12. Love the pics!  He is sooooooo cute!  Also glad to hear you are hiring help.  You have a very full plate.  I believe God will show you what is right to give up or get help with.  Like I said yesterday, I hired cleaning ladies, and that has been a big help.  After my 5th was born, I only nursed him for a week.  With the older 4 running around, many activities and in the car running from this activity to the next… I only nursed him 1 week.  I couldn’t keep up.  I felt so much guilt that I wasn’t going to do for him what I did for my older ones, but a wise nurse told me it was better to live with guilt than resentment…the guilt of not giving him the same as the others or the resentment of having to feed each time.  Not telling you to stop, just sharing how we are all called to do different things, and for you to not be hard on yourself whatever God tells you to do in different areas of your life.  It is freeing to just do what God calls you to do.  Now with the 6th coming soon, I will pray again.  Reading how much is on your plate, I know I must be ready for a busy time and be wise.  Thank you for your openness.  You are in my prayers.

  13. I will be praying for you & your family.  Dont’ be ashamed of being on medicine, there are lots of people that take that and if it makes you feel better that’s even better.  PPD is very scary.  I had it with Matt and it was hard to get through.   I think you are doing great!!   Getting help will be perfect for you & it’s great that you are getting it.  Your sister sounds like a great help to you physically & emotionally:)  Enjoy your day today!!

  14. Not to worry, you WILL get through this.  God will provide.  Trust in Him as I know you do.  I am ALWAYS in awe of all that you do.  Even if you slow down and get help, you will still accomplish more than me in a given day and I only have four.  Peace to you.

  15. “I am He who comforts you…” May the God of all comfort be with you this week, this day. He is a shield about us, our fortress and deliverer in times of distress. I know the mixed emotions of feeling like I’m at my end, yet, yes still in joy of what is around me. I too am in those nights of no sleep and a husband who is working long hours – I will pray for you. I hired a house keeper to come in twice a week for just a few hours back in the fall when I was bedridden w/ this pregnancy. It was very helpful. and a relief. :)lys

  16. Oh Ms Shanda… I love you and am praying for you!! God has surrounded you with so many wonderful, loving people to help you and support you. You are a wonderful Momma and are doing a GREAT job πŸ™‚

  17. How nice to know that life comes in SEASONS. That’s what gets me through rough times. I tell myself, “This will not last forever….in fact, in 2 weeks, I’ll probably forget about this!!”
    A nutritionist friend has told me that much post-partum depression comes from a lack of good OMEGA-3 fish oils. Just taking a good high dose of them can amazingly clear your head! I would always pop them when I felt the baby-blues coming on.
    God bless  you & your sweet little ones!

  18. Shan, I wish I had more time to write more but please know that I am praying for you.  If I had the ability I would be your doula and be right there helping you along!  I LOVE YOU! Lish

  19. Shanda, you are in my prayers.  God will get you through this time.  Thank you so much for sharing what you are going through.  I wouldn’t wish PPD on anyone, but I am so thankful to know that I’m not the only one to go through it.  You are wise to get all the help you can.  Know you have sisters is Christ praying for you and knowing you will be back to your energetic bubbly self once again.  -Maria

  20. Does this seem like a strange Mini?  Hee-Hee! There is a reason … Congratulations – Things are getting better EVERY DAY!  You are growing in Christ, your baby is getting bigger and more precious, your children are growing wiser, your marriage is growing stronger, your body is telling you what it needs and you are finding creative ways to meet its needs while fulfilling your obligations.  CONGRATULATIONS! 
    God is good to you.
    You are good to yours.
    Joy cometh in the morning.
    Love and prayers!

  21. I stumbled on your site a few months ago and have enjoyed hearing about your children and your life. I just had my first baby a month ago, and it’s been encouraging to hear that other moms–even experienced moms like yourself–don’t have it all together either. I can’t imagine trying to take care of my little one and several older children at the same time. So glad you are getting people to help you! Blessings….

  22. I’m soooo glad you’re getting help. I tend to also think that I should be able to do it on my own, and with my PPD experience with my second I realized that I should NOT expect myself to do it all alone. It is a product of our modern times that moms are isolated and without a support group. Having lots of help was normal in the old days. Please call if you feeling in a moment of panic. I know those all too well. It helps to talk. ((hugs))

  23. praying for you. it will get better! it is overwhelming for everyone when they have a newborn baby and especially with many other kids as well. Don’t feel bad about accepting help from others. That is what friends and family are for. Your sister is beautiful (just like you) by the way. The pictures are sweet as always.

  24. Sounds like you are doing the right thing and reaching out for help.  Why is that so hard for us moms?!  Getting help does not mean you are an inadequate mom!!  Hang in there.  You have a lot on your plate right now.  Praying for peace.  You have been on my thoughts so frequently through the day (and I don’t even know you except through Xanga).    

  25. Such dear pictures.  Your Seth is so sweet.  I love the one of your sis and baby…such love and beauty.  And the one of Rich is wonderful…must make you love him even more!  Tell Jacob that Yawn shot is great…the lighting is nice too!
    Praise God for the help coming in.  I wish I could help take care of you too, know I have been praying for you many times each day.  This season will pass, which is good to know.  I think you have had great counsel.  I know it will be a relief to you to have help getting everything done.  Us mommies are sure wired that way…we want our nest and our families taken care of! Hormones are funny things…I had such problems feeling SAD when I hit premeno.  Gave me understanding of how chemicals affect our mind.  Spent about a year falling on the Lord , really relying on him.  Finally, the simplist thing, a progesterone cream I rub on made me feel normal again.  I did grow in that time…God is good that way.
    Know the Lord is caring for you! Keep doing what you are doing, giving it to Him.  He knows your frame.    “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.” Praying for rest and refreshing!  
    From that list I am sure everyone is thriving.  Look to all those faces and joy!  Love and big hugs, Jenny

  26. O you ppr thing…been there MANY times with my 5 kiddos…DO not feel ashames of needing an antidepresant it just means you are trying to recover and take care of yourself while you do just that! It sounds like your cleaning load will lighten abit…that is SUCH a blessing! Take care and stop being so hard on yourslef…lol have a good day…

  27. your not going to feel this way forever..thats what i kept telling myself..it has been 4 months,and i have to say,i started feeling better a couple weeks ago..(energy,sleep)what i did was get microwave meals and things like burritos that the kids could heat up and eat themselves while i was tired,(Laura would pop things in for the little ones too.)  
    you will recover! you will have all your energy back,soaking up the sun on your porch, watching your kids play in the pond,while nursing Seth in your rocking chair and reading a good book.

  28. saying a prayer for you….while i certainly connect with finding it hard to admit needing anything (drugs esp!) there is NOTHING weak about the phase of life and circumstances you are in! You truly have your hands full, and being willing to sit down and write it out for so many to see, takes a lot of guts and courage, for which I admire you! I think we would all do well to remember that others lives may look perfect or easy when we are feeling overwhelmed, but reality is, we are all human and life is hard at times….only by the grace of God can any of us make it thru the hard times, and I pray that His grace would be sufficient for you today.

  29. I think it’s wonderful that you are hiring cleaning help and a doula.  I have friends who lives in houses that seem to be about the size of your house from the pictures you have shown, and EVERY single one of them has hired some help.  I think in the “olden” days people used to live close to their family members and then they just naturally had mother and grandmother and aunts around to help with the children and the house chores, but now we all live so far from family that we can’t get help from those sources.  You seem like such a great mom!

  30. girlfriend, you just listen and do what your husband and those closest to you think is best and never you mind what others might think or say… it’s NO EASY thing to bring another human being into this world!!! I heard someone say once that it takes nine months to develop these little ones~ and another good nine months to feel normal again afterwards! =) I think you’re doing great ~ I mope and complain with my three, so my hat so goes off to you mama’s with even more! once again, refreshed by your honesty! ~love you….and Seth is just too too precious. That first picture is my favorite one so far of him.. he’s changing every week!

  31. Oh, I do pray that you will get some wonderful, encouraging help. I will also be praying that you can sleep tonight. Just getting a really good nights sleep does make everything seem a little better. And not getting enough sleep, oh my, how it makes everything so very hard. Your little Seth is just gorgeous. I pray you can rest in the arms of your heavenly father and find peace.

  32. Look at all this blog love coming your way!!!Think of the prayers being offered on your behalf!Grace and peace to you,Dawn xoNow I have that “pretty little baby” song in my head!Hope I can sleep!:)

  33. I feel your “tired” and can identify. With my first daughter, my mil tried to come over and let me sleep. Every little sound my daughter made kept me from falling asleep. I felt guilt that someone else had my baby. I felt my baby only needed me (I *did* nurse her) and I was sure I was causing a burden to mil because of my inability to care for my own child AND relax enough to sleep and wake up rested. It was just all too much – and I only had ONE CHILD!!!When I was sick (in 2007) I hired someone to help twice a week. Just the stuff that bugged me. She was a God-send. I am struggling with hormones that hang on the fringe of menopause and (like you) those hormones make me “different” than how I usually feel. The doctor has given me an anti-depressant to help me relax at night and sleep. Sleep makes the world look totally different the next day. I’m telling you this so you don’t think you are the only one who can’t cope when the list of To Do’s gets longer and medication is needed. There’s no shame or apology necessary!I have been praying for your peace and wisdom to to do what’s most necessary. Sounds like you have made some wise decisions in hiring domestic help AND a doula! Bless you!

  34. Shanda Banda I am proud of you for being honest, and so thankful that you did not wait but got help.  I am so curious to learn more about the doula, just the name sounds soul comforting  and someone most of us women at one point or another is thinking “ooh yes can I have a doula as well?”
    The sleeping is such a difficult thing, it is so so sweet that Rich is doing that for you, I will pray that you can sleep through the night soon, and that despite all the business of your life you will have an inner calm.
    It is so wonderful how many people love and support you!
    Love, JO

  35. Lately when I check and see that you haven’t updated your page, I say a prayer for you. You are doing such a great job, little Mama! I’m in awe of those who have been blessed with motherhood.Seth is so cute! I always love the pictures.

  36. not to long ago a friend said she doesn’t understand the pressure moms put on themselves these days, back in her day it was a given that when they had a baby the mother also hired a young woman to come in and help with all the duties, maybe it’s pride or the feminist “do it all yourself, for yourself ” movement  – whatever it comes from i struggle, with no close family to help me out, a rural area with no cleaning service and no qualified young girls to come i often feel overwhelmed – there is a light at the end of the tunnel can’t always see it but i know it’s there.  online audio bible has been an encouragement to me, when my hands are to full of little ones on my lap, we gather a snack, sippies and maybe a coffee and sit.  5htp has been a help too.  any way, i always enjoy you posts, your cheerful contentment and love for you children and hubby – blessings to you as you continue to serve ~ jan

  37. I commented on this post in the one following, so here I will just say the SETH IS THE MOST ADORABLE LITTLE THING EVER!!! Yes, his neck. His little dimpled chin. His big bright eyes. It is too much, Shanda, and I know you are enjoying him so much!This picture of Amanda is the first one where I’ve really seen how she resembled you. She is a beautiful girl. Oh, I am so glad she lives close enough and was able to help, I know FULL-TIME help is what you could really use, but I am so glad there was that bit of relief. Sisters are the best. Oh yes, and so are husbands who work hard all day and also help at night. <3Much love,Angie

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