By Claire Hein Blanton
Motherhood did not come easily for me. After patiently waiting and praying for years to have a baby, our sweet Jack's arrival brought less joy and more anxiety and sadness. I struggled with everything. Worst of all, I felt like there was no way I would ever bond with him. I cried with him because I had wanted this baby so badly but now that he was here, he felt foreign, like an object that had invaded my life, not like MY child.  

What became apparent to my doctor and husband fairly quickly was that I had a fairly severe case of postpartum depression/anxiety. The following months were a blur of adjustments, medications, and finally, reaching out to a community of fellow moms at South Main and my dear 2AM friends. The support I received, whether in cups of coffee, facebook messages, babysitting, and prayers overwhelmed me. My sadness wasn't too much for a community to bear, even if it was too much for me to bear alone.

This past fall, as we were doing bedtime, I was rocking Jack and singing him "Amazing Grace." We came to the line "... twas grace that brought me here thus far and grace will bring me home" and I started crying because something became abundantly clear. It was truly an act of God's grace working in community that brought me out of the worst of that sadness, and God's provisions that would be beside me as I continue to recover.

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