How To Work As A Team During Postpartum

Postpartum, like any trying season of marriage, is a season not a lot of people talk about, yet it can be one of the most strenuous. That season after having a baby, whether it is your first or your fifth, looks different in every marriage. Sometimes things go smoothly, sometimes they are rough. Sometimes healing is quick and sometimes it requires more time. In this episode we want to encourage you with whatever season of marriage you are in, especially if that season is a time of postpartum, with what we learned this time around.

We just had our fourth baby and God led our hearts to be yielded in ways we have not walked before during such a trying time. Aaron made a decision before the baby came and I made a decision before the baby came that helped us walk out our roles with eagerness to serve the other. It was a beautiful revelation that we didn’t talk about until weeks after the baby was here.

Enjoy!

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– Hey we’re Aaron and Jennifer Smith with Marriage After God

– Helping you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.

– And today we’re gonna share how we work as a team during postpartum.

– Hey thanks for joining us this week, and as usual I want to invite you to subscribe to our channel so you get notified each time we upload a new episode.

– Also we’d love to hear from you, so be sure to leave your comments, in the comment section. Okay guys, so baby number four was born, and it was a boy.

– His name is Truett and he’s awesome. And yeah, we’ve been… This is week four,

– Yup.

– He’s gonna be four weeks old tomorrow.

– Yup.

– Which is pretty awesome. So we’ve been in postpartum now for four weeks and I feel like, I don’t know about you, but I feel like this postpartum experience has been different than the last three.

– Like, wildly different.

– Wildly different, in many different ways. Which is why we decided to do this episode.

– Yeah, we just thought it’d be really encouraging for you guys to hear, just a little bit about our past experiences in contrast to this one. And some things that we’re kind of realizing as we’re navigating this postpartum season. And we hope it’s an encouragement to those of you who also may be going through a postpartum season. And if not, some of the things that we’re gonna be sharing will also just help in the way that you communicate with your spouse and just have a relationship with him.

– Yeah, and our prayer for this episode is that it doesn’t take four postpartum experiences to learn some of these things, which it did for us. So I wish we would’ve known so of the things that we’ve been implementing this time, with Eliot, our first

– Yeah.

– It probably would have made those experiences a lot better.

– So I do want to say that, if we sound tired, it’s just because again,

– We are.

– We are. We’re in that postpartum season and we have a lot going on during this transition and so we’re both pretty tired. And it’s nap time right now, so all of our kids are napping at the same time, which I feel like is incredible.

– It’s a miracle actually.

– It’s a miracle. But we’re both just talking about how like, we just want to nap.

– Yeah.

– Oh we wish we could, but we’re really excited about this episode and if you guys hear, you know, squirming in the background, or a little bit of grunting, it is the baby.

– He’s right behind us over there.

– Yeah -He’s napping, but he makes noises.

– He does.

– You might here that. But what we’re gonna do in this episode, is we are gonna walk through, kind of how, our past postpartum experiences played out, and then we’re gonna talk about how the current one is playing out. So, they’ll be a little bit of compare and contrast. And maybe it will make you feel better if you’re going through one similar to our past one, if you’re going through one similar to the one we’re going through now. But our hope and prayer, as I said earlier, is that, I don’t know, we can have something to offer to you guys,

– Yeah.

– Some encouragements, some inspirations, some ideas to help you navigate your postpartum experiences. Why don’t we start off with some past experiences. It doesn’t necessarily have to be any one of our children specifically really but, why don’t you share, kind of, how they were and our overall tone of the last ones.

– Well just in general I feel like there was similarities between the first three postpartum experiences.

– Yeah.

– Including just some hardness with nursing and–

– Well all of them, you had very difficult nursing.

– Yeah, very, very difficult nursing. Specifically for the boys, Eliot and Wyatt. Olive was in between those two and hers was mild in comparison.

– Yeah.

– But pain with all of them, for nursing, that took about two months to get through before–

– I feel like Wyatt’s, you had pain the whole time.

– I did. I feel like the whole last year.

– Either he was just always hungry, more so than the other kids, and he ate harder or something, I don’t know.

– Yeah, I don’t now.

– He’s a big boy.

– Yeah.

– It’s probably true. So anyways, so I feel like nursing was really hard, I feel like physically for my body it was hard. I didn’t work out through any of those pregnancies, either so I just felt like as I continued to have more children, my body just got weaker and weaker and weaker which made the postpartum recovery harder on me. And so, I would just say overall, I realized that there was some points of contention in my heart when it came to me being physically down, and you not.

– Right, cause I didn’t go thought the labor,

– Right, you didn’t get to experience labor

– I had energy you didn’t have.

– You didn’t have the hard nursing. You didn’t have some the … You did have sleepless nights, which did effect you physically but.

– Yeah, I didn’t necessarily have the sleepless night because I couldn’t sleep. That was one of the things we we’re gonna talk about was just our dynamic on how we engage with each other during the nights, which is often the hardest part of the postpartum, but even during the day, and just. Yeah, so you had nursing issues. I feel like you’ve had some sort of medical issue every single time

– Yeah. Just for example what you’re talking about is where the I.V. goes in twice now, I’ve had–

– Yeah, your hep block.

– Blood clots, and one of them got infected and so I can’t really nurse the baby on that side without discomfort, because is hurt so bad. And then it’s like, a week and a half of wrapping it in a warm compress, and trying to get you know, that taken care of and so.

– So I know that you’ve always struggled with anxiety, especially with Eliot. You had amplified anxiety with him. But every postpartum, you go through things, anxiety. So like getting things like the blood clot, just heightens your anxiety.

– Oh, totally yeah.

– You know when you feel like your, the nursing, heightens your anxiety. We’ve experienced that. And it’s been a lot different this time, but you still, that anxiety is something that comes up.

– Yeah, there’s a temptation there for it, but I feel like overall, with this postpartum season, I’ve been able to, just not except it like before. Before I would just be consumed with certain thoughts. This time I just felt like I was able to rely on God, rely on His word, be strengthened by it and you know, just press forward, persevere.

– So how did I respond in the first three experiences with our kids?

– I feel like you did really well, but especially, with the very first one, the transition just to having a baby was overwhelming.

– I feel like that was worst one for me.

– Yeah, I would say mostly with your patience and understanding that the baby’s not doing this to you, when he’s crying in the middle of the night. But that, he’s a baby. And so, just being really patient and learning how to be patient.

– Yeah with Eliot, he was colicky, and would just cry all night. And I had to be up at five o’clock in the morning, to do an hour and a half commute to work.

– And you only took two days off of work, so you jumped right back in.

– I only had two days off of work. And so, you know, we don’t get sleep. I wouldn’t get any sleep and I would just be holding, rocking Eliot back and forth, while he’s screaming, I’m like half asleep standing up. And you’re frustrated and irritated.

– We’d both were frustrated.

– And we’re just angry and couple hours of sleep and just that over the weeks built up.

– But I would say for– I did not respond well to any one or anything, ever.

– I would say though, that as we had each of our children, so far we’ve grown in these areas. I feel like you have been way more patient, incrementally with each child.

– Well I kind of got, after Eliot, I got to the point of just recognizing, I’m probably never gonna sleep well again. And so, if I can just come to the conclusion that sleep was a, that was when I was young, now I get to have a little bit of sleep. Not fully true, I get–

– He has a bubble. Truett.

– He’s supposed to sleep. Okay, what were we talking about? We were talking about sleep. Well, we just come to the conclusion that we don’t get much sleep and that’s got to be okay. But, like I said, the way it used to be with our first three children, I would get really irritated in the middle of the night. You would need my help, and I’d be frustrated, tired, knowing that I got to get up early.

– I do want to share something about me needing your help cause I feel like, this is something that I’m realizing now about those first three pregnancies and postpartums, is that I depended on you and relied on you a lot for help. And there was even times that I wanted your help when I didn’t necessarily need it because of a skewed perspective and fairness. And so, you know, just wanting things to be fair. So if I hurt physically, I want you to hurt physically. So if I have to be up in the middle of the night, I want you to be up in the middle of the night.

– Yeah, it’s called commiseration.

– Commiseration.

– Right? Where you want me to share in your pain with you.

– I did. There was a lot of selfishness that needed to die in my flesh and that God needed to prune out of me. And I just felt like, those first three, I felt like there was a lot of times where I got really frustrated that you were asleep when I’m sitting there trying to burp the baby and so yeah, I’d hand him off to you. You do it.

– Yeah.

– Which has been, if we’re gonna talk about contrast to this postpartum, I feel like it’s been way different because I–

– Right, it has been.

– We’re gonna talk a little bit more about it in a little bit, but just how I have been able to embrace my role better, where I feel like with those first three, I was more resistant to embracing my role as a mom. And not necessarily all of it, Cause the easy parts are easy to embrace. It’s the hard parts that are hard to embrace.

– And I think that added to, actually I know it did, added to my frustrations and anger because I could feel it. I’m like, oh, you’re just mad that I get sleep right now or that I don’t have to nurse.

– Yeah.

– So there was tension in our relationship, tension in the home. Nobody was sleeping, nobody was getting rest and so.

– It was pretty miserable,

– Yeah everything was just hard.

– Most days, yeah.

– It wasn’t all miserable, but when we look back on how we handled it, we just… we were young. It was our first three and we were learning. We also didn’t have people in our lives that were helping us

– Or encouraging us to walk a certain way.

– We did with Wyatt and a little bit with Olive but, we were still learning it. Practicing and knowing are totally different things. But I feel like now, we’re practicing some things, with this postpartum, that have made a huge difference in our spirit, in our emotions, in our attitudes.

– So real quick, why don’t you share how this postpartum has been different, so contrast.

– So, just overall this postpartum, I would say, if I was to give words to them, I would say the first ones felt chaotic and this one feels peaceful.

– Yeah, I would agree.

– I feel like we have more joy, more peace, more patience more kindness, more gentleness. Oh what are those? We’re walking in the Spirit more. Where we were walking in the flesh, we were taking our trial, our difficulty, our struggle, and using it as an excuse for the flesh. Which the Bible tells us specifically to not allow. Our freedoms and our things to be excuses for the flesh or room for the flesh and that’s what we did. You used your pain and your tiredness and your struggle with nursing and the other things as an excuse. And I used my tiredness and having to go to work and all my things as an excuse. So the two words I would use to describe, then and now, would be, then was chaotic, and now is peaceful, joyful. All those things, walking in the spirit. I feel like then, we used the things that we were going through as an excuse to walk in the flesh. You know, attitudes, irritations, frustrations, annoyances, anxieties, and now, we’ve prepared our hearts and our spirits and we’ve decided to walk in the Spirit regardless of what happens because there’s still been difficult things sleepless nights, but we’ve decided to walk in the Spirit. So there’s just more joy, more peace, more patience more kindness, more goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control. So I think that’s the main difference. What are for this postpartum experience for you, because most of the weight is on you, just with the baby needing you, how do you feel you’ve prepared yourself and what are some things you’re doing differently now in this postpartum?

– Well, I do really feel like I prepared myself for this postpartum season and some practical, some spiritual, some just mental and emotional ways of preparing. I had a conversation with a friend of mine, back after we had Wyatt. And he was eight days late and I remember being super fearful going into that labor and delivery. And this conversation took place after that, and it was just an encouragement to say, hey, with this next pregnancy make sure that you are able to except and embrace labor and all that comes with it. And be okay with whatever God has for you. And I don’t why, but just having that conversation and walking through the whole pregnancy with this attitude of positivity and knowing that I’m trusting in God, and trusting what he has for us, no matter what the labor is like, no matter what the postpartum’s like. I felt like that alone, really helped me prepare for what would come. And I just had a really positive outlook on the whole situation. And when people are asking me how we’re doing now, and I’m like, oh my gosh, first of all, I have to give God all the glory because he’s answered so many of our prayers.

– All of them. You said it one time,

– Yeah, all of them

– He answered every single prayer asked

– And more. He went above and beyond for us. And I’m just so incredibly blessed and I know this and I’m just really grateful and so I just want to add that I also feel like I prepared prayerfully. I feel like I went before God throughout my pregnancy and just gave Him really specifics. Like, hey God, I would love it if nursing was great this time around, but let Your will be done. I would love it if, you know and I just submitted all those requests to Him and I just felt like, being able to present my requests to Him and be mindful of what I was bringing to Him and asking for His will to be done, prepared my heart also for what we’d be experiencing.

– Yeah, I feel like you prepared, actually I know you did. You prepared for it to be the way it always was. Difficult nursing, difficult postpartum pain, all of those things, but prayed for a different experience.

– Well, I had hope. Yeah, I had this hope in me that like, well maybe it will be different this time, but if its not, at least I know what to expect.

– Yeah, I’m gonna have my attitude right. My heart turned towards God. There’s a scripture, we looked up some scripture and this is what we walked in before hand. But we wanted to share with you these scriptures on prayer and just where our hope lies. So you read the first one.

– So Romans 12:12 and it says Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. And so just having that attitude of like, I’m gonna be constant in prayer no matter what. And even there was a little bit of tenderness with nursing this time around. I remember just praying throughout the night, God, please help me, give me the endurance I need for this. So being constant in prayer was a huge way of preparing and enduring through this time.

– And that hope part, hoping for something better, but the expectation of it being the same with a different heart.

– I also want to read Philippians 4:6. It says do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. And so this is another just reminder that we need to be bringing our requests to God.

– With thanksgiving.

– But with thanksgiving. Thank Him for all of it.

– And so we’ve been doing that. So I would say, one big change is, from then to now, is having the correct perspective going into this. Saying, well it’s gonna be difficult. It’s a new baby and they have a lot of needs and there’s going to be barely any sleep. I actually had forgotten how little sleep you get right in the beginning.

– There’s a lot of things I feel like we forget until it comes again.

– Cause like Wyatt now, he’s almost two and he sleeps really well. And I just I think that that’s how babies are cause I think he’s still a baby. But he’s a huge kid compared to Truett. And then the first night, I’m like, Oh my goodness, I forgot that it’s like, no sleep. But we had the right perspective and we had peace about it. But yeah, we pray, we lift our requests to the Lord with thanksgiving so whatever the outcome is, we are thankful for it and then we lift our requests to God. So that’s the attitude we’ve been doing it in, thankfully lifting our requests to the Lord. Lord, can we have some sleep. Thank you for what I do have.

– For what we get.

– So, having the right perspective, being in prayer about this. We prayed a lot about this. I did want to mention one thing you were talking about, preparing your mind for labor even. And I remember you saying specifically that you, in the past your anxieties and prayers were like, I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to do this. I wanna just get done with it. I want to get past it. But this time, you’re like, I actually want to experience it.

– Yeah.

– I want to experience, I want to actually be in the moment not trying to escape it. But I feel like that same mentality has trickled into even the nursing and the nights.

– Even parenting our older ones or our marriage relationship. I feel like it has definitely effected all of that and impacted it in a way good.

– And I feel like as humans, our natural tendency is to avoid the hardship, to get out of it as quickly as possible. But sometimes, we’re gonna read in a second, it’s good. And if we can just have the mentality of I’m gonna be in this moment. I’m going to experience it. So again, going back to the mentality, having a biblical mentality, asking the Lord to change our minds.

– Absolutely.

– And transform us and renew us.

– So I also just want to add really quick that in this conversation about preparedness, some practical things that I did that I really felt like helped me prepare for this season that we’re in now, is I went through the Courageous Mom’s Postpartum Course and just learned a lot about the postpartum experience and supplements that you can take or what happens if you get mastitis and I felt so unprepared the last few times around. And with Wyatt, I got mastitis so many times. And so this time, I wrote a list out for you in case you needed to go to the store for any one of these things

– Any of the items, yeah.

– That we could use.

– It’s actually still on the refrigerator.

– It’s still on the the refrigerator, but I just felt like, being able to communicate with each other, like, hey if this happens, this is how you can help me. I don’t know, just set us up for success, and thankfully we haven’t even had to use the list. There’s been no emergencies,

– I know.

– We haven’t used any of it.

– There’s been no issues, no problems, no extra runs to the store or anything like that. But that did help me.

– You did have mastitis one time, and even when you weren’t thinking about it, I was going into the pantry and saying, here Baby you need to take this.

– That’s true, you were. I was kind of out of it.

– Here you need some tumeric, Here, you need this.

– You’re right. But you knew exactly what to get.

– Yeah, so I did help.

– Yeah.

– That was the only time we really had to do anything.

– Yeah. So another way that I prepared was reaching out to all my ladies in the fellowship and our community and saying, hey last time around I kind of isolated myself because of all the trials and the hardship I just didn’t reach out a lot. So I wanted to avoid that by saying, please check in on me and giving them that permission and that request of like, make sure that I’m okay.

– Accessible and that they can get–

– Emotionally, mentally, all of that. I feel like every day someone’s been asking me, hey Jen, how are you? You know, and it’s just really great to have that support. And I communicated that to them and they’ve been really supportive and encouraging.

– Yeah, so that’s a good tip. Is being more involved in our community, people that know us, letting them know where we’re at. Where in the past, we kind of just, either not intentionally just don’t reach out at all, but making sure that we do. Let’s talk for a minute about, we talked about how in the evenings, there was a… You would wake me up because you were, you know, you had to be awake or you’re in pain You wanted me to suffer with you and I would have my attitude and frustration. I needed to sleep and I was just angry. What does that look like now? Cause there was a, what’s funny is there was a decision that both of us had made separately, without even talking about it before the baby was born.

– We actually just talked about it recently only because somebody else–

– And we didn’t even know the other person made the decision.

– I know some friends of ours brought us dinner and they were just asking how we were doing and we were talking about, you know, what’s life been like with four. We both shared that we’ve made this decision in our hearts before the baby even came and so that was the first time that we talked about it. So for me it was this accepting of part of the hard parts of motherhood and being up in the middle of the night. I told myself, if I can do it, if I’m physically able to nurse the baby, burp the baby, change the baby, I was just gonna do it. I wasn’t going to worry about waking you up and kind of just letting you have that time to rest and recuperate as well. And being okay with it.

– Yeah, which was huge because I had made the decision before the baby was born, and I was praying and I said, Lord I’m just going to take on whatever responsibility I need to so that my wife can get the adequate rest she needs. And so, I would wake up in the morning before Jennifer and I would close the door and I would take… I would leave the baby of course, but I would take all the other three kids and I’d make them breakfast and I’d clean the house, and I’d get the dishes cleaned and I would feed them, then we’d go play and we’d do bible time. And Jennifer, like slept, the first couple of days,

– I think til nine or ten.

– You slept until like nine or ten.

– Yeah

– And I didn’t go in there. I didn’t make her feel guilty, which I would’ve used to do. I would open the door and be like, You gonna sleep all day?

– Yeah, are you gonna get up now?

– Yeah, I would make those kind of comments because I was just bothered that I had to take on so much responsibility. But I just realized, I said, if I, you know, the postpartum season is like six to eight weeks and sometimes shorter and I just said, I’m just going to do everything I can to make sure that she can get the rest she needs because I knew that if I did that, you would recover faster. And it would be more joyful for you and you’d want to take on that role more and more readily and you wouldn’t feel so burdened by being a new mom of baby number four, going through, cause I was just assuming, it was going to be hard nursing, mastitis, no sleep, soreness every where. I was assuming all that, I was like, well I’m just going to work hard and take on everything I can so that Jennifer doesn’t have to do it. I didn’t tell Jennifer I was going to do this. -But I felt it. What’s so funny is like I totally felt the, like you said, peace in our home. I felt the peace. You were so joyful. The times that you would come in, just to peak in and check or see if I needed breakfast in bed, or whatever. You had this joy, your smile was so big. And I just remember you shutting the door and I thought, What? Who is that guy? Like, not, I know it’s you, but there was something.

– Well, I definitely have, like I said, I felt more joyful this time.

– Yeah, it was so wonderful.

– Even though I was doing more than I’d done in the past, but something I noticed about you, is you were more joyful. In the past if you didn’t sleep well,

– I made a stink about it.

– Nursing is very painful, you made everyone know it.

– Yeah.

– You made me know it. You were just like, it didn’t matter if you were fine, I’d be like, are you okay? And you were like, yeah, I’m fine. But I could just tell

– I was terrible.

– You’re demeanor and your overall

– Countenance?

– Countenance was not just down, but like agitated

– Yeah. and angry, and it’s like, it was everyone’s fault.

– Yeah. But this time, I noticed, even in the middle of the night, cause I would wake up every single time the baby wakes up. It’s not like you were waking me up, but I would wake up and you’re nursing the baby or changing the baby. And I’d notice that you were, just the way you were talking to the baby even,

– Oh.

– Oh, she’s like in good mood. I’m like, okay, are you sure you’re good? Alright cool. I would roll back over. And I did notice real quick that you weren’t waking me up. And I didn’t know you had made that decision to not do that.

– Until we talked about it.

– Like I said, part of what I had decided to do was even if you did, I was just gonna help.

– Oh.

– But the fact that you didn’t,

– Dang, I should’ve asked more

– But the fact that you didn’t was incredible. And the reason we’re doing this episode is because of what those two decisions have done for this whole season and why it was so important. If you would have not made that decision to not wake me up, to just kind of do what you had done in the past, and just need me every hour of the night, like you have in the past, do you think it would have made it easier or harder for me to do what I had decided to do?

– It would have made it a bunch harder.

– Right, because in the past that’s, I’m like, no sleep at night, and then I’m doing all the responsibilities during the day and then I’m exhausted and I’m angry from not this. And back and forth. It just would’ve… If I actually made that decision much harder and how do you think it would’ve made your decision harder if I hadn’t made my decision? What do you think you would’ve?

– Well, I was just sitting here thinking before you even started in on this, I was thinking, your decision to be there for me and to do what you can during the day, affirmed me So that by the time, like I had … I was so rested that by the time night came, I was wired. I had the energy to do what I needed to do in the middle of the night.

– And mentally, you’re probably telling yourself, I don’t even have an excuse,

– Yeah.

– Like I… I’m probably gonna be able to sleep in the morning anyway, so I might as well.

– It’s true. It was just great. I feel, even now, I’m sitting back here thinking, like, that was incredible that we both had moved forward in those decisions without having communicated that or talked to one another and in working it out, those decisions, we were affirming each other and it benefited the whole family.

– Well, that gets to the next point of this is, our children, our other three children, who are already in routines and patterns. One of the other things that I decided to do, I was gonna try quickly, get back into the same routine that we were before the baby, so that our three kids feel secure. So I would still come… I would go to the gym, I would come home and I would do bible time. There were several days we skipped and things got out of whack just because of sleeping in or just being so exhausted. But for the most part, getting back in quickly and you actually saw that. I remember you even saying, It’s encouraged me that you’ve gotten back into your routine so quick. Because it helped you feel, what is it? Just secure and not so chaotic.

– Yeah.

– Because it could be easy to use this postpartum time as an excuse to be like, well, let’s throw everything out the window and now there was quite a few things that we threw out the window, like we haven’t gone grocery shopping in awhile,

– But we had friends bringing us dinner.

– Yeah, we had friends bring us dinner and sometimes the dishes are over the, past the faucet. But for the most part, just trying to keep our other three children, because they’re in a transition too. We saw it with our youngest, him kind of just being emotional with the new baby, but he got past that really quick.

– Yeah he got out of that really quick.

– And I just, the team mentality and when I say team, I don’t mean 50/50. I don’t mean, you took on 50% of your responsibilities and I took on my half of the responsibilities. I came into this without ever talking to you, thinking I’m gonna take on 100%. As long as I can, and the only way I’m going to be able to do that, is being in the Word and being in prayer and asking God to give me the strength to do it. Because if I wasn’t willing to take on the 100% then what percent am I going to take on? And I mean, am I going to be angry or irritated if I have to take on more than I was willing to take on? Which is what happened in the past.

– Right.

– And so, I said this the other day when we were talking to our friends, When I take on, when I mentally, or when you mentally, which you did, like I’m gonna take on everything I can, I’m not gonna put that burden on my husband, it benefits the whole team.

– Yeah, the whole family.

– The whole family, our kids benefit from it, you benefit from it, I benefit from it. Even though it seems harder and I had to adjust a ton of stuff. You had to adjust things for yourself, knowing that you’re not gonna sleep at night and that you’re going to take on the brunt of the diaper changes in the middle of the night, not asking for help or all of those things. It benefits everyone.

– And just to clarify, it doesn’t mean we didn’t ask each other for help because we did.

– Right.

– There were days or times, moments where we were like, hey can you do this for me? It was like, yes of course I’d love to bless you in that way because we hadn’t been putting that burden on each other for everything else, so there was this room for that. I just wanted to clarify that. We did ask each other for help and we did help each other in a lot of ways.

– And I want to also clarify, we haven’t had a 100% perfect attitude the whole time. Right? We still, you had a couple days with mastitis that was really hard for you. And when it’s really hard for you, it’s extra really hard for me, not as in the pain but my attitude. I have a hard time controlling my attitude because I’m just thinking like, we had such a good experience up to this point, why are you? But I had to recognize, oh, this is not easy for my wife and so I had to, that whole day, even though I was irritable, because I felt it, I was instead encouraging you, not all the time were they very good tones that I encouraged you, but I changed quickly because you even let me know. You’re like, okay, I know you’re trying to encourage me but your tone is not that great.

– I can tell.

– Yeah, I adjusted it and I encouraged you. By the end of the day you actually were able to change your own perspective on it and were able to manage better. Just in your emotions and your spirit. So we haven’t’ been perfect, but this has been just far away from what it was before. And I think it’s purely because we both decided to walk in the Spirit daily and rely on the strength of God, not in our own strength, because in our own strength, man, I want my sleep and you want no pain. And those things often make us walk in the flesh.

– Real quick I just, before you move on, cause I know you want to read the scripture, you were talking about disciplines. And I just want to make a note that, we were talking about this just a few days ago, where okay, so you were talking about jumping back into routine with the kids and helping them feel secure. And I mentioned that because you had those routines and disciplines established long before the baby came, it made it that much easier to jump into right after the baby was born.

– Right, rather than starting a new routine and I’m exhausted.

– Yeah, if you try and start a new routine or a new discipline in the middle of chaos or transition or something like that, it could be really strenuous and so I think that you had built that memory muscle. You were already doing it from day to day so the couple days we were off as a nice little break and then you jumped right back into it. I just wanted to make that point because I think it’s so important that people listening hear this, that they know that, if they want live a certain way, if they wanna walk in the spirit or they want a healthy lifestyle, whatever it is, they need to make those disciplines happening today. They need to make the choice today to walk those out.

– They need to be a daily occurrence, regular decision, every single day.

– And that’s it’s really been beneficial for the whole family when those things are taking place, especially just knowing, you know, if you have a vision for your family, you know what you want for your family, to have them and to start today. Don’t wait.

– So that’s an encouragement that we have disciplines now that we didn’t have before.

– Right.

– Daily bible time as a family, me getting up early, like hours before everyone else, to go to the gym, to read the bible to you know, just get my head right. Those kinds of things, you getting up early to read the bible, just having routines, the breakfast time. All of those things happen around the same time every day. Really helps. And it shows the kids that we are on the same page and that we are here for them. And they don’t feel left because we’re both now focused on this new baby.

– Right.

– The new baby gets to fall into our routine and our family and not vice versa. Which has been a huge thing for us. But I just want to read from James chapter one. Because this is the perspective that we should all have going into any hard thing. And having a new baby is hard. Having number four, with a bunch of children under five years old, five and younger, is not easy. Having one baby, that felt harder then this feels

– That was hard.

– I just want to talk, so James, gives us something really practical as a believer. And it says this in James chapter one verse two. Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that that testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. So just that first part I want to talk about for a second, that there’s various trials that we’re gonna come across, and I would say, having a fourth child, a third child, a second child, a first child, it’s a trial. There’s a season of hardship that’s gonna come with learning how to, as your family grows, how to grocery shop, how to nurse, all these things. And we look at those and we’re supposed to count it all joy. That it’s not a burden that we know have to look at and be like, oh great, now we’re gonna have this. No, it’s something that we need to count as joy. That these trials are good for us and for our character. It says that the testing of our faith produces steadfastness. The testing of our faith, allows us to remain faithful. We can last longer in those things and that we can have our focus on God longer. And that the steadfastness has its full effect, that we may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. And so if we think that way, when these various trials, various hardships, things that come along, we can be perfected by them through walking in the spirit, through God’s will happening in our lives, because that’s God’s heart for us. But the second part of this is important because when trials come, there’s a way we can respond, not just joyfully but it says this. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. We asked for wisdom. We have sought it out from those that are wiser than us in our fellowship, from women, mothers that have had many more children than we’ve had, who’ve been parents much longer than we have. So seeking out wisdom from godly people and also asking God who gives without reproach. He gives generously. So we said Lord, give us wisdom in this season, how to deal with each other, how to walk in peace and joy in our home, how to walk and give our children stability. Do you remember just asking for wisdom in this situation.

– Yeah.

– I think you got it when it came to even the labor. Okay Lord, what’s your, what wisdom do you have for me in going into labor? And so asking if we lack wisdom. And you know, we all lack wisdom.

– Yeah.

– So it’s almost like, we’re all commanded to ask. And we have a good God and He wants to give generously. He doesn’t want us to doubt. We have to believe that he’s gonna give us wisdom and he’s going to allow us, teach us, and show us through the Holy Spirit, how to walk the way He’s called us to walk and the way He desires us to walk. And I feel like, that’s something that we’ve done this time. We asked for wisdom. We’ve counted it joy, even the mastitis, I remember you just having joy in it, and asking God for help. Oh, I just wanted to quickly bring up, asking God things and praying. There was one night a few nights ago, where Truett was just screaming and he would not go to sleep.

– It was so sad.

– It was in the middle of the night and I remember I just, you know, we tried everything, burping him, and his diaper was clean, we’re like, okay this is just like how Eliot was, cause Eliot was like this every night. But I prayed for Wyatt, for Truett,

– But you prayed mid scream. He was screaming.

– And I’m just praying and he just, before I even finished praying, he just stopped screaming.

– And like, went to sleep stopped.

– And he went to sleep for the rest of the night.

– He shut his mouth, closed his eyes, went to sleep.

– Yeah, so I’m not going to say that my prayers are like extra powerful, I’m just kidding. But we went to the Lord and we didn’t, I could have gotten frustrated, which I use to do. I use to get so angry, like why won’t they just go to sleep? I would be angry at my babies, thinking that they’re coming, out to get me.

– Doing this against you.

– They’re doing this to me. But just praying. And we’ve just read, it says pray for all things, with thanksgiving lift up prayer requests to the Lord. That’s wisdom. Foolishness would be me getting angry at my children, thinking that they’re doing something to me. Wisdom is like, oh, this little baby, I’m just gonna pray for them cause they’re changing, they’re going through things.

– And I feel like even if he hadn’t stopped in that moment, just the peace that I felt from you praying was enough for me to go, okay, I can do this. And I was just gonna keep rocking him, keep bouncing him.

– You knowing that I was there spiritually with it and yeah.

– Yeah, it was great.

– So we just, we wanted to encourage you and let you know that we had three fairly difficult postpartum experiences, not the worst, but they were hard. First one I feel like was the worst and it’s gotten progressively better.

– I had different experiences with each one.

– I guess personally But this one just, it’s been refreshing to see what it’s like to walk in the Spirit.

– I feel like we’ve just because we have been experiencing growth in our relationship, growth in our spiritual maturity that all of that has played a role in the way that this postpartum season has worked out. I just want to thank you for you know, your leadership with our family.

– you’re welcome.

– I’m being serious. You’re leadership with our family, leading our kids, leading me, whether it’s through prayer or through the Word. Being reminded to go to God when our attitudes are poor and I’ve been really just grateful for the growth that we’ve all experienced over the last few years. And I’ve seen it play out with this trial of postpartum and the hard things that do come our way. It’s been a blessing to see you lead us through.

– I want to thank you for just embracing your role as a mom. And it’s been encouraging to me and it also just peaceful for me to see you cause you’re so good at it.

– Oh, thank you.

– But I wanted to say something about when we’re the other way, when we’re not walking in the Spirit, when we’re not embracing our roles, when we’re not, when I’m not spiritually leading and you’re not walking in the Spirit as a mom. The ones that suffer the most are our children. You know? And God wants us to disciple them and I feel like we can disciple them better when we’re walking this way. We actually can’t disciple the other way, I should say.

– Well the other way, we’re not one. We’re not walking in unity and so they

– We’re not a team.

– They sense that. They know when we’re not a team. And so the biggest thing with this message today guys, is that whatever your marriage is going to endure, whether its a postpartum season or another type of trial

– Or sickness.

– Unity is so important and being one with each other is so important. So we want to encourage you to make those decisions today to embrace your roles, embrace the hard parts of your roles, and be willing to take on that 100% for each other. Doesn’t mean you can’t ask each other for help, but be one. So good.

– For the sake of your ministry that is your marriage.

– And it will benefit your whole family.

– And it will benefit those around you because you’re walking in the Spirit. So we love you guys and we thank you for joining us this week. We hope you enjoyed our little postpartum story. We look forward to having you next week. Did you enjoy today’s show? Find many more encouraging stories and resources at marriageaftergod.com And let us help you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.

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