Monday, April 27, 2015


Remember that friend I told you about, the one that asked me if I really didn't believe in God or if I was just mad at Him?


She is expecting her own little bundle of joy in just 5 short weeks and I am incredibly excited for her. Now that I am out of the darkness, I find that time with my daughter is delightful and cherishable, and I cannot wait for my best friend to experience this same feeling. But with that comes fear. I fear that she will suffer from PPD/PPA. Paranoid? Perhaps. Irrational? Not really. It can happen to anyone. I pray with everything I have that no one will ever have to experience or feel the things I felt in the first couple months of P's life, but I pray even harder that my BFF never has to.

I attended her baby shower this past weekend and was so happy I could share in this excitement with her, but I so badly wanted to warn her. Why didn't I? I am not ashamed of what I went through. I wish someone had been honest with me when I was pregnant. Given me some kind of warning....told me beforehand it would be okay. But I didn't want to ruin her day. Well, Me, way to coward out. Here I am, trying to be an advocate for PPD/PPA by trying to tell other women not to be afraid, that it's okay and completely normal, yet I didn't even have the guts to tell my own best friend. I did, however, write her a letter and addressed it to her for one week after she gives birth.

In my letter I disclose that I suffered PPD, and am still recovering. I tell her it's okay, that everything she is feeling, has felt, or will feel is normal. I assure her that I will be there for her and that she can talk to me and that if she does have these feelings that they will pass and not to be afraid.

But I am afraid for her. As her delivery day comes closer I become more and more nervous for her. Of course I want her to be happy and enjoy her new daughter and new family, but I am so nervous that those first few days at home will be too similar to what I experienced. It also makes me nervous that I won't be the success story I want to be. I want to admit to everyone what I went through. I don't care who knows. I AM NOT ASHAMED!


I didn't think I was. I am still in the midst of my recovery, so perhaps I just need more time? I can say anything in a letter, a text, a blog....but I fear I will never have the courage to say the words out loud. And I have yet to say the words to anyone. I can text it. I can write it. But I cannot speak the words: I have post-partum depression. Why?

I have set myself a goal. June 26, 2015. On this day, P will be 6 months old. Half a year. Six months of battling and recovery from PPD. I am choosing this day to share my story. I am choosing this day to stop being afraid and to be there for others in person, not just in writing. This is the day I will stop fearing and start making a difference.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Finding the Truth

This week a friend asked me, So how do you like being a mom?

My mind immediately flashed back to the beginning. The beginning when my days were filled with panic, regret, sadness and confusion. The days when I would fake a smile so fake that it would physically hurt, as I would somehow muster up the courage to And why wouldn't someone believe that lie? Why wouldn't someone believe the new mom that says it's great? If you question her, you're a dick. If you ask her how she's really feeling, you are assumed the biggest asshole on the planet for thinking said new mom is not doing a good job. But really? You would probably be the realest one and said new mom should hug you and never let you go.

Anyways, it took me a moment to respond as I momentarily remembered those early days when I had to lie, until I quickly was reminded by the smiling picture of my daughter on my desk how happy I was. How great she was. How life would literally seem empty now if she wasn't here. How I have the best relationship with Hubs I could possibly imagine now....and I answered her.

It's great.

It is great. I'm not faking it anymore. But I do still have my rough moments and days. I am not cured. On weekends I feel anxiety when Hubs is away at work and I will feel overcome with loneliness, wishing just once I could be surrounded by friends again on a Saturday night, if only for an hour or two. And sometimes in the morning I feel down, for about thirty seconds, as I wish I could just sit on the couch for two more minutes and relax before having to get ready for work....but the feelings pass. P will smile at me or rest her head on my shoulder. I know it's okay, but there still those moments. Recovery takes time. I know I am on the right road now and I thank God every day for answering my prayers for the strength I needed to ask for help and the patience in myself I needed to recover.

I am not ashamed for what I went through. I do not feel bad anymore. Sure, I did in the beginning. I felt guilty and embarrassed. But I have something I didn't have before. I have the power to help others. I have the success story I yearned for and the story I want to share with others, you, to help on the road to recovery. I have this new found strength and pride that I am not afraid to boast about. I am not afraid to share. I love P. P loves me. Our first couple months together were rough and bumpy, but what new relationship isn't? We're in a great place now. It's not being a mom that's great, but it's having P as my daughter that is. She's amazing. I am truly blessed.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


You remember that feeling when you were 13 and life was really hard and no one knew what you were going through? The way you cried yourself to sleep at night because life was so hard and you were the only one that has ever felt this way?

Being a mom with PPD is pretty similar to this.

When you are going through it you are convinced you are the only one that has ever felt these feelings. You have convinced yourself that you can't tell anyone else because they'll just think you're crazy and judge you and want nothing to do with you anymore. You revert back to that 13 year old that thinks everything is just you and no one else could ever understand you; you're so complex.

Well, you're wrong. You are so, so, so, so wrong.

I met up with some of the ladies from my local mom's group again tonight, and I sat there listening to these women I realized: they're normal, it's the rest of you that are messed up.

These women complained. They had hardships. They were tired. Their kids didn't nap or had just puked on their clothes right after getting dressed, refused to go to bed, spilled snacks in their cars and they had laundry sitting in the basket for over a week because they just didn't have the time to get to it. Sound familiar? Yeah, that's because we've all been there. Now, if you have PPD/PPA, these things are extreme. These things are showstoppers. You physically cannot put that laundry away or clean the car. A nap is too hard because your anxiety is too high and who cares if the kid wears the same outfit for three days at a time as long as they're clean and happy.

But these women....these women are my heroes. Being a parent is not a job. It's your life. You won't get the time to take a nap or clean or organize your CD collection in alphabetical order, but what you will get is the opportunity to watch someone grow and learn and become a real little person. You will have the chance to connect with others who, believe it or not, actually know what you're going through. Maybe you don't have PPD/PPA. Lucky you. But you will have a hard day. You will question a decision you made or an answer you gave your child. Was it the right one? But alas, you now have women in your life who understand you. They have been where you are, and they are not going to judge you. Embrace them. Embrace the other mom's. They don't need to hear about what baby detergent you use and you don't need to ask them their secrets to getting their baby to sleep through the night. Just let it happen. Let yourself be in the company of others who know how it feels. Tell your 13 year-old-self to F off. This is your time. And it's okay. Know that this moment is yours and it's okay.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Baby Expo

Today was the long awaited day of the local Baby Expo. Vendors from around the state gathered to support new and expecting moms. Enfamil handed out formula, baby stores showed off the latest car seats, photographers offered free session drawings, Medela talked up their latest and greatest breast pump, and a local organization even supported breastfeeding moms by providing them with a private, curtained-off area filled with plush rocking chairs to nurse in. Wowza! The support was amazing and me and P had a great time! We (well, me) took our free samples and entered some drawings and walked around and looked at everything. We noted what other babies were wearing and how well other mama's were handling the packed convention center while trying not to lose their shit (and their children) amidst all the chaos and activity.

When the time came for P to eat, we sat down at a table and I quietly fed my hungry little one. I watched the many pregnant women waddling around with smiles on their faces, talking excitedly with their partner or friend they were attending with about all the great baby things and how they couldn't wait for their own to arrive. I watched them huff and puff and stretch their backs and stop to catch a breath. I watched them eat three servings of mozzarella sticks (because you're pregnant, so what better excuse?) and guzzle back bottles of water. And I watched new dads holding their tiny little newborns outside the women's bathroom, waiting for mama to return. It was beautiful, right? All these people gathering in the same place, supporting the same cause? All these happy families spending a gorgeous Saturday afternoon together focusing on the health and future of their beautiful.

Such a load of crap.

Don't get me wrong, the cause was in the right place. The expo was fun and we had a great time and I can't wait to go again next year, but as I sat there feeding my baby and watching all of these people I became a little angry. Why were there so many booths for pregnant women and moms with newborns, but not one booth for post-partum mama's? Hello, you are attracting women with newborns and babies, don't you think this would be the most appropriate place to offer some type of services or advice to these women that are trying their hardest to keep their shit together? These women that might be too afraid to admit their true feelings because it is so taboo to talk about?

After my anger subsided that no one apparently gave a damn about the aftermath of having a baby, I became scared. I wondered how many of these pregnant women around me will suffer from PPD/PPA, or how many of them already are but won't say anything because they should be enjoying the happiest time of their life? How many of these women with these tiny newborns are feeling hopeless and scared but don't know why? Or maybe they do know why but are too ashamed to say anything, or maybe they did confide in someone and were told it's normal and to get over it....yeah, I've been there; that is NOT advice, dear people who have never suffered from depression or anxiety.

But then it motivated me. It motivated me to become more involved. To speak up and not feel ashamed. To know that these feelings I have are of no one's fault and do not make me a weak person or a bad mother. These feelings are natural. They're hormonal. I am now motivated to become an advocate for those that are too afraid to be honest with themselves. It's okay, New Mama. I'm here for you. And hopefully in the near future we can come together and make this topic normal, make it not so scary, not so taboo and not so shameful. Next year, Baby Expo, let's welcome these new and expecting mama's with open arms and let them know it's safe, that it's okay and that they are not alone.

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Mom Club Part II

It's amazing to look back and see how far I have truly come in my recovery. Now don't get me wrong, I still don't appreciate strangers coming up to me and commenting about my personal life, but I officially love being a part of the Mom Club. More specifically, the club for moms with babies.

In an effort to find myself again and become comfortable in my new role as a mother, I joined a local mom group on Facebook. Many of these women I have never met, some I have met a couple times and others just once. I have been a member of the group for over a month now and am shocked to admit that these women have honestly changed my life. I never realized before just how important networking with others just like you is. Of course, we are all different in our parenting styles and beliefs. We all come from different backgrounds, made different life choices and have chosen different career paths, but it is amazing how there is never a moment of silence on the rare occasion we do get together. It is amazing how much everyone supports each other, total strangers, because we are all members of the Mom Club.

I met these women for happy hour last night for the second time since joining the group. I would like to think that I wasn't the only one that felt completely relaxed for the first time in.....uh....exactly. I have close friends with kids, but their children are all school aged and older, and although many of them have multiple children, I sometimes think they forget what it is truly like to have a new baby at home. The memory is too distant in their minds. The lifestyle is no longer fresh and all they have left now is looking back on those days faintly, perhaps forgetfully, filling in the holes with what they think that time was like. But let me tell you, unless you're going through it NOW, don't try to relate to me. I don't care that you've been there. I don't care that you had it worse. I don't care that you had more kids. I'm going through it now. You can no longer relate to me. You don't remember EXACTLY what this is like.

Enter: Mom Club. I've kept this local Facebook group to myself until today when I told a friend that I had met up with them last night for happy hour. Her response: Who are you?

Love it!

This is the new me. The recovered, medicated, genuinely happy me. I do need mom friends. I need women in my life who are going through what I'm going through today, not ten years ago. I will appreciate my friends experience when I need their help, when I need their advice, when I need two hours of their time to share a bottle of wine with me so we can be adults and complain about our jobs and talk about our summer vacation plans. But right now, I need to revel in the fact that I am not alone and that there are other women experiencing what I'm experiencing, that there are other women who barely sleep at night because they're too busy staring at their baby monitors too, that there are other women who are sick of writing out checks for a ridiculous amount to their day care centers, that there are women who are home every night of the week with a cranky, poopy baby that needs to go to bed at a very specific time because God forbid they get off schedule by even 15 minutes!

And I am glad I am a member of this Mom Club now. I am glad that I have accepted that being a member of this club does not mean thwarting off unwanted advice, but to connect with others that are where I am in life. This Club has taught me to be more appreciative, happy, outgoing, brave and strong. This Club has given me a second chance at being a better me.

Making My Husband My Priority

Any married person that says their baby, their kids, are their number one priority are stupid. Don't listen to them.

I have been so blessed as to have grown up in a happy home with both parents, happily married. Hubs, same situation. We have great examples of lasting marriages set before us because they took time out to appreciate the other one. Don't get me wrong, I love P and everything about her and I would do literally anything for her safety and happiness. Anything. But I honestly believe her happiness will be derived of how happy the home she grows up in is. If I let my marriage fall apart, push my husband to the side while I put others first, and don't appreciate and love the crap out of him everyday, what kind of home life am I creating for my daughter? What kind of example am I setting for her when it comes to the ideals of a healthy and loving relationship?

So yes, I put my husband first. I kiss him before he leaves the house, even if that means P needs to fuss for a few seconds. I greet him when he gets home from work, I make dinner almost every night of the week and keep the house clean...I understand his needs and strive to meet them. Don't worry, P's needs are met too, her needs will never come second, but my marriage is my number one priority.

I work hard in this relationship. I have invested time, sweat, tears, my heart and my future. I can't throw all that away because I didn't care enough about my husband to make him feel special every once in awhile. I need him. I need his help, his support and his love. Without my partner, my home is broken and my parenting effectiveness will plummet. P needs both of her parents, and she needs both her parents to love and respect eachother. She needs to see what a healthy relationship is so that she can grow up to invest herself in a healthy relationship. She is learning what love is and that you should treat the ones you love with kindness. She is learning that we are together and we are a family and that we will always be there for her. We're her team.

So no, I will not put my baby or any other future children before my husband. My marriage comes first. It has to. For the sake of my family, for the future health and happiness of my daughter, my marriage will come first.

Friday, April 3, 2015

My Baby Makes Me Sick

Queasy, exhausted, headaches....this baby has got me sick to my stomach.

Since P has started day care, she has been so busy exploring her new world that she is simply exhausted at the end of each day. The bright side? She sleeps through the night a glorious 10-11 hours! The down side? I am up all night staring at the video monitor and trying to hear her breathe. I am terrified. What if she stops breathing? What if she rolls over? What if she chokes? What if five hundred other unrealistic things happen to her and I miss it all because I'm sleeping? How would I live with myself?

I never had a problem sleeping before this. I would wind down my day with some TV or Facebook games, go lay down in bed and within a few minutes would drift off and wouldn't wake up until morning. But now....the glow of the monitor and the sighs coming from P keep me up.All.Damn.Night. Don't get me wrong, I love that she's sleeping and I love watching her sleep but holy crap I can't take it anymore! The one night in the last three weeks that I took NyQuil just to sleep was the one night that P decided she wasn't going to sleep through the night and after an hour of peaceful sleep I was up the rest of the night trying to fight off the NyQuil. Never. Again. So here I sit, sleep deprived, on the verge of throwing up and a headache that I've had for the last three days that won't go away. If I didn't know better, I would think I was pregnant again. Ha, wouldn't that be the worst thing? It would be pretty close.

I can't say there are too many people in this world that are worth getting physically ill over worrying about their well being and their sleep schedules, but P is. I can't say there are many people I put before myself either. I love my sleep. I love my bed. I love my comforter. But for some reason I don't need any of those things as long as P is safe and happy. And well rested of course, otherwise prepare for terror! It was 3am when I decided to sit up and watch P sleep, and by decided I mean that I could not get to sleep and my mind kept thinking of all the things I needed to do the next day. I sat on the edge of our bed, staring at her. Listening. Watching. Waiting. I only watched her for maybe 15 minutes before crawling back into bed and attempt to sleep again, only to find out the next morning from Hubs that my sitting up and watching P was 'fucking annoying.' Well. Excuse me.

But as much as I enjoy P and spending time with her, even from another room and while she's unconscious, this mama needs her sleep. I need a moment away from her when I can get just a few hours of uninterrupted sleep, just enough to keep me going for another three weeks until I crash again. So until then, I'm going to be fucking annoying and I'm going to be on the verge of throwing up and I will complain my head hurts and that I'm tired and that I really don't care about what you did last weekend so please don't speak to me unless spoken to. Just deal with it. Sorrynotsorry.