Saturday, June 27, 2015

Do Over

Before I got engaged, everyone asked me when Hubs and I would get married. Well, I dunno, I suppose sometime after he asks. Then the day came where we finally vowed I Do forever, and shortly after that celebration came the never ending question: When are you going to start a family? Well little did you all know, we wanted one right away! And right away we tried. And 8 months into our marriage our trying paid off. We were going to have baby P. Then, the day came when P was finally here. My PPD was already working its way full force through my system even before she arrived. In fact, it was working so fast I didn't even have time to fully realize that what I was experiencing was far from normal. And as soon as we left the hospital, before I could even soak in what I had just been through, the questions started all over again....when are you going to have the next one?

Are you freaking kidding me people? I just had the first one. I'm traumatized!!! I'm miserable, and cry, all day every day. I regret every second of my life from the last 9 months and you want to know when I am going to go through this hell again? What. The. Hell.

But seriously, when do the questions stop?

But here we are. P is 6 months old. Hold on to your seats folks, but I am actually ready to have the next one. Not right now of course, but I am openly talking about it. I am ready, in a few years, to go through this again. I'm prepared. I know I'll be okay. And I want to do this again.

One of the women in my support group brought up the fact that she will never have another baby because of her experience with PPD was so horrific that she could never risk going through it again, and she was wondering if anyone else felt the same way. I explained to her that yes, this was a deep feeling of mine. I was passionate about never having another baby. I knew better than to put myself through this again, but then I recovered.

I want to do this again. I can never get these times back with P, but I can get these times with the next one. I don't want to have to force myself to remember my baby as a newborn. I don't want to have to feel like I'm carrying a 500 pound weight as I pick up my camera to take a picture of my newborn...I want photos of me and my newborn, of my new family, in the hospital, and smiling. I want videos of my tiny, little, new, wrinkly, red, squishy baby lying peacefully in their bassinet. I want to rock them in the middle of the night and feel peace, not resentment. I want to nap during the day when I should, and appreciate those little fingers wrapped around my thumb. See, I didn't get any of that with P. I was robbed. PPD robbed me of those memories, of those feelings, with P. And I know I can never make that up to her. I know I can never get those pictures and videos of her as a fresh, new person ever again, but I can of the next one. And I am determined to do so.

But please stop asking me when I am going to reproduce again. I am recovered, but I am still in the midst of recovery. I am still medicated. I still work, very hard, everyday, to enjoy P. I love her, do not ever doubt the love I have for this baby, but some days we work to feel that love between us, and not just to feel it, but to show it towards one another. But our family is hopeful for the future, and our family is excited to meet the next member and take another journey into the depths of parenthood and what it has to offer. Our family is patient for the day that brings us to our Do Over.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Warrior Moms

Five months ago I was in the darkest place I had ever been. I was in a hole so deep that I never thought I could get out of it. I was miserable, sad, bitter....I barely ate and was essentially numb. I didn't care about anything. anyone, and less about myself. But here we are. We made it, P. We're survivors. I know P didn't have PPD, but she is still a survivor by proxy. Too often, children are also victims of PPD and too often these cases can be prevented.

This past Saturday marked the day. This past Saturday was the day I met up with other local women who have been where I was, have felt what I felt, and eventually had to seek recovery to be where they are today. I looked around at the women that attended The Climb for Post Partum Progress and for the first time since my diagnosis I felt safe. I felt safe in my company. These women, their children, their husbands, their friends, were complete strangers to me the day before, but now, here I stand, next to them, with a bond that (it seems) few people can understand, much less talk about. We walked along the trails of the Falls, climbing out of the darkness if you will, and talked about our jobs and our children....we shared our diagnosis and recovery was uplifting. I talk about PPD/A, I advocate for it, I help run an online support group for it, yet no one had ever really asked me questions about my own experience. And no one felt shame. It was as normal for us to talk about what had happened to us as it was for most people to talk about the movie they saw last weekend. But we did not dwell on this. Instead, we enjoyed the walk, the scenery, the river....we played with the kids and laughed with them.....we were people. We were normal people. And I can't tell you how long it has been since I really felt normal with the people I was.

PPD feels like a secret. It feels like shame, even in recovery. It feels like something that you can't bring up because you don't want anyone to look at you differently, or to think you're still sick after you've recovered. It feels like a sensitive subject that you don't want to bring up to anyone just in case they had their own experience; you don't want to stir up any bad memories.


We need to talk about it. We need to get over it and not be so afraid of it. 1 in 7 women suffer from some type of perinatal mood or anxiety disorder, yet just 5.5% of the population is unemployed, and as a society we have no problem offering them resources nor discussing the issue. Why is mental health swept under the rug? Why is it so hush hush?

I wish I could change everyone's minds. I wish I could make everyone understand, and I wish I could help every new mom and dad that is suffering feel okay again. It hurts me to think that there are others out there suffering and are too afraid to seek help. It makes me feel guilty that I was able to get the help I needed, and so many are not. And it makes me feel even worse that I might not be able to make as big of a difference as I had hoped. There is no conclusion to this, but I have to keep trying. Know there are others around you that are suffering. They might look okay, they might look happy, but don't be afraid to start the conversation about mental illness.

Here is my local team for The Climb this past weekend. Check out to find yours!!!

Saturday, June 13, 2015


Helping others with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders is something that is now near and dear to me. It is my motivation. It is my drive to keep going and to keep bettering myself, and through this, I have become less selfish and more empathetic to people from all situations.

That being said, I have also found myself deeply emerged in the organization Post Partum Progress, specifically their upcoming event, The Climb. I have talked about this briefly before, but it is the world's largest event in raising awareness for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. It is a great cause and an amazing fundraiser. I want to do what I can to help the cause not only monetarily, but also to network and be around other survivors, and maybe even those that are still suffering so that I can share with them my story. My success story. However, it looks like I'll be doing the climb alone.

To tell the truth, I legitimately don't know who I would ask to join me. I could bring P, but Hubs will probably stay home with her so I don't have to worry about weather or caring for her during the event. what? My two biggest supporters will stay home, and I will go. Alone? What.

I was talking to Hubs this evening about this and how I wish there was someone I could ask to go with me, but no one knows about my PPD (except him and my parents, of course). I never opened up to a friend, nor admitted after the fact that I had struggled and am still undergoing recovery. I haven't told anyone about my deep involvement with the PPD community or why I've been flooding their Facebook news feeds lately with requests for donations to the organization. And the crazier part? No one has asked either.

But it got me thinking...why haven't I told anyone? I am not ashamed. I don't feel guilt anymore. So what's the big deal? Here I am, advocating for a cause and I can't even bring myself to share my story to those closest to me, but have no problem in doing so with strangers (you), apparently. Am I just as bad as everyone else? Am I ashamed? Do I feel guilty? I suggested that maybe I haven't told anyone is because I don't want their pity; it's too late for that. Hubs agreed. If I tell them, will they look at me differently? Will they treat me differently? Will they feel bad for me? I don't want any of that. But I do want their help in raising awareness. I need their help in eliminating the stigma that society has on new mothers, and that new mothers clearly have about themselves. I also need the help in overcoming my own stupid insecurities that I may not be accepted as the person they thought I was anymore. And who needs rejection?

The Climb is in 7 days. Empowerment, pride, encouragement, courage, bravery and strength will come in 7 days. In 7 days I will have no excuse to feel fear or judgement from others because I will have met, spoken and connected with others who have been exactly where I have been. In 7 days I will know I am not alone and that together we can make a difference.

Please help the cause and help be a part of the solution:

Thursday, June 11, 2015

I Feel Ya, Mama

There I was. 22, single, no kids, college, part-time job, partying every weekend, doing a regular shopping trip to Target. There they in yoga pants, hair in a pony tail, baby in a carseat and screaming three year old riding shotgun. Thanks for ruining my day, annoying little kid. And really, you can't get your kid to shut up? Can you not HEAR them screaming????

This is when my foot goes in my mouth. I hear ya mama. I feel ya. You do what you gotta do. See, I didn't get it until now. I may not have my own screaming toddler to accompany my baby, but I do see where you're coming from.

Parents cannot hear their own childs' whining. Yes, that parent in Target is perfectly aware their kid is screaming at the top of their lungs for a toy, and no, they are not just going to give it to them to shut them up. See, the parent has tuned them out. They have one thing on their mind: getting the shit on the list and getting out of there in one piece. Oh, that sound bothers you? Tough shit. You only have to listen to it during your shopping trip, but as a parent, we get to listen to it all fricking day. And no, buying them that toy will not soothe them. Get over it.

Baby on Board. I used to be really annoyed by those little Baby on Board signs hanging in car windows. Yeah, we get it, you have a baby, rub it in my face. Actually, these little signs are to let EMT's know that in case of emergency there is a child in the car. Sorry adults, but kids and babies are a priority (if you're a parent, you're already okay with this). So the only way for help to know to help those that can't help themselves, is by seeing these little indicator signs.

Sweatpants in public. I am still against this, but hey, I get it. You work your ass off all day, sometimes all night too. You juggle kids, a job, the house and a husband, and sometimes you just don't give a shit and want to enjoy yourself, and as a busy mom, yourself enjoys wearing sweatpants. Sometimes even in public. Go for it mama! Power to ya! Because I'm sure as soon as you get home your work pants will go on and you won't get another second to relax again.

Parents who drink. Before P, I thought parents who enjoyed a drink or two when their babies were around were bad parents. What kind of message are you sending? Uhh, how about a relaxing message? It's legal, it's moderated and it's delicious. Who is this hurting? I am not condoning getting drunk around your kids, but enjoying a drink here and there? Hey, whatever keeps you happy and sane. Go for it. Have one. Have two. And enjoy it.

Those parents must be so embarrassed. Nope. Not even a little bit. I once had to change P''s leaky, poopy diaper on the floor of a restaurant. Did I feel bad? Hell no. Sorry folks, but you were a baby once too. I am helping keep the Earth populated and I possibly just birthed the person that will find the cure to cancer, so back off while I wipe her butt. And let me tell you, that after you give birth, few things embarrass you and even fewer things will bring you shame. So no, those parents don't feel embarrassed. It's life. They're doing what they have to do and they really don't care what you think about it.

That car tapping it's brakes at a stoplight. Tapping your brakes will not make the light turn green, but it will soothe a crying baby. On occasion I have had the jerk in front of me at a light that sits there rocking their brakes until it turns green, and then I realized I am now that jerk. P doesn't like the car. She has to be in the right mood to want to be in there, and if she is not in the right mood it is a killer riding with her, but somehow fast speeds, turns, bumps, and rocking those brakes seem to help the situation.

Stay at home moms are lazy. Well this couldn't be further from the truth. Maternity leave was boring. So boring. I sat there and watched TV all day, took care of P, load of laundry here and there, but it was pretty boring. I was also severely depressed. Now that I have networked with other moms in the area, many of whom are stay at home moms, I could not be further from the truth. I don't know how they do it! They are running errands, taking care of their kids, sometimes eachothers kids so they can go to an appointment or the store, etc, and they are literally keeping their entire families lives together by making sure all is running smoothly. And on top of that, they are home all day with crying, whining, sticky, cranky kids. I don't know about you, but I am not that strong. I get frustrated, I get irritated, and there is no way I could be around that all day. Props to in-home day care mamas too; all you ladies are warriors!!!

I can admit when I'm wrong. This is one of those times. I spent pretty much my whole life judging other parents, sharing my 'wisdom' on what I thought was right, and then I actually had a child. I have officially earned the right to judge you, fellow parents, but I won't because I get it. It is what it is. You don't care what I think anyways. Honestly, I don't care what you think either. But none of us were given a manual on what to do, so we're all just trying the best we can in the best ways we know how, and whatever method you're using, use it with all your might. You're doing great.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


stigma n. An association of disgrace or public disapproval with something, such as an action or condition.

Motherhood comes with a crap load of stigmas. If you don't fall in love with your baby the second you lay eyes on them, if you're not happy every second of the day with a newborn....and don't get me started on how society views you if you're not the happy-go-lucky-mama that loves every minute of every day with an annoying smile on her face. And God forbid you can't juggle said newborn, and a full time job, plus cooking dinner, shopping, laundry, cleaning and taking care of the dogs that demand just as much of your time as the baby. Oofda!

Well. F U society.

Sorry, but becoming a mother did not magically turn me into Superwoman. I am human. I am a person. I am the same person I was before, except now I give a few less shits about your opinion and am slightly less grossed out by bodily fluids.

I honestly do not understand why these stigmas are placed on new moms. I also don't understand how if you have a good father in your life to help you (uh, be a parent?) with baby, that it's shocking. Like people expect the dad to never get up in the middle of the night or change a diaper. What's up with that people??? I know it's been awhile but last time I checked, it took two people to make that little baby that blessed our lives.; it only makes sense that both parties take equal responsibility in making sure it's happy and alive. Stop being so shocked when this is the case. has literally kept me up at night before wondering where these stigmas came from. (A man, probably). Because everyone else, even mothers themselves, think they're perfect, therefore they naturally feel the need to pass judgement on other people? PPD/PPA holds such a stigma in our society that many women, most women, who suffer from it fear it. Dear mama, do not fear. These are normal feelings. Your entire life just changed. Some people at a hospital just sent you home with a complete stranger and told you to keep them alive and healthy and you have're.doing. But be happy about. I call bullshit. It's HARD! So yes, emotions, anxieties, fears and terror will come over you. These feelings might stay for a little while, or they might linger around for days and weeks and months.....but you do not need to fear this. You are not alone. Society is the one with the problem. And trust me mama, I wish I knew why they had such a stick up their butt towards new mothers, but I don't. But what I can tell you is that if we come together and raise awareness, come together and stop the fear, maybe we can end the stigma. Let's talk about it. Let's make people so uncomfortable with the topic that they have no choice but to become comfortable with it. Being happy with a newborn should be just as normal as being miserable, because you know what? It is!

You can help. You can make a difference. Visit Post Partum Progress to learn more about raising awareness and ending the stigmas that follow perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. And don't forget to support the cause for the June 20th Climb, the largest international event for raising this awareness.

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Face of Depression

The other day I was chatting with some coworkers about Facebook and the things that people tend to share with others through the bravery that is social media. My one co-worker shared that one of her close friends, a neighbor, recently posted about how she has been battling depression the last few years, some days so bad she can barely get out of bed, and that she just wanted everyone to know. My co-worker continued about how shocked she was that not only did her friend share this information on Facebook, but that she suffered at all. She explained that by looking at her, you never would have guessed she was depressed.

So what does depression look like?

Depression looks like your best friend, your sister, your mother, your co-worker. Depression looks happy and cool. Depression looks interested, but too busy to interact with you. Depression carries itself through each day carrying on conversations with you just like it always has, returning a text, commenting on your Facebook status......depression can look just like you.

Depression does not come with a list of features a person must portray in order to be diagnosed. You cannot always tell by talking to someone. You can not always tell by being near someone. You can not tell by asking, because a person with depression will not tell you.

So if there is no sure way to know what it looks like, how can we help the loved ones in our lives that are suffering? How do we know they need our help? Well, the easiest way would be to stop being an asshole. Be a little less selfish. Just be a friend to everyone, even on the days you really don't feel like it. But the realistic answer is that you can't. You need to hope that you've created a bridge of trust that if a person in your life was suffering, that they can confide in you and seek help in your shelter. Depression will not call you on the phone and invite you over to hear about it's day, but it will sit and stay awhile if you genuinely want to hear what it has to say. Depression doesn't want to be judged or told to get over it, or that it's just a phase and this too shall pass; depression is suffering and doesn't need to be negated into something less than it thinks it already is.

Depression is the opposite of everything you thought it was. It does not have a face. It does not have a stereotype. It does not judge and can find a home in anyone. 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Be Brave

Today it came. My bravelet. A bracelet with the engraving of be brave. Inside the bag it came in was this quote:

Promise me you'll always remember, you're braver than you believe, 
stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most 
important thing is, even if we're apart, I'll always be with you.

--Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh

It means a lot to me to receive this today. I EARNED it. I struggled, I fought, I refused to give up, and I beat PPD. I didn't let it take away any more time than it needed to. I got my life back and the road to get there was not easy. Days were filled with crying, emotions I'd never felt before, regret, sadness, pure misery and not knowing what I was going to do the rest of my life. Unbearable feelings. But I did it. I won. And if you're struggling, know you can too. Help exists. Treatment options are available. Recovery is possible. And it is beautiful.

To receive your very own bravelet, visit

And don't forget to help support The Climb, happening June 20, to bring awareness and resources to women all over the world suffering from PPD/PPA/PPP, supported by the Post-Partum Progress organization. Please help me reach my personal goal of $500. Together, we can make a difference and end the stigma that goes with post-partum anxiety and depression disorders so that all women can get the help they need.

PTO Request

There are days I don't want to be a mom. Days I wish I could go back to before P blessed my little home with her little giggles and wiggly toes, days back when I could lay on the couch all day and be selfish. Like today. My throat hurts, it burns, I'm exhausted, my nose won't stop running, but is congested at the same time. I've developed a cough. Energy=status zero.

Not only do I just not care about anything right now because I am so run down with this cold, but I now have to deal with the fear of passing this cold to P, and dear Lord, life will be OVER if P gets this wretched cold. Hubs helps, thankfully. But that doesn't change the fact that I am still left with many moments in the day when she solely relies on me to feed her, cuddle her and play with her. And I want to, but at the same time I really don't. I want a day off.

I want a day I can lay on the couch and doze in and out of sleep, sipping on tea and watching crappy day time TV. I want a day I can feel some self pity and just cry because I feel like a pile of dirt. I want a day I can call in to work and stay home and literally do nothing, instead of laundry, dishes, washing bottles, changing sheets, picking up after everyone....I want a day off.

I knew from the beginning that as a parent there is no such thing as a day off. I knew this lifestyle I chose was 24/7, but that doesn't change the fact that for just one day I would like to not have to. It doesn't change my feelings towards P. I still love her. I still want to play with her and cuddle her and feed her and rock her to sleep, but today I would like someone else to do it. I want the house to myself so I can just focus on laying around and feeling like crap and eventually getting better. I want a day off.

And is that such a terrible thing to want? I'm human. I work 8am-5pm Monday-Friday at my job and love it, but from 5pm-9pm I am working from home, taking care of my family and the home we have made together, and I love that too. I work early in the morning changing diapers and crib bedding, getting P dressed for school and taking care of our two dogs. Sometimes I work in the middle of the night soothing P back to sleep or scrambling to find her paci for her that she has somehow lost in her little crib, and on the rare occasion still, night feedings. I don't get a break, even when we're at the lake for a getaway. I don't get to take a lunch, because it needs to be filled with getting my job done so I can leave on time to get P from day care, or scheduling doctor or vet appointments, or running to the store for a last minute graduation gift for someone.....

So really, is it that horrible that I am asking for one day off?

Monday, June 1, 2015

Why You Should Envy the Wal Mart Mom

I went to Wal Mart today. It was a simple trip. A few grocery items, toilet paper, formula...the usual. I was amazed at how quickly I was able to zoom through the aisles and grab everything I needed. I'm a fairly slow grocery shopper as I typically take the time to read labels and price compare, so I was pretty impressed with the fact that I was able to load up my cart in just a half hour.

Then I got to the checkout. You know the one.....the one of 17 that's open, during rush, and you're last in line, and I mean so last in line that you're back in the electronics department. Yep. That was me.

But two customers in front of me was a mother. She had four young boys with her and was frantically picking items up off the floor that they kept tossing out of the cart. She was yelling at them to stop and scrambled through her purse trying to find her cash to pay for her items. One started crying, two started hitting and yelling at eachother, and the fourth boy, the oldest, started complaining. The woman directly in front of me in line turns around and goes, 'I have been in this line for twenty minutes now because of her.' I politely pointed out that there were self checkouts available if she didn't want to wait any more. The wait certainly did not bother me.

That was surprising. It wasn't long ago I was the person in the store annoyed by screaming children and blamed the parent for holding up my precious life and making me spend more time in Wal Mart than I wanted to. But now, as I stood there, watching this woman trying to balance four toddlers and a grocery cart full of items, I realized something....she was an amazing woman. I don't take P shopping with me. I schedule grocery shopping and other trips around Hubs' work schedule so she can stay home with him while I go to the store, even if it's late. I am too afraid to bring her with me for the sheer fact that she might throw a tantrum. But here is this woman, with four, and she was managing. At one point, I noticed her turn her head away and bite her lip, obviously fighting back tears. She was frustrated. These kids were driving her bonkers, and Miss Prissy Pants in line behind her wasn't doing anyone any favors. I wanted to tell her it was okay, that she's the most courageous woman I've seen. I wanted to tell her that it won't be like this forever, and that it's okay to resent this moment. But I didn't. I smiled at her, silent letting her know it was okay; I would not rush her. Take your time mama, your job doesn't look nearly as easy as people think it should be.

Women like this give me hope. Women like this inspire me. Not only do they validate that I too could take P out in public with me, but that it's okay if she freaks out. And women like her make me want to reach out even more to make a difference, to create a bond with other women that only other moms could possibly understand.

So complain all you want, Wal Mart shoppers, but the parent walking around with that screaming, crying child is a hero, and you should only treat them as such.

Side note: On June 20 I am partaking in the Climb Out of the Darkness fundraiser for Please help me reach my goal, and support the cause, by donating at