Monthly Archives: May 2008

Shirley & Marcy

A mom was concerned about her kindergarten son walking to school.

He didn’t want his mother to walk with him.

She wanted to give him the feeling that he had some independence but yet know that he was safe.

So she had an idea of how to handle it.

She asked a neighbor if she would please follow him to school in the mornings, staying at a distance, so he probably wouldn’t notice her.

She said that since she was up early with her toddler anyway, it would be a good way for them to get some exercise as well, so she agreed.

The next school day, the neighbor and her little girl set out following behind Timmy as he walked to school with another neighbor girl he knew.

She did this for the whole week. As the two walked and chatted, kicking stones and twigs, Timmy’s little friend noticed the same lady was following them as she seemed to do every day all week.

Finally she said to Timmy, ‘Have you noticed that lady following us to school all week?  Do you know her?’

Timmy nonchalantly replied, ‘Yeah, I know who she is.’

 The little girl said, ‘Well, who is she?’

‘That’s just Shirley Goodnest,’ Timmy replied, ‘and her daughter Marcy.’

‘Shirley Goodnest? Who the heck is she and why is she following us? ‘

‘Well,’ Timmy explained, ‘every night my Mom makes me say the 23rd Psalm with my prayers, ‘cuz she worries about me so much.

And in the Psalm, it says, ‘Shirley Goodnest and Marcy shall follow  me all the days of my life’, so I guess I’ll just have to get used to  it!’
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you; the Lord lift His countenance upon you, and give you peace.

May Shirley Goodnest and Marcy be with you today and always.

Two new Blogs worth a mozy or two or three or more

Check them out. I discovered these while web surfing –

Mommy Mantras

About the Mantras:

Mommy Mantras are phrases you can say in your head or out loud if you need to, during those trying moments of mothering. They act to empower you, revive you, and remind you that there is always another way to see your situation. Buddhist-inspired and psychologically grounded, these snippets of wisdom derive from entertaining and universal stories of unpredictable life with children.

About the Authors:

Mommy Mantra AuthorsDiane Dillon, Ph.D. is a psychologist, teacher and mother of two young children. She is the Director of the Child Study Team and a founding faculty member at The School at Columbia University, an innovative school serving a diverse population of faculty and community children in New York City. Previously, she was on the faculty at Columbia University’s Teachers College and served on the committee on special education in NYC. Diane attests to the effectiveness of the mantras as she invokes many of them on a daily basis.

Beth Casarjian, Ph.D. is the mother of three children under the age of seven. Beth is also the co-author of ‘Power Source: Taking Charge of Your Life,’ a book written for incarcerated and other highly at-risk youth. Currently, Beth is the clinical director of the National Emotional Literary Project for Youth-at-Risk and conducts clinical trainings and research in connection with the Power Source Program, an initiative of the Lionheart Foundation.

Miss Cellania

About Miss Cellania:

I am a single mom, and a currently unemployed radio announcer, living in Kentucky. I have way too much to do, but I love sharing things I think are funny, so this site is my hobby. I do this to avoid real work. Hope you enjoy what you find here!

Nurturing your Soul

old fashoned photo frazzled momLet’s face it – parenting is rough. I mean, I’d almost rather play full contact football with the NY Giants on the really hard days. I certainly feel like I have at the end of the day. It’s at the end of those days especially that I force myself to sit back and nurture my soul. I’ve nurtured everyone else’s by then and doggone it, I deserve some lovin’ too.

As moms with PPD, we are in a unique class indeed. We marvel at moms in public who seem so put together, at moms in playgroup who calmly soothe their babies. We wonder what is wrong with us and why we are not like that. We need an entirely different set of skills and yet there is no one nearby to share these skills with us and sadly many of us are left to fend for ourselves as families find more and more distance between what used to be right next door or down the street.

Thankfully PPD is becoming more and more recognized and more information is available to us today than ever before. Slowly the stigma is being removed and women and even lawmakers are talking about PPD and coming up with solutions. In the meantime, all we can do is keep the communication lines open, learning to ask for help as well as accept help when it is offered.

I will start by sharing a few methods I’ve used to get through what I call “High Stress Moments.” You know, the moments when the baby is screaming (and has been for hours), the dogs are barking, the mailman is banging on the door, the phone starts to ring, the dishes need to be done, your toddler is throwing a tantrum in the middle of the floor because Cookie Monster didn’t pick the right letter for the day and all you want to do is for Calgon to take you away. Now. Actually, five minutes ago would have been perfect.

Tip #1: Prioritize. The baby will be just fine in his or her crib if you need a few moments to yourself, even if you just step outside or go to your room and scream or sob into your pillow. Or write it down and then tear it up if you don’t want anyone to read it. This accomplishes two things – gets it off your chest and soothes the frustration with tearing. (You could also keep bubble wrap around!) And the mailman? Well he can just leave a note. The phone? Thank goodness for voice mail. Leave a message with updates about the baby and informing callers that mom and baby are resting. Visitors? A mom I know created a letter stating what visitors would be expected to do if they came by. She had her midwife sign it to make it official. Another mom I know had a list of stuff to be done on the refrigerator and yet another mom kept her bathrobe at the door so that she could appear to have been napping if anyone happened by.

Tip#2: Take time for you. And yes, that even means just grocery trips by yourself. Never before has a grocery trip been such a luxurious indulgence and I usually treat myself to something special and it does not have to be high in calories or fat. (Although chocolate ice cream is a favorite of mine!)

Tip#3: Make time for you & your significant other. Does not have to be sexual, just a coffee or even a nice dinner at home once baby has gone to bed or nap. Go to the following website: www.postpartumstress.com and click on their Family Support Link. They have a Postpartum Pact for you and your partner to complete. This will help your partner better understand how they can help you. They also have cards you can print out and hand out to loved ones.

Tip#4: Try to educate those around you about PPD. If you are unable to do this on your own, recruit your physician to get handouts and maybe even make an appointment for both you and your loved one to talk with your doctor about PPD.

And last but not least, please remember that you are not alone, you are not to blame, and you will be well with help.

Absolutely OUTRAGED

UGH!

As if it’s not enough that we already face enough during PPD, the stigma, the refusal of acknowledgement, the confusion over baby blues, postpartum depression, other mood disorders, and Postpartum Psychosis – then along comes an article like this one: Woman found insane in Baby Blues Case seeks Sanity Restoration with the subtitle specifying: Sheryl Massip was found not guilty by reason of insanity 20 years ago for killing her infant son while suffering from post-partum psychosis.

Cover your ears. Prepare your eyes. i’m about to yell. And I mean YELL.

THE BABY BLUES ARE NOT AT ALL SIMILAR TO 

POSTPARTUM PSYCHOSIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Get your facts straight Mr. Welborn. (by the way, you can email him and call him (714 834-3784.) Let him know that he is seriously mistaken with his usage of terms.

Let’s revisit the facts, shall we?

According to an article by Helen Jones at the Postpartum Support International website, the baby blues affect up to 80% of new moms and involve crying for no reason or general stress or anxiety that dissipates after the first few weeks.

Within the same article, Jones defines Postpartum Psychosis as:

Postpartum Psychosis (PPP)

The onset is usually sudden, with symptoms including: delusions (strange beliefs) and/or hallucinations; feeling very irritated, hyperactive and unable to sleep; significant mood changes; and using poor judgment in making decisions. Women who are more vulnerable are individuals who have a previous history of psychiatric disorders, previous postpartum mood disorders, or a family history of psychiatric disorders. Women who display any of these symptoms should contact their health care provider immediately. Family members should be alert for these symptoms as well, since they are often able to recognize serious symptoms sooner than the mother does.

 Do these even SOUND like they’re in the same ball park?

NO.

In fact, Baby Blues aren’t even classified as a mental health disorder.

Could referring to PPP as the baby blues scare a brand new mother who may be feeling a little weepy or be starting to become seriously depressed? HECK YEAH.

To make matters worse, Mr. Welborn also later refers to PPP as an extreme form of Postpartum Depression. Let me make one thing crystal clear. POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION IS NOT THE SAME THING AS POSTPARTUM PSYCHOSIS. It’s an entirely different creature consisting of a break with reality. From what I understand, Postpartum Depression cannot develop into Postpartum Psychosis. (I’m doing some checking into that and will get back with you regarding research on that point)

I am very disappointed in Mr. Welborn’s apparent lack of tact and compassion for new mothers struggling with this range of disorders. And even more disappointed that the newspaper he works for would publish this article without such a brazen irresponsibility and lack of concrete understanding into the condition on which they are reporting. VERY DISAPPOINTED. Did I mention I’m pissed too? Or have you already figured that out?

Those of you who either read this blog regularly or know me should recognize that I don’t do this very often but when I do, I mean it and I am truly, deeply saddnened that this is still happening. Media sensationalism of these cases is a barrier to treatment for women – I’ve had many women share with me that they or their husbands are fearful of admitting they have postpartum mood issues for fear that what happens to the women they read about in the paper may happen to them. UGH! I can’t personally guarantee that you won’t develop PPP but I CAN tell you that it is rare – extremely rare BUT these cases are the ones who make the news. Not the positive cases of recovery – no – the ones that end in sheer tragedy and will bring in viewers.

Email Mr. Welborn. Call him. Contact the OC Register’s Editorial Staff and Operating Management. Let them know we won’t stand for this. Let them know that if they’re going to cover a PPD story they need to get their facts straight and focus on the positive rather than the negative. BE SENSITIVE not only to the people in the story but the people who may be reading the story. They owe us that much.

Sharing the Journey with YOU!

I thought it would be fascinating to give the readers of this blog an opportunity to share their stories and advice with each other and anyone else who may pass on by. Below are just a few questions. I’d love it if you would answer them!

1) What is your personal experience with PPD? Are you a survivor, partner, parent, medical professional?

2) Has your experience with PPD changed your life? If so, how?

3) What are some of your favorite PPD resources?

4) What role, if any, did your faith play in recovery or in your treatment views of PPD?

5) And last but not least – If you could pass on one piece of advice to an expecting mother, what would it be and why?

Chinese Officer Breastfeeds Quake Orphans

I know the primary topic here is Postpartum Mood Disorders but this story is a heart tugger and an amazing tribute to the power of maternal instinct. I am awed by this officer’s strength in the face of such an enormous tragedy.

Here’s the story as it appeared at cnn.com:

JIANGYOU, China (CNN) — A Chinese police officer is being hailed as a hero after taking it upon herself to breast-feed several infants who were separated from their mothers or orphaned by China’s devastating earthquake.

art.woman.cnn.jpg

Police officer Jiang Xiaojuan, 29, was feeding nine babies at one point.

Officer Jiang Xiaojuan, 29, the mother of a 6-month-old boy, responded to the call of duty and the instincts of motherhood when the magnitude-7.9 quake struck on May 12.

“I am breast-feeding, so I can feed babies. I didn’t think of it much,” she said. “It is a mother’s reaction and a basic duty as a police officer to help.”

The death toll in the earthquake jumped Thursday to more than 51,000, and more than 29,000 are missing, according to government figures. Thousands of children have been orphaned; many others have mothers who simply can’t feed them.

At one point, Jiang was feeding nine babies.

“Some of the moms were injured; their fathers were dead … five of them were orphans. They’ve gone away to an orphanage now,” she said. Video Watch the officer care for babies »

She still feeds two babies, including Zhao Lyuyang, son of a woman who survived the quake but whose breast milk stopped flowing because of the traumatic conditions.

“We walked out of the mountains for a long time. I hadn’t eaten in days when I got here, and my milk was not enough,” said that mother, Zhao Zong Jun. “She saved my baby. I thank her so much. I can’t express how I feel.”

Liu Rong, another mother whose breast milk stopped in the trauma, was awed by Jiang’s kindness.

“I am so touched because she has her own baby, but she fed the disaster babies first,” Liu said. “If she hadn’t fed my son, he wouldn’t have had enough to eat.”

Jiang has became a celebrity, followed by local media and proclaimed on a newspaper front page as “China’s Mother No. 1.”

She’s embarrassed by the fuss.

“I think what I did was normal,” she said. “In a quake zone, many people do things for others. This was a small thing, not worth mentioning.”

There has been a huge outpouring of support from families who want to adopt babies orphaned by the quake. But that process takes time, and there are mouths to feed.

Jiang misses her own son, who’s being cared for through the emergency by in-laws in another town, but she is aware of the new connections she’s made.

“I feel about these kids I fed just like my own. I have a special feeling for them. They are babies in a disaster.”

Give An Hour

I found this article on my cell today and wanted to share it with you. Please pass this information on to anyone you know that will find it useful OR can volunteer. Give an Hour is working very hard to help our soliders and their families.

Here’s their mission statement with the article below:

Our Mission
Our mission is to develop a national network of volunteers capable of responding to both acute and chronic conditions that arise within our society. Our first target population is the U.S. troops and families who are being affected by the current military conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Give an Hour is asking mental health professionals nationwide to literally give an hour of their time each week to provide free mental health services to military personnel and their families. Research will guide the development of additional services needed by the military community, and appropriate networks will be created to respond to those needs. Individuals who receive services will be given the opportunity to give an hour back in their own community.

 

Psychiatrists Volunteer to help soldiers

WASHINGTON – Thousands of private counselors are offering free services to troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with mental health problems, jumping in to help because the military is short on therapists.

On this Memorial Day, America’s armed forces and its veterans are coping with depression, suicide, family, marital and job problems on a scale not seen since Vietnam. The government has been in beg-borrow-and-steal mode, trying to hire psychiatrists and other professionals, recruit them with incentives or borrow them from other agencies.

Among those volunteering an hour a week to help is Brenna Chirby, a psychologist with a private practice in McLean, Va.

“It’s only an hour of your time,” said Chirby, who counsels a family member of a man deployed multiple times. “How can you not give that to these men and women that … are going oversees and fighting for us?”

There are only 1,431 mental health professionals among the nation’s 1.4 million active-duty military personnel, said Terry Jones, a Pentagon spokesman on health issues.

About 20,000 more full- and part-time professionals provide health care services for the Veterans Administration and the Pentagon. They include psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurses, social workers and substance abuse counselors.

According to veterans groups and health care experts, that is not enough for a mental health crisis emerging among troops and their families.

“Honestly, much is being done by the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs,” said retired Army Brig. Gen. Stephen Xenakis, a psychiatrist. “But the need to help these men and women goes far beyond whatever any government agency can do.”

About 300,000 of those who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan are estimated to have anxiety or post-traumatic stress, a recent private study said. Add in spouses left home to manage families and households without their partner as well as children deprived of parents during long or repeated tours of duty, and the number with problems balloons to 1 million, Xenakis said.

The VA says it has seen 120,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who have symptoms of mental health problems, half with post-traumatic stress disorder. Although rates are high from those two wars, most of the 400,000 patients seen in VA last year for PTSD were Vietnam-era veterans, officials said.

Civilian groups are trying to step in for troops from the current conflicts.

“There are over 400,000 mental health professionals in our great country,” said Barbara V. Romberg, a clinical psychologist who practices in Washington. “Clearly, we have the resources to meet this challenge.”

Romberg founded Give An Hour, a group of 1,200 mental health professionals donating one hour of free care a week to troops, veterans or family members. They have to commit to doing it for a year.

Romberg, in cooperation with the American Psychiatric Foundation, hopes to find 40,000 volunteers over the next three years, or about 10 percent of available civilian professionals. The effort to get the word out to those who need the help and to recruit and train volunteers is being backed by a $1 million grant from the Lilly Foundation.

Romberg’s group is the largest of a number across the nation.

Nearly 200 also have volunteered for the Soldiers Project, started by psychiatrists at the Ernest S. Lawrence Trauma Center of the Los Angeles Institute and Society for Psychoanalytic Studies – and now operating in Chicago, Seattle and New York.

The Coming Home Project in the San Francisco area has dozens of volunteers. A group of veterans, psychotherapists and interfaith leaders, it offers everything from retreats and workshops to yoga and other stress management programs as well as the counseling.

“Thousands of therapists across the country are donating their time to give vital treatment and support to our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, veterans and families,” Xenakis said at a recent news conference announcing the Lilly grant. “These young men and women volunteered to defend our nation, and now our nation can volunteer to serve them.”

The government acknowledges there might be a place for such groups.

“While the military health system does not endorse volunteer health care organizations, we recognize that groups such as this one offer more options for our warriors and their families,” said the Pentagon’s Jones.

“If these mental health caregivers are willing to give and learn about our warriors, they may be more willing to become TRICARE providers,” he said, referring to the network of more than 300,000 physicians and specialists and 55,000 pharmacies that support the department’s military medical facilities and uniformed medical corps.

The military health care system serves about 9.2 million people – active duty, and guard and reserve components for all the services, as well as their families and retirees and their families.

Jones said there are 3,000 mental health professionals available under TRICARE in addition to the 1,431 in uniform. The VA said it has 17,000 full- and part-time mental health workers, 3,800 of which it has hired in the past few years.

The services are trying to hire about 575 more. Also, about 200 mental health officers from the U.S. Public Health Service will be detailed temporarily to the Pentagon to work in military facilities, Jones said. An agreement between the Pentagon and the Health and Human Services Department is to be signed in the coming weeks to finalize the arrangement.

The Pentagon has made a special effort to hire since a yearlong task force last year found it had neither enough money nor staff to support the military and family mental health needs during peacetime, let along during war.

Staffing was not the only issue. Officials have worked to change the military culture in which there is a stigma in seeking help and a fear doing so will harm careers.

They have tried to make mental health care more accessible, embedding more workers with troops, offering suicide prevention training and advising troops how to recognize mental problems in themselves and others.

The military also is working to assess mental health among troops, screening them before and after deployments and sending mental health teams to the front each year to measure morale, the amount of mental health problems, availability of care and related matters.

Programs to help families with housing, child care and other issues have been bolstered. Troops get mental-health training in a program called “Battlemind” that teaches about common problems to expect at home as they readjust to domestic life.

Still, some emotional difficulties are a normal reaction to war.

“No one who goes to war comes home the same person,” said Patrick Campbell, a medic for an infantry unit who served in Iraq in 2004-2005. “There are things you have to unlearn to emotionally feel again.”

 

By PAULINE JELINEK     Associated Press Writer

Confessions from a black hole

Last Saturday night I had a panic attack.

Alli had gone home with the in-laws to spend the night after her recital and I ended up having to take some pull-ups and church clothes over for her.

After I left, I headed over to Zaxby’s to grab some dinner for Chris and I.

The anxiety started gaining momentum as I left their neighborhood and continued to build the closer I got to Zaxby’s. You see, the intersection where Zaxby’s is located is where I had my accident on March 29th. At 10pm. On a Saturday night. (It was approaching 10p the closer I got to Zaxby’s.)

I pulled up to the speaker to place my order and the employee wouldn’t be quiet long enough for me to think. And that’s when it hit me.Black Hole Milkyway

My chest got tight, my throat started to close and I couldn’t breathe fast enough or get any sounds to come out. I wanted to yell at the employee, tell her to shut up so I could think!

I pulled away from the speaker and parked. I could hear her saying “ma’am? Ma’am” over the speaker over and over again but I didn’t care.

My mind was racing – I have to stop this, I have got to STOP this I have to – what if I can’t. What if I just drive into the car in front of me – what if I can’t stop this and I get stuck here. I can’t face Chris’ parents like this. Breathe dammit just Breathe. C’mon. Breathe. Open your throat and friggin breathe. And yeah, like that. Oh just shut up! (reached down to turn the radio off. C’mon. You KNOW what to do. You’ve got to break the cycle, interrupt the pace, slow things down. Don’t freak out. You CANNOT FREAK OUT. YOU CAN’T! GET A GRIP. Breathe. deeeeeeep slow breaths. There you go. Breathe. In through your nose, pull in your abs, out through your mouth, exhale into your ribs. Close your eyes. Relax. Let everything go loose. Don’t think about the drive through. Don’t think about the fear, stop. Stop and Breathe. Pray. Breathe. Pray. BREATHE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Finally calming myself down enough to think somewhat straight and feeling strong enough, I pulled back up to the speaker to order again.

After placing the order, I called Chris to let him know why I was running so late. Nevermind that, I had ordered the wrong thing he told me. And at that time it didn’t matter that I had just had a panic attack. I didn’t sound panicked he would later tell me so he didn’t know if I was being over dramatic or not. (Note: We did discuss this a few days later when we were both calm and in a sane state of mind. He apologized as did I. I also had the order fixed at the window prior to returning home)

The rest of the evening a total wash, I collapsed into bed shortly after returning home, completely drained after having all that adrenaline running free throughout my body.

The next morning at church I started down the road to Panicville once again but this time I cut it off before the left turn got started.

I’ll never know the real trigger. I’m sure though it had something to do with the accident and knowing that court was just around the corner.

I’m writing this because I need to get it out, I need to deal.

Tonight I wanted a cheeseburger. I didn’t decide this until 930p. The closest cheeseburger place is up near the intersection where my accident occurred. Again it is a Saturday night. Close to 10p. And yes, I was afraid to drive. I know for sure I’ll be discussing this with my therapist this week. I did discuss last week’s panic attack with her already but hadn’t felt up to writing about it until tonight.

Gotta take the good with the bad right?

Just turns out last Saturday night was a bad night. Gonna let it be.

Movin’ forward.

Next?