Happy May Day!
Today I am starting a series of interviews in honor of Mother’s Day. Interviews this month are focusing on Mothers of women who have suffered from Postpartum Depression. Up first is someone I am very happy to have the privilege of being close to and honoured that she agreed to be interviewd for my blog. My Mother is an intensely private person and yet it is because of her that I feel comfortable in being myself and reaching out to others. Raising three kids is no easy task (as I am discovering these days) and I am grateful that I have my mom to reach out to and certainly do not take that for granted. Thanks for all you have done for me over the years, Mom, and Thank you for your wonderful continued support in my life!
1) I know that you have a strong faith in God. How do you feel watching me go through Postpartum Depression and the subsequent growth I’ve experienced has affected your relationship with Him? Has it made it stronger?
Having a close relationship with the Lord, has allowed me to let Him take care of life situations. Through all the PPD that you have experienced His strength has given me just all the more reason to be thankful for the gift of patience and understanding. It has been amazing to look back just not at your journey but mine also and seeing the understanding of what and who God can be in our lives everyday.
As far as a stronger relationship with God, every year I grow with Him in my life, His strength has always been the strongest for me, and His strength is always there.
2) When and how did you first realize something wasn’t quite right with me after Allison’s birth? What were some of the signs that didn’t sit well with you?
Being the mother of three children myself, and that back when PPD was really just something that was not talked about or not even believed to have existed, my feelings of what you went through were really not in that place at that time. I can only understand after Allisons birth the constant calling to be reassured was a need for security from my point of view. Unfortunately because of the distance of living situations I only heard your feelings and immediately prayed and gave them and your family to the Lord.
3) I want to Thank You for your willingness to help so much after Charlotte’s birth when we were back and forth to the NICU. How hard was it for you to come down and help care for Allison while watching Chris and I go back and forth to Atlanta to visit our newborn daughter?
This is a very easy question, I have always felt if I could be there for our children I would be. It comes back as your mom I knew that in my heart you would feel much better knowing I was there for you and your family. This particular time was when you started sharing more with me the emotional struggles because of Charlotte’s disability and also the understanding of the situation among all family members was new so there was quite a bit of distress.
4) You also dropped everything to come down when I was admitted to the hospital for PPD to help Chris with the girls. What were some of your thoughts as we went through that weekend?
My immediate reaction when I read this question was one of I prayed! Next I knew because of what you, again had shared, the reasoning at this time was a medication issue. I will just say that the peace that God gave me is a big answer for this one. It was His strength not mine and His peace came along with it.
5) How do you feel I am doing this time around with postpartum issues?
You are more understanding, mainly because you are aware of what the problems can be. You still call a lot but I am seeing more of you sharing what the children are doing and the funny sayings, antics etc. I see a willingness to look outside “yourself” which in my opinion has helped you grow because
its allowed you to see how others in your life live. Your own relationship with the Lord has grown. That is a wonderful blessing!
6) What, if anything, have you learned from my postpartum experiences?
I guess one of the biggest things I learned is that I do feel for all the mothers out there who had PPD and had no idea what was going on with their emotions.
Years ago when PPD was unknown and how so many of us have been affected and we kept asking is this normal? To understand that as a society today we also no longer have families living close by and therefore the help that would once have been there has caused extra stress and therefore insecurities.
7) Do you feel that my motherhood has brought us closer?
Yes and no. Yes, because of knowing that you care about my opinion and also seeing the relationship with our Lord growing. No, because of the distance of where we live keeps a lot of what we would share face to face out of the spectrum of our lives.
8 ) Have you done any research on your own into Postpartum Mood Disorders? If so, did what you find surprise you?
I have done a bit but since at my age I am experiencing a lot of emotional changes in my own life I am giving it to the Lord who has been my strength when I have needed it. I am hardly ever surprised at much anymore. Emotions run the gamut, all over map.
9) What is your opinion on how open I am about my experiences and my determination to help other women not suffer alone?
This, is one area I can say I am proud of you that you have taken it upon yourself to let others see and hear about what you have gone through. A beginning, yes, for knowing you have ” kept” a part of yourself and I know as your children grow you will hold onto yourself so when you are older you will know who you are.
10) Any advice for other mothers whose daughters are struggling with a Postpartum Mood Disorder?
As you have shared many times already, keep the communication lines open. There will be plenty of times when as a parent you really have a hard time dealing with communication but I have found it the best way to help is to listen and learn and also just be there even if you have nothing to say. I have always shared with my children that if you ask I will give you my opinion, but you do not have to take it. There are so many resources out there now and some of the best advice I can give is to get all the advice you can from all possible places and then make an informed decision. Prayer for my family has always been an answer, God opens the doors to show me the right decision to make! As a parent of someone who has PPD, just give love unconditionally!