Monthly Archives: January 2009


Mommy! Mommy mommy mommy mommy!



Mommy! She’s not sitting down!

I hong-ee Mahmee – me want ice-pop! (nevermind that we just finished a meal!)

Mommy. I’m not feeling well. Mommy. I want to lay down. Mommy – I need to take my shirt off cuz I’m getting sweated. Can YOU unbutton it for me?

Mommy! Look what she did! Charlotte! We don’t DO THAT!

Mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy mommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmyyyyyy!

But I want to

No but I want to

I wanna watch this just not the scary part mommy!

Can I go on my computer? MOMMY! I wanna go on my computer! Mommy! CHARLOTTE’S BOTHERING ME AGAIN!

Me got poopy! (yay)

Mommy! Charlotte drew on herself with the marker!

She’s touching me!

Sharing the Journey with you

I thought it would be a nice change to ask some fun questions that have nothing at all to do with Postpartum Depression.

Have fun!

1) What’s your favorite kid-friendly “expletive”? (A few of mine are sugar snappies, fudgesticks, and Oh PEACHES!)

2) Tell us the silliest thing you’ve ever done.

3) Name your favorite pizza toppings.

4) What’s your favorite animal?

5) Coke or Pepsi?

New PPD Help for Middle TN


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Jan. 23, 2009 – Saint Thomas Health Services has developed a partnership with Hope Clinic for Women to provide better counseling and educational resources for Middle Tennessee women suffering postpartum depression.

Baptist Hospital in Nashville and Middle Tennessee Medical Center (MTMC) in Murfreesboro, Tenn., which are part of Saint Thomas Health Services, make follow up calls to new moms once they return home. Some of the questions asked are related to postpartum depression and the women can be connected to the Hope Clinic for Women for a full phone assessment or to set up counseling, if necessary. In addition, physicians at Baptist Hospital and MTMC can refer patients who might benefit from the treatment services offered and the program is open to any women in the Middle Tennessee community who may be experiencing postpartum depression.

Resources available from Hope Clinic for Women include screening and diagnostic assessment, individual or couples therapy, support groups, support services for fathers or referral for psychiatric  evaluation and follow up. Services are offered on a sliding scale, based on the ability to pay.

“Our hospitals deliver nearly 10,000 babies combined per year and based on input from our obstetricians, mental health – especially postpartum depression – is very under-served in Middle Tennessee,” said Amanda Cecconi, women’s health service line executive for Saint Thomas Health Services. “Part of the patient experience we provide is to ensure new moms have what they need when they return home. Unfortunately, postpartum depression is often a ‘silent topic.’ We want to be proactive by helping identify women who may be suffering from it and to offer additional resources. Hope Clinic for Women, also a faith-based organization, was a natural fit to develop a partnership.”

As many as 80 percent of women experience some mood disturbances after pregnancy. Many suffer the “baby blues,” which can last from several days up to two weeks after delivery and are characterized by mood swings, crying, feelings of doubt or being overwhelmed. These feelings subside as hormone levels begin to stabilize.

One in seven women will experience postpartum depression, which usually occurs within a few months of delivery and should be treated by a health professional. It is more serious and a major form of depression that usually occurs within a few months of delivery and can last up to a year. Its peak onset usually occurs between two and 12 weeks postpartum. Symptoms can include drastic changes in motivation, appetite or mood, severe disruptions in sleep, excessive crying without cause or provocation and difficulty concentration.

“Postpartum struggles are common and the symptoms are treatable,” said Kristi Marshall, director of client programs for Hope Clinic for Women and a counselor for the program. “Our hope is that new moms won’t let feelings of shame or embarrassment get in the way. Seeking treatment doesn’t mean admitting failure; it is the first step in the road to relief. We’re here to help answer questions or provide treatment. We’re proud to be partnered with these hospitals.”

Saint Thomas Health Services assisted Hope Clinic for Women in obtaining postpartum depression training for two of its staff members.

Hope Clinic for Women has locations in Nashville at 1810 Hayes Street and in Spring Hill at The Garden, 2620 Thompson Station Road East. Another location in Rutherford County will be added in the near future.

For more information, call Saint Thomas Health Services at (615) 284-PINK (7465) or Hope Clinic for Women at (615) 321-0005 or visit

Saint Thomas Health Services is a faith-based ministry with more than 8,000 associates serving Middle Tennessee. Saint Thomas Health Services’ regional health system consists of four hospitals – Baptist and Saint Thomas in Nashville, Middle Tennessee Medical Center in Murfreesboro and Hickman Community Hospital in Centerville – and a comprehensive network of affiliated joint ventures in diagnostics, cardiac services and ambulatory surgery as well as medical practices, the Center for Spinal Surgery, clinics and rehabilitation facilities. STHS is a member of Ascension Health, a Catholic organization that is the largest not-for-profit health system in the United States. For more information, visit

MOTHER’S Act Reintroduced to 111th Congress

U.S. Senator Robert Menendez reintroduced important postpartum depression legislation in Senate January 26th, 2009!!

Today, I had the joy of participating in a conference call with the office of Senator Menendez and the other organizational sponsors of The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act where we received the heads up that U.S. Senator Robert Menendez was hoping to reintroduce the bill today. And as of this afternoon, that is exactly what he has done!!  For hundreds of thousands of American mothers and families, this renews the hope that 2009 will indeed be the year when Congress acknowledges our nation’s mothers by addressing the full spectrum of maternal experience and finally passing this legislation .
The statistics we have on the numbers of women suffering from perinatal mood disorders (which range from 12 – 22% in the research) easily exceed the incidence associated with a public health crisis. And remember, these statistics, do NOT include the suffering of women who miscarry, endure stillbirths, give up babies for adoption or terminate pregnancies, all of whom are also susceptible to these devastating disorders and whose circumstances are included in the furthering of research and support being sought.
It is not too soon to begin contacting the senators in your state to let them know you support this long overdue legislation!!  And while you are at it, feel free to express your support to U.S. Senator Robert Menendez for whose steadfast determination we are so very grateful.Thank you to Senator Robert Menendez and the bill’s other leading cosponsors, Senators Richard Durbin, (D-IL) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME).

If your organization would like to become a sponsor of this crucial bill, please contact Emma Palmer  in Senator Menendez’s office at 202-224-4744.

Wife of Soldier Missing in Denver

Kristen McCartney has gone missing. According to her mother, she suffers from Postpartum Depression and was not taking her medicine at the time of her disappearance. Police have located her vehicle with keys inside but are still looking for Kristen.

You can read more here.

Nicholas Fuelling promises to wait for his wife

Earlier this week, Kristina Fuelling found herself sentenced to the lowest possible sentence for the death of her eight day old infant. Fortunately she found herself in the presence of a very compassionate judge and prosecutor who were both able to recognize her actions were a result of Postpartum Psychosis. She is currently being held at a mental facility and will be transferred to a state prison for the remainder of her sentence once her mental state stabilizes.

Her husband, in exclusive first statements to a local news station, has promised to wait for Kristina and opened up about signs and symptoms of Postpartum Depression and Psychosis. He encourages fathers and loved ones of new mothers to educate themselves and become familiar with signs that things are not going well.

According to the article, Nicholas’ statement of encouraging awareness is:

“I would tell new mothers, or expecting mothers and fathers to research it, look into it. It’s just as important as any other factor of raising a child,” he said. “There are signs: lack of sleep, having trouble with breast feeding, having trouble taking care of the baby, lot of anxiety. But sometimes it comes just unexpectedly.Even in hindsight now, I don’t even think I could’ve been able to change it unless I knew beforehand,” Fuelling said.

“So I would tell people out there to look for signs of severe anxiety. Get help. Ask your friends and your parents, family, to come over to help take care of the kids. Don’t be alone on it if you feel any feelings of being scared or not being able to handle the situation,” he added.

You can read the remainder of the article by clicking here.

Coping with Depression after PPD

Sue McRoberts, author of Lifter of My Head: How God Sustained me through Postpartum Depression, recently blogged about her recent revisit with depression. I asked Sue for permission to share her words here and she graciously granted it. So here are her words, her story about coping with depression after surviving Postpartum Depression. To keep up with how Sue is doing or to offer words of encouragement, you can visit her blog by clicking here.

I have taken quite some time to reflect on 2008 and contemplate what 2009 might hold.  This past year has been a mixed bag of good and bad.  I am thrilled for my husband and his wonderful new job that has brought us to Indiana.  But this move has been pretty hard on me.  Ten days after we left Minneapolis for Indianapolis my dear Aunt Carolyn died.  I felt like I’d lost my mother and immediate support system all in one swoop that month.  How do you make new friends in a new place when you are hurting twenty four hours a day?  How do you even talk to someone when you have nothing but tears and grief?  For six months I suffered because I had no idea what to do with all my grief.  To make matters worse, once again, I felt like I’d never even existed in Minnesota.  I found myself missing my friends way more than they missed me.  It was deja vu and painful.  I had no idea what to do with all my pain.  So I spiraled downward and found myself in a familiar place.  With no church home and no friends to speak of I found myself desperately depressed.  I did a weird thing with God that I don’t recall doing before.  I ran and hid.  I didn’t want his comfort or peace. I wanted to hurt and hurt.  I avoided any scriptures that would offer comfort.   I read stories and parables and things Paul wrote;  I avoided anything David wrote.  It was completely different that when I had PPD.  Each and every day I wanted to feel better, to feel human.  This time around I did not want to feel better.  I wanted my friends and church back.  I wanted my aunt back.  I reasoned that if I felt better then I didn’t really miss these people.  I wondered if somehow it would mean I was okay with Carolyn being gone if I didn’t cry every single day.  I cried each day for six months when I finally decided to address what was happening.  I admitted publicly that I was struggling with depression…again…and it cost me some huge opportunities professionally in ministry.  I was devastated as I never predicted such an outcome of my honesty.  It took me six weeks of reeling in pain to reach the point where I called my doctor for help.  My world felt like a bottomless, foggy pit and the medicine and medical support gave me a floor to stand on.  I am now reading the Psalms again and clinging to God for strength and hope.  I’ve decided to quit being a stubborn mule and ask Him for his loving comfort.  For some reason I felt like I needed to prove to God that I could do this by myself, boy that was dumb.  So here I am feeling pretty darn healthy.  I’m running and training for my first half marathon.  I’m sleeping well and I’ve stopped crying.  I’m reading a book about grief that is helping me sort out my world post Carolyn.  I’m determined to figure out how to live in my new world in Indiana.  I will continue to encourage people to see their doctor if they are depressed for months on end.  I take a pill and I’m okay with that.  Not everyone in ministry is.  I’m in a good place now and I’m able to pray for them, pray that they will never experience the depths of depression that I have.  I pray they will never understand the pain I’ve felt.  And I’m grateful to God for new opportunities that he’s already brought me.  I am hopeful that I will find my place in this world and that God will grow me up some more in the process.  So here’s to a new year, a new year for a better me, and for a better you.

Be lifted!


Isaiah 43:18-19

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.