I know, I know, I’m a day late. I have had a sick kid and now I’ve got a sick husband. Last night I crashed well before 11p which is a record for me as most nights I don’t go to bed until midnight or so. Life. It happens.
I’ve got a really great stories for you to read today. Enjoy, show some support, and thanks for sharing the journey!
This site was started to help me re-frame an unexpected pregnancy after two rather nasty experiences with Postpartum OCD. Turns out that by doing so I not only helped myself but managed to help a lot of other women along the way.
There was a point during my suffering when I dreaded having to retell my story. Looking back I should have just typed the whole thing up and kept copies on hand – kind of like a resume. (Hey – not a bad idea if you end up having to hunt for a decent doctor!) But there came a turning point where my story began to foster a sense of strength and self. Finally I began to bloom.
We’re all at different points on our journey. Some of us are right in the thick of it, some of us a bit further out, others are fully recovered, some have relapsed and are struggling right back out thanks to the path we carved out the last time we fell down. But we are all in it together.
For me and for many others, telling our story or even venting has become a powerful source of personal therapy. It’s a way to just get some of the stress out of our body, our mind, and even possibly work through issues.
So let’s get to just talkin’ here. I want to hear your stories. I want to know what you’ve gone through/are going through. Speak up. We’re here to be supportive, compassionate, and lend our hearts.
An interview with Joel Schwartzberg, author of The 40 Year old Version: Humoirs of a Divorced Dad, is featured today over at the Postprtum Dads Project. Joel opens up about his depression after the birth of his son, divorce, and how coming to terms with the dad he is helped him feel comfortable in his “dadhood.”
While male depression after the birth of a child may not have the same underlying causes as a woman’s depression, it remains an important topic to discuss. In fact, if mom is depressed, there’s a 50% chance Dad is depressed as well. Even with the increase in depression rates for new dads, they are still expected to “man up,” as Joel puts it. But this can be hard for Dad to do if he’s struggling with depression. Trying to function while depressed is much like trying to escape from quicksand. The harder you try on your own, the deeper you fall. It’s not until someone holds out a branch of hope that you start to make progress. Emotional health really is a whole family issue. The healthier a family is emotionally, the better they will do in life.
Over the past summer as I was working through writer’s block and a few other things, there was an essay that lept forth from my fingers. I’ve kept it tucked away. Why? It’s very graphic for one thing. It scares the crap out of me. And frankly I didn’t want to scare the crap out of you, my dear readers. But I realize that if I am to be honest about my experiences I have to be honest about ALL of my experiences. You simply can’t shove Postpartum Mood Disorders up in a neat little box and tie it off with a satin bow to sit daintily in the corner and wait.
No, Postpartum Mood Disorders are more like the exploded laundry basket that is slowly overtaking your house. Regardless of how many times you empty it, it hops about, filling back up and leaving pieces of clothing all over the place.
So I finally decided to post it after reading another blog post about “Publish Already.”
This is really more for me than anyone else. I realize that makes me selfish to a certain extent but I also know that being so brutally honest may just help someone down the road too. It’s time I stopped living with the fear of what others will think of me (yes, even I have fear – I’m human just like you) when I say or do something. It’s time I did just what I did with my Postpartum OCD. Stand. Turn. Fight.
SO – because this piece is truly graphic and should NOT be read by those who are still struggling, I’ve placed it on a separate page. With a warning in bright red at the top. Be warned that there are also a couple of four letter words in there too. Like I said – it kind of spilled forth from my finger tips in a venting rage. I have not edited it much at all.
In recognition of this day, I’d like to share a story with you. I found this at The Shape of a Mother blog. If you’re not familiar with this blog, the author encourages women to share photos of their bodies during and after pregnancy. It’s a beautiful site designed to help women grow confident in their mothering bodies. There is nudity though but is necessary to truly capture the glow of a mother.(This particular story also features pictures of her newborn daughter, who only lived for 10 minutes after birth)
This particular story is entitled “Missing my darling daughter, 15.5 weeks postpartum.” This mother lost her daughter when she experienced complications during pregnancy and ended up delivering nearly 8 weeks early. Her story is a brave and important one, especially today. Click here to read the story.
Please light a candle at 7:00 p.m. no matter your time zone in remembrance of those who have been lost during pregnancy or shortly thereafter.
I’d like to recognize the growing numbers of bloggers discussing Postpartum Depression here at Sharing the Journey. I’ll try to post a list like this each week. If you come across (or write) a great blog that includes a postpartum mood disorder experience and isn’t already on my blog roll, email it to me @ ppdacceptance at gmail dot com.
Earlier this evening through a search on Twitter for #postpartum, I found a tweet mentioning that Postpartum Depression Expert Mike Silverman would be appearing on Issues with Jane on the Headline News Channel. So of course, I retweeted it. I regret having done so.
Issues with Jane is a sensationalist show. And the story was a horrific one out of Florida regarding a mother who was very very cruel to her children.
Once the possibility of untreated Postpartum Depression was brought up, one of the panelists could be heard in the background saying “oh please.” The very fact that Postpartum Depression was dragged into this is horrible. They went on to discuss young girls having kids and not knowing how to raise them, how the educational system was failing them, etc.
I have to say that I am very disappointed in this show. Instead of opening up about Postpartum Depression and educating, they further perpetuated the myth of sensational cases and behavior often involved in stigmatizing mothers who don’t feel so great/happy/fuzzy after the birth of a baby.
Thanks, Jane. Thanks so much for being a sensitive and understanding fellow woman. Thanks Dr. Mike for dragging Postpartum into this. Thanks for perpetuating the stigma instead of removing it. Way to go, guys.
I started this blog as a way to cope with my third and very unexpected pregnancy on the heels of a nasty episode of Postpartum OCD which landed me in a psych ward. While there, several of the nurses specifically told me I did not have to share with anyone where I had been or why I had been there. Even at the time I remember thinking that was an odd thing to say. Why would I want to hide what had happened to me? Why would I do such a thing when all I wanted was to talk with another mom who was struggling just like me? Wouldn’t it make sense to reach out to other moms? To open up? What good would hiding my “light under a bushel” do?
So here I am.
Out. Shining. And still struggling from time to time. I have stages – right now I’m struggling a bit with not having the same bond with my girls as I do with my little guy. You see, I didn’t have PPD with him so we got to have the fun bonding way it’s supposed to be according to the books experience. Which, by the way, I found a little weird considering I had never done it that way before. But now I find myself saddened and angry that I never got to bond as strongly with the girls as I have with my little man. But alas, I digress.
Let’s get to just talkin here!
If you’ve “outed” your PPD whether it be through a blog, a book, a news story, sharing with a friend, loved one, co-worker, etc, tell us about the experience. Was it positive? Negative? What you expected? Has the experience of “outing” your PPD changed your life? For the better? For the worse? Let us know!