Monthly Archives: December 2010

Postpartum Voice of the Week: Pamela via 2 much Testosterone

For those of you who are still fragile, watch this Sheryl Crow Video. Don’t go read these posts. Seriously. They’re good but not worth risking your mental health over.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIYiGA_rIls]

 

Usually for the Postpartum Voice of the Week I write an intro, point out the strong points, admire the authors writing.

I’m not doing that today. Not because there’s a lack of either one of those things but because I would end up sharing the entire post.

What has happened to Pamela (@lotsospermies) this past week is beyond inexcusable. It speaks to the level of disregard for those who live among us and struggle with mental illness, especially mental illness related to the postpartum period.

We are human. We deserve dignity and respect. We are not stupid. We are not morons. We are you. We are hurt. We are fighting to be well. Respect that. Listen. HELP US. Do not lock us away. Don’t tell us to be silent. We refuse to suffer indignities in the dark any longer. We are here. We are not afraid to speak up. We are not afraid.

Pamela courageously and in a raw honest voice shares her experience with her readers.

I’m sharing it here.

Go. Read. Share some words of hope with her.

Based on a True Story (Part I)

Based on a True Story (Part II)

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Whatever Wednesday: Top 10 things mostly no one knows (er, knew) about me

In the interest of all these Top 10 or Top 5 lists making the rounds this week, I thought I would toss my blog in the ring. But not with the usual Best of post. No, these are things which I rarely share with anyone. Above all else, I’m a mom and a woman just like you.

So here goes. No matter how awkward they may be to admit. Swallowing some major pride here people. Major.

 

The Top 10 things mostly no one online knows (er, knew) about me:


10) I grew up listening to nothing but Christian music. That’s right. Leon Patillo, Sheila Walsh, Margaret Becker, Steve Taylor, Randy Stonehill, 2nd Chapter of Acts, David & The Giants, Whiteheart, Stryper, Petra, Amy Grant, Leslie (now Sam) Phillips, and eventually DC Talk were my world. I totally rocked out to them too. And I still love their music.

9) As a child, wThenatching Mtv at my grandparent’s house was the biggest sin I could commit. I would sneak away and turn on a TV, praying to catch Madonna’s Like a Virgin video. I would sit there and drool in amazement. She could MOVE. See #10 for motive.

8) I cannot, repeat, cannot read Harlequin or any other kind of fluff romance crap books. The egregiously horrific grammar, plot, and spelling errors piss me off to no end.

7) Lady Gaga cures my writer’s block. Am I happy about this? Not particularly. But her music is my crack. I find myself going back every time I’m stuck. Like @JessAriasCooper said, she’s Ipecac for the Soul. Yes, that has got to be why she cures my writer’s block. (I don’t own her music. I just pull it up on Groove Shark every time I’m stuck. Cuz really. Who pays for that.. oh wait.. millions.) I draw the line at Bieber though. Never. Nope. Never. EVER. Did I mention NO Bieber? Just so we’re clear…

6) I love Anime. No, not the crap on American TV. I mean the stuff in Japanese. For grownups. And no, not Hentai. Sheesh. The good stuff. I belonged to an Anime club in college. We’d get together on Wednesday nights, order Pizza, put on Anime, and practice sarcasm for two to three hours. It was awesome. I miss that crew.

5) I have never read Moby Dick or completed any Charles Dickens novel. I hold a B.A. in English Literature. You may flog me now.

4) I hated peanut butter and chocolate until my second pregnancy. My husband has loved peanut butter and chocolate his whole life. He was NOT pleased with this development.

3) I am from Neptune. Seriously. I am. Explains a lot, doesn’t it? Okay, that’s Neptune, New Jersey. Born there. And you bet your ass that was fun to tell drunk frat boys back in the day.

2) I once got a radio DJ to play Ain’t Nuthin but a G Thang three times in a row. On air. I was hooked. Again – see #10 for motive.

1) I have an unnatural anxiety inducing fear of bridges. The proper term is: Gephyrophobia. When we were younger and still living in Jersey, we would be in the midst of climbing a high bridge and my dad would predictably blurt out he had heard the other side of the bridge had been destroyed. Oh, and he would drive over close to the edge too. Don’t even get me started about the time we crossed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel. Just don’t. Ahhh. Parents. Kids. Scaring the crap out of them is fun until it gives them a life long phobia. It’s become a family joke though so no hard feelings, here, Dad. But I will need a Xanax or two or three or more if I  ever have to drive over the Verrazano by myself.

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Just Talkin’ Tuesday: Reflections

Everyone seems to take time at the end of the year to look back toward events which transpired in their lives. While it’s important to look back to remember the past, it’s also important to keep your eyes on the road ahead of you. You are where you are. Not where you have been, not where you will be when your journey is done.

Rather, you are where you are in this very moment.

Part of recovery involves realizing from where you have come and to where you will go as you heal.

Today, I challenge you to not only look back at the past year but to look forward to the coming year.

2011 is YOUR year. It’s a year during which you can make the best of anything heading your way. It’s a year during which YOU advocate for yourself, don’t take no for an answer, set small goals to reach recovery. You can do this. You can.

I know you feel alone. I know you’re scared. I know you feel lost down there in the dark.

You’re not alone down there.

No matter what your story, no matter what your history, no matter what you think is holding you back, we have all been where you are. We have all felt that something holding us back. We have ALL felt swallowed by the bottomless black pit filled with Postpartum Mood Disorders.

We care. We are many. We care. Let us care. Lean on us when you hurt. Lean on us when you don’t hurt. Lean on us when you can’t get up. Lean hard. We are here. We are love.

Now that you’ve gone through an entire box of Kleenex, I would love it if you would share your hopes for the next year. Keep them small and achievable. But keep them filled with hope.

Let’s get to Just Talkin’.

Friday Soother: Unto you is born this day A Saviour

 

"Christmas" by *Vintage Fairytale* @ flickr.com

 

“And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”

~Luke 2:9-12~

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On the Twelfth day of Dismissmas: Twelve Ladies a-praying

On the twelfth day of Dismissmas,

Postpartum sent to me

Twelve ladies praying,

Eleven instant cures,

Ten women drifting,

Nine ladies grinning,

Eight maids no longer nursing,

Seven sins a-lurking,

Six women a-denying,

Five hours of sleep,

Four Just Snap out of Its,

Three perfect babies,

Two depressed parents,

And a wailing mess in a pear tree.

 

Prayer is a powerful tool for any deeply religious person. I believe deeply in the power of prayer. The past year has taught me to rely upon God for all things and to trust Him for all my needs. He has provided every single one of them.

There’s a story I would like to share with you that I use as an example for people who tell women with Postpartum Depression to just pray harder and they will be healed.

Once there was a great flood. A man, who had faithfully sandbagged his home, witnessed the flood waters rise over his meticulous sandbagging efforts. Forced to abandon the first floor of his home and eventually the second floor, this man became trapped on the roof of his home.

He began desperately praying for God to save him.

Shortly thereafter, a police boat motored up to his home.

“Sir, come with us. We can save you.”

“No thank you, I’m just fine. God will save me.”

With that response, the boat left.

A fire boat soon came by as well.

“Sir, you really need to come with us. The flood is only getting higher and will not recede any time soon.”

Again, the man answered with a calm, “No Thank you, I’m just fine. God will save me.”

With that, the fire boat left as they had several other families to save who gladly accepted their help.

A few hours later, with the flood waters now lapping at his toes, a helicopter came by, winch lowered. The crew madly encouraged the man to grab on in a last ditch effort to save his life.

The man refused and was swept away in the flood just thirty minutes after the helicopter left.

When the man reached Heaven, he had a question for God.

“God? Why did you not save me?”

“Son? I sent two boats and a helicopter. You didn’t really expect the Heavens to open and scoop you off the roof, now did you?”

God’s response to our prayers may not be in the form we desire. They may not be within the time frame we desire. All answers are His and His alone, within His time frame. Our answers may come in the form of therapy. Or medication. Or social connections. Or herbal supplements. Whatever path you choose, whatever faith powers your life, do not turn your back upon it when you are struggling. Lean hard upon your core values, trust them, pray if you so choose, but do not let anyone at all tell you that praying harder alone will save you from Postpartum Depression. Postpartum Depression is not a sin for which you must ask forgiveness. It is not  a punishment for a prior sin. It is a mental illness from which you can recover through the aid of the approach of your doctor and your own personal beliefs.

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Postpartum Voice of the Week: @WalkerKarraa’s 10 questions for a partner of a PPD Survivor: My Husband

Earlier this week, Walker DM’d me with this link on Twitter. I immediately clicked and knew it would be my Postpartum Voice of the Week. It is not often we hear from Dads in the Postpartum Tapestry. Any chance I have to share the other side of the Postpartum Glass is one I NEVER pass up.

In this very insightful post, Walker interviews her husband about his perspective of her own struggles with PTSD as well as PPD after the birth of their child, Ziggy.

So very often, communication between couples is shut down completely when a partner struggles with any form of Postpartum Mood or Anxiety Disorder. It can break a marriage to pieces, smashing it against the rocks of miscommunication, doubt, anger, and mistrust. Those who have managed to weather the storm successfully have come through hell. To do so intact is no easy feat. Even then, intact does not mean they are the same as they were when they first entered the PPD tunnel – we all emerge changed. It’s whether or not you allow yourself to embrace your change as well as that of your spouse’s which determines your success rate.

Ladies, it is SO SO very important for us to try to remember that our husbands and partners are just as scared as we are when it comes to PPD.

This quote by Walker’s husband sums it up perfectly:

 

Backrground stock photo found at: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1301703

 

There’s no need for further introduction. Go. Read this week’s Postpartum Voice of the Week. Then email the link to your husband.

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas: Eleven Instant Cures

On the eleventh day of Dismismas,

Postpartum sent to me

Eleven instant cures,

Ten women drifting,

Nine ladies grinning,

Eight maids no longer nursing,

Seven sins a-lurking,

Six women a-denying,

Five hours of sleep,

Four Just Snap out of Its,

Three perfect babies,

Two depressed parents,

And a wailing mess in a pear tree.

Over the course of the past year, several websites have cropped up much to the dismay of those of us who advocate for and with women struggling from Postpartum Mood Disorders. These websites claim the ability to cure Postpartum Depression for a low price. 50% off if you sign up as a friend.

Ahem.

Postpartum Mood Disorders are not something you are able to instantly cure.

It takes time.

For some, it may take Therapy, medication (natural or pharmaceutical), exercise, or other various approaches.

Rest assured though, reading an E-book will not make your depression dissipate overnight.

As always, be wary of any medication or supplement promising to easy your Postpartum Depression instantly as well. Always ALWAYS ALWAYS discuss any new approach with a doctor. Especially if you are already taking a medication or on a prescribed routine for therapy.

You can read more in depth of my feelings in regards to Instant Cures here.

Need tips on how to distinguish good information from bad information on the web? I’ve got that for you too.

Bottom line here?

If it sounds too good to be true? It probably is. Walk away. Quickly.