Category Archives: Dismissmas

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 notĀ  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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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.

On the tenth day of Dismissmas: Ten Women All Buttoned Up

On the tenth day of Dismissmas,

Postpartum sent to me

Ten women all buttoned up,

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.

 

Imagine you have just received a package from the UPS guy. You eagerly open the box only to find another wrapped box inside. You tear into the wrapping paper, discarding it as you excitedly strain to see what’s inside.

Let’s say it’s a really awesome doll which comes pre-programmed to say anything you want it to say in your own voice. You’ve ordered it for your child. As you push the button to record, everything seems to be in order. But when you press the replay button, silence. So you press it again. Nothing. What the ….

You press it again. Hold it longer. You can feel your frustration rising.

Why won’t the damned thing talk?

Talk, dammit! That’s what you’re supposed to do! Talk! Just like me!

You begin to look for the instructions. Maybe the doll has to be standing on just her left foot with her right arm touching her nose in order to talk. Yeah, maybe .. Umm.. no.

Still silence.

You change the batteries.

Nothing.

You find the number for the company to call for help.

Should you call? What will they say? Send it back? But Christmas is the day after the day after tomorrow (holy crap it really is!) and your kid will be irked if he/she doesn’t have the ONE thing under the tree they really wanted. So you’re stuck.

With a doll you can’t tell you what’s going wrong. She’s gone silent on you and you? You are ready to slam your head into a brick wall.

Ladies? Gentlemen?

THAT? Is how your significant other feels when you answer “How are you doing?” with the word “fine” when things are so very obviously NOT FINE.

Silence serves no one.

Silence hurts you. It hurts them. It heals nothing.

Break the silence. Recover. There is no shame in recovery.

On the Ninth Day of Dismissmas: Nine ladies grinning

On the ninth day of Dismissmas,

my true love sent to me

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.

Her skin is flawless, make-up covering any flaws, her clothes are ironed and pressed, her over-coat perfectly matches her shoes, her nails do too. Every strand of her hair is in it’s place and as you stare at her, you imagine everything in her home is in the right place as well. The stroller she pushes glows as if Angels themselves were guiding it along. She does not walk. She floats. In and out of your day dreams as you struggle to keep your own infant quietly in the stroller, your hair from slipping out of the 435th ponytail holder you’ve gone through this month because your two year old keeps flushing them down the toilet, and your yoga pants no longer pass as dress pants because they have been perma-stained with strained peaches. And make-up? HAH. Smeared Strawberry and black crayon streaks is more your speed these days.

What you DON’T see is that she swung by the pharmacy before she left the store. To pick up her anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medication. It’s tucked away deep in her designer diaper bag. In the zipper pouch so it won’t accidentally fall out. That perfected look? Possibly a result of aforementioned depression, anxiety, or even OCD. She’s a broken soul tucked away deep in the zippered pocket of a designer bag. On the outside it looks perfect but on the inside – Oh, on the inside – the seams are pulling out, the fabric has worn thin, and it’s on the verge of collapsing.

My point?

Looks are deceiving.

Just because a woman is smiling on the outside does not mean she is smiling on the inside. Don’t ever assume that a pulled-together woman is happy. She may feel EXACTLY LIKE YOU.

On the Eighth Day of Dismissmas: Eight Maids No longer a-nursing

On the eighth day of Dismissmas,

Postpartum sent to me

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.

Breastfeeding with Postpartum Depression. Many say it protects from the mere experience of a Postpartum Mood Disorder. Yet I hear over and over from so many women who ARE nursing and struggling. Then they are diagnosed and faced with this zinger:

“If you want to get better, you have to take these meds. And that means you have to stop breastfeeding.”

Any idea how detrimental hearing that phrase can be for a mom for whom breastfeeding is the ONLY thing going right? You might as well take the last shred of mothering she’s doing right, stomp on it, set it on fire, hose it down, and toss it in the dumpster out back.

As I sat in my first OB’s office, my daughter screaming as I confessed to him my darkest emotions, he had the cajones to ask me, “How important is breastfeeding to you?” The old me merely sat there, jaw agape. The me from today would read him the riot act and tell him he needed to get on the computer to Google a few things, call a few numbers, and find a successful way to treat me AND preserve my breastfeeding relationship with my daughter in the process. What a difference nearly 7 years will make in the life of a woman, eh?

There are indeed medications you can take which are safe for nursing. But if you choose to take psychiatric medications while breastfeeding, let your Pediatrician know so he/she can then monitor the well-being of your child for any potential side-effects.

If you prefer to not take medications, there are med-free therapy options such as herbal remedies, therapy, light therapy, and a myriad of other resources. If you are further interested in these options, email me at mypostpartumvoice (@) gmail.com with a request. I would be happy to get you in touch via email with some women who have beat Postpartum without medication. It IS possible.

There are also these additional online resources:

Kathleen Kendall-Tackett’s PPD page: http://uppitysciencechick.com/postpartum-depression.html

Postpartum Support International: http://www.postpartum.net

Karen Kleiman’s site: http://www.postpartumstress.com (here’s the direct link to Kleiman’s “Is Breast always Best” article: http://postpartumstress.com/pages/breast_best.html)

KellyMom PPD page: http://kellymom.com/ppd/index.html

Thomas Hale/Texas Tech Health & Sciences Infant Risk website: http://www.infantrisk.org/ (includes a helpline open M-F from 8a-5p) They have tabs for breastfeeding and depression.

Know this – you do NOT have to stop nursing just because you are depressed. Make the best decision for you. If you need to stop, that’s fine. Do not let anyone judge you for using Formula. It’s there for a reason. But if nursing is the only saving grace in your Motherhood journey, don’t let anyone steal that from you unless they have a damned good reason and can prove it beyond the shadow of a doubt.

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On the Seventh day of Dismissmas: Seven Sins a-lurking

On the seventh day of Dismissmas,

Postpartum sent to me

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.

 

 

“I’m a bad mother.”

“I’ve done something horribly wrong. I deserve this hell.”

“If only I pray for forgiveness, this will all go away.”

Postpartum Depression strikes 1 in 8 new mothers. Regardless of their faith, tenacity, past behavior, current status, income, support, marital status, etc. No one is immune. We do not appear before a judge and jury to be sentenced with Postpartum Depression as retribution for past transgressions. It does not happen that way.

You do not have Postpartum Depression because you said the wrong thing to Aunt Irma last year at the family Christmas party. You do not have Postpartum Depression because you had bad thoughts about your unborn child during pregnancy. Yes, depression during pregnancy does lead to a higher risk of Postpartum depression but it is not BECAUSE of those thoughts – it is not punishment for them.

Bottom line?

Postpartum Depression is SO not your fault.