Tag Archives: advocate

Welcome to #PPDChat Voices!

Hi there!

My hopes for this faded when I hit a tech snafu this past weekend. Granted, I should have recorded earlier than this past weekend but life has been crazy up and down with recovering from a road trip and days full of pain which induce fog-brain so, yeah, I was totally behind. HOWEVER.

I’m having a decent week now, still taking it slowly but I’m thrilled to be introducing this new feature at the blog! We’ll be rolling it out as we get submissions so feel free to send yours in whenever you want. I had grand plans of doing mine first, but recording is just not cooperating over here so I need to get that aspect ironed out.

PPDChatVoicesToday’s #PPDChat Voice is Lindsay, or if you know her on Twitter, @lilloveandluck. She is all sorts of awesome. Her piece is too, despite the fact that she keeps apologizing for all the uh’s and um’s. It’s tough to put yourself out there on camera, yo.

Huge thanks to Lindsay for submitting. (Check your email for your badge for your blog!)

LindsayLindsay’s bio: Powered by espresso and cake, Lindsay is a jill of all trades trying to find her niche in the world. She became a serendipitous advocate after being diagnosed with Postpartum Depression and Anxiety in 2011. She lives and breathes New Orleans with her patient husband, sprightly son, and critters. She blogs at www.withalittleloveandluck.com , and you can find her over-sharing on Twitter @lilloveandluck.

YAWP!!!!! (a rant)

(the following was inspired by The Daddy Yo Dude Unfiltered’s piece entitled: Bent, not broken)

In the deepest depth of the darkness, I had days unlike any days I had ever experienced.

Days on which life swirled around me, flowed up, down, backward, east, west, and pulled me in every direction. A thought? What was that? Thoughts were for other people, other humans who could engage in meaningful conversation with each other, meaningful multi-syllabic conversation. Other people who did things besides dishes, diapers, breastfeeding, feeding dogs, cooking, cleaning…. other people who did things like shower, leave the house because they weren’t afraid of everyone else knowing their secrets. Other people who could chop vegetables for their families without a zillion thoughts about how to use that knife for something besides chopping the vegetables.

Life was for other people.

Not for me.

Life requires you to hold it together. To not fall apart. To NEVER fall apart – not even behind closed doors.

We hide those who fall apart. We hide ourselves when we fall apart. Because we are not supposed to do this – we are, above all else, to stay together. “Keep it together man!” or “Just keep swimming” are a couple of recent quotes which come to mind here. (And yes, I realize that I am quoting Monsters, Inc. and Finding Nemo. I’m a parent with three kids six and under. I watch these films often therefore the dialogue is applicably stuck within my few remaining brain cells)

Legs break.

Arms break.

Hearts break.

Sympathy for all. No stigma or shame attached there.

But if your MIND breaks?

Holy effin’ robin eggs, batman.

If your MIND breaks …..

Society at large would have you believe:

It’s YOUR fault.

YOU can snap out of this.

And if you can’t snap out of this? YOU will never get better.

Once you get better, you are never ever allowed to break your MIND again.

(yanno, because YOU broke it to begin with and should now know how NOT to break it again)

Dear Society At Large:

My Mind broke. Twice. Or more. I wasn’t to blame. It happened. I sought help. I didn’t get help. I got worse. My mind broke even more. Shattered, dare I say. Decimated. Dust. I got help then. I wandered aimlessly about the hidden place – the hush hush ward of the hospital. The place where they say “You don’t have to tell anyone you were here.” (The first rule of Psych Ward is that there is NO Psych Ward!) The stigma? It starts THERE. It travels home. It spreads. In every direction, in every crook and corner of society it creeps and crawls. And it is there we, the ones with the broken minds, are expected to stay. We are sent home with this expectation, this order to hide ourselves away, to lie about what really happened to us. In the dark corners. The crooks and the crannies. Where NO ONE CAN SEE OR HEAR OUR BROKEN MINDS AND VOICES.

Guess what?

I’m in the middle of the room.

On a table.

Shouting out my story.

TO ANYONE WHO WILL LISTEN.

(Not as sexy as a stripper but I’m there and I’m rockin’ the room)

Because you know what?

I was broken. But I’m not anymore.

I broke the old me. I broke the scared human. I broke her and I left her far behind, crumpled in your dark corner. I gave birth to the new me. I like the new me. She says things outloud. Things that shouldn’t be said and don’t want to be heard by you. But she says them anyway. At the top of her lungs to anyone who will listen.

She is healed. Scarred, but healed. New scars don’t scare her. New scars excite her because it gives her another avenue full of houses to which she can reach out.

I wish you the best of luck, dear society.

The best.

YOU may bend me. But YOU? May never ever break me again.

Love,

ME

Just Talkin’ Tuesday 10.13.09: I’m OUT with my PPD – are you?

JTT in or outWithin the past couple of weeks I read a great article by a columnist down in Palm Beach, Florida. Of course the article is from February 2008 but still relevant. The author waxes over various reactions she’s received as a result of coming clean about her mental struggles and illness. But in the end she decides that shes would not change a thing about coming “out” about her struggles.

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!

We Cannot Afford to be Silent Any Longer!

Shhhh…. Don’t tell anyone this but Postpartum Depression is fake!

It’s all a ruse by Big Pharma to get you to spend thousands, er, no, millions, on their products.

And that pesky MOTHER’S Act is at the very heart of the ruse.

The above is what the opposition of the MOTHER’S Act would have you believe about Postpartum Mood Disorders and The MOTHER’S Act.

If this were true, I highly doubt Hippocrates would have first written about Postpartum Depression thousands of years ago. (You know, WAY before Big Pharma even existed)

If this were true, then Big Pharma would have ensured my first OB wrote a prescription instead of turning me away and laughing me out of his office when I presented four years ago with rather significant symptoms at three months postpartum. Did I mention I was not “fed” any psychotropic medication or “propoganda”? I knew that thoughts of hurting my child and myself were NOT part of the normal postpartum experience and sought help to keep both of us safe!

Keep in mind that the MOTHER’S Act has been fighting to be passed for eight years now – more than enough time for Big Pharma to have properly funded a ton of education for lots of doctors and civilians. But wait – why do we have accounts of PPD experiences that go much much further back than eight years? What about Milk Fever? What about the UK’s law from 1922 relating to Postpartum Psychosis and infanticide? Wow. Big Pharma really has been at it for much longer then, huh?

And I suppose Charlote Perkins Gilman, author of The Yellow Wallpaper was paid off by Big Pharma to write her story protesting the very treatment of women struggling with Mood Disorders back in the 1800’s too.

If this were true, then Big Pharma “infected” me (twice) with Postpartum Depression just to get me to spend a ton of money on psychiatric medication.

If this were true, I would have been screened and treated with much more scrutiny during my second and third pregnancies because you know, the risk goes up after one episode. (But alas, I was not) Woohoo! More money for Big Pharma, right?

Oh yeah, that seems completely believable, doesn’t it?

Go, read the bill, and decide for yourself.

The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHER’S Act (S 324) does NOT endorse medicating pregnant or postpartum women. It does not even endorse screening of new mothers. The MSB MOTHER’S Act instead provides for a study of screening efficacy, increased education and awareness on both sides – patients and physicians.

Knowledge is power, it is prevention. With each subsequent pregnancy I became more and more educated about my options. I made decisions in consultation with my physicians. As a Coordinator with Postpartum Support International, I encourage women who contact me to explore all their options. I do not encourage medicating specifically but will support whatever decision a mother makes. To medicate or not is a decision to be made between a woman and her doctor. The MSB MOTHER’S Act respects this. PSI respects this. I respect this.

We need to support mothers on their journeys. Twenty percent of new mothers (new or experienced) will experience a mood disorder. And up to 50% of their partners will experience depression as well. The last thing we need to do is to close the door on them. I have had this happen to me with no alternative treatment or options available. It is a very scary place to be indeed and is why I do what I do. I refuse to allow any mothers suffer in silence and fear as I did, holding on for dear life to the precious hope that one day she’ll wake up and be normal again.

Please do not let this happen to any other mothers. Don’t let them suffer in silence. Raise your voice. Let it be heard. Let mothers across the country know they are not alone, they are not to blame, and they will be well, no matter what road they choose towards help. Give them options instead of taking them away. Help us educate physicians. Help us educate American communities and remove the stigma and fear that all too often befalls a new mother struggling with intrusive thoughts, sleepless nights, and sobbing days. Let her know you are there for her. It is time to reach out with open arms and bring back the village that once raised Mothers and Children. The Desperate Village is running out of time and hope. Don’t let your voice be the one that causes their downfall. Speak up now.

(You can Speak up now by visiting Susan Dowd Stone’s website to email her with your name, state, any credentials and affiliated organizations. Your name will then be added to a list of supporters for The MSB MOTHER’S Act which will be delivered to all Senators on Mother’s Day. Won’t you do this one little thing for the Mother in your life?)

Sharing the Journey with Teresa Twomey

Teresa Twomey is a fellow Coordinator with Postpartum Support International. Over the past couple of years we’ve emailed back and forth about a few various issues and I’ve really enjoyed my exchanges with her. More often than not, we’ve shared our mutual frustration regarding the mis-conceptions about Postpartum Psychosis vs. Postpartum Depression.

This past Tuesday, her book, Understanding Postpartum Psychosis: A Temporary Madness, released. I immediately scooped her up for an interview this week. Teresa is a survivor of Postpartum Psychosis and other PMD’s as well. In her book she hopes to present a realistic portrait of PPP and aid in removing the stigma so often associated with this misunderstood condition. With no further ado, here is Teresa’s interview. I am honored to share the journey with her!


Click here to purchase Teresa's book

Click here to purchase Teresa's book

Tell us about yourself – who is Teresa when she’s not a mom or a Postpartum Advocate?

Before I had children I was a litigation attorney and a professional mediator. I am now beginning to re-enter the workforce as a professional mediator. I also do some business consulting. I am currently working on a turnaround project for a packaging company.

I also enjoy writing – I have several writing projects going at any given time. Right now I have three children’s stories finished and another two I’m working on. I also am doing some more non-fiction writing that I plan to develop into a book. (In addition to my postpartum book, I co-wrote a chapter on mediation in a newly-released textbook on Employment Law and have had several academic articles accepted as proceedings or for publication in journals.)

I am active in our PTA, our Newcomers Group, our church and I co-lead two Girl Scout troops.

I enjoy doing new things and my latest “hobby” is working with stained glass (the soldered with lead type). I enjoy designing and creating a variety of pieces.

Sometimes I teach as an adjunct at a local university. I’ve taught Business Law, Business Communication, and Introduction to Women and Gender Studies.

As many of the moms who visit this blog, you’ve traveled down the dark road of Postpartum Mood Disorders. Share your experience with us.

After the birth of my first daughter I began to experience many strange things – I had nightmares, hallucinations, I could not read, I was paranoid. I did not know something like that could happen to someone like me – I was totally blindsided. I did not get treatment at the time, although I told everyone who would listen that I could not cope. I had physical complications and I think those around me thought that was the basis for my frustration and complaints. And I think that even the medical professionals did not understand that something like postpartum psychosis could happen to someone like me (educated, smart, capable, personable, and dynamic). After the psychosis I went into a depression. But still I did not identify it and did not receive help. I did not learn the name for my experience until I was on bed rest during my second pregnancy (with twins!) I was frustrated about the lack of information and misinformation. But I was fortunate – I did not have postpartum psychosis following the birth of my twins. Then when Andrea Yates killed her children and I heard many hurtful and ignorant comments, I decided to do this book. (The more detailed version of my story is in the book.)

At what point in your journey did you realize you needed professional help?

I knew I needed some kind of help almost immediately – but I did not know there was help for what I was experiencing. I did not know there was a name for it. I thought maybe I was going crazy. I did keep telling people I could not cope – that I was a terrible mom – that I wanted someone there to help me all the time – but I was afraid (and paranoid) so I didn’t actually describe in detail what I was experiencing. I just remember telling myself “just hold on – just hold on.”

What roles did your husband and family members play in your recovery? How did they handle your diagnosis?

I was better by the time my family learned of it. They expressed shock, dismay, some denial, and concern — all in a loving way.

My husband, mom, dad and brothers have all been very supportive of my work with Postpartum Support International.

You’re now a Coordinator with Postpartum Support International. What made you decide to become an advocate?

I recognized a need. Plus I was profoundly grateful that we had not suffered any loss of life. It felt right to express my gratitude for that by turning around and helping others. Plus, Jane Honikman asked me to be a coordinator. (I sometimes joke that she roped me in – and am usually met with a response like “you and everyone else at PSI,” or “join the club!”) I am honored to be a part of such an amazing organization.

Earlier this week your book, Understanding Postpartum Psychosis: A Temporary Madness, released. Tell us about this book and the concept behind it. What is your hope for this book?

I was dismayed about how little information there is about the actual experience of women with postpartum psychosis and the amount of misinformation most of us have. I believe those contribute to the ongoing mental anguish many women have as a result of this disorder as well as the occasional loss of life. I passionately believe that professionals and the general public need to know more about this disorder. It strikes so seemingly randomly that if people do not become informed until faced with this disorder it may be too late.

Public ignorance and mis-perceptions lead to:

  • Failure to identify and warn women (and their families) who are at high risk of having this disorder
  • Failure to take measures to prevent the illness
  • Failure to properly identify the illness
  • Failure to provide adequate care
  • Failure to take the steps necessary to prevent tragic outcomes
  • Mistreatment at the hands of police and other law enforcement professionals
  • Inequitable treatment by the legal system based on discredited science and societal myths
  • Misinformation and inaccurate portrayals in the media
  • Oppressive social stigma even for those who do not do any harm

In the short term my hope is twofold: First, I hope that this book will educate medical and legal professionals and the public to effect change regarding how we approach this illness. That this change will lead to aggressive steps to identify those at risk, to prevent the illness and when prevention fails, to adequately treat it and protect the woman and those around her. In the long term I hope this book helps to eradicate postpartum psychosis. I believe that could happen in my lifetime.

Secondly, I hope this book helps women (and their families and friends) who have had PPP to heal. I always say there are two levels of healing from this illness: There is the recovery from the psychosis and then there is the recovery from having had this illness — the learning to trust yourself again, dealing with the fear of a recurrence, being tormented by questions of “why me?” and so on. The illness is temporary – women recover from it relatively quickly. However, the emotional pain from having had this illness can last a lifetime. Just as these stories helped me to heal, to know I was not alone, to believe I could be completely well, I want them to be available to help others heal as well.

Name three things that made you smile today.

My girls singing.

Joking with the ladies in my aqua-aerobics class.

Seeing the sunshine.

I know my advocacy has affected those around me and increased their knowledge and understanding of Postpartum Mood Disorders. Have you found the same to be true about your loved ones?

Oh my, yes!

What do you find the most challenging about parenting? The least?

Most challenging: consistency and discipline.

Least challenging: loving, enjoying and genuinely liking my children.

If you had one chance to speak with an expectant mother (new or experienced) about Postpartum Mood Disorders, what would you tell her?

I would tell her that, unless she has a medical history that would indicate otherwise, it is unlikely that she will have a PPMD. But if she does, there is NOTHING she could experience that other women have not thought or felt and that ALL postpartum mood disorders are treatable. So if she does not feel right in any way, she should tell her doctor and contact me OR someone else through www.postpartum.net for peer support and information.

Thank you for this opportunity Lauren.

The MOTHER’S Act Update

As most of you are aware, The MOTHER’S Act is now included in S. 3297, the Advancing of America’s Priorities Act. This Act was discussed on the floor of the Senate today with a vote taken regarding a motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to consider S. 3297. Basically, this would put a time limit on the consideration of a bill or other matter to avoid a fillibuster. If invoked, cloture limits discussion of a particular matter to only 30 additional hours, however, in order to be invoked, three-fifths of the full Senate or 60 total votes must be cast in favor of this. Cloture failed to pass just shy of the 60 votes needed – 52 were in favor, 40 were not, and 8 (including our two presidential candidates) did not vote.

The Senate will reconvene in the morning at 9am EST to further discuss S. 3297. You can watch live on CSpan 2. (Believe it or not, my daughters actually watched this with me this afternoon for more than 15 minutes! That seemed to be the tolerance level at which they started whining and fussing for me to turn on Diego. I managed to squeeze in another 5 minutes though)

The 40 Senators who voted Nay are listed below. If any of these Senators are yours, please email them, call them, let them know that they cannot let the MOTHER’S Act be held up any longer – we need this bill!

Alexander (R-TN)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bennett (R-UT)
Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Craig (R-ID)

Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Domenici (R-NM)
Enzi (R-WY)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Lugar (R-IN)
Martinez (R-FL)

McConnell (R-KY)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Roberts (R-KS)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Snowe (R-ME)
Specter (R-PA)
Stevens (R-AK)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Wicker (R-MS)

Sharing the Journey with ME!

Here’s a twist on the typical Thursday Interview fare around here.

I asked my husband to email me 10 questions. He sent 11. I figured it was only fair to allow him to interview me being that he was kind enough to do the same.

Enjoy getting to know me even better!

Tell me about the first time that you thought you might be suffering from PPD. How did you cope with it?

We were living in South Carolina and miles away from any family or support when our first daughter was born. Just a few months prior to her birth I discovered the online community at iVillage.com and became quite active there as I did not have any friends or family nearby and was practically bedridden due to severe pelvic misalignment issues. Allison’s birth was quite the traumatic experience (the doctor is very lucky I had a moment of sanity and decided NOT to kick him) and no one really seemed to offer any help after she was born. It was kind of an in and out experience, which, unfortunately, is the norm nowadays.

Once we got her home, the first thing that happened was an employee of yours stopping by the house with her son who was sick and sneezing. He proceeded to touch all of the baby stuff and I totally freaked out. At the time I did not see this as the beginning but the level of anxiety I felt that day took a very long time to dissipate. I really started to sink lower when you went back to work and remember standing over Alli’s crib and apologizing to her because I had no idea what to say to her. I thought she was judging me for not knowing how to be a good mommy. I was also very upset with myself because motherhood was what I wanted – even more than being a wife – I grew up wanting to be a mommy more than anything and here I was, finally a mom, and felt I was failing.

I realized it might be PPD through the online community at iVillage and reading things other women had posted. At three months postpartum and after some serious soul searching, I finally made an appointment with my OB. I was tired of the intrusive thoughts, the anxiety, the anger, I was tired of not being myself. So I went online, took a screening test and scored severely depressed having answered the questions about self-harm and harming my infant with a yes. I took this to my OB and he refused to acknowledge the possibility of PPD but did admit something was going on – PPD, no – because I was more than 6 weeks PP and my “hormones should be back to normal by now” Calm down now – it gets worse. Alli was screaming to be nursed as we discussed things (crying is my WORST trigger) and my OB brazenly asked how important it was to continue breastfeeding. What he said next shocked me. He refused to medicate me because I refused to quit nursing. His precise words were that I refused to stop nursing for trial therapy. I have my medical records to prove it. Because I was clean, had applied make-up, and was well-spoken, I couldn’t be depressed. Because I didn’t “look” the part, that couldn’t be what was wrong with me. He admitted something was going on but refused to admit that it was PPD. I was referred to the in-house counselor but they kept changing my appointment which made things worse so I refused to go and canceled my appointment.

Just two months later we moved back to Georgia and things started to improve because we were able to leave Alli with your parents and I started to get some time to myself. I thought I was recovered but sadly we discovered after I gave birth to Charlotte that I had not and things were worse than ever.

After giving birth to three children, how did your pregnancies differ in relation to your PPD experiences?

My first pregnancy was the easiest but I think all Moms say that – after all, you don’t have other little ones to chase around or keep up with. My first round of PPD was also mild compared to the second time around.

The second pregnancy was a bit easier physically because I knew what to expect but harder in the aspect that I had a toddler to run around after which is the last thing you feel like doing when your stomach is revolting against well, the world. The postpartum period after Charlotte’s birth was the most intense – her cleft palate, my depression and subsequent hospitalization, her multiple surgeries, Alli’s terrible two’s, your stressful and exhaustive job, pumping full time for Charlotte… you name it, there wasn’t a roadblock we didn’t face. But we made it through, clutching the bar holding us down into the roller coaster until our knuckles were transparent.

Honestly, how supportive was I when you were going through such a terrible time? What do you wish I had done differently?

Wow. Hard question. I think you were as supportive as you could be given the existential circumstances of each situation (no support system, birth defect & NICU, unexpected pregnancy), the information available to you at the time, and the irritability that you were constantly ducking from me. I am sure you probably felt as if you were walking on eggshells most of the time, not knowing if the next word out of your mouth would set off an “episode.”

Knowing what we now know as a couple about PPD, obviously there are some things we would have done differently like gone for a second opinion, pushed for better treatment, worked together instead of drifting apart into our own worlds which I think led to the path on which we found ourselves after Charlotte’s birth. I wasn’t able to be there for you and you felt as you couldn’t show any emotion when all I wanted was for you to show something – to let know that I wasn’t alone in feeling so lost about her cleft palate and the NICU stay. Of course I didn’t say this to you – I expected you to read my mind and got pissed when you didn’t. That’s just not fair at all (and is hallmark behavior of a postpartum woman)

Overall, you did a great job keeping us together as a family even if it meant putting on a show for me and for everyone else. As for having done something differently, hindsight is 20/20 and there’s nothing we can do to change our past behavior. I believe strongly that our marriage can now withstand anything anyone wishes to toss our way. We’ve certainly been through quite a bit in six short years.

You have certainly turned some very tragic events into ammunition to help other women fight PPD? How have your PPD experiences helped you help others?

I have found my inner strength, beauty, and grace as a result of the darkness of PPD. The same strength with which I battled my own PPD energizes me each and everyday to help other women who are in the same place I used to be. I will NOT let another woman suffer alone if there is anything I can do to change that for her. Each day I wake up with the goal of helping at least one woman. Small contribution but it goes back to a quote I fell in love with while in college by Ghandi: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

What role has your faith and belief in God played in your battles with PPD?

Raised Christian and having given my heart to the Lord at the tender age of 6, I had fallen away from the Lord and had really not been close with him for quite some time when Alli was born. I started to pray more and continued with this throughout my pregnancy with Charlotte. After Charlotte’s birth, I could feel His presence and let myself lean on Him although not as much as I should have, looking back. God knew he wasn’t done with me yet so He sent us Cameron to show me how much of a miracle He was capable of making. And He made a cute one!

When I first started helping others with PPD, I was uncomfortable talking about faith and God. Now it’s one of the easiest things to talk about. God has truly taken me into his Arms and blessed me. And I figure – if Jesus died for our sins, what a small price PPD is compared to His sacrifice. It’s taken me nearly four years of intense growth and molding to come to that conclusion and is not something I have come to believe lightly. My faith is stronger than ever and is still growing.

On the other side of the coin, have your PPD experiences affected your faith? How?

My PPD experiences have certainly brought me closer to God. I have come to realize that He has big plans for me and I have learned to quietly listen to his voice and truly lean on Him during times of need. In fact, if I start to worry now, I instantly pray rather than let it spiral out of control. I can’t even begin to express how grateful I am for all the growth He has allowed in my life over the past few years!

Life can be busy. Ours certainly is. You are a mother of three, homemaker, PPD advocate and wife. It almost seems impossible what you do. So I have to know, how do you do it?

I have no idea. If you figure it out, let me know.

Seriously though – I grew up watching (and helping) my mother around the house. She was a Stay at home mom too and I picked up a lot of tips from her too. I still call every day (HI MOM) well, almost every day as I’m much busier now and she gives me lots and lots of tips.

A lot of the PPD work I do is online so I can do bits and pieces here and there. I’ve also got the housework down to a science and can have that going while I’m working on PPD stuff in the living room.

One rule I’m working on is that when the girls are awake, I am all theirs unless I have to cook or clean. Even then I try to get them involved so they don’t feel left out or get them playing with play-doh at the dining room table so they’ll at least be having fun. I love my times with the girls as it’s what keeps me sane – well, along with time with you too!

What do you find most challenging about motherhood?

It never ends. My mom has a cartoon on her fridge at her house that I would LOVE to have – a census worker is at the door and a woman is standing there. She is saying, “Work? I just wake up and there it is.” I am never off – I am on call 24/7. Just today I was mother, nurse, friend, poopy cleaner, fan fixer, chef, linguist, wife, writer, brain-stormer, dishwasher, laundry lady, pie maker, dog walker, hand-holder, singer, and most importantly, ME.

What is your favorite thing about motherhood?

Bedtime.

Seriously though – I would have to go with getting the kids to laugh and have a good time. There is NOTHING more heartwarming and uplifting than allowing myself to be a total kid right along with them. I know this is not something you’ve seen terribly often but I’m working on it. At least I’m singing more in front of you more, right?

And last, but not least. What is it like being married to such a hunk and amazing man?

I’ll let you know when that happens. 😉

It’s like the way the Earth smells right after an afternoon rain shower. No matter how many times you experience it, it’s always new, refreshing, and uplifting even though the storm that brought you there may have been the most difficult storm you’ve ever experienced.

Jenny’s Light

Jenny's light logo

At just seven weeks postpartum this past December, Jennifer Bankston took her life and her son’s life as a result of a severe postpartum mood disorder. Her family has started a wonderful organization in memory of her dedicated to spreading awareness, educate, and help support women and families suffering with postpartum illness. They have already achieved so much and netted over $50,000 at their first fundraiser. Please support this amazing family as they join us to help prevent other families from the pain they have so unfortunately experienced.