Shortly after I had Ethan, I realized that I wasn’t happy about it. That I was sad and lonely and was wondering if maybe I wasn’t cut out to be a mom. I was feeling the worst I’ve ever felt during what should have been the happiest time of my life. We struggled with infertility for six years before we finally conceived Ethan. I couldn’t understand why I was so sad when I should have been walking on clouds – I didn’t know I had postpartum depression.
I first admitted to having dealt with postpartum depression shortly after I started my blog. At that time, I was still embarrassed and ashamed to admit it. There’s an ugly stigma attached to all mental illnesses, and I didn’t want to be a part of it. It wasn’t until after I started talking about depression and postpartum depression that I realized that I could help end the stigma.
So I headed over to Band Back Together to share my story, and a poem I had written about how I felt when dealing with depression. And people left comments. I knew that I had to keep talking about it.
Last year, while writing for Moonfrye.com, I wrote a piece called Talking About Postpartum Depression. I wanted women to know that there is help for postpartum depression. That they aren’t alone.
By that time I knew all about Postpartum Progress and was helping spread the word about it because I wished that I had someplace to go back when I was in that dark time of my life.
Postpartum Progress, founded by Katherine Stone, offers new moms information, community and hope with postpartum depression and other mental illnesses related to pregnancy and childbirth (like postpartum anxiety, postpartum OCD, depression during pregnancy, post-adoption depression, postpartum PTSD, depression after miscarriage or perinatal loss and postpartum psychosis). Katherine also founded the nonprofit organization Postpartum Progress® that raises awareness, fights stigma and provides peer support to women with maternal mental illness.
During those dark hours, I wish I would have found this safe haven. To know that I wasn’t alone and that what I was feeling didn’t make me a monster would have been a godsend.
Right after I had written that piece for Moonfrye, Katherine Stone had included it on Postpartum Progress in a post titled Postpartum Depression Stories: Maybe I Really Didn’t Want to Be A Mom. I cried when I saw it. Because I knew that there were other moms who would read it and feel better knowing they weren’t alone.
Even reading what she wrote about my piece – that a risk factor for postpartum depression is infertility – was news to me. It’s so important that we share our stories and help spread the word to other moms.
This year is the 10 year anniversary of PostPartum Progress. Katherine has been helping moms who feel like their worlds are spinning out of control for ten years. If you are currently experiencing, or know someone else who is experiencing postpartum depression, I urge you to visit PostPartum Progress. Even if you aren’t sure if what you are feeling is postpartum depression, go there now. There’s a whole page dedicated to explaining the symptoms of postpartum depression and anxiety.
You do not have to deal with this alone, and I hope that you will take my hand and let me take you somewhere that will start your journey to wellness. You can start by doing these few things:
Like Postpartum Progress on Facebook and follow Katherine Stone on Twitter. You’ll also find Postpartum Progress on Pinterest: Postpartum Depression Hope.
Happy Anniversary Postpartum Progress! You are giving women such an amazing gift everyday. Here’s to another ten years!