Postpartum Progress: Strong Start Day 2011

Today is important. I want to ask you for your help and support for a newly founded non-profit organization and a very worthy cause.

Their mission: Postpartum Progress Inc. (PPI) is improving the health and wellbeing of women and children by increasing access to and quality of support for women with postpartum depression and other mental illnesses related to pregnancy and childbirth.

Many of you are aware that I suffered with depression while pregnant with Brigham. Due to the support of my wonderful OB who recognized that I needed help and did not dismiss my feelings I was able to be safely medicated and heal quickly. But there are many women out there that do not receive the same support and treatment before and after birth. This is because women who are suffering from a perinatal mood disorder either don’t understand why they feel the way they do. Or even worse, they don’t tell anyone for fear of what people might think. Both are dangerous.

I love the awareness that PPI creates within the social media community. From the first time I found their website and “met” their founder Katherine Stone, I knew I had found a woman who truly cared about the well-being of women who are suffering in silence. More than her, there is an entire community of love and support for women who don’t know where to turn.

I could write all day about this organization. I don’t have the time to tell you about the hour I spent with Katherine at BlogHer. She is so wise and genuine. Just know, she is good people. She wants to help. And so do I.

So today I’m asking you to open your heart and possibly your debit card and donate to Postpartum Progress. There is so much they want to do but funding is necessary to do this amazing work. I feel strongly that this organization is moving women forward. Whether you’ve been affected by a perinatal mood disorder or not. This is people helping people. Simply.

Please donate. Not for me. But for all those who suffer today and who will suffer tomorrow.


Every little bit helps.

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four chambers

I’m done having babies. At least for now I am. I had an IUD placed a couple weeks ago.

Truthfully, I don’t know how I feel about it.

Naaman and I have talked a lot about having a third child. Correction: I have talked a lot about it to him. I am confused at the feeling of wanting another child. No really, it leaves me quite baffled. I never thought I would want one child let alone three! But here I am with two beautiful sons feeling like someone is missing from the room. It is so strange. I want to take it as a sign.

Then Naaman pipes up with all his realist tendencies . . . Daycare for three? Are you crazy? Sleepless nights again? Are you crazy? Minivan? Nope, I refuse. Dollar signs. Dollar signs. Dollar signs. Cha-ching!!! Also sleep. sleep. I NEED SLEEP, woman!

But everywhere I look I see sets of three boys. Down the street live three little boys all a few inches taller than the next. It makes me smile and I’m suddenly longing. For what I don’t know. In the church pews ahead of me, three boys, one a newborn not more than a month old. A family of five. Heaven help me.

It wasn’t our plan to have a second child so soon. I was on birth control pills and still conceived (hence the IUD, people). I wanted to start trying for baby #2 in January of 2011.

But we veered off course and in May 2010 God’s plan showed up. A very cute plan.

I had accepted that Brigham would be my last child. We spent a good amount of money on maternity photos because I wanted to remember my pregnant belly. I truly thought I would feel done. But it was shortly after birth I started feeling this way. Maybe I could get over this. Maybe I just need a little more time to mourn the childbearing stage of my life.

People might say – oh, it’s because you want to try for a girl, right?

On the contrary. In my dreams and hopes and fears (yep, sometimes fears) I see three boys. Again, heaven help me.

It’s just a feeling. Three boys. There are four chambers to my heart. One for Naaman. One for Landon. One for Brigham. But there’s still an empty one. Question is, who or what will fill it? Maybe the fourth chamber is reserved for me.

People might worry that I can’t handle it. But I’m here to tell you that I most certainly can. I dealt with an entire year of no sleep while working full-time (no really, God’s plan wouldn’t sleep). Yes, my brain is now nowhere to be found. But I am repairing it.

I am well aware of all the stress that would come from adding a third child. But oh, the anticipation. The falling in love with your baby before you’ve even met them. And then the birth day. The overtaking amazement of new life in your arms. That love never lets go. It wraps around you like a never-ending hug.

We’re trying to decide what’s best for our family. We’re going to be smart about this. Think things over. Make sure. But I know now is not the time to decide. That’s the point of the IUD. I figure we’ll wait at least a year before we lay it on the table as an option. I have to be well and stay well. My mood must be stable to even think about harboring a life inside this body.

I turn 33 in December. tick tock tick tock tick tock. My poor heart is so restless.

At least we’ve bought some time. It’s actually been a relief. No more over-thinking it for now. Time off from this question of two or three? And maybe when I stop over thinking it the answer will become clear.






I am a part of the Mother’s Day Rally

I am so honored to have been asked to be a part of the Mother’s Day Rally for Mom’s Mental Health on Postpartum Progress. This is the third year this has taken place. Today, on mother’s day, a letter to new moms will be posted each hour for 24 hours.

I was asked to write a letter to a new mom about my experience with depression during pregnancy. This whole blogging gig is exciting to me for many reasons. But first and foremost on the list is the opportunity to help someone else. Another mother who might be depressed. Another mother who feels alone.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I wrote this letter almost a year to the day of Brigham’s birth. When I read it all those memories come flooding back. The bad and the good. I’m just so glad that on this mother’s day I can stand here and write that I love my life. I love my boys. I am happy. If you are suffering from antenatal or postpartum depression – please know, you are not alone.


Dear new mom:

I remember seeing the blue plus sign on the pregnancy test. It was positive. I waited for the happiness. It didn’t come.  Instead of happy tears I had a panic attack right there in the bathroom. The sting from the guilt that I felt in that moment has never really gone away.

My first son had just turned one. I had just quit my job two days before. I was on birth control! We wanted another child but the timing. Oh, the timing. Why couldn’t it have happened later when things were more settled? When we were ready? When we could celebrate it and not be riddled with worry about our finances and future?

Head on over to read the rest of my letter and other letters here.

They told me to open my eyes

A year ago at this exact moment I realized I was in labor. I was 38 weeks & 2 days pregnant. There was no indication the night before that led me to believe you would be on your way the next morning. I didn’t feel any different or do anything different. You just decided it was your time to come. This makes so much sense to me now. Because I know your personality and I know for a fact you’re decisive.

I sat on the couch, eating my cereal, watching your big brother play.

I was unusually calm while timing contractions with my iphone.

I tried to doubt the signs. But I knew from the very first contraction I had that morning that I would meet you soon.

Contractions came every four to five minutes. A dull ache that grew in intensity and then subsided, just like a wave.

I was nervous, of course. But ready. And excited. And hopeful.

The world knew you only as “Baby B” up to this point. Daddy and I knew what the “B” stood for all along. At least, we knew your name. And had seen black and white photos of you nestled inside my womb. To think we knew and loved you then. The belly stops growing eventually. But the love never does.

Of course, now we know there was so much more to you than just your name.

Last year at this time, I had no idea what I was in for with your labor.

in labor - ready to hop in the car to head to the hospital

I would be in labor for 22 hours. The beginning was honestly not that painful.

on the yoga ball - trying to make progress & move the baby down

The middle and end were beyond anything I would have ever thought one could live through.

Then there was a break in the torture.

A break.

A burn.

A pop.

A release.

They told me to open my eyes . . . so I did.

And you were born.

immediate skin-to-skin contact after birth - just what I wanted

Tomorrow is your first birthday. I can hardly believe I just typed that.

You’ve come a long way, baby. I’m so glad your journey is with us.

Your Three Words


This was me. One year ago. I was 36 weeks pregnant with Baby B (anyone remember that, lol?). Looking at this photo is so surreal. I cannot fathom that my second son was in there. At this point I assumed I would be pregnant for at least another month. But Brigham had other plans. Two short weeks later he would decide he was ready to make his grand entrance.

Looking at this photo floods my brain with amazing memories of the beauty of pregnancy. And with Brigham’s first birthday quickly approaching I find myself really missing this stage of life. The anticipation of giving birth is like nothing else. Nothing could compare to that special little combination of excitement and fear of the unknown.

On one hand I cannot believe it has already been a year. It went by lightening fast. But on the other hand it feels like it has been ages since I’ve felt a full-sized baby roll around in my belly. Please forgive me as I write this. But I miss it. I miss being pregnant. Don’t get all excited. No baby plans on the horizon at all. I didn’t expect to feel this way considering we’re supposed to be done. D-O-N-E . . . DONE. But I’m always honest on my blog. To say I’m not mourning that part of my life being over would be a lie.

So there it is. One of my last belly photos.