Did you know that the internet helped save my life?
Because it did.
I’m thankful to the PA I saw for most of my pregnancy and whom I saw after Joshua was here.
She knew about postpartum depression. She understood postpartum anxiety.
She knew that my inappropriate response to meatloaf wasn’t normal and put a tiny slip of paper in my hands at my 8-day post-op visit.
After Joshua’s was born, I was angry. At the surgery that removed him from me. At the screaming ball of lungs and poop who never slept. At my husband who left to go to work every day. At all the people who seemed to have it “easy.”
I wondered what I’d done to deserve such misery. All I’d wanted was to be a mother. A good mother.
When I went back for my check-up, I knew in my heart that I wasn’t right. I wasn’t me. The way I was feeling wasn’t normal. I knew in my heart that what I had was postpartum anxiety with a side of depression for good measure.
I remember that morning clearly. Mama came down to watch Joshua. I took donuts and orange juice to my first period to let them know I was thinking of them. I drove down the street to the doctor’s office. I was wearing khaki shorts and a black shirt. I can see myself going through the motions of that morning like I was watching that day but not living it.
I broke down on the PA and called Dan on the way home telling him that I was filling the prescription I’d been carrying in my bag for six weeks.
But then I went for almost a year with the only step toward feeling better being taking that pill every night. I didn’t talk about it. I didn’t call it postpartum depression when I tried to write about it. If I didn’t say it, it wasn’t true. Even if I was on medication.
And then one day I joined Twitter and I found a whole army of mamas in my position. And we talked. And we shared. And we became friends.
And the fog started to lift. Slowly, those women on the internet changed my life.
Katherine Stone, a woman I’m proud to call friend, fights tirelessly for mamas like me. She fights so that we know we’re not alone. So that we know that there is help and hope out there.
Katherine’s blog, Postpartum Progress, is the most widely read site IN THE WORLD regarding depression both during and after pregnancy. She breaks postpartum depress down in “Plain Mama English” so that it’s not scary or clinical. So that you see her words and go “hey, that’s me” and you’re not ashamed of it.
Today Postpartum Progress needs our help.
Today, on the day when more babies are born each year than any other day of the year, Postpartum Progress, the nonprofit, raises money to meet the nonprofit’s needs for the upcoming year. This year, the goal is to have print materials written in Plain Mama English to put in the offices of doctors and clinicians who want to help all mamas be their best selves.
This year, just like last year, and just like next year, because I believe in Katherine and in the work she’s doing, I’m helping moms have a Strong Start.
You can help, too. Donate here. Now.
$1, $5, $20.
Skip a soda or a latte.
Save a life.