I was seven weeks pregnant when my brain was taken hostage by intrusive thoughts.
“You can’t do this.”
“You’re not strong enough.”
“Just make it go away.”
“What if you just fell down the stairs?”
And then my world came to a screeching halt. I made doctor appointments. I reached out to friends and family. I consulted experts and took two different psychiatric medications. I made therapy appointments. AND I GOT BETTER.
I tell you all of this because I want you to know that without Postpartum Progress, I don’t know what would have happened. I waited over six months to get help after No1 was born. I was in denial about my postpartum depression, but mostly I didn’t know enough about it, its prevalence, or where to turn for help. With No2, I ran for help at the first symptom. And because of my vigilance and planning, my pregnancy and birth experiences were healing. I bonded with this baby in a way I never got the chance to with No1. Though stressed, I am fortunate to feel like myself these days.
Postpartum Progress gave me the resources, the community, and the knowledge to seek treatment this time. Through Katherine’s blog, I found a perinatal psychiatrist to walk me though my treatment options. I found other moms who had struggled with antenatal depression and gave birth to babies that they loved. Most importantly, I found hope. . . and a sliver of hope is all it takes to break the cycle of shame and fear.
I’ve been lucky enough to meet Katherine in person twice. How do you say thank you to someone for giving you back your life? For teaching you that you are not a bad mother, merely a sick one? There are not enough words to explain that each moment you get to love your children was made possible by the tireless work they do.
So today, I’m asking you to help me thank her. I’m asking you to help her help moms just like me. Today is Start Strong Day over at Postpartum Progress. Please click over, read about the important work she is doing with her nonprofit organization, Postpartum Progress Inc., and considering donating. There are mothers and families out there who need our help.