Sunday, October 11, 2009

"Non-Medical" Help, Part 1


So, What else have I tried?
Well, Besides medications and trips to the Psychiatrist, Medical Doctor, Gynecologist, and eventually the Endocrinologist, I also logged plenty of miles (and money) going to my Chiropractor/Kinesiologist, the Acupuncturists, the health food store and to counseling sessions. (I have had 2 counselors, not counting my "shrink.") I have also used this experience to educate myself and do everything I can to get better on my own. Things like cutting out caffeine after a certain time of day, over-hauling the types of cosmetic and cleaning products I use (due to chemicals such as Isopropyl Alcohol, which interferes with your hormones) and going through a parasitic "cleanse." (Not to mention being "positive on purpose," wearing colorful clothing, turning lights on, playing upbeat music, etc...) For 6-8 months I took a variety of supplements and alternative medicines, and had to keep a chart of my cycle and basil temperature every morning for part of that time. It seemed like I was always going to some kind of appointment or doing something new to see if it would "work," or at least help. I was desperate, and willing to do just about anything! (And I did.) Thankfully, I did not have to resort to something as extreme as a hysterectomy, as some have had to do.* 
   These days, I am down to 2 doctors (1 conventional, 1 non) who I see far less often, and only have to take 1 medication  and 2 kinds of vitamins/supplements. (A high-quality Multi-Vitamin and Calcium/Magnesium) I run several days a week, and try to maintain a healthy lifestyle (natural foods, very little sugar...) and daily routine. As my friend David suggested-when depression hits, just try to "do the next thing." When you have your day planned out, it is easier to have control over your feelings, instead of letting them take control of your day. And of course, staying connected to God (through prayer/bible reading/meditation, etc) and being part of a supportive community is at the top of the list!   
 Spending 2 months in cooler, calmer Wisconsin this Summer really helped bring some healing, too! I was able to detach from the familiar and breathe in something new. I knew I had made progress when I was able to successfully spend that amount of time away from home (and take care of my son without my parents or other "babysitters" around to help) without taking a single anxiety pill! Not that I didn't have some rough days, but a "rough day" now, is nothing compared to what it used to be. Praise God for progress. (And dark chocolate!)



*Yes, it happens. PPD is hormonal and real. This thing is no joke, and it's not just "in your head." Sometimes surgery becomes necessary. See my friend Sharee's blog: to read more.   

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

So, About This blog...

This blog is a long and emotional process of writing and remembering a little bit at a time. Thank you all for your support and encouragement as I tell my story. There are so many pieces involved. It's not like one of those "beginner puzzles." (For ages 3 and under) It is more like one of those huge puzzles, like your grandma puts together, a few tiny pieces at a time. But, in the end, a big, beautiful picture covers the table! So, be patient with me and I will try to be patient with myself, as I slowly but surely put this puzzle together. Sometimes it takes me a few weeks to post something new, but I will keep writing! More to come... 


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Medical Help PART 3

By late June/early July, I had been back at home for several weeks and still felt unstable, though I had seen a lot of improvement in my ability to function. I was on an "as needed" basis with my therapist, and was trying to improve my health in every way possible. I started running again, was seeing my chiropractor regularly and kept taking my meds. But something was still out of balance and the Lexapro didn't really seem to be "working." I tried to stay positive, but couldn't help how I was feeling. One afternoon, It all caught up to me really badly and I hit a desperate low and needed help right away. Up to this point, I had not been to a "Psychiatrist," but that day I was not going back home until I saw one, even if it meant checking in to the "Ward" at the hospital first. (Sometimes it takes up to 2 months to get in with a Psychiatrist by appointment.) I went to my parents' house, and fell apart on their kitchen floor. I remember talking to someone on the PSI (Postpartum Support International) hotline that day, too. My husband called a couple of places to try and get me in (Mental Health Centers, etc) and there were not a lot of options unless I was "a threat to myself or others." (I'm thinking,"If somebody doesn't let me in I might become a threat!") We ended up going to a place called the Peace River Center. A friend accompanied my husband and I, and I sat down with a staff member trying to explain my situation. She took me seriously, and though I didn't threaten to kill myself, she put me on the list for immediate help. She gave us a few minutes to decide if I wanted to stay there (most likely for the night) until a doctor could see me (or until they could take me to the hospital) or we could go to the hospital on our own, with their reference. (Basically, I was getting "Baker Acted") I had packed a bag just in case. Izzy was with my parents, waiting. My husband was with me, heart-broken and stressed out at the thought of all of this, and I just walked outside for a minute to make a phone call for prayer. Meanwhile, God knew that this was a last resort and that I needed a way out. Within moments, Ian got a phone call from a Psychiatrist's office in Safety Harbor, Florida, and they had a last-minute opening due to a cancellation that day. Unbelievable. God showed up just in time. Early that evening, I met with Doctor Mariana Delgado for the first time, and saw her for several months following. She changed my medications, and I began to wean off of the Lexapro and work my way up to using Paxil and Risperdal instead. She began to keep a record of my visits and progress in her notepad. She asked me questions like, "On a scale from 1-10, what number would you give your anxiety right now?" To which I answered, "Eleven." 
 Still, God's timing was perfect that day. That would be one of many times He would prove his faithfulness to us. He even put a Starbucks right down the road from my new doctor! God loves to show up in the details of our lives. 

Monday, July 20, 2009

Other Babies

Not only did the PPD distance me from my own baby, but I had a resentment about babies/mommies in general because of my experience. Normally, I love babies. I love to hold them, and like to see moms with their kids, and families being together. But I can remember feeling hurt and un-interested in even one of my closest friend's new baby. She would come over and visit with me, and I would watch her playing with her new daughter and I couldn't connect. I didn't want to hold her baby, and I was jealous that she could be so playful with her and I couldn't feel that way toward Israel. Another one of my good friends had her baby just a few weeks after I had Izzy, at the same birthing center, (a little boy) and I felt really out of place being the only "depressed" one of the bunch. PPD isolated me from the normal "new moms" circle, and I hated that. I hated it for my friends, too. I wanted to be there for them. I wanted to bring them meals and cuddle their babies and go out together. But I just didn't feel like it. I just wasn't there yet. It felt like a huge waste of time, like I was missing out on our new journey as moms. I can never get that time back, but thankfully, my friends were very understanding and we are now able to hang out and watch our kids play together. Recently, my sister-in-law had her second baby girl and I was able to hold her, calmly and happily in my arms. I soaked it in, remembering that just over a year ago, I was nowhere near that place. Another small victory!
It also made me wish I could go back to when Izzy was an infant and hold him again.  

Friday, June 19, 2009


APRIL 17. 2008:

I am hungry but don't have an appetite. sleep is relief when it comes, until my eyes open again. Simple decisions are hard. Normal life seems huge to me, hard to grasp. Yet I miss it painfully. Progress seems so small and slow, and the "set-back" worry lurks around the corner. I have cried and cried, and tried and tried, with what little is in me. In the resevoir of my spirit, somewhere, deep down is deep water to draw from. I am taking tiny sips of survival, doing what I know to do...all i know to do. Everything is foggy right now, even in my head. I look but don't fully see. Touch, but don't truly feel. This is the disconnect I even feel, and perhaps especially feel with my new baby. (at least in the natural) But I fight the feeling of a disconnect with my God, too. "Yet i will praise." YET...God is my hope, my only hope. I must trust. "whom have I but you?" These are things you sing about, talk about, read about and believe on a certain level, but those beliefs are tested to the core when you are "crushed" and somehow keep breathing, and therefore, keep praising. When the Lord says he is the "lifter of our head," it just sounds like strong encouragement, until you literally can't keep your head above water without his hand picking it up! And then it falls, and He helps you again...and again...and again. But why God, won't you pick ALL of me up and take me out of this dangerous water? My head is tired from the struggle, as is my body, mind and soul. I have never gone through something this hard, or this grueling. I have in mind to run a marathon one day, but if i don't get the chance, I can look back and remember that I have already been through the longest test of present trial. I have already run a thousand "marathons" in the last few weeks, that I didn't even "train" for, or so I thought. I would never have expected all of this to happen. I wish I could go back to the beginning, right after Israel was born and erase all of this, be a happy mommy and enjoy the new life I expected. Now, I not only fight to get back to the "new normal" but just the "normal" I already knew is very difficult to get back to. I want to live again! Fully live. Jesus came to give an abundant life. It does not bring him joy to see his daughter wounded in this way. RISE UP LIKE A MIGHTY WARRIOR AND RESCUE ME!!! 
I do not wish to be bitter. I do not want to take steps back anymore. I want to get on with it. enough already! May the healing come! This was not my fault. The enemy will not win. When I come out of this, tested in the fire, I will come out shining like pure gold, under the glory of my Father. God, have your glory!! I cannot carry this burden. I carried the reward for 9 months, and now I carry him in my arms. But not this trial...this affliction...I need it taken. Let me "lay aside this weight" and run freely again, the race you have marked out for me.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

How Did I Get Here?

Written 3/7/09

It’s like I went to sleep pregnant, had a horrible nightmare, and when I woke up, I had a baby boy who was already several months old. Now what do I do? I am still trying to get over the nightmare, but suddenly I’m parenting a child. Why did I have to sleep through the transition? I needed time to adjust. I needed to bond with my infant, grow into this, embrace my new role and gracefully step into so many changes. I wanted to make good memories with my husband and our new son. I expected to go through a new process, but not one of personal survival through great pain. Just the normal one of being a new mom. Oh, to trade the former for the latter! How did I get here? I may never understand. But I’m here, and so is my son. He loves me, and will never know the difference.   

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Taking Steps

 Almost every week, my counselor sent me home with an "assignment" or some  practical goals or advice to think about. Two of the first things she made me do, were taking Izzy for a walk (by myself) and singing to him."Let him get to know the essence of you." At this point, he was at least a month old, and I had never done either. She wanted me to start to bond with him, even if I didn't feel the connection yet.(Another PPD symptom is not feeling bonded to your new child. It feels like there is a wall between you.) She would also give me journaling exercises,and told me to work on Israel's baby book. Though it wasn't easy, I made myself follow through. The walk was the hardest. Before I got pregnant, I was a dedicated runner, in great shape and loved feeling my feet hit the ground. Now, I was a frightened new Mom, who could barely take a walk. Even so, I loaded Iz into the stroller, put on my shoes and just faked it. I walked him through my parents yard, and then up and down the sidewalk by the highway. We even took a turn on a side street, and that is about the time I began to sing. "You light up my give me hope to carry on..." It was a bittersweet moment. It helped both of us but I still think about how difficult it was when I drive by that sidewalk. As for the baby book, my mom helped me remember a few things to record and Ian helped me stamp Izzy's footprints.   

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Cheer Up!

 People who have never experienced severe or clinical depression or anxiety, will never understand what it does to your mental ability to cope, and how different it is from “normal” depression or anxiety. It is so much more than having a down day, or being stressed out or overly worried. It is also not necessarily  “about” anything, and so it is hard to come up with a way to help it. If I said “I am afraid,” someone would say, “What are you afraid of?” Or you might want to know what I am crying about. I would cry about nothing and everything all at once. Some of the most shallow things I heard from people during the worst of my postpartum depression was their well-meaning but frustrating ideas on how to make myself feel better. How could I just “cheer up” when I had nothing to do with cheering down? I was in the throws of it so much that I was not even in the state of being able to apply anything I was hearing. Sure, I forced myself to try things like walking outside, taking a shower (which sometimes had to be a supervised activity) watching TV, “breathing” or even just getting my favorite drink from Starbucks. These things would have been more helpful if they were proportional to the problem. But, in my case, the problem was much deeper, more complicated and medical in nature. I could try all I wanted, but until my hormones/emotions got some balance, and until I was able to think more clearly (and sleep, for that matter!) I could not climb out of this pit, even for a few moments to catch a break. I desperately wanted people to understand how I felt, and that this was different. That what they were saying made no sense to me! I just felt like yelling at them. (In fact, I did yell around family members.) I have prayed! I have exercised! I have…” It wasn’t working. I had people bringing me vitamins, teas, music, books, medicine, lavender lotion to help me relax, a special pillow, you name it. They did their best to help, but I think what helped the most was not what they said I should do, but just that they were there with me. That they had the courage and compassion to reach out. They may not have known what to say or do, but I clung to everyone around me. If you are trying to help someone through a situation like this, don’t feel like you have to stop the storm (as much as they wish you could) but just being there for them until it passes is the best help you can offer. You may not “cheer them up,” but you may help them survive for one more day until eventually, something does.

I do remember one validating and humorous word of advice from an older friend of mine, who said, “If you don’t feel like taking a shower, Don’t!” She didn’t try to help me into the shower, or underestimate how difficult it was to do even the simplest things. She just let me feel how I was feeling, and told me it was Okay. 

Monday, June 1, 2009

Leaving Home

My dad accompanied me to my follow-up visit at the birthing center. (Ian was working ) I did not feel "right," on the inside, but at least on the outside I was healing up just fine. The midwife knew I was struggling, as I had been calling the center repeatedly trying to get some answers. 3 different times staff from Labor of Love had made home visits postpartum, and had been on the phone with my husband or myself  quite a bit during those first couple of weeks. I don't think they had ever seen a case like mine, and it only added to the hurt and humiliation to have to walk back into their office so "borderline." (One of the midwives had gone through depression before, and had advised me to seek help from and possibly check into the mental health unit at the hospital. She was concerned and a bit stern with me. At first I got angry, but now I advise immediate help on this issue. It can worsen and even "snap" someone into harmful behavior if left untreated.) Dad drove me back to my house, where I gathered up a few necessary items for Izzy and I for our stay at my parents house. I wouldn't need to bring my breast pump...I was now on medication and had to give that up. Israel has done great on formula, but I still get emotional even writing about this. Not only did I have to sacrifice giving this form of nutrition to my son, and miss out on the "bond," of nursing my first child, but because of the PPD, my feelings of failure and loss were compounded.  We loaded up my son and my stuff and went to my parents' house. I felt a little hopeful at first and nicknamed it the "Healing House," planning to just try to rest up and get better-kind of like a retreat. Friends and church members (my Dad is a pastor) began to come over and visit us there, and continued to bring meals, cards, hugs and prayers. One of my dear friends, a nurse, brought over some anxiety pills for me to take to help me relax and sleep. (That was a new one for me! I am a pretty "natural" person, and would rather take vitamins.) I felt calmer, even "happy" for a short time, and cracked a couple of jokes. I took one more pill before bed, and actually fell asleep that night! My hubby stayed with me in my old bedroom, but the baby stayed in my parents room so Mom could take care of him through the night.   Four hours later, I woke up in a panic. The drug had worn off and so did any sense of calm or control. A pattern of insomnia and anxiety set in all over again.  I spent the next 2-3 hours fighting through the night on my Dad's recliner. All of the symptoms had returned, but with drug after-effects now added to the mix. I hated that night.

Jack in the Box

One way to describe the anxiety that constantly “churned” inside of me during PPD, is that I felt like a “Jack-in-the-Box.” There was no break from the stirring, sickening feeling of fear, tension, panic and nervousness. A wave of nerves ran through me like a river in the pit of my stomach. I was either “winding up or exploding.” No in between. I could only “hold it together” for so long, before I lost control. And after I would manage to calm down, or become so drained emotionally that I didn’t have the energy to maintain such severe outward “symptoms,” it would start all over again. The crank would turn and turn, sometimes all day long, while I tried to “stay calm,” and keep the lid down on my emotions- what was going on inside. Then suddenly, “POP!” Another panic attack. Another “melt-down.” Another “episode.” Another defeat. A scary explosion of crying, questioning, breathing, yelling, collapsing…almost giving up. I would repeat the phrase, “I feel like I’m unraveling…”

P.S. When the above picture was taken, I was experiencing an on-coming anxiety attack. I had to hold it together for the camera. I'm glad I did!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Medical Help PART 2

I continued to see the medical doctor for several weeks,kept taking my medicine, and began counseling sessions at a place called "Quest." Ian went with me the first couple of times, and then I started being "dropped off," and seeing my therapist one-on-one. My prescription dosages were increased. The Lexapro didn't help me much and I was hesitant to take Xanax because of side effects. But I took it when I had to, and happened into a routine of Lexapro in the morning and Xanax around bedtime (with a bowl of cereal)to help me sleep. I found myself in a frustrating, maddening Catch-22 of needing the med to get even a few hours of sleep, but then waking up every morning sick to my stomach from it, and nervous and depressed all over again. I dreaded waking up to another day. And I would still wake up in the middle of the night quite often, with anxiety, and hearing the sounds of my newborn...I would pass him in the living room, on my way to the kitchen. (I would eat a snack, pray, pace,cry, try to calm down and get back to sleep.)I felt guilty and grieved that I wasn't the one up with him through the night, giving him his bottle. For 4 weeks straight, my parents, mostly my mom, took on that responsibility. 

Thursday, May 28, 2009

“It’s only 5:00, Mom!”

written 3/1/09

During the first few weeks of Israel’s life, time seemed to be my enemy. Because of the depression, every moment felt like an hour, and nothing got better or easier. It was a fight just to do the necessary things to take care of myself, much less all of the responsibility that comes with a newborn. I not only felt bad physically, but I was in such a mental fog and emotional mess, that everything was difficult, “pointless,” and painfully slow. Sometimes I couldn’t even shower. All I could do was sit and sob and say the same things over and over. “I can’t take this anymore.” “I don’t understand!” “It’s not supposed to be this way.” “What’s wrong with me?” “I don’t feel like I’m really here.” One of the hardest things about “time” was all of the moments I lost with my new son. My moments with him were not peaceful, and a lot of them were stolen all-together because of me having to “get rest,” or go to doctors appointments, counseling sessions, etc. It felt like I would NEVER get better. Even when we would all get out of the house and go ride around, grab lunch somewhere or go for a walk…anything we could think was survival…something to pass time. Nothing was enjoyable. I knew that if I did make it to the end of another day, I dreaded the thought of starting another day just like the one before. (Groundhog day!) I would look back on my day, and it was like a big, long, blur. The weeks went by faster than the days. Mondays kept coming, reminding me that Izzy was another week old, and that we still weren’t home. Another hard week was beginning. Oh God, how much longer? One day, I sat on the couch beside my mom, tissues in hand, and looked at the clock on the VCR. “It’s only 5 o’clock, Mom!” I cried and cried. I felt stuck in that moment. In the days that followed, we began to guard that time of day, and tried to do something besides sit on the couch and cry, before the clock hit 5:00pm again.

Medical Help

The MD listened to my heart-beat and said it was like a "race-horse." My anxiety levels were through the roof.My husband sat in the doctor's office with me while I cried through the appointment. My new baby was only 2 weeks old and in that short amount of time I had gone from being a happy, healthy mom-to-be, to feeling like a helpless child filled with fear and sadness.I was prescribed 2 more medications:Lexapro and Xanax.Dr. Balla, a kind Christian man, told me it would take time but that things would get better.I was devastated and scared. I didn't feel like I could handle it for one more day.I didn't have time for it to "take time!" I was desperate for relief.
We went back home, picking up one of the prescriptions on our way.I tried to rest, but was too shaken up. At this point, my parents were helping out and coming over at all hours and Ian had to return to work. We decided it would be best to just stay with them for the next few days. A "few days" turned into 6 weeks.We were in for a huge battle. Bigger than us, but not bigger than God. Within a few days of visiting doctor Balla for the first time, He called to check on me, and to let me know that the blood tests they ran all came back "normal."(They checked my Thyroid and other areas, but also said my hormones were still out of balance, of course, because I had just had a baby. It was too early to tell.)I tried to be positive about the results: at least I wasn't "sick," but I also felt like I still didn't have an answer or the validation that it wasn't just "in my head." Still, I took comfort in the sincerity of the doctor. He spoke with compassion, and seemed to be genuinely concerned for me. He kept me in his prayers, and left his personal number on my voicemail. God knew how delicate I was at that time, and that I needed to be in the care of gentle people who took my problem seriously.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Rocky Start

Israel Paul Goodman was born at 8:15pm on March 24th, 2008 at a birthing center. Everything seemed fine, we had successfully, all-naturally, delivered a healthy, beautiful baby boy. My pain was gone, I got a bath, ate some dinner, and we were home by 11:30 that night! Yes, I was sore and very tired (and a little "out of it") but just chalked it up (the numbness, shock, delirium) to child-birth. Every new parent feels this way, right? We couldn't believe what had just happened and that we were in our bed staring at our own son in a basket! Wow...

Well, I had maybe gotten 10 minutes of sleep during the 20 hour process, and had gone into labor at night, so I had also already been up that entire day before. My parents accompanied us home, made sure we were ok, and then left, (at our request) planning to return the next day and visit.

Over the next couple of days, I was still feeling okay, but not sleeping enough. Still, I was enjoying my baby and showing him off. Visitors were coming over. My hubby and I even went for the follow-up checkups and it felt so neat to already be out and about with our baby, grabbing breakfast and Starbucks and taking pictures of Israel in his car seat. I even remember one of the first couple of days, my mom asking me how it felt now- “Does it feel natural and normal to have a baby now, or are you having trouble? Feeling emotional?” I said, “No,” and that it felt completely normal, like he just fit right in as part of our family, nothing different...

So, that was our beginning, but over the first few days, I was having some trouble breast-feeding and I was trying everything! But Israel wasn't eating enough. This caused more lack of sleep and anxiety and tears over the frustration and concern about my son "not eating." I felt helpless. All of my emotions and fear were also magnified by the lack of sleep.

We had brought Iz home on Monday, and by Wednesday night Ian and I were about to lose it, not knowing what else to do with our crying little boy who wouldn't sleep or eat. I called my friend/neighbor over for help with the nursing (she's a mom of 3, was nursing her own son at the time, and was training to be a dulah) She came, stayed until after 4 in the morning and slept with the baby in the living room so we could get a little sleep. I think I slept for about 2 hours that night. By Thursday morning, I was starting to feel desperate and called a lactate consultant over to our house, and she helped us get started with "pumping." All day Friday I "pumped," and tried to play catch up behind my son's feeding schedule, while still exhausted and shaken up over the night before. (not to mention how draining-no pun intended-it can be physically to pump a lot, losing calories, energy, etc) My parents and others from our church continued to come over and help out, bring food, clean up the house, hold the baby, etc. But something had triggered by Friday. By Friday evening, I was feeling anxious, had a nervous stomach, felt overtired, like tired beyond the point of being able to relax and sleep. I started to tell my husband and parents that I felt really "weird" and to pray for me. Well, that "weird" got worse, and turned into one of the worst nights of my life.

Hours later, after feeling very sick, shaking, crying, feeling like I was "clocking out," and having several friends come over, (to pray, and give me Tylenol PM, Pediasure, Gatorade, anything to help "replenish my system" and give me some sleep) I finally settled down enough to go to sleep...for 45 minutes! I woke up with an achy head, and the feelings started all over again (not to mention the awkwardness and frustration of all of this even happening! My poor husband and my baby! Why couldn't I just feel okay and take care of my baby? I ended up on the bathroom floor, crying out for help, in a fog…I felt like I was dying. Little did I know this would be my first all-out anxiety attack. 911 was called, and an ambulance was sent out to pick me up from our house. They wheeled me out in a T-shirt and my husband’s boxer shorts. I spent the next four hours at the emergency room, a basket-case, with my husband on one side, my dad on the other, waiting with me by the bed. (My mom stayed home with the baby.) I was the picture of chaos and confusion, with an I.V. in my arm. To make things worse, my milk came in there, and soaked my t-shirt on the hospital cot. What a reminder that things were not going like we had planned.

The doctor finally came back in and reported that I "just needed rest" and also gave me a prescription for a UTI. WHAT? That's IT??

We went back home, and again I could not sleep, but now felt even more trapped, because I had already tried going to the ER and they didn't help me. (not to mention how expensive it was just to be told what you already knew. It was pointless to go back and waste more money.)

My mom started to call everyone she could think of to pray, while I lay helplessly freaking out on my loveseat in the living room. My husband slept on and off in the bedroom. I worried about him, the baby, my parents...but I also couldn't help or stop how I was feeling, and had to have their help. My body felt like it was spinning completely out of control. I have heard it best explained this way: “Your hormones are fluctuating too rapidly for your brain.”

Fast forward....(Friday and Saturday were horrible) By Saturday night (after hardly sleeping since MONDAY) I finally took a couple of sleeping pills and got some sleep, even though it was still very difficult to stay still and “let myself sleep.” But I finally fell asleep and woke up 7-8 hours later. (Mom stayed the night and took care of the baby, so Ian and I could rest.) I felt a lot better the next morning and we all ate a big breakfast. Ahh... I thought everything would get back to normal. I was wrong. I struggled to "keep it together" for another week or so, but I was falling apart. I got in to see a family doctor, who diagnosed me with Postpartum Depression. (I had to excuse myself while waiting to see him. I was having a panic attack in the waiting room.) That was the first of many steps I would have to take forward in the days to come.

I am still recovering from the symptoms and the post-trauma of PPD. No, not the "baby blues." No, not the "big adjustment of being a new mom." I am talking about the fight of my life! There is so little out there on the topic of PPD, at least the kind of extreme case that I suffered, and I am determined to help change that! Creating this blog is one small way I can do that. After 14 months, I am still here. There must be a purpose! More to Come...