And the 2010 Postpartum Voice of the Year is…….


Background created by Billy Alexander; sourced from: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1284532

I am so very excited to announce that Kimberly, of All work & No Play Makes Mommy go Something Something, is the 2010 Postpartum Voice of the Year.

Kimberly’s writing about her journey through her battle with PMD’s has been absolutely astounding. With each new post, she allows her readers into her world with a breathtakingly raw level of honesty. Through it all, even when she has felt like giving up, she has found solace through sharing her journey with us. We have all rallied around her when times have gotten tough and celebrated when they’ve been good.

Today is one of those days where we get to hoist Kimberly onto our shoulders and carry her around for a day. Today is Kimberly’s day. Heck, it’s her YEAR.

Congratulations to one of the most amazing women I have had the good fortune to come in contact with over the past year. You are truly an inspiration and a shining light for other mothers. YOUR words speak volumes when they sit alone in the dark, searching for hope. You totally rock.

Want to read the piece she won this fabulous award for? You can read it right here.

To all the finalists of the Postpartum Voice of the Year, know that beyond a shadow of a doubt that your words too, are making a difference. Your story speaks to mothers who are in the SAME place as you. They will find solace in your journey. A solace which may not exist anywhere else for them. I cannot stress how important this is – every woman with Postpartum deserves a soft place to land. All of the finalists and nominees are amazing. The compassion I know all of you have in your hearts amazes me every week. The community we build through our words is limitless, priceless, full of hope, full of love – full of all the things we WISH had been there for us when we fell – or WAS there for us when we fell. It’s filled with all that it should be and so much more.

I am humbled by your audacity and courage on a daily basis.

Don’t ever stop speaking up, reaching out, and inspiring hope.

Congratulations, Kimberly. As @earthXplorer would say, ROCK THIS DAY!

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My Postpartum Voice named one of Psych Central’s 2010 Top 10 Depression Blogs


If you heard loud shrieking this morning, that was me.

I apologize.

When I began this blog, the purpose was nothing more than to reframe an unexpected pregnancy after two episodes of Postpartum OCD, depression, and a side of PTSD for kicks. (What can I say, I like to live on the edge!)

I had no inkling that three years later I would still be blogging. To be completely honest, I had no idea I would even blog the entire pregnancy. I am horrible at journaling. But clearly great at blogging.

To be named in the Top 10 Postpartum Depression Writers at Katherine Stone’s Postpartum Progress rocked my world enough just a few weeks ago.

And then I find out that my blog has been named one of the Top 10 Depression Blogs over at PsychCentral? Whoa.

This award is received in company with Katherine, @Abeeliever (who, by the way, moderates #mhsm chats quite often on Twitter and totally rocks it), Dr. Deborah Serani, and Dr. David Mrazek over at the Mayo Clinic Depression Blog and a few other awesome bloggers who are constantly sharing themselves, research, and providing outreach for those who are struggling with depression on a daily basis.

A HUGE Thank You to PsychCentral, my readers, and especially to my husband and family who put up with my blogging on a daily basis.

I am so very honored to be a part of this list.

2010 has been awesome.

But you know what? 2011 is gonna be even better.

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Postpartum Voice of the week: Sue of @SueandFadra at Lives Less Ordinary


As I was clicking through all the Postpartum blog posts from this past week, one stood out.

The sheer honesty, power, intensity, and raw emotion of the writing leapt off the screen at me. I found myself nodding my head several times, connecting with her story. It is a rare thing to find a writer who not only opens up about her experience with mental illness but does so in such a way that she captivates you, drawing you in until it is just you and her words.

You can find her story here.

Sue’s story really started to speak to me when she mentioned her issues with her pelvis. I had similar issues with all three of my pregnancies. It was never as severe as hers but lemme tell you, when your body produces entirely too much relaxin and your hips can barely keep themselves together to keep the baby in, the pain is excruciating. During my first pregnancy, I could barely put on underwear or shoes without weeping from the intense pain. Turning over in bed? Out of the question. I prayed I wouldn’t have to pee in the middle of the night. We had to get a tempurpedic mattress topper just to make it tolerable. And sleeping on my side (ie, on my HIPS/Pelvis) made things worse. My first OB, classic knowledgeable God that he was, simply told me “Welcome to pregnancy.” Sorry dude, but normal pregnancy should not have you in tears as you get dressed. I ended up on self-commanded bed rest the last two months of my first pregnancy because walking around hurt too much. I stayed propped up on the couch with a vibrating heating pad most days and watched TV. It sucked.

My second pregnancy began to head the same way at four months along. New OB this time – I got PT, which helped. Third pregnancy, symptoms showed up at three months. I got water therapy and it? Was a lifesaver. I ended up agreeing to getting induced at 38 weeks because by that time, baby was so low and weighing so heavily on my weary pelvis that I could again barely walk.

Often times, doctors here in the US are misguidedly unaware of this rare pelvic disorder and brush it off as “normal” pregnancy pain/adjustment. But it’s not. And it can disable you for life if handled incorrectly, especially if you have a vaginal delivery and are suffering from a severe case of it as Sue found herself. For most, the pelvic pain does fade after birth but many women struggle with pelvis issues for life. I could feel my pelvis shift in and out of joint after my second pregnancy, especially when driving my car. It was worse after my second delivery. I can still pop it in and out of joint. But lemme tell you, it hurts like the dickens if it’s out. Oh, the burning, the aching… it’s enough to make me want to take a tranquilizer. I am doing much better these days as I’ve been faithful with doing yoga each and every morning. But the issues caused by pregnancy and relaxin will haunt my pelvis for life, I fear. It’s a large part of why I will never get pregnant again. I don’t think my pelvis could handle another pregnancy. Physically and mentally, I am done.

Enough about me though, let’s get back to Sue. This is, after all, her award post! (I apologize for the digression, it’s just so rare to read about someone else who went through similar pelvic issues during pregnancy!)

Sue’s post is entitled “My Voice, My Depression” and with those words, she owns her Depression instead of the other way around. Sue takes back the power which Depression can hold over so many of us.

My favorite passage:

I am desperately trying to get past this time in my life, but I know it will take some time. I have acquired the amazing talent of hiding all of what I have said above from the rest of the word. If you see me on the street you would think nothing but, there goes funny, upbeat Sue. While underneath I an working, fighting and choosing a happier path than I have had the last few years.

These days are hard because I am trying my best to work though them. Emotional work is extremely difficult. It consumes you and can bring your life to a screeching halt.

Sue is in the middle of her Postpartum experience, still struggling, still fighting to escape the fog and the darkness. And yet she has written with such clarity about the journey she is currently experiencing. For that, she is The Postpartum Voice of the Week.

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Postpartum Voice of the Week: Katherine Stone


Katherine Stone’s blog, Postpartum Progress, turned six years old two days ago.

Six years ago this month found me struggling to find help for my first episode of Postpartum OCD. I came across Katherine’s site shortly after she started it as the only sources of help I ended up with were virtual. I found the Online Postpartum Page and the iVillage boards to be helpful as well. But never did I think I would end up a blogger like Katherine. Heck, back then I had no idea what a blog was, to be completely honest. (Oh, how the times have changed!)

I went back and read Katherine’s first post. Her goal? That Postpartum Progress help in some small way.

In her birthday post this past week, she writes:

I have now spent six years with postpartum depression, figuratively speaking.  Six years writing about every aspect I can think of.

And I love it.

Thank you for reading.  I hope it can continue to help women who seek answers and support.

I, for one, cannot WAIT to see what the next six years bring for Katherine.

And Katherine – you have done SO much more than just help in a small way. Your contribution has been tremendous. Because of you, women are bravely voicing their experience with Postpartum Mood Disorders (myself included). Because of you, more and more are aware of Postpartum Mood Disorders. Because of you – there is hope.  Thank you.