A Heartfelt Thank You as I Celebrate Six Years of Blogging


Six YearsSix years.

Wow.

Six.

For six years, I’ve been blogging about Postpartum Mood Disorders. I started with my own journey, in an effort to refocus facing pregnancy after two harrowing experiences with Postpartum Mood Disorders myself.

Then I moved on to Sharing the Journey, adding more voices to my own, acknowledging that there is power in the details of ALL our journeys. Through this interview series approach to my blog, I interviewed not only Moms, but experts and authors as well.

Three years ago today, I started #PPDChat and have since met some of the most awesome people to ever grace the Interwebz with their presence.

Being in the belly of hell during my darkest times with Postpartum Depression, OCD, and PTSD sucked. I was alone.

But I’m not alone any longer.

I want to thank Katherine Stone for supporting me as I first got started…for being a powerful and motivating voice which kept me going.

I want to thank Karen Kleiman for her words of wisdom in her book, “What Am I Thinking: Having a Baby After Postpartum Depression” which advises women to re-frame their pregnancies after Postpartum Depression. Her words are the ones which planted the idea of starting a blog to share my journey with others – to make it a real life example of what it’s like to navigate pregnancy after Postpartum Depression.

I want to thank Amber Koter Puline and Ivy Shih Leung for being there with me too as we all navigated this Postpartum Mood Disorder blog thing. Thanks for having my back and for your willingness to listen whenever we had issues. I love you both as if you were sisters. Seriously.

Most of all, I want to thank Wendy Davis of Postpartum Support International. Wendy has encouraged me in my journey of advocacy and helped me think through some very tough questions I had in the early days. She’s been the voice of reason, and never hesitated to talk with me when I needed advice or support. Meeting you in 2010, Wendy, was awesome.

I’d like to thank my Mother too – for her never-ending support through the hell that was my Postpartum Depression journey – for always being just a phone call away and for listening even when she didn’t want to and for letting me just pour my heart out. I can never thank you enough for being there for me when I needed someone to just listen. A huge thanks to my Father for telling me that while hospitalized that what I was experiencing was a completely normal reaction to everything I had been through. More than he’ll ever know, I clung tenaciously to that sentiment as I healed.

I know I’ve forgotten some people but if I thanked every single person, we’d be here forever.

A HUGE thank you to the #PPDChat community as well – without you, women and families wouldn’t have a 24/7 network of support to access on Twitter. Each one of you, yes, you too, are amazing. We exist in every corner of the world, it seems, and someone is always around. Even if you’ve moved on from the depths of hell or are now battling a different diagnoses, you don’t hesitate to refer someone to us. For that, I love you. You are part of this beautiful breathing thing  – this hands across the world cradling new mothers and families as they fight back and fight to see the light in their worlds once again.

I am truly blessed and grateful for the past six years, for all the good, and for all the hard. For if it were not for the hard, I would not be grateful for all the good.

Finally, thank you, dear readers, for reading and interacting for six years, for hanging tough with me when I didn’t have much to say, and for understanding why I needed to pull back. Thank you for welcoming me as I work my way back toward finding My Postpartum Voice once again. It has not gone unnoticed and I am blessed to have some of the best readers on the Internet -all of you so full of love, depth, honesty, support, and best of all – hope. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

 

In Support of Strong Start Day 2011 at Postpartum Progress


Postpartum Progress. Those two words inspire hope, community, compassion, and an inordinate amount of other gushing caring words in my head. So many in fact, it would take forever to list the ones in existence and even more time to explain the ones which don’t exist but would after I was through.

Katherine Stone is a staunch advocate for women with Postpartum Mood & Anxiety Disorders. She’s, quite frankly, one of my heroes. When I first struggled with Postpartum Depression back in 2004, I think I came across her blog. She was brand new then. I didn’t know how to use the website because well, I was brand new to the issue myself. I browsed, think I learned a couple of things, and then traveled along my way. I wish I had realized then what I know now about Katherine and her site. If I had, I’m sure my story would be changed. But I didn’t and I went on alone. Until much later when I rediscovered Katherine and really understood what she and her site stood for to women like me struggling with Postpartum Mood & Anxiety Disorders. In fact, along with Karen Kleiman’s call to “Reframe your pregnancy” in her book “What Am I Thinking: Having a Baby After Postpartum Depression,” Katherine’s blogging was what made me think “Hey, I can do that too!” So I did. Katherine has supported me every step of the way. She’s pushed me to stay with it when I wanted to throw in the towel. She’s shared with me, treated me as an equal, as someone who mattered. For that, I can never repay her. Katherine Stone means the world to me and to countless other women across the world. And yes, I mean WORLD. This gal’s got some serious reach.

She’s a voice for those who can’t speak up on their own. She’s fearless when it comes to calling the media on a misnomer or a tragedy. She’ll call out doctors too. Society. Anyone. She is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to tromping on Postpartum Mood Disorders. I wouldn’t want to get in her way. Ever.

After yesterday’s post, I find it so very fitting to be posting in support of Katherine’s Strong Start Day today. Go visit her place. Donate if you can. What she does is priceless. And she’s never been paid for her blog. It’s hard work to keep it up, trust me, I know. I also know the passion in her heart is strong and determined. If she can do what she’s done with nothing for 7 years, then imagine what she can do if she’s funded. There’s no limit to the potential. I can’t WAIT to see the changes headed for the world down the road!

SO please. I rarely ask you to donate to anything here at My Postpartum Voice. But today I am. Today I’m asking you to make a difference in the world by donating to Postpartum Progress so Mothers & Babies will have a legitimate chance at a Strong Start.

Go. Now. Be the change.

The Motherhood: Live Postpartum Chat @ 1pm today


Join a host of fellow bloggers, Dr. Shosh, and me over at The Motherhood with Emily McKhann today at 1pm. We’ll be chatting about Postpartum Sadness, Depression, and Anxiety. Don’t miss it if you have questions!

Here’s the details straight from The Motherhood site:

Postpartum Sadness, Depression and Anxiety

Talk starts on Sep. 29th, 2010 at 1:00pm EDT

It used to be that no one talked about postpartum depression. Thankfully those days are behind us and we have each other.

Join a group mom bloggers who have LIVED this topic, having gone through it themselves and blogged about it extensively. We’ll talk about how to get through PPD or help someone else get through it, issues on your mind (there’s been a lot of talk about breastfeeding while on medication, for example) and give each other all the love and support we possibly can.

Leading the conversation will be Katherine Stone, the author of Postpartum Progress, the most widely read blog on postpartum depression, and a group of really wonderful mom bloggers.

Bring your questions, share your experience and find out about the great new resources that exist!

Postpartum Progress call for Nominations for Top 10 Perinatal Writers of 2010


Katherine Stone over at Postpartum Progress is taking nominations for the Top 10 Perinatal Writers of 2010.

I’ll definitely be nominating some of the Postpartum Voices of the week for this award!

If you write about Perinatal Mood Disorders or really like something I have posted here, please nominate yourself (or me!) for the award.

Here’s the down low straight from Katherine:

Entries must have been written/published in 2010.  My criteria?  I look for beautiful writing, compelling stories, creative metaphors, honesty, authenticity, original voice and/or destigmatization.  They can be about any mental illness related to pregnancy and childbirth.  Nominations will close on November 15th.

I love publishing this list as a way of thanking people for their courage, sharing inspiration with those who suffer, and honoring those who are speaking out against stigma.  So get nominating!

I know I can’t wait to see the finalists. The list Katherine put together last year was phenomenal!

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.