Celebrating Through Giving Back – Today’s Spotlight – @PostpartumHelp (PSI)


Shortly after I decided that I needed to reach out to other mothers as an advocate, I found Postpartum Support International. I ordered the manual Jane Honikman had available through the site about how to organize. She was an angel and shipped it to me before receiving the check for it from my mother (we were struggling at the time and it was a gift my mother decided to provide to me – bless her).

Shortly thereafter, while forming my own in person support group, I also became a Co-Coordinator for the state of Georgia. One of my first calls landed me on the phone with Jane because it was such a doozy and I had no idea what I needed to do – I handled it wonderfully with her support. Jane is warm, caring, and makes you feel at ease instantly. When I had the chance to meet her in 2010, it was all I could do not to cry – you PSI Coordinators know what I’m talking about. Because of this fabulous woman who has walked in our shoes, has hurt, and has decided that NO ONE ELSE SHOULD HURT ALONE, is why PSI exists today.

Without early support from PSI, from Jane, Wendy Davis, and other coordinators who at this point are far too numerous to name (waves at Heidi Koss and Diane Ashton, two very early allies), I would never have started down the road to advocacy. They nurtured an early advocate and provided sage advice along the way.

PSI operates a very large net of volunteer Coordinators, all of who go above and beyond to help the families reaching out to them. The world is a phenomenally better place because of these men & women manning the front lines.

I always refer to PSI for information and support. Go check out their website for information, to locate a volunteer near you, to volunteer, or even to donate to support what they’re doing to help families.

Thank you, Jane, Wendy, and all the past and future Presidents of PSI. Because of you, lives are saved and will continue to be saved. Don’t stop fighting the good fight. We are not alone because you have lit the path for so many and it will never stop shining.

 

Celebrating Through Giving Back – Today’s spotlight: @postpartumprog


HI!

Today’s the day, my birthday.

I’m highlighting Postpartum Progress today. But I thought that was just a blog, you’re thinking. Nope. The awesome Katherine Stone has turned her work into a non-profit which is making a lot of waves right now. It’s been inspiring to see how much they’ve managed to do so far with the base Katherine developed through her blog. I know they’re gonna go places and make a helluva difference in the world.

I LOVE the description of who they are:

We are catalysts. We are champions. We are instigators. We want change as soon as possible and we’re going to make it happen.”

Go over to the non-profit site here. Check out what they’ve been up to and possibly donate or even volunteer. She’s building an army of Warrior Moms. Go be one.

Keep up the fabulous work, Katherine. Proud to know you, and blessed to be one of those in the trenches with you as we fight against the stigma and misunderstanding of Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders. Keep rocking, lady.

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.

 

#PPDChat Short Video Request


Dear #PPDChat Mamas:

This Saturday, a presentation focusing on #PPDChat will be provided to the Postpartum Support International Conference in Seattle. Originally I was to present in person but some last minute travel issues have prevented me from traveling to Seattle. Instead of presenting in person, I am providing a video presentation. I would love to have a few short snippets from participants of #PPDChat. You can talk for a couple of minutes about what it means to you or simply record yourself saying “I am PPDChat.” Either way, I’d love to get these intertwined with the video presentation because without you, #PPDChat would mean nothing.

The videos need to be submitted no later than tomorrow morning at 9am ET. Email them to mypostpartumvoice AT gmail DOT com.

Please share this with anyone you know who has participated in #PPDChat. Thank you!

Let’s rock this!

Whatever Wednesday: BlogHer in New York City? I’d rather be in Austin, TX!


I have to pack for my flight on Friday. It’s the first flight I have taken in over ten years. I am a little nervous. But I am a whole lot excited.

For the first time since I started advocating for and supporting families through Postpartum Depression, I get to meet a family I have only chatted with via email and Facebook.

And I am not doing it at BlogHer. (insert gasp and sucking of teeth here)

Nope, I am heading Southwest when every other respectable blogger is heading up to NYC!

I will be attending a Golf Tournament held by Luminant Technologies down in Austin, TX. This tournament is a fundraiser for Postpartum Support International. Why are they holding it? A year ago, one of the Diversity Council Board members’ daughter had some issues with a Postpartum Mood Disorder. He sought out information and support. Through an email group I belong to, he ended up with me! This fundraiser is his way of saying “Thank You.” If that’s not absolutely humbling……

I promise to take pictures. More than likely I’ll be doing some live tweeting too.

So that’s it. Short and sweet. Yet oh so powerful and meaningful.

I will not be at BlogHer because I am going to TEXAS for Postpartum Mood Disorder Fundraiser.

I think the blogosphere will forgive me.