Wednesday, February 11, 2009

On Being Brave

I interrupt the making of crafts to mention how the birth of my second daughter brought me to my knees with postpartum depression. It's related to the crafty blog contained herein because the happiness I am immersed in as of late was hard earned. The first two years of LEB's life, coinciding with the 3rd and 4th years of Miss Kinders, were full of darkness. PPD is really cruel; it doesn't care that you are smart, that you love your husband and children, that you wish you didn't feel the way you do. It just keeps coming at you, making everything harder. Even simple things like taking a shower, making a phone call, kissing a scraped knee. Crafts? Forget about it.

There were strangers along the way who really helped. Not just the doctors. I'm talking about the woman from a PPD support group who walked me to the subway and rode it with me, to my neighborhood so far out of her way. This was wonderful because one of the symptoms I had was feeling disoriented, and not exactly knowing where I was going or sometimes not being sure of where I was. She told me that being able to help someone else showed her how far she had come with her own struggle. I understand this now.

I keep an eye on PPD research and recovery, especially through the wonderful blog, Postpartum Progress. She recently linked to this entry on a blog called Magpie Days, where a woman shows two photos of her and her son on his birthday. The first, when she is deep in the clutches of PPD, and the second, when she's back to herself. I know this well. Speaking up is brave.


Ethan said...

You have pictures like this, I think.

Katherine Stone said...

Wow. Thanks for the nice words! I'm glad you are feeling better, and that you received such good help!
Katherine Stone
Postpartum Progress

Anonymous said...

This brought tears to my eyes. I had two children close together and my world was swamped. I'm still struggling. Anyway, one of the best things I did after both girls were in kindergarten was to find a post-partum depression group and do some clean up work. The other new mothers thought this was funny, but then they started to realize how serious things could be, and for how long.

Peggy Andrews said...

Anonymous, that you were able to recognize your struggle for what it was and find support is so wonderful. It's serious, to be sure, and I will never be silent about my struggle for the very reason that so many mothers I've talked to about what I went through have teared up in my presence and then admitted to me that they had similar struggles. It is so much more prevalent than I was lead to believe, and it was much harder to find support when I needed it than I would have imagined before going through it. I really relate to what you said about how some people think it's funny, and then see where you are coming from. Even mothers who never had PPD seem to be able to sympathize with what it does to the rest of us. I hope someone in your world learns from you, and knows they have a sister in spirit. Be well. xo skipthechips

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