Reducing the Stigma:: The Struggles of Motherhood
I was completely and utterly blown away by this beautiful post I read this weekend.
Coming from Postpartum Progress, an amazing online community of women who champion each other through their struggles with Post partum disorders such as Depression, Anxiety, OCD, PTSD, Psychosis.
Take a look at here... but before you do....
WE, at The Mother's Nest.. wanted to share a few photos & Stories of our own.
While we aren't an organization by any means solely for moms who are suffering through something... we celebrate and accept ALL walks of life in our mommas....
When this picture was taken I had already started The Mother's Nest, and you cannot tell by this picture but I was (and still am) on anti-depressants & going through counseling to help my body/ brain cope with the PTSD, PPD, PPA that I experienced after becoming this sweet boys mom.
When this picture was taken I was suffering from sleep deprivation. I have a hard time forming sentences and have been forgetting words. You cannot tell by looking but I was feeling deep down like I didn't want get out of bed & wanted nothing more than to kick them all out, send them away and sleep for longer than a 2 hour stretch without touching anyone!
This picture was taken after my graduation from college. I was suffering from depression, anxiety, worry and guilt. My mom had just passed away 3 months before this. Her loss was causing my depression, and because of the way we lost her driving was causing my anxiety. Most days I tried to stay home where I knew we were safe. I struggled with panic attacks when my daughter wasn't with me. You can't tell by looking but I felt extremely guilty about my depression and anxiety. I constantly worried I wouldn't be able to be a good mom.
When this picture was taken, I was suffering from PTSD. After having an emergency hysterectomy just one week after my daughter was born, I slipped into a dark place inside me that I never knew existed. You cannot tell by looking at this picture but I was feeling alone, guilty, anxious and utterly broken deep down.
This picture was taken at the breastfeeding center after two hours of "feeding". (she only got one ounce.) I was desperately trying to breastfeed feed my baby. I thought it was going great. I wanted it. I wanted to breastfeed till she was a toddler . After months of what I thought was successful feeding she just wasn't getting enough/ gaining even after pumping and hours of feeding. We started supplementing the day after this picture was taken. And, by five months my baby was fully formula feed. There's nothing wrong with formula feeding! ...But I wanted to breastfeed it was one of my mommy "dreams". You can't tell by this picture how sad, broken, and depressed I was because it was "working" for us. I felt like I failed as a mom "providing" for her.
This picture was taken at Jobs baby dedication, you can't tell from the picture but I had been up since 3am, was really struggling with feeling like I would never be able to keep my child under control, as I literally chased him around the entire time, thought I was seriously going to lose my mind from exhaustion and wanted to leave the dedication and run home because my body was being over taken with anxiety and the feelings that everyone around me was judging me and how i mothered my child. Because I thought I was doing everything wrong.
When this picture was taken I was suffering through severe insomnia and anxiety. I had undiagnosed insomnia my whole life, which became worst through motherhood and revealed that I needed to see a neurologist for testing and help(it took us 6 months of doctors and medications to figure it all out). Emery stopped sleeping well around 4 months and I couldn't fall asleep when she was sleeping- averaging 2 hrs of sleep a night. You cannot tell by looking but I was feeling anxious and like I was dropping the ball in all areas of my life. I desperately wanted rest and to be a good mother, wife, friend and worker.
When this picture was taken I had just given birth to my second daughter. She was a beautiful, content, easy baby. What you cannot tell by looking at this picture is that I would cry every night at 6pm, mourning the fact that my oldest daughter wasn't my "baby" anymore. I would grieve throughout the day, my heart so sadden that my oldest daughter was no longer my baby. I would only want to hold my oldest, and as a result I felt alone and guilty that I wasn't overjoyed enough in the birth of my new baby girl.
When this picture was taken, I was suffering from depression and exhaustion. Motherhood was way harder than I imagined and my dreams of breastfeeding were going down the drain. I was waking my baby during the night to try to get her to nurse and was waking up multiple other times to pump for 45 minutes to try to stimulate my supply. She never ate during the night, and I never pumped more than 1/4 ounce. Every day was consumed by trying to nurse and pumping, and it was never enough. You cannot tell by looking at this picture, but I was feeling like a failure deep down and didn't know what to do to be the mommy I wanted to be.
Our MOMS: what powerful stories.
Our hope in sharing these with you.. wherever you may be in your journey, that you are NOT alone.
That you are a FABULOUS & amazing mother,
and you are so so loved.