Kisha’s Postpartum Depression Story

Kisha Gulley of The Kisha Project shares her story of the struggles that left her feeling less than joyous after the birth of her son.

Pregnancy complications and breastfeeding problems are reported by so many women with postpartum depression.  The added pressure to breastfeed also creates a difficult situation for mothers who are faced with the decision of whether to start antidepressants or continue breastfeeding.

Kisha's Postpartum Depression Story - Guest post by Kisha Gulley

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* This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of  Due to the nature of the topic, this post may contain graphic details that some may find disturbing.

When I found out I was pregnant it was the happiest day of my life. A woman knows her body. I always knew something was a little “off.” So when I took the home pregnancy test I wasn’t surprised. I immediately called my husband to tell him. He just so happened to be on a guy’s trip that he and his friends take every year. So they spent the weekend celebrating.

11 effects hyperemesis gravidarum has on a pregnant body

At exactly 6 weeks my morning sickness kicked in with a vengeance. As a first time mom I had no idea what to expect. Everything I read and everyone I talked to told me that it would go away in my 2nd trimester, but it didn’t. I was sick and miserable everyday. I ended up in the hospital for dehydration.

I had Hyperemesis Gravidarum. I absolutely hated being pregnant. I couldn’t share that with anyone because everybody else had fairly easy pregnancies. Even if they felt a little sick they would always say “but it’s all worth it.” I know it’s worth it, but I still don’t like it.

I got admitted to the hospital at 35 weeks for high blood pressure. I was praying that I could keep him in a little longer.

At 36 weeks at exactly 12:01 I went into labor. I ended up having a c-section but my baby boy was healthy.

After all of the necessary checks were done one of the first things I did was have skin to skin bonding with my baby. It was an amazing experience.

I had to stay in the hospital an extra week because I was having some issues with my kidneys. The entire time I tried breastfeeding my baby. Even though nothing was coming out I did it religiously anyway. The nurses had to give me donor milk for my son because he needed to eat.

How, When & Why to Do Breast Compression

Once we got home I thought my milk would come in and everything would be normal. I mean, why wouldn’t it? It’s not like breastfeeding would ever be a problem for me. Right?

We set our alarm for every 3 hours. We found it easier to wake up before the baby so that I could feed him. Waking up was the easy part.

I wasn’t producing enough milk to feed my son. I tried every lactation cookie recipe I could find… fenugreek, pumping around the clock, went to 3 lactation specialists, everything known to woman.  Nothing was working.

I was depressed and frustrated. My husband tried to help me, but what could he do? I had one job right? Every mom I tried to talk to about the situation had no idea what I was feeling. They might have been tired of breastfeeding, but at least they could.

I felt hopeless, tired, and in pain. I got to a point where I never left the house. My husband is a pilot and he had gone back to work. So I was alone all of the time. I wouldn’t leave the house when he was gone which was sometimes 4 or more days.

I just sat in the house and cried. I couldn’t tell my husband because I didn’t want him to worry about us while he was gone. I’m a stay at home mom, the least I could do is take care of our child while he was at work. I mean I only had one job. Right?


I felt even worse because this was supposed to be such a happy time in my life. I mean I love my baby and I wanted him more than anything so I couldn’t understand why I was always crying.

I have been depressed most of my life, but I was happy now so this wasn’t supposed to be happening.

When I finally got the nerve up to leave my house I made it a point to not be out for longer than an hour because I couldn’t handle it.

End Your Depression Book

One day I went to see my ob/gyn for a routine visit. As soon as he saw me he said “I know you well enough to know that you are not okay, talk to me.” All I could do was cry. I spent the entire appointment crying. After I told him EVERYTHING that had been going on he said to me “It’s okay, what’s best for your baby is that YOU are okay.”

For the first time someone was telling me it was okay. A Man. I had only been talking to women about my issues with breastfeeding because what would a man know. He wanted to put me on anti-depressants but I would have to stop breastfeeding. I couldn’t do that. That would make me worse. Can you imagine what people would say?

Advertisements, medical professionals, even friends are always stressing the importance of breastfeeding. However nobody ever tells you that if you CAN’T breastfeed then it’s okay. That being FED is what’s best for your baby. That your mental health is what’s important.

I’m off of the anti-depressants now but I still take it one day at a time.

[Read more from Kisha at]

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4 Tips for Eating with Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Is it even possible to eat while suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum?
The answer is… SORT OF

With persistent nausea and vomiting, eating is likely the last but also the only thing on a pregnant woman’s mind.  She wants to eat – she wants to eat SO badly!  But she also doesn’t want to eat because eating would mean vomiting and she really… REALLY… doesn’t want to vomit anymore.

*This post contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.

**Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.

4 Tips for Eating with Hyperemesis Gravidarum

Tip #1: Accept thy curse

The trick to eating while suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum is to accept the fact that nothing you eat will stay down.  But you will need to find ways to get nutrients into your body anyway, in order for you and your baby to survive, and to reduce the need to be hospitalized and fed through a tube.

ACCEPT that you will feel like crap every single day of your pregnancy until the day that baby pops out of you and not one second before.

DON’T expect to feel better after vomiting as if you just ate some bad shrimp.

ACCEPT that no home remedy for morning sickness will help you.

DON’T count down the days until the end of the first trimester, expecting it to go away.

ACCEPT that you are strong enough to do this and that the benefits will greatly outweigh the struggle in the end.

DON’T tell others that you are fine when you are clearly suffering.  Tell them how to help you.

Click to read the full post

Tip #2: Every Second Counts

If you can keep something in your stomach for just 5 minutes, then it’s better than nothing at all.

There are three characteristics to look for when choosing a food for this purpose:

Fast absorption:  Liquids absorb faster than solids.  Electrolyte drinks like Gatorade or Pedialyte can help battle dehydration or you can try making your own if you find them too sugary.

High in vitamins and nutrients:  Try to go as healthy as possible.  Meal replacement drinks, protein shakes, fresh made juices, or vegetable soup are good options to try.

If you don’t have the energy to cook healthy food for yourself, you can try a boxed meal delivery service like Hello Fresh which takes care of all the work for you.

Get 3 free plates on your first order at with code: HELLOAFF3FP!

Smooth texture: If it goes down easy – it will come up easy.  It may seem disturbing to have a choose a food based on what it will be like coming back up, but that is exactly what you will need to do to survive HG.

Contrary to popular belief, things like sweet, juicy fruit like apples, berries and melons (which you WILL crave while dehydrated, nauseous and pregnant) may not be the best option.  The natural fruit juices get absorbed very quickly leaving the pulp behind which is extremely unpleasant coming back up.

Tip #3: Avoid Water


I know this sounds counter-productive for someone who is battling dehydration but plain old-fashioned water is one of the hardest things to drink with HG.

Water can often induce vomiting when you have an extra sensitive stomach, especially after eating something.  It seems to stir everything up in the stomach and cause more damage than good.

Staying hydrated is essential and some alternatives to water include:

Natural mineral water: the fizziness sometimes helps, sometimes makes it worse.

Coconut water: try it both cold and at room temperature to see which you prefer, as this can change the flavor.

Popsicles: they melt slowly which can feel better than having liquid go straight into your stomach.  These Pedialyte freezer pops are a great option to help restore your electrolytes and they can provide a cooling sensation if they do come back up.  Beware of flavors that are too sweet or sour.

Ice chips: if all else fails and you’re not able to keep down any liquids at all, then sucking on ice chips is one way to stay hydrated.

It sounds extreme but it’s not at all unusual for a woman with hyperemesis gravidarum to be unable to keep down even a sip of water to take her prenatal vitamins or prescription anti-emetics (I speak from experience).

Tip #4: Tiny Portions

I’m not exaggerating when I say tiny.

Small portions are usually recommended for nausea and vomiting but I’m not talking about “small.”  When I say “tiny” I mean, “itty-bitty-not-enough-food-for-a-mouse”

Try one tablespoon of food or liquid every 10-15 minutes. 

If it stays down, have another and so on.

If it doesn’t stay down, try half a tablespoon every 30 minutes.

Keep experimenting with tiny portions.  It may seem tedious and pointless but one spoonful of food is better than none at all.

I know the pain of hyperemesis gravidarum all too well having battled it with all three of my pregnancies.  It’s easy to avoid eating all together in an effort to avoid vomiting when that’s all you’ve been doing for weeks.  But starvation, dehydration and malnutrition are far worse things to struggle with than vomiting.

Chances are – you will never be able to eat properly throughout an HG pregnancy, instead you will spend the entire 9 months simply “trying to eat.”

11 effects hyperemesis gravidarum has on a pregnant body
There’s more to it than just vomiting…