Adrienne’s Postpartum Depression Story

Adrienne from Peace of Mom talks about grief and postpartum depression.

Grief and loss are one of the biggest triggers of depression, not just in postpartum mothers, but for anyone, in any stage of life.  Pregnant and postpartum mothers are especially susceptible to depression when tragedy strikes, due to those fluctuating hormone levels.  I can relate to Adrienne’s story because I, too, lost my grandfather when I was 6 months pregnant with my third child and suffered a major postpartum depression relapse.

Adrienne's Postpartum Depression Story

* This post may contain affiliate links *

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


If you’ve ever heard the expression, “A phone call could change your life,” know that it is absolutely, positively true…

As I sat in the hard plastic chair of the pediatrician’s office, looking down at my sleeping two-week-old baby, it came. My mom, proud new grandma that she was, joined me on my daughter’s very first doctor’s visit. We had lovingly dressed her in pink, ruffle-y pajamas with faux ballet shoe feet. I was so proud of myself for leaving the house for the very first time since having her, happy that the spinal headache-an unending migraine I received as a complication from my epidural-was finally subsiding after nearly 12 days of constant pain.

My mom was smiling as her cell phone rang, eager to talk to her brother about her brand new little love.

“Hello?” she said, ready to gush about her granddaughter’s cuteness.

[I could hear my uncle clearly through the phone and I will never forget the sound of his voice, the pitch of his tone, or the scream that rang out after the call.]

“Listen,” he said. “Daddy passed away last night.”


My grandpa was 87 years old. He had a heart attack, alone in his house, sitting up at his kitchen table. Given his age, it doesn’t sound like a shocking proposition-except that grandpa acted like a young man. Just a week before, he climbed a ladder on top of his roof to repair it. His own mother had lived until 101, was actually featured on her 100th birthday on the Today Show. We thought Grandpa was going to live forever.

My grandpa was a second father to me, was the person in my life who always made it feel like everything was going to be ok. I was his “Bub”-I never asked him what it meant, because I knew it meant he loved me, and that’s all that mattered. Whenever I needed encouragement, his eyes would twinkle and his lips would curl into a smile. “You can do that,” he would always say. And, because of him, I believed I could.

I was lost without him.


On the night before his wake, my daughter’s umbilical cord fell off. My breasts leaked all over my blouse on the day of his funeral because I was so new to breastfeeding and didn’t think to pump. One of my mom’s friends held my hands as we stood in front of the coffin and said, “Do you feel like a mother now?” I said yes, but inside I only felt numb; I didn’t feel like a mother at all, which only added to my shame.

I wish I could say that the worst ended there, but that’s not true. I was grieving, but I didn’t want to cry in front of my baby, my baby who refused to go down for a nap, who I held as she slept. I was never alone, so I wouldn’t allow myself to cry and let it out.

14 Ways to Help a Mother with Postpartum Depression
Here’s how to help

For the first two weeks, my mom had helped me transition into becoming a mother, teaching me all the little things you can never learn in the books.

I needed her help so desperately, but after Grandpa died she was grieving herself, and, although she did her best, was mostly unable to help.

I was all alone with a colicky baby and a tremendous grief in my heart.

My husband worked very long hours, so there would be days I would be alone, for 12 hour days. I had a constant companion in my arms, at my breast, and yet I never felt so alone in my life.

If you didn’t have a colic baby, you would never believe this, but it’s true: colic babies sometimes cry all the time. There were days that I couldn’t wait to feed my daughter, just so her mouth was occupied and she wouldn’t scream at the top of her lungs.

After a few weeks, I felt like I just couldn’t do it anymore. I felt like I just couldn’t get up another day and do it all over again. I can’t do this, I can’t do this, I can’t do this! became my constant mantra.

But, one day, it hit me: I thought, “I have to do this because I’m the only one who can take care of my daughter. I need to get better because I need to take care of her.”


Thankfully, I did. I already had an excellent therapist and she encouraged me to join a PPD support group. Those meetings were a godsend because women who had survived and triumphed were there too.

I learned the most important thing of all for a PPD sufferer: It gets better.

Self Care Tips for Battling PPD
Self Care Tips & Advice

In therapy, I worked on learning how to take better care of myself. It took me over a year to learn how to do it and make the time for it, but I learned and I began to triumph too. I learned to enjoy my daughter and my life with her, instead of dreading the days. I learned how to feel like myself again. I learned how to be a better version of myself because I learned how to take care of myself.

Now, four years and two kids later, I have begun to devote my time to teaching other mothers what I learned during that time. I started a website called Peace of Mom, which teaches all moms how to take better care of themselves-because self-care saved me.

[Read more from Adrienne at www.peaceofmom.com]


If you have a postpartum depression story to share, Running in Triangles wants to help.

Submit a your postpartum depression story to RunninginTriangles.com
Click here for more information

End Your Depression Treatment Plan Review for Postpartum Depression

My postpartum depression journey started over 5 years ago and while life has significantly improved for me since then, I can’t say that I’m completely past the dark days.  This is one of the reasons why I am constantly looking into treatment options.

The other reason is to help find and share resources for other mothers who are suffering with maternal mental health disorders.

There are plenty of medications, resources, treatments and information available for depression, but not all of them are appropriate for treating prenatal or postpartum depression.  Most pharmaceutical drugs are not safe and/or untested on pregnant and breastfeeding women.  Even some natural treatments and herbs are unsafe during pregnancy and breastfeeding.


I recently came across the End Your Depression Treatment Plan, which promises to help sufferers overcome their symptoms of depression without the use of anti-depressants.

*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.


But first…

I was NOT paid for this review, nor did I receive any type of compensation or discount for purchasing this treatment plan.  However, if you decide that this treatment plan is the right one for you and purchase it using one of my affiliate links, then I will receive a small commission. 

I am normally a skeptic when it comes to these types of treatment plans.  Depression is often seen as a “mind over matter” condition, leaving too much room for people to be taken advantage of in the way of treatments.  This review contains my honest opinion after purchasing and thoroughly reviewing the material.

While this treatment plan is targeted towards all different types of depression, I’ve reviewed it specifically from the perspective of a person with postpartum depression.

[There is also a FREE GIFT at the end of the review so don’t leave without it!]

The Claim:

The End Your Depression Treatment Plan claims to work by teaching you how to gain control over your depression, instead of simply fighting it off.

I was intrigued by the idea of being able to “dominate” over depression.
how to avoid a postpartum depression relapse
Read More

I have seen significant improvements in my overall postpartum depression symptoms since starting anti-depressants but they’re not something that I want to be taking forever.

Each time I have tried to wean off of the medication, I suffer from a relapse and can never seem to get ahead of the symptoms.

The End Your Depression treatment plan talks about a PERMANENT solution and that is what appealed to me the most.


First Impression

My first honest impression about the End Your Depression Treatment Plan was…

It’s not exactly a treatment plan.

I was expecting a structured, how-to type of plan and this is not that.  I realize now that it’s probably for the best because everyone deals with depression in different ways and one plan would not work for everyone.

So if you are searching for a book that will tell you, step-by-step, how to cure your depression – it does not exist.

Second Impression

Upon reading the End Your Depression e-book, I discovered that what it actually contains is a significant amount of information about depression.

Parts of it I was already familiar with, thanks to my own research on postpartum depression, but I was surprised to find that most was new information.

The way it is presented was very clear and easy to understand.  I didn’t feel overwhelmed by the information, but rather excited to learn and read things I hadn’t been able to find anywhere else.

The e-book did NOT make me feel like positive thinking alone could cure my depression.  It validated all the problems I have experienced with postpartum depression and gave me the tools and information I needed to move forward and stay ahead of the symptoms.

How it (Actually) Works:

End Your Depression Book
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The End Your Depression e-book goes into great detail about the different types of depression and how and why they affect different people.  This was information I had never read about before.

In the case of postpartum depression, we so often assume that a traumatic birth or hormone fluctuations are to blame, but it could be other reasons all together.

Knowing this root cause of depression is especially important because the e-book then goes on to explain how different diets, exercise regimens and herbal supplements work based on the type of depression a person has.

The treatment plan works on the basis that knowledge is power.

The End Your Depression Treatment Plan
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The Results:

The 74 page PDF download was user friendly and easy to read and I was able to finish the e-book over 2 days.  In addition to the End Your Depression e-book, I received 3 additional free e-books that worked as supplements to the information in the treatment plan.  The plan also comes with free lifetime updates, so if new information becomes available, those will automatically be available.


End Your Depression Book

The End Your Depression Treatment Plan gave me access to information that I would not have found otherwise.

I’ve been working on evaluating the root cause of my postpartum depression using the advice from the e-book, and am discovering that it’s not what I initially thought it was.

I now have a direction to go in the way of experimenting with my diet and exercise routine – instead of blindly trying anything and everything.

I’ve learned what to look for when choosing herbal supplements and what to avoid (although the e-book did not indicate whether the herbs and supplements were safe for use while pregnant or breastfeeding).

Everything in the e-book is attainable.  Nothing feels incredibly out of my comfort zone and it’s evident that the author truly understands what it feels like to battle with daily depression.

Conclusion

I would recommend the End Your Depression Treatment Plan to mothers battling postpartum depression.  Knowing the how’s and why’s behind the symptoms is a great place to start on the road to recovery.

Instead of trying every single treatment option out there for postpartum depression,  use this e-book to help figure out what the root cause is of your depression.  Then, you can create a treatment plan that actually works for YOU.

While I wouldn’t suggest depending solely on the information in this e-book to cure your depression – it is an excellent starting point for anyone who wants to seek a permanent way to overcome their postpartum depression.


You can get more information and buy your copy here (affiliate link):  http://runningintriangles.com/EndYourDepression

BONUS: A FREE gift for you!

This 20+ page e-book contains a mere sample of the tips for treating depression that can be found in the End Your Depression Treatment Plan.

A review of the end your depression treatment plan for treating postpartum depression
Click here to download

In order to receive the free gift, you will be asked to subscribe to the Running In Triangles Postpartum Depression e-mail list.  You may unsubscribe at any time.


The End Your Depression Treatment Plan

A review of the end your depression treatment plan for postpartum depression

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

* This post may contain affiliate links *

* This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of www.runningintriangles.com.  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
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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
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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?

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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 www.thekishaproject.com]


If you have a postpartum depression story to share, Running in Triangles wants to help.

Submit a your postpartum depression story to RunninginTriangles.com
Click here for more information

How to Prepare for Another Baby after Postpartum Depression

How to prepare for another baby after postpartum depression

Many women are afraid of suffering from postpartum depression after the birth of a child, but none more than a mother who has already experienced it before.  

It goes without saying that any mother who has suffered from postpartum depression would never willingly want to put themselves through that kind of torture again.

But while the idea of having another baby after postpartum depression feels like a suicide mission, a significant amount of women go on to have more children after being diagnosed.

This means that, while it might seem preposterous at the time, there is hope for a full and bright future filled with all the children we dreamed of having.


Read my full story here

With my first child, I experienced a mild case of the baby blues, followed by full blown postpartum depression with my second child.

But upon the birth of my third child – despite experiencing months of bed rest and hospitalization due to hyperemesis gravidarum just as I had with the first two – I was spared from any postpartum mood disorder whatsoever.

At the time, I was certain I was just “lucky” or perhaps I had suffered enough and deserved a break for a change.  But in hindsight, I realize that there were a few significant things that changed in my lifestyle and way of thinking that contributed to the fact that I did not suffer from postpartum depression with my third baby.

Here is my best advice for how to Prepare for Another Baby after Postpartum Depression

How to prepare for another baby after postpartum depression
*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.


Seek Treatment

If you don’t already have an established treatment plan for your postpartum depression, then this is the first step.

[Related post Self Care Tips for Battling Postpartum Depression]

Once your treatment plan is in place, don’t deviate from it – even if you start to feel better.

If you never initially sought treatment for your postpartum depression but feel like it is under control – it is still worth seeing a doctor, therapist, counselor or other health professional to discuss your options should you experience a relapse of symptoms.

Is your treatment plan safe for pregnancy and/or breastfeeding?
Find out more

Many women avoid pharmaceutical treatments because they want to

continue breastfeeding (myself included) and most women avoid pharmaceuticals during pregnancy due to the lack of testing.

[Read about how I chose to breastfeed instead of starting anti-depressants.]

So if your normal treatment plan includes anti-depressants then you may need to create a back-up plan.

There are many other safe and natural treatment options available can help to reduce some of the guilt that so often affects mothers who give up breastfeeding in order to take anti-depressants.

[Read my review of the End Your Depression Treatment Plan]


Eliminate Triggers

In the post How to Avoid a Postpartum Depression Relapse I list off some common triggers and how they cause symptoms to reappear long after treatment has begun.

Before adding a new baby to the family, it’s worth considering what triggers your postpartum depression symptoms and trying your best to eliminate them ahead of time.

Financial or marital problems should be worked out in order to avoid added stress.  Illnesses, chronic pain, nutrient deficiencies and the overall state of your health should be addressed.

While many triggers will be unavoidable, if you can be in top mental and physical shape prior to getting pregnant again, then you will be more prepared should postpartum depression strike again.

Read the full list of triggers here

Document Your Feelings

Writing down everything you’ve gone through can help you to remember what your experience was like at a later date.  Sometimes the things we feel in the heat in the moment can easily be sorted out when our mind is clearer.

If you wrote down any of your thoughts or feelings in a journal of some sort during your first round of postpartum depression, then you should take some time to re-read those entries prior to have another baby and see if they give you some insight.

If you do end up struggling with postpartum depression again after another baby, then document your feelings again so that you can compare both experiences and see if there is a common factor or trigger that you can work on.

You can download this free printable PDF to help you document your journey:

Click to download!


Speak Up

Can you relate to these reasons?

I know, I know, I’m always talking about how women need to speak up about postpartum depression… but it really makes all the difference!

There are so many reasons why we keep silent about postpartum depression but if we stand any chance of defeating it and avoiding it again, then people need to KNOW about it.

The more we talk about it, the less taboo it becomes.  We need to stop living in the shadow of postpartum depression – it’s the only way we can eliminate it’s power over us.

If you’re thinking about having another baby after postpartum depression, then everyone in your life should already know about your previous battle with postpartum depression.  It shouldn’t be a shameful secret, but rather a badge of honor.

Tell them what you need

In addition to your loved ones, your doctor or midwife should know that you suffered from postpartum depression with a previous baby if they don’t already.

Knowing that you have a support system already in place in the event that you suffer the same unfortunate fate again, will help you to prepare for having another baby after postpartum depression.

Make sure you are specific about the kind of help you will need.  See this list if you need help figuring it out [14 Ways to Help a Mother with Postpartum Depression]


Make Sure You’re Ready

Why do you want another baby?  Is it because you’ve always dreamed of having more?  Do you feel like you need to provide a sibling for your child to grow up with?  Does your spouse or partner want another baby?  Do you feel your biological clock ticking?

I’m not saying that any of these reasons are wrong reasons to have a child, as long as it’s what you really want.

If you feel pressured in any way to have another baby, it might be time to do a little soul searching and think carefully if the time is right.

I can give you thousands of tips on how to prepare for another baby after postpartum depression, but unless you are ready – none of them will help.

How to prepare for another baby after postpartum depression
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Become a Warrior

Speaking up is only the first step to battling postpartum depression.  If it has affected your life – don’t let it get away so easily.  The best way to fight against postpartum depression is to take a stand and help destroy the stigma that surrounds it.

Research postpartum depression and other maternal mental health conditions:

Postpartum Support International

WebMD Postpartum Depression Health Center

Reference.com Postpartum Depression Articles 

Donate to Postpartum Support International 

Participate in this free Postpartum Depression Research Study to help determine the genetic link.

Join postpartum depression support groups on Facebook or an online forum

Tell your postpartum depression story

The more you know about, and are involved with, the postpartum depression community, the better you will be at defeating at.


The truth is, if you’ve suffered from postpartum depression before, the chances of suffering from it again are high.  While you may not be able to avoid postpartum depression the second time around, being prepared and educated will help you handle the symptoms and know when and where to turn for help.

How to prepare for another baby after postpartum depression

How to prepare for another baby after postpartum depression

How to Prepare for Another Baby After Postpartum Depression

Kara’s Postpartum Depression Story

Here is a heartfelt and emotional postpartum depression story by Kara Wellman of Moms Gone Outdoors.

Kara’s struggle will resonate with a lot of young mothers who never expected postpartum depression to happen to them.  She didn’t start getting better until she decided to take control and put effort into her treatment, finally finding something that worked for her.

Accepting and acknowledging postpartum depression is the first step on a long road to recovery.

I hope you are inspired by Kara’s story…

A guest post by Kara Wellman of www.momsgoneoutdoors.com

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


My story of postpartum depression started in a quiet hospital room, early on a Thursday afternoon in May. I was twenty years old and had just finished my last final of the semester the morning before. It was 2:24 pm when they handed her soft, tiny body up to me. I had barely felt the labor, and I barely felt anything as she rested on my chest.

I remember thinking that I should be crying, like all the beautiful women captured in the first moments of motherhood by birth photographers. I didn’t have one those. I just had my husband to one side, my mother to the other, and my 17-year-old sister hiding behind her iPad since attending the birth was just barely better than a day stuck in school.

It’s not to say that I didn’t love her then. I mean, she pooped all over my hand and I didn’t even care. If you knew me, you’d understand how big of a deal that is. I loved her, but I was young. I was still trying to fathom the gravity of what just happened.

As all my friends were gearing up for a summer of secret night-drinking and lazy river-beach days, I was learning how to breast feed and budgeting diapers out of our paychecks. They had their lives in front of them, and I had my daughter’s in front of me.

The PPD was something that snuck up.

I didn’t have a history of mental illness, and that fact made it very difficult to recognize the symptoms. The first time I talked to a doctor was when she was six months old. I had what I thought was a panic attack during our road-trip to see my husband’s family in Montana. I was given an anti-anxiety med to take as I needed. I think I only ever took three pills from that bottle.

Later, I’d find out that what I experienced then, was nothing compared to what I’d let myself go through in the future.

As life moved on and my beautiful little girl grew, so much of my life crashed down around me. I’m a perfectionist by nature, which I fully believe was one of the biggest contributing factors.

I felt I needed to be super-human, super-mom, super-student, super-everything.

At one point, I maintained a 4.0 in college as an English major, worked three part-time jobs, did all the cooking and cleaning, and raised my daughter.

But, my credit score was plummeting as I charged my over-expensive organic grocery bills and filled my closet with clothes just because getting a package in the mail gave me a joyous rush.

My weight jumped up and down as I’d binge for a few weeks, then starve myself for others.

My marriage started to crumble, as my husband didn’t understand why I was so upset all the time and was preoccupied with the recent death of his mother.  I even told him I didn’t love him anymore. I realized later that it wasn’t that I didn’t love him, but that I didn’t feel anything anymore.

we often push away the ones we need the most

I went to the doctor on and off. I went to a counselor on and off. I took different medications. I tried different forms of birth control. Nothing changed. I’d have high-functioning anxiety during the semester and crash into depression during every break.

It got to the point where I held a knife blade to my wrists after one grueling week of work, and bills, and papers due. I pressed lightly as tears streamed down my face, chest heaving. It was the lowest I had ever felt. It was about 3:45 in the afternoon. I had to pick up my daughter from daycare at 4. It was the only thing that made me fold the knife back, and set it on the table.
I held her extra close that night. I knew I needed to do something to help myself. If not for me at that point, then for her.



I went to a new doctor and was given another brand of medication. I also started to put effort into researching different options. I didn’t want to be on a daily medication forever, so I started a yoga practice and promised myself I would get outside to walk more.

I didn’t feel much of a change until we went on another road trip the following summer— this time to the Oregon coast and through Montana on our way home. We hiked every day, by the ocean, through tall pine forests, and to waterfalls hidden in the mountains.

I was exhausted the end of every day, but I felt happy. It was a genuine happiness that I hadn’t felt in years. I knew I had found my saving grace.

The mountains, rivers, plains, and trees. They were what I needed. Each step I took on those days brought me closer to the point of healing. While I will never assume what worked for me will work for everyone, nor that getting outside is all that is needed to heal a major depressive disorder, I know it can help. And I think it can help everyone. Bathing in the glory of nature can help start the healing processes.

I’m 24 now. In September, I gave birth to my second daughter. I’m still young, but this labor, I felt everything—every moment, every pain, every burn. I cried as she laid her head on my chest, with her dark eyes looking up at me.

I have every second since I decided to put that knife down to thank for that quiet, beautiful moment with her. I can’t say that PPD won’t recur this time around, but never again will I let it try to take my life. My girls, my husband, and I have too many trails left to see.

[Read more from Kara at www.momsgoneoutdoors.com]


If you have a postpartum depression story to share, Running in Triangles wants to help.

Submit a your postpartum depression story to RunninginTriangles.com
Click here for more information

How to Avoid a Postpartum Depression Relapse

Postpartum depression isn’t a matter solely for mothers of newborn babies.  It’s a lifelong struggle.  Even with treatment, a postpartum depression relapse can happen years after the sleep deprivation and breastfeeding days are over.

The best way to describe it is to imagine that a depression gene is lurking somewhere within you.  In some people, it is never triggered and lays dormant their entire life.  In others, it’s triggered during childhood or puberty, from a traumatic event, or by pregnancy and childbirth.

The problem is, once it’s triggered, it’s more likely to keep happening.

Treatment can manage the symptoms and controlling specific triggers can help to avoid relapses.  But it’s not something that is ever cured, and it will never go away because it was always there to begin with.  It can only be controlled.

[This article from Harvard Health goes into great detail about what causes depression and relapses.]

Here are some tips to help you avoid a postpartum depression relapse.

how to avoid a postpartum depression relapse
*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.


How to avoid a postpartum depression relapse How to avoid a postpartum depression relapse

Identify your triggers

Find out what factors tend to make you feel more depressed.  Keeping a journal can help with this.  On days when you are feeling extra sad or anxious – write down things you’ve done recently, how you were feeling, conversations you had, medications you’ve been taking, what the weather was like, etc.  Postpartum depression triggers are different for everyone.

10 common triggers:

  1. Pain/Illness
  2. Stress
  3. Guilt
  4. Sleep Deprivation
  5. Hormonal Imbalances
  6. Grief/Loss
  7. Change
  8. Anniversaries/Birthdays/Special Events
  9. Marriage problems
  10. Bad Memories

You can download this free printable postpartum depression workbook which has a section to document specific triggers.

click to download

Eliminate the problem

I know, it’s easier said than done.  If we could all get rid of pain and stress, then the world would be a better place.  But once you’ve identified your specific trigger(s), your next goal will be to work at ways to fix that issue in your life.


Take care of yourself

Mothers are infamous for not taking proper care of themselves.  Self care is not just a suggestion, it plays a huge role in avoiding a postpartum depression relapse.  Taking time to relieve stress, get enough sleep, eat properly, exercise and meditate will ensure that you stay one step ahead.

Self Care Tips

Stick to your treatment plan

Of course you’re going to be feeling great after starting a round of anti-depressants or therapy, but that doesn’t mean it’s done it’s job and now you can stop.  Any changes to your treatment plan should always be discussed with your doctor, don’t assume that you no longer need treatment just because you’ve been free of postpartum depression symptoms for months.

See if this is the right treatment option for you

Find someone to confide in

If you didn’t tell anyone you had postpartum depression the first time it happened, then it’s likely you will also choose to suffer silently in the event of a relapse.  Find someone that you can talk to about your feelings.  It can be someone close to you, a complete stranger or a support group, as long as they will encourage you to speak up and seek help.

It’s important to speak up about PPD

Be proactive

As much as you might try to eliminate stress and other triggers, life still happens and much of it is out of our control.  Try your best to plan ahead for situations that overwhelm you.  If being locked inside the house during the winter months makes you feel dreary, plan a vacation.  If you’re dreading the stress of juggling all the kids during summer vacation, hire someone to help you.  Being prepared for a postpartum depression relapse may even be enough to make you feel like you can handle it, should it hit.


Don’t be discouraged

Sometimes, having a postpartum depression relapse is unavoidable.  It doesn’t mean that you have failed or that you will never get better.  While you may suffer more relapses in the future, each one will be easier to get through as long as you don’t let it get the best of you.


A compilation of posts from bloggers who have bravely told their postpartum depression story
Read stories from other women who have been there

Take away it’s power

As long as your postpartum depression is a secret – it controls you.  If you’re constantly afraid of a relapse happening, then it has power over you.  The only way to take away it’s power is by accepting and acknowledging it.  Tell everyone that you have postpartum depression and that there’s a chance you could suffer a relapse.  Then you won’t have it hanging over your head, and you won’t have to suffer alone.

Find out how I can help you tell your postpartum depression story to the world and take away the power it holds over you.

Remember that it’s not about them

If you didn’t know that a postpartum depression relapse was even possible, then chances are, neither did they.  “They” being your loved ones, your spouse, family or friends – even your own children.  Once you start feeling better, others will assume that you’re cured.  And if you suffer a relapse, you will be reluctant to tell them for fear of disappointing them.  But it’s not about them, it’s about you and your health, and that’s far more important.

So before you even suffer from a relapse, tell your loved ones that it’s possible this could happen.  Ask them to help you eliminate your triggers and watch for symptoms that your postpartum depression is returning.

Don’t feel guilty or selfish because this is your life.  It might be in a mother’s nature to put others before themselves, but when it comes to postpartum depression – you come first.
Sign Up for the Postpartum Depression Survival Guide
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Vanessa’s Postpartum Depression Story

My postpartum depression story begins with the pregnancy of my second child.  I had a mild case of the baby blues with my first and, at the time, I was very worried about my mental state.   Little did I know, it was nothing compared to the dark path that is postpartum depression…

*This post may contain affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I will 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.


The pregnancy test came back positive shortly after my only sister got engaged.  I was devastated.  Now, I was going to have to stuff my postpartum body into a breastfeeding-friendly bridesmaid dress.  I wouldn’t get to drink and party all night.  It sounds selfish and it was.  But I really wanted that one last hurrah before becoming a mother of two.

I should have been thrilled that I was pregnant again because before conceiving my first child, I miscarried twice.  I grieved for those babies and would have given anything to meet them.  And if I had gotten pregnant after my sister’s wedding, then I would have been thrilled, but…

the timing could not have been worse.

I contemplated terminating the pregnancy but just couldn’t do it.  So I secretly hoped that I would miscarry instead.

For a while, I ignored the pregnancy.  I didn’t count weeks or read books like I had done with my first.  I, once again, suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum, which made me resent the pregnancy even more.  Being so sick meant that I couldn’t take care of my toddler son or cook for my husband.  The guilt started to pile up.  At the end of my first trimester, the baby was thriving and I was sick, dehydrated and depressed.


I sought help for what my doctor described as prenatal depression(depression during pregnancy).   I saw a therapist once a week, but I don’t feel like I got much out of our sessions.  If anything, it was just a safe place to cry for an hour.  When my doctor asked if the sessions helped, I lied and said yes because I didn’t want to be difficult.

Why did I lie?

Somehow I managed to fake smile through the 9 long months.  I chose to deliver at a birth center with a midwife.  I never told them about the prenatal depression.  They were mothers themselves and they thought of birth as beautiful and natural – I didn’t want to be that one pessimistic mother with mental health issues.

My daughter was born in 2 hours and 4 minutes from the start of the first contraction.  I barely made it to the birth center, in fact I was certain I would deliver in the car on the way there.  It was the single, most traumatic experience of my entire life.

Read more about it here.

The first few months after she was born were similar to the 9 months of pregnancy…

I didn’t think too much about it.  I didn’t feel too much about it.  I fed her and changed her and did all the things for her that I needed to do but I didn’t connect with her nor did I feel any desire to. I made sure to keep busy so that I didn’t have to spend too much time with her.  I played with my son while I nursed her and rarely made eye contact with her.

I wasn’t sad, but I wasn’t happy either.  I felt zero emotions when I was with her.


My sister’s wedding came and went and I fake smiled and showed off my beautiful baby girl and put my hand over my heart when everyone told me how blessed I was.

And then, I wasn’t so busy anymore.  And all of the emotions that were locked up over the past few months wanted out.  Instead of feeling nothing – I felt everything – as though I was carrying the world on my shoulders and I couldn’t bear it.

My three month old refused to sleep.

She refused to be put down.

She refused to drink from a bottle.

She cried if anyone touched her, smiled at her or looked in her direction.

She and I were just two miserable beings who cried all day long.

Except when people came to visit.  Then she was fine, and I was fine, and everything was fine.  At least, that’s what we told them…

But when no one else was around, when it was just her and I, crying together… those were the moments I feared the most.  In my exhausted state, my mind would take over think things like:

I should have gone through with that abortion.

Things would be so much better if she never existed.

Would she stop crying if I just threw her out the window?

Maybe I will run away and never came back!

And then I would punish myself for being such a terrible mother. 

I didn’t know that it was postpartum depression.  I truly believed that I was just a bad person.

My husband, who had been there supporting me through all of it, (and feeling helpless I’m sure) finally told me that something wasn’t right.

I couldn’t have done it alone

I spoke to my doctor.  He agreed that it was postpartum depression and advised me that if I was to start anti-depressants, it meant that I would have to stop breastfeeding. [The fact that he gave me a choice in the matter meant he truly had no idea how bad it really was.  If I had actually told him all the things that were going through my mind, he would have demanded that I start anti-depressants immediately.] 

But I had already convinced myself that I was a terrible mother, and stopping breastfeeding just to take some pills was something a terrible mother would do.  So, in an effort to try to do right by my daughter, I chose to keep breastfeeding instead.

When my daughter was 6 months old, my husband and I decided to move 9 hours away from our hometown.  In my right mind, I would never have agreed to the move because I needed the support of our families more than ever.  But in my postpartum depression mind, I wanted to be far away from anyone and everyone.

That was 5 years ago and my battle with postpartum depression is ongoing.
How to avoid a postpartum depression relapse
Find out more

Over the years it has gone from very, very bad to non-existent and I don’t know if it will ever completely go away.  I try my hardest to maintain a good self-care routine but there are still things that make it better and things that make it worse.

Pain is the biggest trigger for me, so my recent struggle with endometriosis caused one of the largest relapses I’ve experienced in a long time.

I still take anti-depressants daily and while I hope that it won’t be forever, I realize that I will never be the same person I was before postpartum depression.

The End Your Depression Treatment Plan
Find out if this is the right treatment option for you

Believe it or not, I am thankful for the struggle.

I look at my gorgeous, brilliant, 5 year old daughter and I am thankful that a greater power guided me to keep her.

I am thankful that I am not haunted by the dark memories of the worst days.

I am thankful that my husband and I were given “bad times” to get through together.

And mostly, I am thankful that my struggle inspired me to help others.


Thank you for reading my postpartum depression story.

If it inspired you in any way, then I am glad to have written it, as hard as it was to do.   You can read more inspiring stories about postpartum depression and other maternal mental health disorders here

A compilation of posts from bloggers who have bravely told their postpartum depression story
A compilation of postpartum depression posts from other talented bloggers

For more information on how I can help you tell your story, please click here.

The Ultimate Collection of Postpartum Depression Stories

I am a huge believer in speaking out about postpartum depression and other maternal mental health disorders such as perinatal depression, postpartum anxiety, postpartum OCD and postpartum psychosis.

Mothers should not have to suffer alone, yet so many women do because they are ashamed of speaking up due to the stigma that surrounds these disorders. [Related post: 9 Reasons Why Mothers Don’t Speak Up About Having Postpartum Depression]

It’s time to change that…

It has become my mission to collect and share the stories of women who have battled mental health disorders along their journey through motherhood.

Many of those women are talented mom bloggers who know how important it is to speak out, and I’ve shared their stories below as inspiration.

But so many of them are not and have no idea where or how to begin speaking out about their pain.

If you are interested in sharing your story about a postpartum mood disorder, I want to help.  Please click here for more information.


Here you will find a constantly updated list of posts from other brave bloggers who have decided not to keep silent about their battle with postpartum depression and other mood disorders. 

I hope these will inspire you to write your own story and know that you are not alone in this.

A compilation of posts from bloggers who have bravely told their postpartum depression story
* 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.

A compilation of posts from bloggers sharing their postpartum depression story.

Sign Up for the Postpartum Depression Survival Guide
join the mailing list!

Adrienne’s Postpartum Depression Story  *NEW*

[added February 13, 2018]
Adrienne from Peace of Mom experienced the loss of a loved one shortly after giving birth.  She talks about what it was like to grieve while caring for a colicky baby and suffering from postpartum depression.

Surviving the Darkness Series from Muddy Boots & Diamonds *NEW*

[added January 30, 2018]
Emma from Muddy Boots & Diamonds is running a series on her website called Surviving the Darkness that’s open to survivors of Perinatal (Postpartum) Mood & Anxiety Disorders.  You can read some of the interviews and take part in the series to help spread PMAD awareness.

Read the interview I wrote for this series here – Surviving Prenatal & Postpartum Depression: Vanessa’s Story

Kate’s Postpartum Depression Video

[added January 25, 2018]
This emotional video was submitted to me by Kate, who suffered from postpartum depression after the birth of her second child and came very close to taking her own life.

Kisha’s Postpartum Depression Story 

[added January 22, 2018]
Kisha from The Kisha Project shares her story for the first time in a moving post about how unexpected postpartum depression can be, even if you’ve battled with depression before.

Kara’s Postpartum Depression Story

[added January 03, 2018]
The first postpartum depression guest post submission on Running in Triangles.  Kara from Moms Gone Outdoors tells her emotional tale of battling the pressures of school while trying to raise a baby at a young age.

Vanessa’s Postpartum Depression Story

[added December 14, 2017]
The first in a series of posts offered on Running in Triangles – this is my own personal story.  Even after dealing with prenatal depression while pregnant with my second child, I did not expect actual, full blown postpartum depression.  

Postpartum Depression in India is Real – I have experienced it, have you?

Anjana from Mommy Republic talks about how she suffered from postpartum depression despite having a supporting husband and plenty of help during her first few months postpartum.

How to Overcome Fear & Worry: My Journey Through Post-Partum Depression

Lauren from Lil’ Olive Tree shares a powerful story of how her faith helped her get through a dark time in her life. 

Postpartum Depression – Adventures with Zoloft

Bailey from Simply Mom Bailey expresses a concern many other mothers have during their battle with postpartum depression – whether or not to start taking antidepressants.

When the Baby Blues Don’t Go Away

Shawna from MishMash Mommy can relate to many other mothers out there who put off seeking help because they’re waiting for the baby blues to pass.  

This is My Postpartum Anxiety

Alaina from Mom Eh! shares her story of battling postpartum anxiety, which is different than postpartum depression and gets even less awareness.

Dear Overwhelmed Mom, You Are Not Alone

Jessica from Life of a Cherry Wife was like most women who assume postpartum depression will never happen to them.  In this post, she offers words of support to women who feel completely overwhelmed by motherhood.  

Postpartum Depression is a Con Artist (Among Other Things)

Lisa from Step Back and Breathe writes a lot about her struggle with postpartum depression, but this post is by far my favorite (especially the part where she gives her PPD a name and describes her as a “vicious skank” ).  [Read more of her posts about maternal mental health here.]

The Truth About Postpartum Depression

Jen from Modest House, Extraordinary Home does a great job of explaining all the different ways postpartum depression affected her.

Postpartum Depression: Signs and Treatment

Aubree from A Mother’s Field Guide wrote this awesome post packed with information about postpartum depression, followed by her own journey.  She, like many women, battled with depression prior to getting pregnant.

My Struggle with Post Natal Anxiety

Taylah from The Tired Mumma Blog did not suffer from postpartum depression at all, but her postnatal (postpartum) anxiety caused an entirely different level of stress in her life.

PPD: Real Stories; Real Sadness; Real Life

Kristin from This Wife and Mommy Life put together this compilation of postpartum depression stories from women of all walks of life. 

The Secret Struggles of Postpartum

Erica Fraser from Mom Break shares her story in a video as well as a post and speaks about the pain that’s often hidden behind closed doors.

This list will be constantly updated, so be sure to check back often for more inspiring stories!


End Your Depression Book


If you are a blogger and would like your existing post to be featured, please e-mail vanessa@runningintriangles.com

To submit a new postpartum depression story, please click here: postpartum depression guest post submission


Ready to tell your own story?  Download this free workbook to get started!
Click to download!

9 Gifts for Mothers with Postpartum Depression

Having kids at Christmas allows parents to re-live their youth and experience the magic all over again.  The Christmas parties and family gatherings and food all bring happy memories and warm hearts.

But for mothers who are battling postpartum depression it can be a very different experience…

Here are 9 gifts that you can give to a mother with postpartum depression, in the hopes of making her holiday season extra special despite the darkness happening inside of her.


*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.


1. Personalized Necklace

MenuetDesigns on Etsy

There are so many different options for personalized jewelry on Etsy.  A necklace with her children’s names engraved on it will remind her of who she’s doing all of this for in the first place.

But the kids aren’t the only things keeping her going.  I especially like this lovebirds necklace from MenuetDesigns on Etsy because it speaks volumes of how important a strong support system is.

Remind her that she’s not raising those kids alone.

[For more ways to offer support, read: 14 Ways to Help a Mother with Postpartum Depression]


2. Cozy Blanket

Chapters Indigo Faux Fur Throw
Indigo.ca

When you have postpartum depression, all you want to do is curl up in a warm blanket and nothing else.


3. Mini Sage Smudge Sticks

Smudge Sticks Chapters Indigo
Indigo.ca

Burning these sage-filled smudge sticks can help cleanse the air of negative energy and help to promote healing.


4. Oh She Glows Cookbook

Chapters Indigo Oh She Glows Boxed Set
Indigo.ca

You don’t have to be a vegan to love Angela Liddon’s plant based recipes.  Many women suffering from postpartum depression will often experiment with their diet and nutrition habits in order to find a balance that works best for them.  Some cut out gluten or sugar, others switch to organic or vegetarian based diets.

No matter what you add or subtract from your diet, vegetables will always be front and center and SO important for maintaining the health a mother needs to battle postpartum depression.

Check out Angela’s blog – www.ohsheglows.com for more inspiration!


5. Subscription Box


For a mother with postpartum depression, monthly subscription boxes can be a godsend.  Chances are, she doesn’t want to go out and shop for herself.  Even some of the basic necessities she needs become less of a priority for her.  Having something delivered to her door is a wonderful surprise that she can look forward to each month.

Here are a few that I would recommend for a mother with postpartum depression:

The Mommy Mailbox – a box full of things designed specifically to brighten up a mom’s day!

Elleboxa.k.a. the period box.  (This one might be a little personal, depending on your relationship.)  Mothers with postpartum depression can dread “that time of the month” especially because they haven’t had to deal with it during their pregnancy (and possibly longer if they were breastfeeding) so it becomes just one more thing they need to handle.  The addition of the mood swings and cramping can become overbearing for someone who’s already suffering so much.  Take the stress out of it with this monthly subscription box. [Get Your First Ellebox for 50% off! Code: HALFOFF]

Stitch Fix – There are a lot of fashion subscription boxes available for women but what I love about Stitch Fix is that you’re not charged for anything unless you actually want it.  You’re sent a box of items each month to try, you buy what you like and then send the rest back.  It is the perfect solution for a mother with postpartum depression who would rather sample clothes in the comfort of her own home than head to the crowded mall.

Hello Fresh – My favorite subscription box for a mother with postpartum depression.  A FOOD box!  Fresh, healthy, ready to make meals that take all the work out of preparing a family meal.  [Get three free plates just to give it a try, I promise you’ll be hooked!]


6. Aromatherapy Spa Set

ALifeofOils on Etsy

Here’s another gift idea that comes in so many different options of scents, and combinations.  For a mother with postpartum depression, self care is so important for her recovery and soaking in a hot bath can be a great way to relieve some of the tension.

This set from ALifeofOil on Etsy comes in a variety of different scents – so you can choose her favorite.  I would recommend this peppermint and eucalyptus one if she’s prone to head or body aches, the lavender scented one to help her relax or the lemon scented gift set to help boost her energy levels.

No matter which one you choose, look for something that contains Epsom salts, whether in a bath bomb or salt scrub.  The magnesium can greatly help reduce the symptoms of postpartum depression.

[For more information, read: Self Care Tips for Battling Postpartum Depression]


7. Essential Oil Diffuser

Amazon.com

Essential oils and aromatherapy can have a big impact on a mother with postpartum depression.  One of the best ways to purify her entire environment is buy using oils in a diffuser like this one from Viva Naturals.  It also offers mood lighting to turn an ordinary room into a tranquil space.

Another option would be some diffuser jewelry – check out this line from GaiaGypsyStrands.com 


8. Alexa

Amazon.com

You know what mothers with postpartum depression REALLY want for Christmas?  A personal assistant…

The Amazon Echo 2nd Generation is about to be released and with it you can connect to “Alexa” a voice-based, in-home personal assistant.

Alexa can look things up online, keep notes and reminders, play music and make phone calls or send texts – all completely hands free.  It’s the perfect gift for that mother who’s suffering from a severe case of foggy brain.

To read more about all the features the Echo has to offer and take advantage of a special introductory price – click here!


9. Bullet Journal Bundle

blitsy.com

Bullet journaling is the latest trend in keeping organized and putting thoughts on paper, and this bundle from Blitsy.com has everything a person needs to start their own epic bullet journal.

Writing things down can help mothers with postpartum depression get their thoughts out in the open so they can deal with them.  Whether they just need a place to jot down important things they don’t want to forget, or they want to document their journey with this debilitating condition – a bullet journal is the perfect outlet.

Include this free printable workbook to help a mother with postpartum depression tell her story.
Click to download

Remember: The best gift you can give to a mother with postpartum depression is your love, support and understanding…
.

9 Reasons why Mothers Don’t Speak Up about Chronic Pain

You wouldn’t know by looking at me, but I have suffered from chronic pain for over 5 years.

I was recently diagnosed with a medical condition called endometriosis It took over a year, five different doctors, several ER visits, countless tests and a long list of medications to finally get an answer.  In the end, it was too late anyway and I lost the majority of my reproductive organs.

And while I want to blame the medical system for failing me, I can’t deny the fact that I ignored the pain for FOUR YEARS before deciding to do something about it.

As a mother, there are so many reasons why I didn’t feel my pain was a priority.  Prior to having children to take care of, I’m sure it would have been a major concern and perhaps I would have gotten a diagnosis sooner rather than later.   Here are some reasons why mothers don’t speak up about chronic pain.

9 Reasons Why Mothers Don't Speak Up about Chronic Pain

*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.


1. We put others first

One of the most distinguishable characteristics of a mother is that they put others before themselves.  The more people we have to take care of, the more our own needs get bumped to the bottom of the list.  And some most days that list never gets completed.  So while we might have every intention of taking care of ourselves, there just aren’t enough hours left over at the end of the day after taking care of everyone else.

The Tormented Life of a Mother Living with Endometriosis
.

2. We don’t want to scare our children

I will never forget the fear in my daughter’s eyes when she came to visit me in the hospital, hooked up to machines and IV’s and unable to move.  In an attempt to protect my children from seeing their mother in such a vulnerable state, I kept quiet about my pain around them.  When they think back on their childhood, I wouldn’t want them to remember me in constant pain and not able to do anything fun with them.


3. We hate to let people down

We want to be supermom, as unattainable as it might be.  We want to be there for our kids and our spouses, our families and friends.  We want to bake the perfect cupcakes for the bake sale and volunteer at every charitable event.  We want to cheer our kids on from the sidelines and chase after them at the playground.  Dealing with chronic pains means we probably won’t get to do all of those things and so we push through it just to avoid disappointing anyone.


4. Nothing compares to childbirth

Sure, you’re in pain, but it’s not as bad as childbirth.  It’s worse if you’ve given birth without any drugs because then you’re expected to be able to handle anything.  But chronic pain and labor pain are two entirely different things.

Labor pain is a right of passage with an amazing reward at the end.  All mothers have had a chance to experience it in some way or another, it’s just part of life.

Chronic pain means something is wrong.  It is not a welcome pain, and there is no end in sight.  Add in the psychological trauma that comes along with wondering WHY you’re in pain and it’s a whole different monster.

My labor experience

5. It’s hard to ask for help

This rings true for most people, not just mothers suffering from chronic pain.  To ask for help means putting aside our pride, which is something most mothers have a very difficult time doing.  We are proud of the home we’ve kept and the children we’ve raised.  We’ve got a system and routine and we can’t expect just anyone to come in and take over.  If we admit that we need help, then we’re no longer in the running for supermom.


6. No one knows how to to do what we do

I’m not even sure what I do all day.  All I know is that no one else knows how to do it.   So if my husband asks me what needs to be done, I couldn’t tell him.  I just get up in the morning and do what I do.  I see something that needs to be done and I do it.  There is no master list.  There is no “how-to guide” to being a stay at home mom.  And even if I wrote out a to-do list, it would probably need to be changed at least 12 times because… toddlers.


we keep quiet about a lot of things…

7. We’re afraid to miss out

These kids grow up so fast.  We’re afraid to blink for fear of missing out on something and so taking time off to deal with our chronic pain is out of the question.  As much as we want alone time, we also want to be there to experience it all.  We want to see that excited expression on their faces when experiencing something new.  We want to hear their hysterical laughs while playing at the park or watching a funny movie.  We don’t want to miss out on our children’s childhood because of chronic pain.


8. We’ve tried all the home remedies

We are lucky to live in a world where we have so many choices when it comes to our health.  If you want to know what all of those options are, then all you need to do is mention to someone that you suffer from chronic pain.  Product recommendations, home remedies, naturopathic solutions, essential oils, vitamins, etc., are all wonderful and often welcome suggestions… at first.  And we get that people want to help but, after a while, we’re tired of being targeted by those selling some type of miracle product that promises to cure all that ails us.

Chronic Pain: Cost Effective and Quick Fix Methods to End Your Pain: Innovative Solutions to a Pain Free Life by [Longstaff, Nicole]
Amazon.ca

9. We hate being labeled

Complainers.  Hypochondriacs.  Unhealthy.  Drug addicts.  There are many people who use pain as an excuse.  Those people make things much harder for the rest of us who are in actual pain.  We don’t speak up about chronic pain because there are so many people who don’t understand it.  It’s not just about what others think of us, it’s about how we are treated.  For five years I suffered from chronic pain but was still able to do anything and everything and I often wonder if things would have been different if I was more vocal about my pain.


The cause of chronic pain is less important than how it affects your life.  Many people have no choice but to speak up about their chronic pain and ask for help.  But for some mothers, myself included, we are afraid to show weakness.  We don’t want to be a burden.  And so we keep it inside and go it alone. 

It doesn’t have to be this way. If you’re reading this and felt like I was talking to you, maybe it’s time to let your guard down.  Seek help and let those in your life know that you are suffering.  If they truly love you, they won’t think any less of you and will want to do whatever they can to ease your pain.


click here to learn more about

Chronic pain and endometriosis