Maria Shireen Partners To Support Maternal Mental Health

Charity TiesWe’re so excited to tell you about a brand new maternal mental health partnership between Postpartum Progress and Maria Shireen™, the fashion accessories company famous for developing the Hair Tie Bracelet. The company was co-founded by Shireen Thor, who experienced first-hand the difficult challenge of postpartum depression following the birth of her son last year. As someone who has come through the experience of PPD and launched a successful accessories business in the process, Shireen and her husband, company co-Founder Arni Thor, have decided to support women through programs that address moms with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.

For each Charity Ties bracelet dedicated to postpartum depression and maternal mental health that is sold, Maria Shireen will donate $10 to the nonprofit organization Postpartum Progress. These awesome bracelets have ‪#‎BANDOFSTRENGTH‬ engraved on them and come with a white hair tie corresponding to the specific cause of maternal mental illness. You can remove the hair tie whenever you need to put your hair up, and then put it back into this gorgeous bracelet rather than just wearing a hair tie directly on your wrist for hair emergencies. I have long hair, and I have to tell you I love mine!

Maria Shireen bracelets have been featured everywhere from InStyle and Pop Sugar to the Today Show and Allure magazine. Since the company’s debut in 2015, more than 110,000 bracelets have sold around the world in 40 countries.

I got to meet Shireen Thor recently while on a business trip. We sat together and talked for hours and she shared her own story with me of her recent experience with postpartum depression. Like most of us, she was completely shocked to go through it and now that she’s coming out on the other side she doesn’t want other mothers to feel alone and ashamed. I loved getting the chance to spend time with her and hear her story, and I’m thrilled that she’s decided to use her success with Maria Shireen to help Warrior Moms and support the work of Postpartum Progress. We believe it’s so important for women leaders, entrepreneurs and CEOs to recognize that maternal mental illness is exceedingly common and yet the majority of those who have it never get the help they need. We won’t be able to succeed with our organization’s vision — Every pregnant and new mother with a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder will quickly recognize her illness, know why treatment is important, seek help and fully recover thanks to having access to the information, services and support to help her through. — without the support of leaders like Shireen Thor, CEO of Maria Shireen, or Cotton Babies CEO Jennifer Labit, who has also experienced PPD.

charity_ties_2-2Click here to order a Maria Shireen Charity Ties bracelet to support Postpartum Progress.

 

mariashireenwebsite

The Sun Will Shine: A Poem on Postpartum Depression

[Editor’s Note: Today’s guest post comes from Stephanie, and she brings a little something different today: a poem on postpartum depression. It’s beautifully written. It’s also a piece many mamas who have suffered postpartum depression can relate to; the imagery is pretty universal. Enjoy! -Jenna]

The Sun Will Shine: A Poem on Postpartum Depression -postpartumprogress.com

Rocking chair moves, dark room,
Blank stare, melancholy doom,
Holding babe, lanky arms,
Tear falling, first do no harm,

Rock forth, rock back,
Losing grip, feeling slack,
Beautiful girl, pudgy cheeks,
Trying to hold close, feeling so weak,

Told you’ll be okay, trying to believe,
Closing your eyes, just feeling grief,
Slipping fingers, baby girl falling,
Quickly catching her, still bawling,

Fixated spot, empty wall,
A big void, emotional overhaul,
Losing the battle, giving up,
Hating the child, yet still in love,

Months gone, still feel alone,
Trying to fane happiness, trying to feel whole,
Body raped, pill after pill,
Combinations played, climbing that hill,

Happy eyes stare, filled of ocean blue,
Trying to love, holding and hugging you,
Dormant smiles, buried deep,
Hiding my pain, inside I weep,

Hour glass runs out, flipped once again,
Feeling less zombie, gaining control of my head,
Hearing you laugh, seeing you crawl,
Suddenly amazed, Inhaling it all,

“The sun is shining,” I say holding you,
“Let’s go out and observe,” just us two,
We both stare in awe, you at the sky,
Me taking deep breaths, pushing your first year to the side,

The rocking chair still sits, alone and bare,
Room still darkens, my mind is not there,
Now cradling you, swaying side to side,
I’ll never leave you, my baby girl, my pride.

– Stephanie Paige, 2016

 

If you’d like to submit a poem on postpartum depression or any other form of a guest post, you’re welcome to send them to editor@postpartumprogress.org

Postpartum Progress Gave Me Hope

[Editor’s Note: Today we have a post from Keely. I’ll include this little note from her before I send you off to read her piece. It warmed my heart. Maybe yours, too.

“I just wanted to say THANK YOU for creating this safe haven for us women and mothers. This website literally saved my life. It enabled me to find groups and others that are/were going through the same things I was going through and still go through!” See? Hope. -Jenna]

Postpartum Progress Gave Me Hope -postpartumprogress.com

When I had my first and probably only child (son) in September 2014, I was fine at the hospital and had a great delivery via C-section, but the day of leaving the hospital everything came crashing down on me. I knew I was going to be all alone with no help from the doctors or nurses with this tiny little stranger whom I had no idea what to do with. I had never even changed a diaper in all of my life, so I really was very clueless.

The drive home was the beginning of this nightmare. We stopped at the store to pick up my new prescription of antidepressants because of course my doctor already knew I would be a high risk. I was already shaking and in my head had lots of thoughts. “What the hell did we just do”? “This was a horrible mistake to have a baby!” “I don’t want him” and “Take him back please” They were all I could think about.

My husband said he was emotional about how beautiful he was and all I could think of was how the hell I got into this mess. I wanted my old life back so desperately. I was so jealous of people that came over to visit that weren’t in my situation; I just wanted to run away and never come back. I felt bad for people with kids.

I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t do anything but sit on the couch or in my bed and sob. I gave up breastfeeding early and that was very emotional as well. I still struggle with that. My husband was no help as I think he was going through something as well. He was cold and emotionless about the entire situation, so I wasn’t going to get any help there.

I remember a specific time standing in the shower starting to plan my “out” as I was going to take all my money in my savings account and hire a hit man for myself on Craigslist. I kept thinking “surely someone would be desperate enough for thousands of dollars to come kill me with no questions asked right?”

I had to have my mother with me every day that my husband was gone to work. My mother gave my son the love I couldn’t at the time. I couldn’t even babywear at the time as it was too much of him around me. I just wanted to be myself again and he just required too much.

It hurts me to write these things as it was not my child’s fault. He didn’t ask to be brought into this craziness. However, I was bound and determined to get better so that I could be the mother I needed to be. He deserved that and so did I.

I started to research on the internet during maternity leave and found Postpartum Progress and read many stories just like mine. I read as much as I could get my hands on. I bought several books that were also on the subject mentioned on Postpartum Progress. I also found a group link on Postpartum Progress that led me to the Healing Group in Utah where I attended a group every Wednesday. I also found a wonderful hotline for other moms to talk to women that had gone through the same thing I was going through.

I found a decent doctor and tried several different medications in my journey and I have found one so far that works okay for the time being. I am somewhat calm, hopeful, and happy as I think I could possibly be at this time in my life.

Here we are almost two years later and I am still alive and doing much better. My son is happy and healthy. I am very affectionate with him and make it a priority to show him love. People said it would pass, and it has slowly. I am still a little nervous of what might happen almost every second of the day which is probably related to OCD and my preexisting anxiety. I never go out past 7:30 PM with my son as bedtime is my major trigger.

My life still pretty much revolves around my son and a schedule to ensure he gets his naps, proper feeding, playtime, and bedtime for a good night’s rest, but this works for me as it keeps my anxiety tolerable. I cannot fathom having another child. It makes me terribly sad that my son may be alone with no siblings, but I am not sure I could make it out of that dark hole again.

I still grieve for my pre-baby self in some ways, but I also find myself so grateful for the beautiful baby boy that has blessed my life beyond measure. I NEVER thought I would be able to say that. I am also still on medication and I am very grateful that medication exists. I attend a postpartum group with ladies associated with Postpartum Progress. It is so very amazing to know that we are not alone!

THANK YOU AGAIN!

Love Keely from Utah

How Sweet It Is To See and Interact with Warrior Moms

How Sweet It Is to See and Interact with Warrior Mom -postpartumprogress.com

Today was kind of a big day at Postpartum Progress.

We Went Facebook Live

First, we held our first Facebook Live Event. Our intention was to talk for ten minutes, some about postpartum mood and anxiety disorders and some about Climb Out of the Darkness. But we also wanted to answer questions from our mamas about anything on their minds.

So we ended up chatting for an hour. And it was the best.

Our Warrior Moms loved it. Katherine, on the camera, loved it. We think her postal worker loved it. (You gotta watch to understand.) The staff, busy in the comments, connecting moms with links and other support, loved it. It really just went way above what we expected.

And we’re thrilled.

From the feedback we received, we’ll be holding our Facebook Live Events regularly. They’ll be loosely based on a topic but, as was the case today, we’ll follow YOUR lead about what we need to talk about during any given experience.

If you want to watch what went down, we’ve embedded the video here. Excuse some of the pixelation and pauses; Katherine’s suburb Internet got a little cranky from time to time. You’ll lose the interaction of being present for a Live Event, but you’ll get some good information on postpartum depression duration, treatment, symptoms, as well as information about the Climb Out of the Darkness—taking place ONE MONTH from today!

You can also view it directly on Facebook and add more comments if you’d like.

2016 Climb Out of the Darkness Video: How Sweet It Is!

Then, as if talking with other mamas for an hour wasn’t cool enough, we launched our 2016 Climb Out of the Darkness Video. We put a call out to our Warrior Moms and Climb Leaders to send in video of themselves dancing with their kiddos and we set it to “How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You” by James Taylor. Because postpartum mood and anxiety disorders often make moms feel like they aren’t worthy to be loved—by their children, by anyone. They fear that their babies won’t ever love them.

We know that’s not true.

So this is for every mama who worried that she was doing more harm than good to her baby. For every mama who fought a postpartum mood and anxiety disorder. For every mama who doubted herself but fought hard anyway. For every mama still fighting. For every Warrior Mom, whether you’re participating in the Climb or not. (PS: There’s still time to register. It’s one month from today and we’d love for you to join us.)

Just click anywhere on the video section of that Facebook update and it will play the YouTube video for you. Fancy pants, no? (But if that doesn’t work, you can watch it on YouTube.)

We’d love if you would take a moment and share this fun (#earworm of a) video on Facebook so that others might learn a little more about postpartum mood and anxiety disorders, the Climb, and maybe just feel a good feeling about their own children.

It is SO sweet to be loved by them; it is so sweet to LOVE them. We want all moms (and their partners) to someday feel that feeling, so we hope you’ll spread it around a little too. You are the best mom for your child. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

See you on June 18? We hope!