For Aimee Zeigler, Lost to Postpartum Psychosis

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Aimee ZieglerI’m trying to get ready for our annual Mother’s Day Rally for Moms’ Mental Health this Sunday. Frankly, I’m woefully behind. I got a little sidetracked yesterday writing a story for Babble about why most mothers support other mothers’ choices. They were words that needed to be written, given TIME magazine’s latest ploy to make us question whether we are good enough mothers. We are all MOM ENOUGH.

Then, this morning, someone forwards me a link on Twitter from writer Aaron Polson.  Aaron lost his wife and mother of his three children, Aimee Zeigler, on April 2nd to postpartum psychosis.  I read the words of his loss and I’m crushed into a million pieces. I know, and you know, how devastating these illnesses can be. We know how few people are aware of the symptoms of postpartum psychosis, or that it even exists. We know how little the medical community is prepared, sometimes, to help moms with severe postnatal illness or recognize what a danger the illness can be.

I don’t know Aaron, but I’m so proud of him for writing the truth of his wife’s life. What happened to her.  This is why I do what I do. This is why we are all speaking so loudly and writing so many words and trying so hard to make sure everyone can hear us. It’s for Aimee. And for all the other mothers and babies we have lost so tragically to postpartum psychosis.

Please go read Aaron’s story of postpartum psychosis and offer your support for him and his three children.

And by the way, if you ask me, THIS is the stuff TIME magazine ought to be writing about.

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About Katherine Stone

is the founder & editor of Postpartum Progress. She was named one of the ten most influential mom bloggers of 2011, a WebMD Health Hero and one of the top 25 parent bloggers using social media for social good. She also writes the Fierce Blog, and a parenting column for Disney's Babble.com.

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  1. Amen to that!

  2. on a day i post about feeling healed…this breaks my heart wide open. thank you for posting this, Katherine.

  3. Oh gosh, I want to go read this so bad but I’m scared to. I know it will bring me right back to the thick of my own postpartum psychosis. I got lucky. I didn’t die even though I did everything in my power to do so. My heart hurts for her family, more so because it was almost my own family. Tragic.

    • Delilah,

      Please don’t put yourself in an uncomfortable spot. You don’t need to/have to. Taking care of yourself is the MOST important thing. And bless you. I’m so happy you’re okay.

    • I understand Delilah, I experienced PPP also. I feel lucky that I was able to get help so quickly. It is a devastating disease and it steals precious time with our babies from us and in some cases does so much more. I feel terrible that this happened to this poor woman and her family.

  4. Robin | Farewell Stranger says:

    :(

    I want to read this, but I’m going to do it when I’m not at work.

    And you’re right about the Time thing.

  5. My heart breaks for Aaron and his family! He is doing such an important thing by sharing Aimee’s story in an effort to help other women who may struggle with this illness. Sending prayers to Aaron and his family. If anyone can honor her life it is him, and he’s already doing that tremendously.

  6. Heather Rasmussen says:

    Katherine, I am so glad you posted this. I actually came to your site today to alert you of Aaron’s post. Aimee and Aaron live in the same town I do. While I didn’t know Amy personally, I know many people that do. She was a high school counselor and a social worker & well-known & loved throughout the community. This is such a heartbreaking tragedy and Aaron is so brave to share their story. I am glad he did & I hope something hopeful and helpful can come from Amy’s death. Thank you again for posting.

    • I’m really glad you shared the story with me Heather. Because I want people to know how serious these illnesses are and that we need to do more. Mothers and babies are lost. That’s just not okay with me.

  7. So tragic. I suffered PPD after my second child and was too scared to consider having a third. God bless that man.
    Thank you for posting this.

  8. Marsha Poholsky says:

    I was Aimee’s friend and I sent an email to the Dr. Oz show asking them to do a show on postpartum depression. The word needs to get out there, please continue helping spread the information.

  9. Thanks for sharing Aimee’s story and all you do here. I remember reading entires at Postpartum Progress when we were expecting our last child. Take care, everyone.

  10. This is why we need to align together as women, mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends to fight postpartum depression, anxiety, ocd and psychosis. What a shame that Time wants to rev women up about breastfeeding while more and more families and women suffer and in worst case scenarios die from postpartum issues. Thank you Aaron for sharing your brave story.

  11. Interested says:

    Thanks katherine for posting this. And thank u Aaron for writing about this monster that stole your wife. May she rest in peace amen.

  12. Sandra Hwang says:

    I have read Aaron’s blogs, now, from beginning to end. My heart is breaking. Having battled postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety after the birth of both my children, I can only imagine what Aaron and Aimee went through during the time Aimee was suffering. I am so angry! Why is there not more awareness out there? The support group I facilitate

  13. Sandra Hwang says:

    …helps the women in our local area, but we need more information and supports in place on a larger scale. I am ready to push for this. Aaron: May you and your family find peace during this time; you don’t know me, but my heart is with you now. Blessings to you.

  14. Sara Ziegler says:

    Katherine, thank you for sharing my sister, Aimee’s story. Thank you for increasing awareness, education, and support for this postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis. It feels so empty and alone without Aimee, it helps to know that you are sharing Aimee’s story, and supporting our family’s fight to help save other women and other women’s families from growing up without their mommy, wife, daughter, sister, and friend. If you don’t mind sharing your email I would like to send you an email I made Aimee for Mother’s day. Thank you Katherine, I hope to become more connected with you and join you to bring awareness and help to every woman.

    • katstone1 says:

      Hi Sara. Happy to hear from you. I can't even begin to imagine the loss you feel, and I'm so terribly, terribly sorry. We support you 100%. It's my wish that no child or mother is EVER lost to a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder. One day we will get there.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] care — I was reminded of how woefully lacking treatment for postpartum issues is when I read this heartbreaking story of a mother lost over at Postpartum Progress. Unfortunately, we tend to forget about women during one of the most [...]

  2. […] her children. I think of Melanie Blocker Stokes. I think of Jennifer and Graham Gibbs Bankston.  Aimee Zeigler. Lisa Gibson.  Otty Sanchez. Alisa Lorraine Evans. Shontelle Cavanaugh. So many more that I […]