Please Say Hi

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Many of you pass through here without ever saying hello.  I understand why.  You’re looking for information about postpartum depression but not perhaps ready to speak up.  Sometimes I hear from you years later, after you’ve gotten better and had time to heal.  I was thinking the other day about how hundreds of thousands of people have come to these pages and I’ll never even know their first names.  So today I thought, for those of you who are willing, to ask you to say hi.  I’d love to hear from you – why you’re here, how you’re doing.  If you’re up to it. ;-)

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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. Amanda Hermanson says:

    Just saying hi!

    I found your sight last week. My daughter is 8 months old now and I have been beating myself up for not feeling "better" by now. Your sight has helped me to realize that I need to be patient and that lots of Moms still struggle after years so I shouldn't be so hard on myself. I had OCD to begin with so once I gave birth to my daughter the PPD with OCD has been horrible. My medications are not where they need to be and I'm waiting to talk to my therapist next week about it. I am so touched by the warrior Mom's stories on your website – especially Anjanette's Story. I haven't quite reached acceptance, though some days it feels like I have. I just need to know that this will go away someday and that life will get better. I pray that it will be over soon…….

    I can't thank you enough for all of the information you have available for mom's like me who are still deep in the PPD muck.

    -Amanda

    • Katherine Stone says:

      Hi Amanda! I'm so glad you are here. Please don't beat yourself up! It really does take quite a long time to recover – longer, I think, than most of us would expect. I have OCD too, which I didn't find out until after I had postpartum OCD.

      Happy to meet you!

  2. Hi! *waves* I've been stopping by for a while now. I was hit with PPD twice; still coming out the other side of the second hit. I have two boys, 3.5 years and 15 months. They are awesome. You can read my story on my blog. Daily Hope has been awesome for me, as well as all the resources you've provided on your site. You are an inspiration to me! Thanks for your work, Katherine.

    • Katherine Stone says:

      So nice to talk to you Robin! I'm really glad you are here, and that you are coming out on the other side. Whew!

  3. HEY!! HELLO! My names is Jessica. I have a 6 year old son and a 1 year old son. Had horrible PPD with the first one and antenatal depression with the second. I did not even realize you could have such depression while pregnant. It was horrible. Wish I had found this site a LONG time ago. But, it helps me a lot now. I check in every day and lurk about. I get the Daily Hope. Trying to seek help, but it makes me so weary. It is so hard to find people (professionals) to understand this it seems. I am glad that I can read this site and connect to blogs of other women who suffer. I don't feel so alone. I admire all of the work that you do for PPD/PPOCD/ANXIETY etc.

    XO

    • Katherine Stone says:

      Hi Jessica. Nice to meet you! Don't feel bad that you didn't know about antenatal depression. Most people don't. We're hoping to change that though!! We're really glad to have you here.

  4. Hi! I love the Daily Hope emails and all the great resources on your site. It's helpful to get information and to know that I'm not alone with PPD/ANXIETY, and especially to be reminded that it does get better. I get really frustrated that it's taking me so long to heal. My daughter is almost 18 months and I expected to be better by now. I'm doing so much better than I was at the beginning, but my recovery has become a long, slow, twisting road. I have to remember that it's an illness and it's not my fault. I wish I'd been told that I was at high risk. I'll keep taking my meds and trying to take good care of myself and asking for the support I need. Thank you for being such a great advocate for educating people about and helping people with PP issues!

    • Katherine Stone says:

      Hi Nina! I'm so pleased you are here. I understand your frustration completely. I felt the same way. It doesn't seem fair that it should take so long to get better. I also agree that it would be better if doctors helped women identify whether they are at risk for PPD in advance! I hope you keep hanging out with us!

  5. Hi Everyone, My name is Chelsie and I am currently in the depths of antenatal depression with 5 weeks to go until my baby arrives. It's been a battle the entire pregnancy (this is my first.) I found this (life saver) website at the beginning of my pregnancy when I was desperatly searching the internet for "someone like me". I am so glad I found it. I'm struggling so profoundly because I am actually so blessed to have a supportive family, access to weekly therapy, and a fabulous OB, yet I still "feel this way". Sorta makes me feel bad to be given so much help and still be depressed & anxious. Unfortunately, I'm stuck in this very deeply, even to the point where I think I'll be the one case that can't get better. I read the stories, and the daily hope and I logically know this is treatable. I just hope and pray I can look back and be a success story like so many of you. Thank you Katherine, for being the best email in my in-box every morning, Chelsie

    • Katherine Stone says:

      Hi Chelsie! It's great to hear you have so much help and support. Please don't feel bad that you need the help. Antenatal depression is as common as PPD. We're really glad you are with us and I know you are going to make a great mom. Just hang in there!

  6. Hi Katherine! I found your site after having PPD 3 years ago after my son's birth. I gave birth in April to my daughter, and while I've been scared of having another battle with PPD, things have been going well so far. There are days that are harder than others, but I know now that I can get through them and not have to suffer through the endless depression I had before. One thing I have learned through my experience is how important it is to take care of myself, be it taking a break, exercising, or just getting the help I need. Things do get better.

    Thanks for creating and maintaining such a wonderful resource.

    • Katherine Stone says:

      Hi Carol. Congrats on your second child! I'm glad to hear things are going much better. Just be sure to keep taking care of yourself, as you said. That's so important!

  7. Hi! I found your site about 18 months ago, when I was in the midst of postpartum anxiety after having my second child. The resources I found here and through the PSI site helped me hugely. Thanks! I'm now loving being a mama to my two sweet girls and I think my exoerience with PPA has actually taught me lots- to be kinder on myself as a mother, and to appreciate the everyday moments of joy I have with my girls now.

    • Katherine Stone says:

      Hi Aimee! I love a good happy mom story! That's one of my favorite parts about this site: hearing from moms down the road who have recovered and are happy moms. Such an inspiration. Glad to meet you!

      - K

  8. I didn't find your site until after my 18 month PPD struggle was over. However, I found it because it was one of the few sites that even mentioned PP-PTSD, a struggle which is never over. I'm thankful to be in a place in my life where I don't currently need your resources, but check in several times a week to see what posts are up.

    What is done here is GOOD.

    • Katherine Stone says:

      Thanks for coming! I'm glad you are here, and I'm glad to know that you were able to find resources you needed here for PPTSD.

      - K

  9. Hi! I've commented a few times before, but thought I'd go ahead and say hi again. :) I'm 36 and my daughter is 2.5 yrs. old. She was a very big surprise! So was the horrendous case of antepartum depression and anxiety I was hit with at the start of my third trimester. I had no idea what was happening to me. It seemingly came out of nowhere. Like literally overnight. I know differently now of course. I realize now that I have a history with anxiety and minor (compared to this) bouts of depression. I was borderline psychotic from the severe insomnia I suffered from for those last three long months of my pregnancy. Thank God I eventually stumbled upon this lifesaving site and discovered that what I was experiencing not only had a name but was also quite common. That alone helped me beyond words. The information provided here and the stories of survival are what helped me to hang on. I just thought I was a weak/flawed person who couldn't handle being pregnant. Man, those were the darkest days of my life. So terrifying. I did go on to develop PPD/PPA and a bit of post traumatic stress as well. I also thought I was going to be a "special case" and not recover. The illness is such a liar like that. However, I found the help that I needed (after firing a few terrible doctors) and eventually made it to the other side. It was a long and painful journey. Today, I have an amazing bond with my beautiful and healthy little spitfire girl and I am just so full of gratitude that I made it and for people like you! I have been and will continue to pay it forward. I have directed many women from an online support group to this site because of what an incredible lifeline it has been for me. Thank you doesn't even begin to cover it, but THANK YOU!!!

    • Katherine Stone says:

      Hi Kristin. I love you comment: "The illness is such a liar like that." So true! I can't tell you how many women I've talked to these many years who have all been afraid they'll be the "special case" who won't recover. I'm so glad you are here, showing that it's not true!

      - K

  10. I'm a faithful reader over here. I recovered once from PPD/PPA after my 2 year old daughter was born. I went of meds in Feb of this year. I started spiraling in April (in denial) and officially relapsed in June….And I haven't recovered this time around yet. So let's just say I've had the summer from hell. I was trying different meds, and am now on one I know that works, but did not want to go back on it. After 3 months of zero peace, and lots of horrendous side effects from other meds I've tried, I knew I just needed peace and went on the med that worked, but didn't want to go one b/c of certain side effects, and b/c of how hard it was for me to get off of it. I guess I would say I'm still in crisis mode, although I feel so well at nights, its hard for me to imagine right now that I could wake up in a sea of anxiety and depression yet again. 4 months is a long time to suffer. I know other moms that have suffered longer, but I'm done. So I come here to get nuggets of hope and I know I've recovered once, I'll recover again. And this time, I'll stay on meds and keep the peace. :)

    • Katherine Stone says:

      Oh Maura, I'm so sorry you've had the summer from hell. I'm glad that you recognize that you've been through this once and you'll definitely get through it again. You will! Please keep hanging out with us. We're glad to have you here.

      - K

  11. Hi All! I found this site 6months ago because I knew something was really wrong and I didn't know how to articulate it. I printed out your list of symptoms in plain-mama-English (love it!) and highlighted my symptoms. I gave the list to my husband and then took myself to the hospital where I gave it to the therapist. She photocopied it for my file. I love your daily hopes. I still struggle with PPD and the guilt and shame that I didn't get help sooner (I was 8 months into this mess when I finally got help). It was so easy for me to excuse away my awful thoughts with sleep deprivation, but when my son finally started sleeping through and I was still not "happy" I knew that just wasn't right. I have a 3 year old and a 16 month old and we are doing much better. I must confess that I am terrified of my depression coming back over the winter, so keep those daily hopes coming! I look forward to some day adding my picture to your warrior moms album!

    • Katherine Stone says:

      Hi Deanna. So excited to hear about how you used the plain mama English symptoms! I'm glad they were helpful.

      Please don't feel guilty that you didn't get help until 8 months. It's not your fault. 85% of women with PPD never get help at all. You should feel pleased that in the end you did recognize it and get the help you need. That's wonderful!!

      Really glad you are here.

      -K

  12. Hello. I found this site looking for some information on depression and motherhood. I have two boys, 10 months and 2.5 years. I have a history of depression. I just can't seem to get my life together. My mom came over today to help me with the housework and suggested that I just need to be more disciplined, but I don't think that is the problem. I thought for a while that I was just sleep deprived, which I am, but now I'm beginning to realize that the problem is deeper than that. I haven't approached the doctor yet, because I do not want to be medicated. I am not sure where to get the support I need. Thank you for your website.

    • Katherine Stone says:

      Christine,

      You definitely don't have to live this way. There are things you can do. I really hope that you will consider talking to your doctor. If you are against medication, consider therapy. You deserve to have someone to talk to who can help you with this lifelong struggle.

      I wish being more disciplined would be enough to tackle depression, but it isn't. Depression is an illness. It's very real, as you know.

      - K

  13. Hi! I'm a proud mom to a 2yr5mo old daughter. I have experienced some anxiety pretty much since college (I'm 37 now), but PPD came as a complete and utter shock to me. After her birth, I was weepy. But at 6 weeks after birth, I was still weepy. And it got progressively worse with panic attacks and sadness. It eventually got to the point that I just couldn't function. I had trouble breast-feeding (low supply) and was devastated to stop….but couldn't continue, either. It was a no-win situation. I cried for weeks about not breast-feeding, as I had connected breast-feeding to my bond with my daughter and I had never considered the fact that I would formula-feed her. I sought help through my OB and have since been under the care of a psychiatrist and a psychologist. To be honest, what has helped me the most has been the passage of time….my body healing…my soul re-connecting to my daughter…the support of family and friends….and your site. It took me far longer to recover than I'd ever thought was possible, but having read stories here on your site, I know that is experienced by many. Thank you for your voice….for speaking for me and others like me.

    • Katherine Stone says:

      Hi Kristen! Glad you brought up breastfeeding because it is such a significant issue for so many of us. I'm sorry to hear of your difficulty with it. It's a very painful thing to go through.

      I agree with you that good help and the passage of time make a huge difference. Each year that I got further away from my PPOCD, the better it has gotten and the less I am bothered by the whole experience. It really has no effect on me any more, but it definitely took me a while to get there.

      -K

  14. Hi there! I'm a happy mother of two boys, a three year old and an 11 month old. I found your site a couple days before I checked myself into the hospital. I am in the process of recovering from PPD/PPA and man has it been a long/ tough road. I had no problems after having my first son but the second one was a different story. Please let me add that I have zero history with depression or anxiety. And to make matters worse I really had no idea what PPD or PPA was about. I suffered for six months after having my second son before I asked for help. The problem is that the help I asked for turned out to be a prescription and I was one of the few that it made things horribly worse. My husband was out of town at the time, and with everything that was going on with me, I had the three of us stay at my parents house. When I woke up the next morning I told my Mother that something is not right with me and I needed to check myself in to a hospital. She agreed and that's what I did. Even at the hospital I said to my doctor I think I have PPD and he said no you have generalized anxiety disorder. Ok guess I was wrong (but I wasn't). The saving grace for me was my doctors NP. I had met w/ her because my doctor was gone. Told her my story and BAM she said you have PPD/PPA. But the best advice from her was 1. It's totally treatable and 2. It has a shelf life. So after trying another med with another reaction we have found the perfect match. I know I'm almost there. My bad days are gone and now I'll maybe have a bad hour every now and then. I love love love my boys!! I finally fell in my heart the love I thought I'd never feel again. Thank you for your site Katherine, it has been my go to best friend for almost six months now.

    • Katherine Stone says:

      Glad to hear from you Emily! Finding the best treatment for each individual person can be such a difficult experience. It took me a year to find the most effective thing, so I totally understand. I'm really glad you are feeling better, and am happy to have you here!

      - K

  15. Since you asked, I will de-lurk :)

    I stop by here to get support even though I do not have PPD. I just had my third baby, and have found the baby blues to be so alarming after each birth, just because each time (after the first baby), I've expected to be more prepared and not deal with it again.

    When I read your posts, I feel surrounded by support and affirmed that I can do this parenting thing, and it helps to support me during these difficult first postpartum days. I always appreciate your articles and also the community that you've helped to create on Twitter as well.

    Thank you!

    • Katherine Stone says:

      Sarah,

      Yay! Delurking is fun! Thank you so much for saying you feel affirmed here. That's so cool. Love it.

      Also, it's great of you to point out that any mom can feel overwhelmed having a new baby, not just those with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Very true. Thank you for saying that.

      - Katherine

  16. Hi Katherine,

    My daughter is 14 months old, PPD crept in when she was 5 months, and it's been mostly lifted for the past 4 months, so I haven't really needed your site as much. But today is one of those days, where my husband and I have been fighting that much more, and I feel like he never really understands how to supports me and that believe that I can do it all on my own, and I'm weak or lazy because I can't. I know that's motivating for some people, with the thought of "I'll show him! Don't tell me I can't!" but it just affirms the lies in my head.

  17. Hi Katherine,

    I have been a fan for about a year now, I read everyday. Your posts come to my phone, my email, my facebook… I pass on your site to all the moms that I work with and a link to your site is also on my webpage.

    I just completed my first year as a private consultant for Huron County Postpartum Support in Huron County, Michigan. I started a support group, a web site, and distribute a lot of information to moms and the professionals that work with moms.

    I appreciate your work and I am so glad to have this resource available. Thanks for all that you do!

  18. Hi Katherine,

    My name is Amanda and I have been suffering with severe PPD/PPA since the birth of my daughter 16 months ago. I am still in the throes of PPD and I feel like I will never get better. I take 7 different medications and nothing seems to help for very long. I am on the list to receive shock therapy at the local hospital. I am hoping that this last-ditch effort will produce some results because I cannot keep living this way. It's not fair to my family, especially my sweet angel.

    Thanks for this site.

    • Katherine Stone says:

      Hi Amanda!

      This saying hi thing is fun. We have to do this more often.

      I'm so glad you are here. I am also so sorry to hear you are still struggling and so frustrated. If it helps, I do hear from more than a few moms who are in your situation. They are many many months out and nothing seems to be working for them. I really hope that the next efforts your doctors make produce good results for you. If not, don't give up. Let us know and we'll see what we can find out for you.

      - K

  19. I LOVE your blog. I had severe ppd with my 1st child, who is 9. It went on for years. It ended up being thyroid related. But, it was awful and I spent every day for the first 3 years of his life wanting to die. There wasn't a ton of blogs or ways to connect with people at that time so I love to read your blog and feel glad that people are getting support in a time that I was not able to.

  20. Hi Katherine,
    I have been a fan for about a year now, I read everyday. Your posts come to my phone, my email, my facebook… I pass on your site to all the moms that I work with and a link to your site is also on my webpage.
    I just completed my first year as a private consultant for Huron County Postpartum Support in Huron County, Michigan. I started a support group, a web site, and distribute a lot of information to moms and the professionals that work with moms.
    I appreciate your work and I am so glad to have this resource available. Thanks for all that you do!

  21. Hi Katherine,

    I've been stopping by for a couple of months now. I suffered with depression during my pregnancy, which then morphed into PPD and was very serious after I stopped breastfeeding after 8 months…why does no one discuss all the things that can go haywire when you stop breastfeeding?

    Anyway, I'm on the slow road to recovery, my marriage is a shambles, but my bond with my son is incredible now. My friendships have grown stronger as I have been able to become more honest with people about what I've been going through. I couldn't have done it without this site. Doctors and therapists have all been rather useless.

    Thank you so very much for being out there and lending a guiding hand.

  22. Hi Katherine,

    I just found your site this week. I gave birth via c-section almost 8 weeks ago and have a history of depression. (In fact, I chose to formula-feed because of my history and worry about PPD.) PPD set in early but since I had depression before I knew all the signs. The worst for me has been the severe anxiety, feelings of self-doubt and the misguided thoughts, not just as a mother but how motherhood will impact the rest of my life. I relive all the bad thoughts from the depression three years ago and it's tough when I'm home alone all day with nothing to do but take care of my daughter and think about all the aspects of my life ad nauseum. I'm on medication now and I feel such a difference. I truly love my daughter and know that I am a better mom because I know my strengths and weaknesses. I really appreciate your website and the advice and information you offer.

    • Katherine Stone says:

      Hi Katie! Way to go for doing so much to take care of yourself and get the help you need. I'm glad you are feeling better already. I know it's so hard to have the feelings you are having but please know that one day you won't have them any more. So glad you found us!

      - K

  23. I just found your site this week on a Facebook rabbit trail. I can't even remember how. I wish I'd had this resource the first time around. I had PPD with my son, 5 years ago. It was horrible. Everything was horrible. He was our first child (had no idea what we were doing), breastfeeding was a disaster, we only had one car and many winter days I was stuck at home with a newborn I didn't really want to take care of. I tried joining a mother's club, but that too was a disaster. No one understood what I was going through, least of all my husband. We moved when the baby was 6 months old and things got slightly better. We got another car, I joined a different mom's club–that was probably the thing that saved me the most. I still struggled though. And, my husband is against anti-depressants, so that made me feel like he was unsupportive. Looking back, I should have gotten more help. We had our second child in February and everything seemed to be going pretty well. But, then about 2 months ago, things started to get bad. The rage, the unending weeping, the sadness, wanting to run away. I really struggle with asking for help because I don't want to feel like a burden. I feel horrible for my kids. Especially my 5 year old because he should not have to deal with this. I feel like the internet is a blessing and a curse at the same time. I see all these blogs by moms who bake/craft/whatever all these amazing things for/with their kids. And, all I can think is, oh my god, I consider it a win if I get a shower every day. I made a decision and actually went to my OB/GYN today and asked for a prescription for anti-depressants. I know I can do this, but I need help. I'm also lucky to live in PA near an amazing PPD center. I think I'm going to try to go to the support group again. Wow, this is long! I just really wanted to thank you for this site. It is so so so wonderful and I am very grateful for all of the information here.

    • Katherine Stone says:

      Hi Jennifer! I'm guessing you went to the Postpartum Stress Center in PA – I certainly hope so since they're amazing. I'm really glad you had the courage to ask for help. I know it's scary, especially when you don't feel like people are supporting you in what you are trying to do to get better. But your health is the most important thing of all! You are doing all the right things by seeking the best help and support from other moms. Keep it up. You really will get better!

      - K

  24. Hi! I'm Stacey, a mother of a 2 1/2 year old daughter and 8 month old son! I found your site before revealing to anyone that I was struggling with ppocd. It was actually your site that lead me to get help. I checked myself into a Mental Health wing of a nearby hospital because I feared that I was in danger of hurting my kids and self. I have learned amazing things from your website: stories of hope, the importance of taking care of myself and asking for help is ok.

    The path I've traveled so far has been scary, tough and exhausting… But I remind myself that it is more than worth it, even if I have to crawl and dig my way out. My kids deserve a happy, healthy mom. I deserve it.

    • Yes you do! You deserve it as much as your kids do.

    • Katherine Stone says:

      I loved hearing that in some way we encouraged you to get the help you need. That's awesome. I know it's terribly scary as I've had PPOCD myself. I'm really proud of you for asking for health and trying to take care of yourself. You're going to recover!! And yes, you DO deserve it.

      - K

  25. Hi, I'm Brandi, a mother of a 6yo, 4yo and 2 yo. I found your site after searching online for help after I finally admitted to myself that I had PPD after my 3rd. Looking back, I'm positive I had it after each pregnancy, with it getting worse with each one. I finally hit my rock bottom when I was having feelings that my family would be better off without me. I don't describe it like I wanted to hurt myself, but I just had visions that my kids and husband would be much happier without me and my problems. I finally knew I needed help and started going to counseling. I found this site and I remember telling my therapist about this amazing place I could go to and read about others just like myself! It brought so much comfort! The biggest thing for me was reading the page about the symptoms of PPD. It says you may have PPD if you have "some" of these symptoms. I had 14 out of the 18 listed. Woah! This thing was real! It was like an immediate sense of relief rushed over me. I felt validated for feeling this way. Even after my doctor agreed I was struggling with PPD, after having several weeks of counseling, and even saying it out loud, I still wasn't fully convinced. I was still trying to cover it all up. Reading those symptoms allowed me to release it, allowed me to name it. I wasn't the problem, it was the disease. One of my biggest symptoms was anger and rage. Something that is not characteristic of me at all! It was here on this website that I learned for the very first time that anger was a symptom of PPD. It allowed me to conquer it. It gave me the confidence to realize that the anger spewing out of my mouth wasn't really me, that it was this disease. I have a history of severe emotional PMS in my family, but I never related it to a risk of having PPD. My doctor gave me the typical pat down asking all the questions. But never once was I informed of all the symptoms until reading your site. Finding this site was the mark of my road to healing. I've passed along so many of the articles to friends and family. Even though my youngest is 2 now, I come here often. It provides support, comfort and hope. Thank you for sharing such a space that allows women to heal!

    • Katherine Stone says:

      It's DEFINITELY real, and I'm so very pleased that you felt validated. I'm so happy you found us and I'm rooting for you and all the other moms who said hi here.

      - K

  26. You know me. But I thought I 'd say hi anyway. I adore this blog, and your work. You make the world a better, safer place for moms. and I'm working on a post for my website about your website on wednesday. I hope the fundraising goes swell.

  27. Hi! I love reading your blog. I regularly post links on my FB and Twitter. You're a big part of why I found the courage to be so vocal about my own experiences, which in turn is part of why I'm seeking help now for my concerns that I might be struggling with PPD again instead of waiting until I hit a crisis point like I did last time.

    You inspire me, and I hope you know that you help many many many women and their family members. I've showed this blog to my husband on multiple occasions to help him understand what I went through. Thank you for everything you do.

    • Katherine Stone says:

      Thank you so much Esther for promoting our work on FB and Twitter. Every little bit helps so that we can spread more awareness!

      - K

  28. Hello all! My name is Julie and I was first introduced to this amazing, supportive blog and website by a client . . . I am a Marriage and Family Therapist Intern in Sacramento, California and especially enjoy working with new and expectant moms and families.

    Since being introduced to this blog, I have passed it along to several clients and colleagues who have also enjoyed not only the information but also the positive, hopeful vibe and encouragement found here.

    Thanks to Katherine and her team for this awesome resource!!

    • Katherine Stone says:

      Hi Julie. I'm so glad your client mentioned us. That's great to hear. And I'm glad you share this site with others. That means a lot to us.

      - K

  29. Amy Brannan says:

    Your site always encourages me since I first found it months ago when I needed to know I was not the only one. Since then, I read it everyday and have sent a few women to it as well Thanks!

  30. What a great idea for a post.

    I am guilty: I stop by, read posts, see if I can visit the person's site and help.

    But I never say hi to you, and you're hosting.

    Im so sorry:

    Hello, beautiful Katherine.

  31. 28 weeker says:

    Dear All, At the moment I am suffering from post traumatic stress disorder due to a crazy complicated pregnancy. It might turn into ppd and this website has been highly recommended by an amazing US bed rest specialist (although we have never met she has been so helpful). My daughter was born premature on the day of 28 weeks due to a placenta abruption. This was after about 3 months of complete bed rest. I mean total complete bed rest resulting in the loss of ALL my muscle so I couldn't walk for 2 weeks and am still having walking difficulties nearly 2 months on. During this bed rest time I bled non stop – like everyday all the time and had a total of 31 unit of blood transfusions. Is this some world record for blood transfused so early on in pregnancy? If there is anyone else out there with a similar amount of blood transfusions during pregnancy please do leave a comment about how this effected you emotionally and physically. This is quite a complex story. I am now doing some kangaroo care – today was the third day and my daughter really seems to enjoy it. Thanks for taking the time to read this comment.

    • Katherine Stone says:

      I'm so sorry for everything you have gone through. What an amazing amount of stress and trauma. I really hope you are getting good support from a therapist or psychiatrist, because the complications you went through are definitely risk factors for PPD. You definitely deserve support to help you heal from this experience, so please don't be afraid to ask for it if you need it. We're glad you are here.

      - K

  32. I don't think I ever said hi to you here! I'm regularly here and on twitter with #ppdchat

    The support here, and the information available is just amazing. I wish I could have known all you ladies when I was home with a newborn & dealing with the PPD I didn't know I had.

    Thank you for doing this. Truly :o)

  33. I read almost every day and almost never comment. I'm still struggling and honestly still working on asking for help. Your posts almost always hit home with me – and sometimes that's really hard. I hear the consistent drum beat of your words telling me to get treatment and I know that it's what I need to hear, but it's not what I want to hear, and so often I run away. But I keep coming back. And it's because of you that I've found all the wonderful support networks that I lean on so heavily and that are going to get me where I need to go.

    • Katherine Stone says:

      I'm just so glad you keep coming back. At some point you will be ready to ask for help, and you will do it and see that it's okay. You deserve support! Really glad you are here.

      - K

  34. Hi Katherine,

    I emailed you a while back and shared with you my diagnosis of PPOCD. What a roller coaster it has been. That was in February and here I am in October and doing light years better. I see the light at the end of the tunnel. This isn't too say that I don't have bad moments or hours, or even days, but they are less often.

    Through the support of this website, my family, friends, my relationship with Jesus Christ, my therapist and wonderful pyschiatrist I have been able to get a handle on this thing instead of letting it get a handle on me.

    I still have more strides to make, and I hate hate hate hate hate that I had to go through it; but I did; so there's no sense in wishing it away.

    I love all you women who are reading this site and know that you are NOT alone. Take it day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute if you have to.

    Blessings,

    Emily

  35. Hi, I'm Lebo. A young black South african mom who is now suffering from pnd. My son was born at 34 weeks and was in ICU and I was such a strong mommy then. Driving to feed him every day even after a C section. Then we got home and I was paranoid, didn't want anyone to hold him, see I'm a perfectionist and so I obsess over every little thing, I plan things way in advance and if they dont go as planned I crash. I then ran out of milk and that drove me insane. I didn't sleep for days checking if he's breathing cos I couldn't get the images of him turning blue out of my heard. Then I started feeling hopeless, like I'm such a bad mom, and my family could do so much better without me. I got help at 6 weeks, and now my son is 3months. We are still on the process of finding the right dose and stuff that can work consistently for me, but in the mean time, I carry on, fighting these demons everyday. Some days are good though, but I find it hard when I slump into the dark hole again. I find wondering if this will ever go away. But I am so inspired when I read everyone's story, it gives so much hope. I know I will get over it, and I am doing the best for my son. This is definitely a life changing process, but I do believe it changes one for the better. I am being so strong, forcing myself to go to gym, never missing a single pill, bonding with my son, and I have a full time nanny for him for the days when I'm paralysed with fear and anxiety. The worst thing is that in my community, it seems no such thing exists, those who have suffered don't come forward. But I find comfort in knowing there are millions of women fighting this battle, and I am not alone. Thank you so much for just being here.

    • Katherine Stone says:

      Hi Lebo! Welcome from South Africa! You are doing all the right things, so way to go in asking for help and doing as much as you can to take care of yourself. I know that it's frustrating to work so hard and still be suffering, but you are taking steps in the right direction and that's what you have to do. Every day. One day this will all be a memory. You are going to be okay.

      - K

  36. Hi Katherine,

    I follow you on twitter and facebook, and am woefully behind on all my blog reading, but I do get your Daily Hope email messages (and so often they are perfect for the day's struggle).

    I have 3 kids. I have also had OCD since long before I ever had children. I knew it, but didn't realise it would affect my parenting.

    I know OCD affected me with #1, but in general I felt pretty good. For his 1st birthday I held a party and made a fancy cake. I also announced that I was pregnant again.

    With #2, the pregnancy wasn't quite as easy – not bad, but not as good. The birth was also rougher. PPD hit me after that one, and lasted a long time. I seem to remember giving him a 1st birthday party, but there are large gaps in those years.

    Years later, during surprise pregnancy #3, my OCD started flaring up. I knew that was a problem. I knew that I was at risk of post-birth being bad again. My midwife recommended finding a counsellor (in case I needed it). My dr gave me a referral, in case I needed it. I wanted to wait until I needed it. I focused on nutrition and hoped like crazy. I had a wonderful, empowering birth, but that didn't prevent the inevitable.

    When I needed it, my OCD was extreme, and agoraphobia had set in. Leaving the house has been overwhelming and anxiety-triggering, never mind going into a store or a doctor's office. Breastfed baby has had some dietary issues, so while I'm still focusing on diet for my mental health, I'm also avoiding a long list of foods for baby.

    Just over a week away from her 1st birthday, I have planned nothing. No party. I don't even know if there will be any kind of cake.

    I still have a long way to go, but I'm doing better than I was. My support this time has mostly been internet-based. My fear of real-life contact with people would have been even more crippling without online contact with real-life and online friends. Twitter, facebook & sites like yours truly are lifelines for people like me.

    Sorry to write so much. Thank you for all you do for people with PMADs.

  37. Hi Katherine :)

    I found your site this morning and have been reading it and basically crying for the entire day. I have good days and bad days. The last 2 days have been pretty bad, so i have no doubt that stumbling upon your site was no accident.

    My son was born last December, and for the past 9 months, I have been been fighting. I fought through my pregnancy as well, but had no idea what was wrong with me then. ANyone i mentioned it to just told me it was normal. It wasn't normal.

    On the good days, I feel like I am ok and like it's not coming back, but it always comes back. I've lived with undiagnosed depression for most of my life, but this is different somehow. I spoke to my doctor, i CRIED to my doctor, but she also waved it off like it was perfectly normal to feel this way. My husband does what he can, but I think he feels helpless and on my "good" days, I think he forgets there is even a problem. I never forget. I got the courage once to call a therapist to make an appointment, and I left a message, but she never returned my call. I haven't had the courage to call again.

    Spending my day here on your site feels like a step in the right direction. Thank you for being here.

    Rachel

    • Katherine Stone says:

      Rachel, I'm SO happy you found us. If you tell me where you live I can try and give you some recommendations of people who may be able to help. I want you to have people who don't wave you off. That's total bullshit and unacceptable. You are going to get better. Really. Please keep coming back.

      - K

    • Rachel, I definitely knows what it feels like to have a few bad days, followed by a few good days that make it seem like the bad days never existed. Sometimes I even convince myself! (I don't forget either, but I manage to tell myself it was all in my head and I just need to watch it and it won't happen again – yea, that's worked well for me in the past… *sarcastic of course*). But especially so for people around us, who don't know or feel what's in our heads, makes it easier to dismiss it as just a bad moment…

      Please don't give up. Online communities such as these are great for support. I'm so sorry you've been waved off or have not had your calls returned. I would call another therapist. She might have been excellent, but for me, if she can't return my first phone call, I'd be worried about reaching her in an emergency. It can take a bit of trial and error to find the right therapist and the right fit for you, but when you do, it's tremendously helpful. I hope that you can find someone soon.

      And, if it comes to that, and you feel you're in a crisis, and need help NOW (and definitely if you feel you might be a danger to yourself or others), there is always the ER and they can be quite helpful there too – I've been there. Is there also maybe a crisis line in your area you can call? They will be able to help you in that moment, and if you need more assistance, they will make sure you get it.

      Please don't hesitate to lean on us if you need to!

  38. Hello!

    I'm stay-at-home mom to 2 girls, 3 yrs and just turned 1 yrs. I had bad PPD, PPA and PP-OCD after the birth of my first (I don't actually have OCD otherwise, except perhaps OCD-like behaviour but not extreme enough to be all-encompassing, but I do have lots of anxiety to start with), which took a while to recover from. 18 months later, I was pregnant again, and thought I mostly better. And I was, for awhile, everything was going grand and great, and then I started feeling oddly similar as the first time around again.

    Well to make the long story short, I was recently diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder (Type II), which I likely have since my late teens, based on past "episodes". It appears I have strong family history as well of depression, substance abuse, and possible undiagnosed BP cases. I likely did have PPD as well after my 1st (I wondered if that was the case or just the BP) – the PPA and PP-OCD were definitely separate from my usual ups and downs. And I guess having a history of depression just made me more at risk for PPD.

    Like lots of people here – I didn't know any of that before. PPD was briefly mentioned in prenatal classes and in leaflets, but only briefly. And even though I DID have a few episodes of depression under my belt, the light never clicked "Oh yes, I'm at risk". It took me awhile to realize something wasn't quite right, and then, I had no idea where to turn to. Fortunately, I connected with a really good support group in our area, and am still friends and regularly in touch with the 2 other ladies who attended the same session as I did (it was a structured 10-weeks support group), and have now been with my current counsellor for a bit over 1.5 yrs, which is great because she knows me well now (and actually helped in figuring out it was BP).

    I'm still struggling with mood episodes. Since my diagnosis, I've been ping-pong'ed around. I still don't have a psych to review meds, and am still waiting on the appointment from my doctor's referral. It's crazy how mental health often takes a back burner, compared to other "more life threatening" illnesses. I'm on a low dose med the hospital gave me, but it's not enough or the right one for me, as it's not really doing anything, not even the side effects. I've been trying to be proactive, calling people, etc., but there's only so many ways you can work the system. It's great that there's sites like these around for support, in any stages of recovery (or plateau'ing! ;) ).

    Thanks for your work Katherine!

  39. I am back looking at your site as I thought that I was getting better but last night I had a break down. I am not so depressed feeling as I am very irritable and I get so angry so fast at the tiniest things. I then feel so guilty about being such a jerk and not the supportive and loving mom that I should be. I was diagnosed at 4 weeks post partum and my OB told me she thought this would happen since I was so depressed during my third trimester. I am angry that she did not offer me help or talk to me about what I was going through as she acted like it was normal and I would be fine once the baby was born. I am also so angry that I can not be the smiley, loving, and happy mom that I want to be. I stopped taking my medication as it was not helping and the medical facility I go to has no one that specializes in PPD and I did not like the male psychiatrist and male therapist as I felt they did not know anything about what I was going through and kept telling me that I just need to learn to be happy. So here I am. Feeling guilty about my behavior and outburst of frustration and anger last night to here looking for help. I hope I find something that helps as I am angry at my PPD and sick of it:)

  40. I found this website as I was searching for answers to explain this horrible feeling! I have a 3.5yr old and a 2 month old. My husband noticed the changes and contacted my doctor about 3 weeks ago. I was in denial at that time and extremely angry that he "went behind my back." I actually told the doctor at my 6wk check up that I was fine. Then a week ago my 3yr old had a tantrum at church and I cried about it for 4 days. I just couldn't bring myself out of the funk and came to grips that something was wrong. I immediately made an appt. and will start on meds as soon as I pick up the prescription. I already feel better knowing it is identified, I have the support of my husband, and I'm not CRAZY!! I know this will be a long hard road, but I also know me…I'm a fighter. Thank you for this blog. It was really key in letting me know that I am not alone and I can beat this:-)