Today I’m happy to welcome Warrior Mom A’Driane Nieves with a VERY IMPORTANT survey for you to fill out. See below!!
I didn’t have any sisters growing up, so sisterhood was a foreign concept to me. I never joined Girl Scouts, most of my friends in school were male, and I never pledged my allegiance to a sorority of sisters in college.
In fact the only thing I’ve ever pledged my sole allegiance to is my country when I signed myself into her service at age 19. Sworn to protect and serve not just my country but also my comrades in arms, I spent 4 ½ years being committed to something greater than myself; working and fighting alongside men and women with varying backgrounds, opinions, beliefs, and values, but bound to their country and each other by three core values: integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do. We lived together, we trained together, we worked long, exhausting shifts together, fought insurgents on the streets of Baghdad and the mountains of Afghanistan together, shared in the victories and advancements made because of our hard work, and held each other during times of loss, frustration and disappointment faced both at our home stations and abroad.
When I left the Air Force in 2006, I didn’t think I’d ever find a family, a comradeship like the one I had in service. I didn’t think I’d ever encounter brothers and sisters with as much fight, determination, and true grit like the ones I had during those four years and two deployments.
It wasn’t until January 2011 that I found such a family, a comradeship, and a sisterhood. Fighting for my life, a Google search led me to a community of women with varying beliefs, opinions, lifestyles, and backgrounds, but still fighting alongside one another on a different kind of battlefield: postpartum depression.
They were fighting for their own lives, for the safety and well being of their own families, but also for the woman next to, in front, and coming behind them as well. In them I found not just what I had with my brothers and sisters in arms, I found something more, a sisterhood. Not only were they the fiercest fighters I’d ever encountered, their strength and compassion during even their weakest and most vulnerable moments took my breath away and strengthened me in my own fight against PPD.
Mothers. Advocates. Life-long friends. Sisters. Warriors. This is who I found 2 ½ years ago when I was clinging to my life and wanting to die just so I could find relief from the pain and guilt I was living with.
I wouldn’t have found them had it not been for Katherine, the fiercest Warrior Mom I know, and Postpartum Progress. She’s been in the trenches for nearly ten years y’all. TEN YEARS of putting herself out there, telling her story, connecting mamas to resources, fighting stigma, changing the conversation about perinatal mood and anxiety disorders in the media and the medical community, and building a nonprofit that truly can change the world and how it treats maternal mental health.
Ten years in, she’s reached a turning point, and with Postpartum Progress Inc. the nonprofit, she’s ready, now more than ever, to bring about effective change that will give all mothers and children the strong starts they deserve…. but she needs the Warrior Mom community to do it with her.
She needs our help to keep fighting at both a national and local level. She needs us involved, committed, engaged, and aware in even the smallest and simplest of ways. We already showed her what we’re capable of by raising over $40,000 in just four weeks for PPI’s first Climb Out of the Darkness, but that was just the beginning. Over the next few months, PPI will be doing some very BIG, very EXCITING things to raise awareness on perinatal mood disorders and will be calling on the Warrior Mom community to get involved in the process.
Next year is the 10th anniversary of Postpartum Progress and some of its Facebook fans mentioned that a great way to celebrate would be to hold a conference. So I’m here today to get your feedback, Warrior Moms, on the idea of Postpartum Progress Inc. possibly hosting a Warrior Mom Conference in the near future.
Katherine’s vision for the such a conference includes an emphasis on advocacy, support, how to get involved in PPI, the understanding the science behind perinatal mood disorders, and celebrating all of the hard work the Warrior Mom community has done over the last 10 years and CAN DO in the future.
Right now such a conference is in the dreaming stage. Will you dream with us by answering the following questions? Your answers are anonymous, but will help us determine whether and how to move forward. Even if you don’t think a Warrior Mom conference is a good idea, that’s great. We want to know that too!
SO, scroll through the survey below. There are 10 questions. Answer them, make sure to click submit, and you’re all set! If you’d rather go to a link to take the survey, click here.
If having a conference to gather and equip our Warrior Mom army for advocacy and support PPI appeals to you and you’d like to help out in addition to answering the survey questions above, please send your feedback to me at email@example.com by August 19th.
I hope to hear from you, and more importantly, I hope to SEE you, everyone one of you, my sisters, my fellow warriors, in person at an event like this soon. Let’s do what we can to make it happen!