I saw some pictures come up in my Timehop app last week, and I caught my breath.
There was a photo of the Pantages theater in Los Angeles. I was there for a media event, and I spent the entire symphony trying to convince myself nobody was going to push me over the edge of the balcony from 6 rows back.
Then a photo of me holding my then 10 month old daughter. I had a bruise on the front of my leg from rubbing an imaginary “tumor” over and over, convinced I would need my leg amputated, and that I’d probably die and never see her go to kindergarten.
She started kindergarten this year, and I was there.
5 years ago I was sinking, drowning, felt like I was dying. Literally. I was rock bottom in the pit of postpartum anxiety. And I had no idea that I would ever be able to sit here today, and look at that from a distance. I had no idea what it would feel like to say that was something that happened to me, not who I was, who I am. I didn’t think I’d ever feel any differently.
Then I read The Symptoms of Postpartum Depression & Anxiety in Plain Mama English from PostpartumProgress.com, and to say my life was changed would not even begin to cover it. I was not a bad mother, I was not dying. I was sick, and I could get better.
AND I DID.
(And then I got sick again, and then better again. Click here if you want to read through my journey with postpartum anxiety.)
I will forever be indebted to Postpartum Progress for helping me get out of that incredibly dark place, I’ve been dedicated to helping them share their mission with mothers ever since.
So, for the 2nd year, I am honored to team up with Cotton Babies, a sponsor of the Postpartum Progress Warrior Mom Conference and supporter of all moms, to create a video PSA that we all hope will get seen by countless people all over the world who need to know that there is help for all moms who feel this way.
I wanted the tone for this year’s video to be uplifting and full of hope. 1 in 7 mothers (at the very least) will deal with a perinatal mood & anxiety disorder, like postpartum depression, anxiety, ocd, and psychosis. Our goal is for every single one of those mothers to know that she can get better, she can rise up, and that this does NOT stop her from being a good mother. There are so many of us who have made it through to the other side, and we’re here to throw you a lifesaver.
We are more than the news stories. We are changing lives- our own, and mothers and children around us. We will not be quiet. We will keep shouting about this until all mothers and people who love mothers know that Postpartum Progress is here to help, and to smash the stigma and the shame.
On to the video! I hope you’ll consider sharing this with anyone and everyone you know.
I’ve seen first-hand how few major voices are willing to speak out on our behalf. And by that, I mean brands, pharmaceutical companies, corporations. There are SO MANY people who will NOT touch this cause with a 10 foot pole. I have been behind the scenes, pitching them to sponsor Climb Out Of The Darkness and the Warrior Mom Conference. Many will say they choose to focus their resources on causes that “help children.”
You want to “help children”? There is nothing more important than supporting their mothers.
So it is incredibly moving to me when a brand that I have long loved and used and aligned with steps up and makes a PROUD stance supporting Postpartum Progress and all mothers. I can not thank Cotton Babies enough for their part in all of this. I hope you’ll consider supporting them, too.
Finally, a special thanks to this year’s Warrior Moms who participated in the video.
Jessica is a home schooling mother and dedicates herself to being the best she can be for her 3 children.
Heather is a mother of 2 who also runs a postpartum support group and leads a Climb Out Of The Darkness climb in her city.
Graeme is a Postpartum Progress Warrior Mom Ambassador and blogs at The Postpartum Mama. (Photo by Maria White & Matthew Mebane)