Checking in, after months of silence.
I haven’t written in a while. I’m not sure how I feel about that. I love writing and sharing my journey with you, but the last few months have been tough, to say the least. I didn’t have the bandwidth to do much of anything, aside from taking care of my baby and myself, which as you may know, is its own full time job.
Now, as I sit here and reflect back on the last three months, I am able to see it through a clearer lens. If you follow me on social media, you may know that within in the last three months, I’ve experienced some of the hardest days of my life.
There are so many factors that contributed those experiences, and I may go into them in this share and I may not. It is still a bit of a vulnerable and touchy subject for me, as I am still in the process of healing. One day I will share it all.
But for right now, I want to share a little update with you, along with some thoughts about postpartum.
Since Ellis was born, we have spent a significant amount of time in Montana. Both of our parents live in Montana – 4 miles away from each other, along with my sister, her husband and their new baby, Myles, who is only six days younger than Ellis. That is an incredible story that I’ll share (again) soon.
Because I was having such a hard time, it was super important for me to be near my family. It provided me with a sense of safety and stability, which was what I desperately needed.
In late November, Evan, the saint that he is, packed up all of our shit in Leavenworth, moved it to White Salmon, where a lot of our friends and some family live, and then hucked it back to Montana to be with us for the better part of two months. Quick side note here: Whoever claimed that raising a baby, without a tribe of people near your side, was easy or a good idea was very sorely mistaken. In fact, I would like to meet this person or body of people and explain to them the depth of their absurdity, but I will save that rant for another time…
As I reflect on the last few months, I have a clearer understanding of what triggered a whole serious of anxiety attacks, panic attacks, emotional breakdowns, and bouts of insomnia. It’s been hard, and I am scared to say that things have gotten better for fear that I will regress. Parts of myself are still feeling super tender.
I know I’m not the only one struggling with these symptoms as a first-time mom or second or third. I want to use my voice to share my experience so that others may feel less alone in their pain.
I was not prepared for what laid ahead of me after giving birth, but how could I have been? Sure, I had heard stories of woman experiencing postpartum depression and anxiety but conceptualizing and experiencing it are two very different things. And how does one prepare a new mom for the postpartum phase of their life? I know from my experience, the last thing I wanted to hear during my pregnancy were horror stories of women’s postpartum experiences. I only wanted to hear positive and uplifting stories, as I am sure most woman can relate to too. So how do we prepare mommas for the post-partum period? Or do we?
A friend shared this beautiful passage on what we as woman go through upon giving birth.
I thought I would share…
“What do you say to a sister
Who is about to
Enter the sea
When you don’t know if she will be met
With storms or calm water
When you don’t know what
Journey awaits and
How she’ll make it shore
What do you say to a sister when you see her scan
Hesistant and unsure
When you know her fear
And the work that lays ahead
When you know she’ll come out the other side
Softer, perhaps. Or maybe scarred.
But stronger, too, no doubt.
You walk with her as deep as you can into those waters
And you hold her close, as long as you can
And then you let go
And let her dive deep
Knowing there are parts of this journey she must
Knowing there are storms that she must face
On her own
And you stand, a lighthouse, the shore
As she becomes one with the sea.
How beautiful is that? I got emotional just reading it. Man, can I relate.
No one can prepare us for the journey of motherhood, but we can do our darndest to support each other as we enter one of the most sacred, scary, vulnerable, and memorable times of our lives.
I am going to put together a list of resources that helped me through my darkest hours. If you want that list, please email me at email@example.com and title the subject line POSTPARTUM or respond to this email.
If you are a new mom or you know a new momma who is in need of help and support, please send her the resources below.
My story has just begun, and I look forward to sharing more with you soon.
Online support groups:
Washington Support groups:
Washington warm line – call and speak to a professional as soon as you start experiencing overwhelm, anxiety, depression, etc.
Affordable online therapy for postpartum mommas:
Postpartum Support International: