I had my first daughter, Adrienne, in the March of 2010. Everything was wonderful in the hospital. The love that came for that little girl was incredible. After the standard 2 day stay, we left. All of the sudden I had a baby screaming through the night, not wanting to breastfeed and generally being difficult. I slept on the floor of her room for fear that I wouldn’t hear her crying in the middle of the night. I switched to bottles which my daughter would eat half of and then stop. I would sit up in the middle of the night sobbing into a pillow so my sleeping husband wouldn’t know.
I had depression/anxiety before the birth of my daughter so I quickly got help from my doctor. Little did I know that traumatic birth experiences can take place weeks after the fact. I will not go into details, but there was a possible serious malpractice lawsuit that I could have filed against my doctor. After a month of being miserable, seeing my OBGYN and them not catching it, and having my daughter reject breastfeeding because of the error, I sunk deeper. Again , my medications were adjusted and after a period of time, everything went back to normal.
My husband, daughter and I moved to Knoxville, TN and thrived. Things were going amazing when my husband and I decided that, since we wanted a 2nd child, now was time.
I will never forget the day I found out I was pregnant and I will never forget when I found out it was going to be a boy. To say I was over the moon is an understatement.
My pregnancy with him was easy – minus some morning sickness. He went to term and everything seemed great. Then he came out…..cord wrapped around his neck….cord in a knot. I thought that I had dealt with it at the time and my postpartum didn’t seem to rear its ugly head. This was mostly because my OBGYN was proactive and immediately upped the dosage of my medications to combat it. This worked amazingly for almost the 1st year of my son’s life
Around the time Conner turned 1, things went off the deep end. Like I dove off the diving board into an ocean. Symptoms I never understood. Intrusive thoughts that were haunting. Nightmares that I couldn’t get rid of. I didn’t even know that PPOCD or the progression into Bipolar Disorder was even possible. It took me MONTHS to find help. Months of pain, anguish, paralyzing fear.
Then I found Postpartum Progress. My life was saved. There were women there talking about the exact same things that I was thinking. Women who had been through it and lived to tell the story. They literally saved my life.
I am lucky now that I can be one of the women on the other side. So many women are not as lucky as me.
This is why I fight for this cause. This is why my heart and soul go into the in such a fierce way. This is the cause that your money is being donated to. Literally….without them, I probably wouldn’t have made it.
Climb Out of the Darkness is the annual awareness raising and fundraising event for Postpartum Progress, a nonprofit focused on supporting pregnant and new moms with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders like postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, postpartum OCD, postpartum psychosis and pregnancy depression. Also, Climb Out of the Darkness kicks ass. Just so you know.
You don't necessarily have to climb a mountain, by the way, to join in.
- You can ride a mountain bike on a trail.
- You can do a nature walk.
- You can hike a mountain trail or walk along the beach. You can stand outside and let the sun shine on your face.
No matter what you do, we still call it your Climb, because it is a symbol of your climb out of the darkness of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, whether you are a long-time survivor or someone who is still climbing or someone who cares about the health of pregnant and new moms.
Help us raise money so that we can continue to raise awareness of how women are devastated by perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, make sure women know what they need to know about PPD, eliminate stigma and support the mamas who need it.
And now to get climbing!