May 4, 2020

It All Came Down.


This post was originally shared on my Facebook page on May 4, 2020.


May 4th-8th is Maternal Mental Health Week. I am honestly, and quite vulnerably, sharing my story in conjunction with The Blue Dot Project and Mom Congress in an effort to reduce stigma surrounding mental health and improve access to treatment. Although just a small snippet of my story regarding postpartum depression and anxiety, this post is long and mentions mental illness, hospitalization, and suicide.


It’s the evening of January 21st. Gabriel and Olivia are asleep. I am trying to catch up on the house. I don’t sleep anyway. I think I am going on week 3 of 2-3 hours of sleep, broken up into 20-minute spurts. I’m exhausted. I just pulled myself up from the bathroom floor where I had thrown myself an hour earlier, sobbing uncontrollably, and am now trying to compose myself. I have been hiding how deep I have fallen. I just have one more task and then I can go to bed. I need to prep Olivia’s bottles for the night, and that includes opening the new formula container. I grab a knife from the block to slit the sticker on the front so I can open it. Only that isn’t what happens. Instead, as I move the knife to my wrist, my brain tells me that this could all be over (my brain is no longer on my team). The pain could be gone. I could disappear forever. Cease to exist. Die. All I had to do was press the knife in and that would be it. But I paused. I indulged a minute more in the peace that thought brought me, put the knife down and told myself to go to bed. I didn’t even have the energy to kill myself. The next day, I came clean on the severity of my postpartum depression and how unsafe I was. The next week was a whirlwind of phone calls and appointments, desperately trying to gain access to help, all the while my sister flew up, and she and my husband implemented a safety plan. On January 29th, we took a red-eye flight to North Carolina (where my mind gave me plenty of ideas on how to take my life before the plane landed). I admitted myself into the Peripartum Psychiatric Inpatient Unit at UNC Chapel Hill. I remained inpatient for 12 days while trying to stabilize my medications and get me to sleep! For the first week I still didn’t sleep more than 4 hours a night despite medications and all distractions removed. My body’s chemistry was in such disarray. On February 11th, I was moved to a medical floor to receive the Zulresso infusion. I remained on that floor and received the infusion for 60 hours straight until February 14th (more on the infusion later). We flew home that night to begin our “new normal”.


Every Mother’s journey looks different. But I had no idea that this could be my reality; that this is the reality for 1 in 7 Moms. Motherhood is not black and white. We all live very much in the grey, especially in this quarantine time. If you know any Mom’s struggling, please have them reach out for help. If they don’t know where to begin, I would be happy to help them. And if you have any questions for me, I would be more than willing to answer them. I am making this post “public” to be shared, and also, so others can reach out.


The photo below was taken 5 days after Olivia’s birth. I was already sinking but wrote it off as the fatigue of having a newborn coupled with postpartum preeclampsia. I can see the pain in my eyes but have no emotional attachment to this precious moment with Olivia. I was so far removed from everything that I have very little memories from the first few months, and definitely no joyful memories. At what should have been such a happy, bright time, I was drowning in darkness. PPD/PPA stole the color from my life.


#maternalmentalhealth#MMHWeek2020#maternalmentalhealthweek2020#maternalmentalhealthmatters#mentalhealth#mentalhealthmatters#maternalmentalhealthmonth#mentalhealthmonth#makingovermotherhood#motherhoodisnotblackandwhite#ppd#ppa#ppptsd#ppocd#2020mom#postpartumdepression#postpartumanxiety#postpartumptsd#postpartumocd#depression#anxiety#insomnia#intrusivethoughts#suicidalideation#thebluedotproject#momcongress#Zulresso#brexanaloneSage TherapeuticsPostpartum Support InternationalThe Blue Dot ProjectMom CongressKootenai HealthPostpartum Progress


Local Mamas: As We Thrive Counseling Services, LLC and Kerry Green, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor are both in the area and are postpartum trained therapists. They are fantastic women. 💜

Local support group: Perinatal Support Group: Pregnancy & Postpartum

Suicide Prevention LifelineNumber:1-800-273-8255

Online Chat:

Crisis Text Line: text HOME to 741741…

Postpartum Support International:Number: 1-800-944-4773 Text: 503-894-9453

Screening Tools:

Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale…/Edinburgh%20Depression…



PTSD Screen