A Reflection

The amount of love and support I have received after my posts has been absolutely overwhelming. So many people shared both their words of encouragement and relief in the realization that someone they know has put a voice to the struggle that so many women face. 

Honestly, it was a little uncomfortable sometimes, but that’s part of the journey, isn’t it? Growing requires us to leave our comfort zones. Growing is so many different things at different times, at least, that’s been my experience. In this case, it was extremely painful for me and required much introspection and reflection. I am on the other side of it now, but looking back at it isn’t easy, and while I have generally come to terms with my experience, there are still times where I would kill to have the first five month’s of my son’s life back. But I can also say that the intensity and weight of that feeling has greatly diminished. 

Writing my story down had a very profound impact on me. It was one thing to quietly reflect on those days, weeks, and months, but another thing entirely to put it out there and share it with other people. It felt (and still feels) so…permanent? It was a huge risk but one that absolutely had to be taken in order to accomplish what I want, which is for no woman to ever suffer alone.

It was also very difficult. It felt like ripping my heart out over and over and over. Many conversations happened between me and D where he learned pieces of my journey that I shared and didn’t share. It really opened up a dialogue about so much of what I went through and what it was like for me and I feel like it has deepened our relationship. 

Many of my friends also reached out and said they had no idea and they were sorry they weren’t there for me. Please know that I do not fault anyone for not knowing AT ALL. One of the lies that PPD tells us is that we are alone, that no one cares, that what we are thinking/feeling is so bad and so wrong that we can’t share it with anyone. I believed that lie and I felt (at the time) that I was protecting myself by not reaching out sooner and to more people. A few said they had no idea that’s what it was like, and even more said “that is exactly how I felt, I wish I knew that I wasn’t crazy.” 

None of us are crazy. We all have our own journeys. Some of them are dark and heavy and hard, but they are ours. Knowing that I made other moms feel less alone in their experience means that all of the pain and discomfort of putting myself out there is and will absolutely be worth it. 

The Darkness: Part Two

This post contains triggers. If you are someone who is experiencing intrusive thoughts or someone who is triggered by them, please practice self-care when deciding whether or not to read this post. If you or someone you know needs support, please call the Postpartum Support International warm line at 18009444773 or the National Suicide Prevention Life Line at 18002738255.

The conversations about mental health began around mid-way through my pregnancy. Anxiety and depression have been struggles of mine off and on since I was about 13, but it had been well managed in the year or two prior to becoming pregnant. Still, I knew that my history increased my chances of facing postpartum depression, and truthfully, I was not managing my anxiety very well during pregnancy anyway. I knew the signs, and Derek knew the signs. But still, it snuck up on us.

One night, when D had gone to bed and I was up with H for what felt like the thousandth night in a row, I suddenly had this vivid scene in my head of throwing him against a wall. When I say vivid, I mean in excruciating detail. I immediately started crying. I grabbed H and held him close. How could I ever even THINK something so awful? Only monsters think those sorts of things and I am not a monster. Right? Maybe I am. Maybe I am that horrible of a mother.

It’s hard for me to say if it was the initial thought or the harsh reaction I had to it, but things really started to get dicey around this time. I had that same thought many times each day. Or I would think about leaving him on the street or in a dumpster somewhere. This would have been early to mid January. H was fed and taken care of. I on the other hand was effectively unable to function in any way that did not meet a basic need of my child. H had also decided that sleep was not a thing that he was in to anymore, so I was completely wiped out. And the intrusive thoughts really escalated to a terrifying point.

One day we were driving and I imagined in vivid detail what a relief it would be to just wrap the car around a light pole. Or drive it in to a river or oncoming traffic. This same intrusive thought crept in to my mind many times over the course of my journey. It eventually just became a normal thing that I felt decreasingly bad about. I also had fantasies (for lack of a better term) about leaving town.

“I will never be a good mom. I will get on a plane, and go to Albuquerque where I don’t know a single soul and I can start over. D can get remarried to someone who can be the mom that H deserves.”

“I can go to the airport and leave right now and both D and H will be so much better off without me. H is young enough that he won’t even know the difference. His new mom will be much better for him.”

“D can find a new wife who isn’t a nutcase and a terrible mother to his son. They will both be better that way.”

“I want a new life…one where I cannot fuck this kid up any more than I have.”

Again, these were things I never shared with anyone. I wanted this baby, was so excited to have him, so this was part of that, right? I was just tired. I was just hormonal. I was just being too hard on myself about breast feeding. I was just not cut out to be a mom. This is just how it is when you have a new baby.

Except it wasn’t, and the smallest piece of me knew that. I had had conversations during the early part of my pregnancy with someone who had also experience PPD that manifested itself in this exact way: a fantasy of leaving and starting over. I knew that this wasn’t part of the deal.

During this time I was existing in the echo chamber of my mind. I was a bad mom. He deserved better. D deserved better. I can’t do this. I can’t do this. I can’t do this. I want a different life. This was all a mistake. That was my mind all day, every day.

Then, one night, it was almost an epiphany: I didn’t have to do this.

I could get the gun and kill myself.

I imagined doing it in each room of my house. The living room? No. too messy. Our bedroom? No. How could D continue to sleep there? Our bathroom? No. D would need to use that too. I couldn’t do it in H’s room or in his bathroom where he took his baths that he loved so much.

So I decided that I would get the gun and I would kill myself in the laundry room.

And I clung to this for a week or so. This was my light at the end of the miserable fucking tunnel. H would get a new mom and D would not have to put up with his pathetic wife and they would all be better off. D was a great and attentive father and he would know how to take care of H, and probably do it better than I could, seeing as I was fucking awful at it. It was oddly relieving and surreal.

I didn’t get the gun. One night I called my parents at two in the morning and sobbed hysterically on the phone for 45 minutes. No one said anything. I just cried and cried and cried to the point where I couldn’t breathe. I didn’t even have any tears left.

The next day I called my OB’s office and asked them I if I could get in ASAP because things were just not going well. She was able to get me in the same day. I remember being in the waiting room and messaging a friend that I knew she was going to have me committed and have my baby taken away and that I should leave. “No, stay. They won’t take your baby away.” And before I could even make a decision about what I was going to do, they called me back.

“I hate this. I hate all of it and I can’t do it anymore. I have been thinking about hurting myself and I can’t stop and now I am absolutely terrified that you are going to have me committed and have H placed in foster care.” Because PPD is a liar, among other things, killing myself was certainly a preferable alternative to inpatient mental health treatment.

Obviously, she didn’t have me committed. In fact, it might have been one of the most candid and productive discussions I’ve had regarding my feelings at that time. I told her that I was really struggling and thinking of hurting myself.

“Have you just been thinking about suicide, or do you actually have a plan?”

“Oh, no, I don’t have a plan, I just think about it a lot. And about hurting myself.”

I lied. I felt that I had to, but I’ll address that more later.

We talked a bit more. We devised a plan that would allow me to get some sleep: I would go to bed after dinner and sleep for at least four hours and then get up and handle the overnights. She also gave me a pamphlet for a local organization that helps pregnant and postpartum moms. I don’t remember a lot of the other details but I remember her telling me that I would get through it and to call if I needed anything.

I went home. I wasn’t feeling a lot better, but I wasn’t feeling a lot worse. We went ahead with the plan that allowed me to get some more sleep and being assured of those four hours a day was immensely helpful. I also started attending weekly meetings facilitated by Baby Blues Connection. Those two things, in addition to meds and occasional therapy, were absolutely critical to my recovery. Attending the groups was great time for me to get out alone but also to connect with other moms who completely understood where I was coming from in a way that was profoundly meaningful. My OB’s office called me once or twice a week to check in on me and make sure things weren’t getting worse.

I refer to the time after this as “the fog.” I no longer wanted to hurt myself or the baby, but I wasn’t really enjoying myself either. I was going through the motions but really felt like I was living in a haze, but haze is much more manageable than the oppressive weight of the darkness. Every week that passed, things got better. I started to make plans with friends and leaving the house with H. 2015 was a really intense year: Derek was in an accident that totaled our car, I had a stomach virus and food poisoning a few weeks apart, we moved in May, I went back to work, D got a new job, we moved again in September to accommodate that.

One night in early November, with H’s first birthday quickly approaching, I was laying in bed reflecting on the past year, and that moment that I was certain I would never feel was upon me: I was so overwhelmed with love for my son and wonderment at our crazy journey since he had come earth side that I cried. Almost a year later, I was in love with my son and with being his mom.

And almost as quickly as it had arrived, the darkness was gone.

The Darkness

This post is the first in a series chronicling my battle with postpartum depression.



There are two reasons that I am writing this:

  1. So much of my journey was spent judging myself for the way I was feeling and for the things that I did when I wasn’t myself, and being absolutely sure that no one could relate to what I was going through. That isn’t true. No woman should ever suffer silently or alone.
  2. I need to forgive myself. As I write this, there is nothing in the world that I want more than to have the first four months of H’s life back so that I can do it differently. This is an entirely fruitless endeavor, and the only way forward is through, so through it I go.


This post contains triggers. If you are someone who is experiencing intrusive thoughts or someone who is triggered by them, please practice self-care when deciding whether or not to read this post. If you or someone you know needs support, please call the Postpartum Support International warm line at 18009444773 or the National Suicide Prevention Life Line at 18002738255.



It’s hard to remember when exactly it all started. A few moments stick out in my mind, but postpartum depression crept in and before I realized it, it had settled, as is the way of darkness.

“Normal” isn’t really a thing with a new baby, especially if it’s your first. For the first few weeks I just assumed that everything was as it was supposed to be because having a baby is fucking hard. It’s a total shock to the system. But in my determination to breast feed H, I went to meet up with yet another lactation consultant. My anxiety was high because it really hadn’t been working out and he would always eat great when we were with a professional but then we would struggle at home. The first impression I got from this particular LC was not great, and while she was typing some notes in H’s chart I looked at Derek and mouthed that I wanted go. Then I started uncontrollably crying. The LC tried to reassure me that it was normal, hormones are crazy at that time, and it’s all really stressful.  Maybe some baby blues? Maybe. Why don’t you call your doctor’s office? So I called and left them a message. Apparently the LC was actually very concerned because she sent a message to them and then I got a phone call to check up on me.

From the day he was born I struggled to sleep. The first night was restless, largely due to our care team coming in to check on us. The second night I walked in to the hallway and started hysterically crying to my nurse because I was so tired and hadn’t slept much in the three days I had been there. Once we were home and settling in, H slept great, but I could not sleep. No matter how exhausted I was, I laid awake and would maybe doze off just in time for him to wake up and eat again. The worst part was the phantom crying. Most new parents know what I am talking about! You are sure that your baby is in hysterics but once you get to them they are sleeping peacefully. Second to this was the obsessive worry that he would die suddenly in his sleep, and my anxiety about attempting to breast feed him upon his awakening.

Evenings were the hardest, especially once D went to bed. It started slowly.

“This is not at all what I thought it would be.”

“I kind of regret having a baby. This was a terrible idea.”

Maybe those sorts of thoughts are normal? I don’t really know.  It’s not something that I ever talked to anyone about because I was certain that regretting your newborn was one of the worst possible things a new mom could do. How could I feel that way about something we so badly wanted? So the days ticked by with those thoughts in my mind at varying degrees of intensity. They were especially intense surrounding attempting to feed H. Breastfeeding was a constant struggle and it turns out that when you hinge your worth as a mother and human on feeding a crabby newborn from your breast you can be unduly hard on yourself. Waking up every three hours to pump and feed a baby simultaneously was wearing me down.

One night, after a particularly hard day, H was crying as I was attempting to swaddle him for the tenth time. I looked at D and said “I really hate this. I really hate being a mom.” This was shortly before Christmas, if I remember correctly. From that point forward the thoughts started getting worse in both intensity and content.

“I am a failure as a mom.”

“He deserves a better mom.”

“I fucking hate all of this and wish we wouldn’t have had a baby.”

“I hate this baby.”

The last one still hurts to type, but postpartum depression makes you think and do things that are not yourself. I wish I could say that this was the worst of it – rock bottom, if you will – but it wasn’t. My battle was not close to over.




“You’ll get so much farther in life if you learn to just be quiet.”

Nearly my entire life people have told me that being more compliant, more agreeable, and quieter would allow me to experience greater success than being, well, myself. This has always bothered me. But, it bothers me even more now that I have a loud, opinionated, and determined child of my own.

Motherhood has taught me that there is a term for these children: spirited. They are children who are “more.” More intense, more sensitive, more pissed off that you didn’t get their banana fast enough. I recently started reading Raising Your Spirited Child and it has given me great insight, both with Harlan and with myself.

A big part of this journey is accepting that my child is not who I thought he would be. Sounds silly, right? Some babies are snuggly and affectionate. They have very mild temperaments and go with the flow. That has never been H! When he was just a few hours old the nurses and hospital staff were commenting on how “awake” he was. It was at that point that I realized that we were “in for it” for lack of a better term. We tried bedsharing to get some sleep but it turns out that being near mom and dad just means it’s time to wake up and check things out. As a newborn, he was in a hurry to become mobile. He didn’t stop moving when he was awake. He was picking his giant head up from the beginning. Rolling started around four months, crawling at five and a half, walking at just over nine. This. Kid. Doesn’t. Stop.

Having a spirited child (or a “sparkler” as a friend and fellow mother of a spirited child calls it) is frustrating. It’s exhausting. It’s hard to not try to “change” my child. During those times, I have to remind myself: I, too, am a spirited child. I am chaotic, emotional, sensitive. I am loud and opinionated. I have spent most of my life dealing with people who have desperately wanted me to be something I am not. And because of that, my “strong personality” is easily my biggest insecurity. I cannot overstate how badly I do not want this to be the case for my son.

Sparklers can’t be changed. They are who they are and I need to embrace that, starting with myself and starting with my son. The world needs all kinds of people, including determined and driven spirited ones. Parenting a spirited child is hard, but worth it, because they make a difference. They push boundaries, they challenge the status quo, they think outside the box. They make stuff happen. Being spirited – or any of the adjectives that go along with it – is not inherently bad. Many of those traits are desirable: driven, determined, intuitive, sensitive, persistent, passionate. But, they can be hard to see in a positive light when learning to parent a child that exhibits them.

Some days raising a spirited sparkler feels like an exercise in futility. But on those days I have to remind myself that he won’t always be standing on the seat of his trike, or trying to pick all of the rock fragments out of the pavement when we cross the street, or yelling at strangers in Target. Some day he will be a mover and a shaker. Some day my spirited little guy will be an awesome adult and he will change the world.



A Birth Story

This post contains birth words and terms that may make some people feel uncomfortable.

Let me start off by saying that pregnancy sucked. I threw up three to five times a day for the first 20 weeks, and it slowly decreased to about once or twice a week by the end of pregnancy. It was sort of like a twisted game of bingo: how many random places can I puke? (The answer is “a lot” if you were wondering.) At some point during the joyous time of growing a tiny human I developed high blood pressure. Despite the multiple weekly appointments to harass the baby in to moving around and pretending to breathe, we succeeded in not finding out the sex of the little one until birth.

On Halloween I found out that our baby would be coming early. Because mom guilt starts during pregnancy, I cried and cried because I felt I had failed my baby. Derek was unable to make it to that appointment because of work commitments, so I settled on a hug from my OB. She told me that every week from there on out would be a bonus, and she also put me on modified bed rest. (This is a fancy term for “don’t do anything that stresses you out.”) At this point I also stopped working. I spent the next three weeks mostly at home folding baby laundry, binge watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians, and crying about having to sell our amazing Fleetwood Mac Tickets to an internet stranger.

My induction was scheduled for November 24. At the last appointment before eviction we discovered that my cervix was high and tight and therefore completely unfavorable. Because of this the date was bumped back to Sunday night to give some extra time to get my lady bits in gear. We were to arrive at Good Sam on Sunday, November 23, at 7p.m.

We were late. Turns out that Trans-Siberian Orchestra was playing two shows at the Rose Garden and traffic was backed up. And really, it wouldn’t be our life if something like this didn’t happen. When we finally arrived at L&D, Deb, the charge nurse was waiting for us and showed us to our room. Our nurse for the evening, Ashley, had a difficult time starting my IV, so Deb came back and got that going. I made sure to request that they cover it because there was no way I could have looked at that thing coming out of my arm for any length of time. After the IV was in they hooked me up to the monitors and put in the Cervidil. Then we waited. I didn’t get much rest because the baby wouldn’t stay on the monitor (unsurprising), and the baby has to be on the monitor or they must remove the Cervidil. Thankfully, the night before we went in I had the best night’s sleep of my entire pregnancy.

The next morning – Monday – the nurses checked me and while my cervix was a bit softer, there was not much progress. I was SO discouraged, likely because I don’t handle a lack of sleep well. After that, my mom showed up. When my OB came back I told her that I was done and wanted a c-section. Thankfully, she is awesome and told me that she didn’t think that is what I actually wanted but would put me on the schedule for Tuesday morning and that we would try something else first. The decision was made to try prostaglandin gel near my cervix and start a very low Pitocin drip. Derek had gone out to get Starbucks, but about halfway through my drink and sandwich, I ran to the bathroom and threw all of that up. I started to feel definite contractions a few hours later. Early that afternoon I was crampy, and when I went to the restroom I noticed that I had lost my mucus plug. YAY! Progress! My OB checked my cervix again before she headed home for the day and I was at a one, which was better than nothing but still a little disheartening. I was still scheduled for a c-section the next morning and told that I could not drink much, if anything, after midnight. She told me they may want to break my water that evening, told me she would see me tomorrow, told me to eat dinner, and left. Derek and I were chatting and she came back to let me know that the “favorite” anesthesiologist was on duty that night and that if I wanted an epidural I should get one before he left at 7am. Around 10pm I called my awesome overnight nurse, Megan, and she put in the call to anesthesiology. I signed a bunch of paperwork and the anesthesiologist was up a bit later. He made sure and double sure and sure one more time that Derek was okay staying in the room with me. Apparently some partners/support people actually faint while the epidural is being placed and catching them is not the job of the doctors or hospital staff. Derek, always unflappable, stayed right there with me. The position you have to assume to get an epi placed is uncomfortable and the feeling of the needle in my spine was a bit too much. After about 20 seconds I started to feel cool and clammy like I might pass out, and I asked Megan to blow on my face, which surprisingly helped.

Then it was over. The bed was lowered, and a bad choice invariably followed. On a scale of one to invading Russia in the winter, allowing a pregnant woman with a just-placed epidural to stand on her own is pretty high up there. But it happened. And yes, I fell. I knew it was coming so I curled forward because FOR THE LOVE OF TOM CRUISE I WAS NOT RIPPING THAT EPIDURAL OUT. Derek and Megan freaked out, and I laughed. They helped me back in to the bed. Not long after that I began vomiting uncontrollably. I learned then that an epidural can cause your blood pressure to drop rapidly, and the fact that I was on meds to lower my blood pressure already did not help that. So, up came the dinner that my mom and doctor insisted that I eat. Megan then said they thought breaking my water would help get things going along, and also allow me to rest because they could monitor baby internally. I politely declined, because I know that once your water is broken you’re on the clock, and I wanted to see if I dilated a bit more.

Monday night was slightly more restful, but still not amazing. Obstinate baby was still running away from the monitors as it had for the 37 weeks leading up to that time. I was having somewhat regular contractions at this time but I could only tell because I could see it on the monitor or notice my belly was tight. Tuesday morning Dr. Miles came back and checked my cervix again. I was at a three! YES! She then told me she thought that breaking my water would help get things going. Since my body finally seemed to understand what was happening, I agreed. If you have never had your water broken, it feels like mountains of jello are pouring out of you and it. is. disgusting. They put the monitors on the baby and my uterus, and we chilled out for a while. Amber, the nurse who would be there for the birth, brought me cups upon cups of cold apple juice and even held my hand when I needed her. I am and will forever be immensely grateful for her calming and helpful presence during that time.

As the morning and early afternoon went on, I became increasingly uncomfortable. Derek and my mom had left to go on a walk and grab some food but right as I was going to call him and ask him to come back, they walked in the door. Around 2pm I was checked again, this time I was at an EIGHT. I had gone from a two to an eight in less than six hours. At this point I also fully recognized that my epidural was not working. Anesthesiology came up and they gave me a boost of some good stuff, but it wasn’t long before that wore off.

The rest of labor is a little blurry. I remember being on my right side with my leg up around an exercise ball that was shaped like a jelly bean. During this, my mom walked in and I screamed at her to get out. (Sorry mom!) My face began to tingle and that is when my awesome nurse informed me that it’s because I was hyperventilating. It’s amazing how few pain management techniques I remembered from child birthing class when the time came. She coached me through my breathing. At another point I remember telling the nurses that “the baby is going to come out of my asshole!” They assured me that the baby wouldn’t but the feeling was normal and was a good sign that it was almost time to push. I stayed that way for a bit and labored down for a bit and then it happened: every single fiber of my being needed to push. It was an instinct that was incredibly primal and hard to describe, but I knew it was time. Thankfully, my OB rushed in right as I was saying “I need to push, oh my god, I need to pushhhhhhh nowwwww.”

Now, I always thought that women were full of shit when they said that pushing feels better. But for those of you who don’t have kids, let me tell you, they are absolutely and 100% correct. I rolled on to my back and my doctor checked me really quick. I think she mentioned that there was still a little cervix in the way but that there would be time for that to change. She gave me a rundown of how pushing worked: when a contraction starts, will every muscle in your body to force that baby out of my vagina to a count of ten. If I was still contracting, start again. Relax between contractions (she must have a side gig as a comedian because that was just the most HILARIOUS thing I had ever heard).

I think I started pushing around 4:30. I remember a nurse sticking their head in about a patient of another physician in her practice being there for observation. Dr. Miles looked back at her and said she would be 45 minutes to an hour. I looked at the clock. It was 5pm. So she figured by six, this baby would be out. During most contractions I got three pushes to the count of ten. The break in between them was incredibly short…maybe 10 to 15 seconds before the next one came barreling on. I only spoke a handful of times: either “how’s baby?” or “I CAN’T.” Everyone assured me that I could. The nurses and my doctor were very encouraging. Every “I can’t” was met with a “you can and you are doing a great job.” This was awesome until they started with the “We can see the head! The head is right there!” This baby had a gigantic head, which we knew from the litany of ultrasounds and scans, but this was also confirmed by the worst part of birth: the ring of fire. I knew precisely where his head was because I felt that my vagina and anus would just morph in to one large hole from which my bobble-headed bundle of joy would emerge. All I could think was “tell me when you can see the damn toes!” but I couldn’t find it within me to get the words out.

I was exhausted in a way that I had never experienced before. The baby was not out. I was still pushing. And sweating. And pushing some more. Derek was counting to ten and I wanted to kill him. Then I pushed again, and the head was out! Now, my understanding is that there was some maneuvering involved to get the baby turned in a way that would permit safe passage of the shoulders, but at this point I was not opening my eyes at all so I can’t be 100% sure.  I pushed a few more times and out came the rest of the baby. His time of birth was 5:44pm so my doctor was correct in her estimate. I opened my eyes to see my doctor hold the baby up with his butt to me, then I laid back down and closed my eyes. She turned the baby so that Derek could see and let me know the news.

“It’s a BOY!” Derek said. “We have a boy!”

“Boy…Is he a Harlan? Is that his name?”

Derek just nodded at me with tears in his eyes.

I rested for a moment again while they cut his cord and then they placed the baby on me. There was some difficulty removing the monitor from his head (he has a good scar there). The feeling of having this little person in my arms after hours of pushing and days of laboring and weeks of vomiting and months of worrying about everything that could go wrong with him and me and us…it was absolutely incredible. Then, out came the placenta which felt even more disgusting than having my water broken, which is funny because it’s really a pretty magical organ. (As an aside, despite the high blood pressure, my placenta was extremely healthy.) I realized that something was going on with my frankengina because my doctor kept wiping and needing the light closer. There was a lot of blood and she was having a difficult time determining the source. I believe at this time I asked her if I was going to die, which made no sense because there was no great sense of urgency with what she was doing, but having just given birth I got a pass at logic, okay? She located a massive internal laceration and stitched it up, in addition to the external tears in both directions. Birth is so glamorous.

Once that was done, they were cleaning up the room so that we could relax a bit as a family. Derek ran out to let them know that baby was here and we were all okay, and that we would have them back in a bit. It was during this time that they dropped the bag that had been hanging on the end of the bed. This bag catches the gamut of fluids that come out during child birth. I was completely oblivious to all of this happening because I was holding my son! I DID IT! The room cleared out and we waited for the baby nurse. Derek got to hold his son for the first time while we waited to have him looked at. We waited a long time because it turns out the baby born three minutes after H in the next room had some issues (but was okay!). They weighed him (8lbs 5oz), measured him (21.5 inches), took footprints, and did all of the other things that they do to newborns. Then Derek went out and got my parents. It is worth mentioning that my parents are the PERFECT visitors after giving birth. I offered to let them hold the baby and the declined. They took a few pictures, swore their secrecy, and headed home after about 30 minutes.

We spent a bit more time as a family, notified a few close relatives and friends of his birth, and then Derek did what any amazing and supportive husband would do: he went to the closest 24 Subway at midnight and got food. I had observed the “no lunchmeat” rule during pregnancy but craved Subway. I was starving after delivery and never has any food ever tasted so good or been so appreciated. Then my first post partum nurse, Nikki, came in to check on me. She took out my catheter and let me walk around. I went in to the bathroom where she gave me a sponge bath and I was so incredibly humbled and grateful for her help. While we were doing this they brought in a recovery bed which was significantly more comfortable than the labor bed. She helped Derek change his first diaper and tried to show us both how to swaddle multiple times which was ultimately an exercise in futility. She also calmed us when H started coughing and gagging. There was some leftover amniotic fluid that he was struggling to get out but she assured us that it was normal and made us feel at ease. I got a few spurts of rest that night but nothing significant.

I didn’t sleep much between when we went in and Wednesday night. My nurse on Wednesday evening was great; her name was Amanda. She made it so that I was finally able to get my IV out and shower like a regular human! Around midnight I was laying wide awake while Derek and H were happily asleep. I went in to the hallway right as she happened to be walking by and burst in to tears because I was so exhausted and couldn’t sleep. She brought some ambien and then offered to take H to the nursery so they could do his hearing test and snuggle him while I got a little rest. The brought him back in around 4:30am. That morning we got our things together and prepared to leave the hospital. In all of this excitement I had forgotten to eat since an early dinner on Wednesday night and I was very light headed, so they brought me some juice and two protein bars. We put a onesie on our little guy, buckled him safely in to his seat for the first time, put our bags on the cart, and they wheeled me out. The whole time I was thinking “holy crap, they’re going to just let us take him home like this!”

And that, my friends, is how my crazy, spirited, hilarious little boy came earthside.


Sometimes things don’t go the way that we planned, but at this time my vision for this space is a place to share the expansive range of feelings and experiences from every part of motherhood and life after becoming a mom. It is important to note that an integral part of my journey is my struggle with postpartum depression. This is a subject that can be a trigger for others and in those situations I will always include a trigger warning so that a reader may navigate away from the page.

In addition to sharing my struggles it is my plan to invite friends to share theirs as well. If new motherhood taught me anything it is that so many women suffer in silence. It is my mission to see the end of that. Part of changing that is being open with my own experience so that others may feel comfortable doing the same. If Derek will go along with it, I would like to get him to write about things from his perspective too, because being a new dad, working full time, and supporting a wife who is frankly unstable is quite the undertaking.

Before I go any further, I want to share a special thanks to those who have supported me in this journey: Derek, my parents, Jen, Dr. Miles, Dani, Robin, Lauren, and my orcas, lemmings, and llamas. My gratitude for each of you is profound.

As I expand on the site a bit I will add this information elsewhere, but if you or someone you know is struggling with PPD, PPA, or any other perinatal mood disorder, here are some resources:

Baby Blues Connection

Postpartum Progress

Postpartum Support International

If there is something you would like to ask me about, a suggestion for a post, or anything else, send me an email! I am always up for suggestions and feedback.

I am so excited to finally get this off the ground. I hope you enjoy it!