Some of you know that I participating in the Out of the Darkness walk for postpartum health. I want to share some more insight into this cause, though in a different way than I have. Postings by the brave Kristin Jacobson and the book “Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts of Life Unarmed” by Glennon Melton Doyle have inspired me put forth my own vulnerability and speak from my heart rather than give you a statistical analysis of the prevalence of perinatal and postpartum mental health issues.
I remember clearly the night my son was born. I remember is beautiful blue eyes staring at me when he was placed in my arms. Much of the following months are a blur. I don’t know whether it was sleep deprivation, hormone changes or fear of making mistakes that were a problem, nor do I think the cause matters much. There were moments when I would look at him and cry from all the love I felt for this precious baby. There were times I would place him in his crib (crying) and stand outside his room crying for other reasons, perhaps from the sheer hardness of it all.
But I was blessed. I had an amazing community to support me. I had parents and in-laws nearby ready to hold a baby or encourage me. I had a pediatrician who cared as much about my health as that of my child (thank you Dr. Peterson), and I had Candyce Bollinger’s parenting classes. Through these classes I also came to have my treasured book club; ladies, who by their simple presence, have saved my sanity more than once. I also had a husband who took night shift every weekend so I could rest and who encouraged me to get out of the house whenever I could.
So many women are not as fortunate as I was. They have to do all of the hard things by themselves. There is no one there when the weight gets too great to bare alone. For these women there must be a place to turn. We must say to each one, “you are not alone.” The saying, “it takes a village,” must apply to the mother as much as to the child, for both need us.
Please consider sponsoring our walk. Better yet, join us and tell your friends. Let no woman think that she must suffer alone.