I am choosing to smoke again.
It’s strange wording it like that, because I’ve never felt like it was a choice before. When I first started smoking cigarettes in my early 20s, it just kind of happened — a cigarette here and there, usually at a bar, sometimes on the drive home from work. It evolved into a pack a day habit. Then I quit a month before getting pregnant with my daughter and remained an ex-smoker for nearly two years. More
Months ago, when we were going through a very rough patch in our relationship, my husband and I made a pact to not have any more children. Although our marriage has drastically improved, nothing major has changed in our situation to make having another child a viable option — we still have barely enough income, physical space and emotional energy to adequately care for the child we have.
So why, a few weeks ago, was I begging my daughter to give me some sign she wants a sibling? I blame it on my PPD. More
But if I could have taken this test, and a doctor or my midwife could have told me I was at a high risk for postpartum depression, I would have done some things differently.
I wouldn’t have committed myself to attachment parenting so wholeheartedly. More
You don’t necessarily need to be a reader of our Baby Blues column to know that postpartum depression presents many a parenting challenge (to say the least). Other stigmas continue to face suffering ladies as you can’t really roll up to your new mommy group and just start riffing about how spending time away from your kid actually makes you feel better. (Or maybe you do, in which case, you’re lucky). But now emerging science suggests that we may be able to discern that certain mommies are at risk for PPD before the symptoms set in. Or even before the baby shows up. Win all the way around, right? More
This is going to be a very unpopular opinion, but this column is about candor, so here goes. I’ve learned that “me” time is unhealthy for me. Dangerous, even. I must be working, surrounding myself with friends and family, doing for others, or sleeping. That’s it. More
Though I am, by no means, in as powerful a position as Quinn, I can definitely relate to the risk factor in going public with my mental illness. For me, the risk is more personal than professional. The definition of mother, in my mind, is someone who is strong, relentlessly loving and a martyr who constantly puts the needs of others above her own. This may sound extremely idealistic and unattainable to some of you, but I know one woman who fits this definition: my own mother. I’m sure my mom had private moments of desperation and frustration and anger, but she never revealed this side of herself when I was a child. More
I did have the “baby blues,” for sure. But when my daughter was born, I didnâ€™t just feel blue–I felt like every shade of the rainbow, all at once, in explosive Technicolor on LSD times a million. Those period-related mood swings I had back in the day had nothing on this. This was, somehow, deep sadness and elation all at once. More
In no way is this medical advice. These are 10 of the pick-me-ups that actually made a difference in the way I felt during those first few dark, difficult weeks. They didn’t work like some instant wonder drug, but they did a whole lot more for me than the words of wisdom from well meaning but oblivious loved ones. More
If myÂ home birth or eating my placenta didn’t give it away, I’ll say it now. I’m a bit of a hippie mom. The “Shit Crunchy Moms Say” Internet video could more or less be a transcript of my life. So when I was struck with postpartum depression a few months ago, the last thing on my mind was medication. More
There was no toddler tugging at my leg. I didnâ€™t have to tread softly lest I wake her up from a nap, either. My daughterâ€™s in daycare, Iâ€™m a full-time freelancer again, alone all day in my apartment, and I fucking love it. More
Thereâ€™s this misconception about depressed people that weâ€™re depressed all the time. I imagine some of you might think this of me given that I write a weekly column about PPD. But Iâ€™m not some kind of depressed murky swamp creature in real life. Around people I like, Iâ€™m actually more like an overzealous but loving Yorkie pup, minus the ankle biting!
Like everyone else, I experience moments, even days, of elation â€“ when things just seem to fall into place. The way PPD coincides with these high moments, however, changes the effect on me. The truth is, sometimes itâ€™s even harder to cope with my highs than my lows.
Days later, serious shit went down between me and my husband. We determined we could no longer afford the beautiful house weâ€™d been planning to build this summer. After an especially heated argument, I went so far as to look up the number for the Missouri suicide hotline because, goddammit, I didnâ€™t know what I could be doing differently. More
Motherhood is many things: primal, competitive, loving, complicated, necessary But one of its many definitions doesnâ€™t make itself obvious until you find yourself caring for a little one of your own. In Western culture, motherhood is undeniably, desperately isolating. More
I have to be honest. Iâ€™m probably never going to seek treatment for my depression. Itâ€™s not just because health insurance would cost more than our rent, or because I have no idea when I would squeeze therapy into my already jam-packed schedule. In truth, itâ€™s because I donâ€™t think I fit the bill for a severely depressed person anymore. Sure, my passive aggressive, semi-suicidal teen self was in serious need of therapy and meds. But my adult self? I donâ€™t know. More