Postpartum Support International’s 2015 Blog Hop – Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month

On the eve of Mother’s Day, here I am struggling with a blog post for the 3rd annual Postpartum Support International (PSI) Blog Hop for Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month.  The topic of the blog hop is “You are not alone: Focus on Support Groups and Resources.”

PSI Blog Hop Badge by Lauren Hale

Please consider joining the blog hop to help spread awareness!  All you have to do is go to the Dr. Christi Hibbert’s blog, and read the guidelines.  There, you will see all the other blogs who are participating in this blog hop.  You have all month in which to join the blog hop.

Support Groups and Resources can be in the form of local organizations, like PPD support groups in a local hospital or in your community (too many to name, but I do list many under my Support Groups/Local Resources links on my blog, in addition to all the local resources listed on the PSI resources page).  You can also find a number of excellent online PPD communities for support, like the closed Facebook groups Postpartum Progress#PPDChat Support, and Postpartum Support International.

I saw a post earlier tonight that inspired me to write the below “poem.”  I’m not sure what I wrote constitutes poetry, but at least you can see I tried to rhyme.  That’s all I remember from my high school days of writing and reading poetry.

I was just telling my husband earlier tonight how it seemed that more mom friends I know are either indifferent about Mother’s Day or dreading it for one reason or another.  Even this morning’s Z100 phone tap was focused on a son’s pretending to argue with his mom about having a big get-together at Peter Luger’s Steakhouse for Mother’s Day.  She was dead set against it because she historically has never wanted to celebrate Mother’s Day (and she could have a very good reason but we don’t know what that is….and neither does the son, apparently).

Before my own motherhood journey that made me realize that not all motherhood experiences are glowing from the get-go or at all, I just assumed that all mothers looked forward to Mother’s Day because it was a day that celebrates and acknowledges mothers for all their love and hard work.

Now, after having gone through what I went through and meeting many new moms in the past ten years, I know there are a lot of moms wishing there wasn’t such a thing as Mother’s Day. It’s these moms I want to dedicate today’s post to.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Are you pretending to look forward to Mother’s Day
When all you really want to do is treat it like any other day?
Or be left alone so you don’t have to spend the extra energy showing your children
How happy you are they remembered to abide with the tradition
Of a card, flowers, gift and/or brunch or dinner out.
After all, that’s what Mother’s Day is really about….

Or is it?

I know that for some women, Mother’s Day is a painful reminder of certain things.
I won’t bring up the reasons for the pain for fear of triggering negative feelings.
Whatever the reason,
Know that you are not alone.
Just like childbirth and motherhood experiences always appear so smooth and happy,
They aren’t…..it just appears that way.
It’s natural for you to feel alone if you had any childbirth or postpartum difficulties.
But there are communities
Of women out there who share a similar deal
As you and can help  you to heal.

So, if you are feeling low
And don’t feel up to celebrating Mother’s Day, then say so.
No point in pretending to say and do
Whatever people expect of you.
Like have a whole big to-do
With the extended family, in-laws too.

The important thing–and it should be every day–
Not just on Mother’s Day (a good ol’ Hallmark Day),
Is that you focus on self care.
Whether it be sleeping in and then sipping a hot cup o’ joe, lounging in PJs, getting a manicure,
Watching a flick or two, sipping a glass o’ wine or two, reading
A favorite book, or a day free of laundry, dishes, cooking and cleaning.
You deserve to treat yourself in such a way
Not just on Mother’s Day, but every day.

With love,
Ivy

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4 thoughts on “Postpartum Support International’s 2015 Blog Hop – Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month

  1. Mother’s Day is a mixed holiday for me as I no longer speak to my mother. Instead I try to concentrate on my son and I.

    • Hi, thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment! I know just as many women who cannot for one reason or another appreciate Mother’s Day as those embrace/celebrate it. Per my husband (and many others, I’m sure), Mother’s Day is but another “Hallmark” occasion. For me, honestly, it’s just another day. What’s important is your relationship with your child and even better if you embrace your motherhood and the days ahead with him, remembering that you deserve to care for yourself in the process. A happy belated mother’s day to you.

  2. Hi Ivy, I hope you’re doing well today.
    I am presently suffering from some sort of postpartum ‘horribleness’. Like you, I had a miscarriage first, which was followed by a botched d & c procedure where they gave me a painful condition called Adenomyosis. I was unsure as to whether I could get pregnant or not, as many women with Adeno can’t, but in April 2014 I found out I was pregnant with my daughter.
    I gave birth a few months ago. Ruthie is sweet and beautiful. Unfortunately though, I had a c-section (tons of drugs and extra days in the hospital due to both the section and Adeno) followed by taking care of a little girl with GERD. She could not keep food down and screamed like a colic baby. I was constantly up making sure to hold her upright and try my best to keep food down. Most of my nights were 40 minutes to 2 hours of broken sleep and no sleep during the day.
    Anyway, to get to the point, I am now like you were. I can’t sleep at all! My psychiatrist says I have post partum mania (racing thoughts that keep me from sleeping) caused by sleep deprivation plus depression. I have to take meds to sleep while my mother cares for Ruthie at night.
    To get to the point, I was hoping I could get your email from you. I have some questions about how long it took you to be able to sleep on your own again and others too, since our experiences are so similar. Thanks & Please Help…?! I have not been able to find anyone else who could not fall asleep at all…yikes! Cam
    p.s. Will hop check out these blogs listed here and the hop.
    p.s.s. I apologize for writing under this post-could not find your email anywhere. Feel free to delete:-)!

    • Hi Cam,
      I am glad you found my blog and shared your story. No apologies necessary, and I would never delete your post. What medication are you on, if you don’t mind my asking? I’d like to preface my response with the fact that everyone’s experiences are so different. I went on Paxil and Xanax within a couple of weeks after my insomnia, and I was able to stop taking Ambien and Xanax within 4 weeks. It took me pretty much a year to wean off of the Paxil. I will follow up my response here with an email so you can reach out whenever you’d like and we can continue the discussion via email, if you’d prefer.

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