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1.05.2013

Ah ha

My father wasn’t a writer, or not in the vocational sense, but he liked to play with words, and I grew up thinking of him as someone who wrote. He never made a big deal of it; writing was just something he did sometimes, a few quick lines on one of the index cards that he always kept in his shirt pocket. I haven’t seen a lot of his work - only a goofy poem he once jotted for me on a notepad from a medical conference he went to, and some haikus that we found in his bathroom drawer after he died. Many years ago, in a context that I now don’t remember, my mother told me that Burg tended to write most when he was feeling down, and not so much when he was happy. I don’t know if he would explain it that way, and I can’t ask him, but it resonated with me at the time. Probably because I was a teenager then, and I was doing my own share of mopey writing - mostly about the tall, long-haired kid who was a senior in my high school when I was a freshman, who played in a moody band with a clever name and reportedly smoked a truly staggering amount of weed but, I was certain, could be reformed into a fine, upstanding boyfriend if only, if only, IF ONLY I could manage to open my mouth and try speaking to him. There was a lot of woe going on, a lot of longing. I had a lot of feelings. In any case, I remember that conversation with my mother, and I remember thinking, Ah ha! That’s it! I too write the most, and the best, when I’m unhappy. That’s the trick...


Of course, that was sort of an unhelpful realization, and after some years passed and I stopped being a teenager (FINALLY), I began to see that it was not only unhelpful, but also untrue.  I discovered other ways to approach writing and other things to write about. I think we can all be grateful for that. Though I do wonder what happened to the tall, long-haired kid.  He’s totally unGoogleable, and you know I’ve tried. He’s also now almost forty.


Anyway, what I’m trying to say, and I swear that I really am going somewhere here, is: I don’t like being unhappy, and I don’t like writing about being unhappy. It’s boring, and it makes me tired. But about three weeks ago, I was diagnosed with postpartum depression, and I don’t see a way to not write about it. It began in the form of insomnia, and it took me a while to recognize it, because it was more complicated than I thought depression would be: I wasn’t sad so much as I was overwhelmed. Statistically, something like one in ten mothers get postpartum depression, but few seem to talk about it - or at least, few that I’ve found. When I was diagnosed, and when I was first trying to make sense of it, what I wanted most was to talk with another woman who had been through it and come out the other side, someone who could reassure me with full confidence that it wouldn’t be a permanent condition. I knew that logically, intellectually, but THE HORMONES, they pull the wool over your eyes, and the wool, whoa, it is heavy. You spend nine months growing a real live human baby in your abdomen, and then you push that baby out, and then you feed that baby milk that your body somehow makes, and though we mammals have been doing it for as long as we mammals have existed, it is big, weird, screwy stuff. It makes you have more feelings than you did when you were fifteen, and they feel very real. And in my case, the case of postpartum depression, they don’t go away when they should, and instead, they build.

I am grateful to have been able to ask for help, and I’m relieved that the help is actually helping. I am grateful for Brandon, and I am grateful for June. And though I would certainly rather just la la la pretend that it never happened, I want to write this down, on the off chance that you or someone you know needs to hear it. I am grateful that I can now reassure myself that this isn’t a permanent condition, that I now believe it.


Whew.

416 Comments:

Anonymous anneliesz said...

A roommate of mine from school had a really rough go of it with postpartum depression after delivering her firstborn. I remember talking with her when she was completely in the thrall of it. And I can safely say, she has come out with flying colors and two other kids. So, I'm glad you got the help and support you need, and there is another side. Hang in there Molly.

3:10 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Carol said...

This too shall pass.
And what a beautiful baby!

3:14 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

amen, sister. it will get better.

3:14 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Megan said...

Really glad to hear you're working through it. I've done a lot of social work with women with postpartum depression, and it is amazing how fast and how fiercely it can take you over. It's terrifying until you know what you're dealing with, and then it's infuriating. Like you don't have enough other stuff to deal with, what with keeping a new person alive.

Best of luck to all three of you.

3:16 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger ClumberKim said...

Oh, Molly. I'm so glad you found help and are in a supportive environment. Thank you for writing about this issue. One of my favorite bloggers is Katherine Stone. Her site, http://www.postpartumprogress.com is a great resource.

3:19 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Liz said...

Thank you for writing this. My wonderful son arrived 14 months ago and I don't think it hit me till he was about 6 months old that I'd been in a postpartum fog all for much of that time. I was never treated for depression because I didn't recognize myself as being depressed. Like you, I felt more overwhelmed than plainly sad. In my mind there would have been no shame in saying I was depressed; I just didn't see myself as being so. Your post is welcome for new mothers who perhaps feel caught of guard by how emotional they feel, even while they are functioning. Mothering an infant is a heady, hard time, depression or none, and we owe it to ourselves and each other to be more frank about that. Congratulations on getting help and thank you for sharing.

P.S. June is beautiful beyond words.

3:20 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Heather said...

I hope you get an outpouring of support and helpful conversation as a result of this post, and I have no doubt that there will be others out there who it's helpful to as well. You wrote this in such a no nonsense, straight-forward but still interesting way. June and your photos are both just beautiful!

3:31 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Sylvie said...

Writing or speaking about something is always better then not, irregardless of the mood. Thanks for sharing, I'm sure it took courage to type those words.
P.S. June looks like such a sweetie.

3:31 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am glad that you are able to reassure yourself that it will pass and that you can believe it. And I love the way you write.

Fine

3:37 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Jenny said...

eeeee! she's absolutely adorable! hope all will be well with you and your family

3:38 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just recently found your blog and your writing is quite amazing. Your current difficulties WILL pass with help and patience - and look at that beautiful pixie you have to help with it all!! Thanks for your writings - Emma

3:42 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous DessertForTwo said...

Oh wow. I'm so grateful I read this. I feel like lots of bloggers have had babies in this past year and they gush and gush about how happy, wonderful and perfect their lives are now. Something tells me that's not really how they feel 100% of the time. And most of all, I wish they wouldn't post such stuff because it makes the rest of us feel like we should feel that way too, 24 hours a day.
Thanks for writing this down, and thanks for sharing. It's beautiful. I hope you feel better soon.
You're in my thoughts & prayers.

3:46 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Maggie said...

I hope the writing helps, I'm happy to read whatever you have to say. I hope the ppd(?) moves on quickly. Much love to you and good luck xx

3:47 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Hilary said...

First let me say, OMG, what a beautiful baby. Really. Wow.
Then I have to tell you that my children are all grown up, and that my post partum depression...only had it with one of three, DID seem overwhelming, and DID seem awful and cruel, but it did pass. Like a lot of things women deal with, people don't often talk about it, but it's very real. Glad you got some help with it.

3:48 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Miette Handmade said...

Molly, I am 100% sure that there will be a wealth of people who have been helped by the mere fact of you writing this. Thanks for your courage and sensitivity. I hope there is some light emerging for you (and some sleep). You truly have a gift for writing and your father would be proud, if I can say that. And boy, is that little girl of yours gorgeous...
bless xx

3:52 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Posy Quarterman said...

Molly, while I didn't get diagnosed with PPD, I was depressed postpartum, and I have a close friend who was diagnosed, and we both have sassy 5 year olds now and that PPD is all but a memory. A clear memory, but gone nonetheless. It sucks, that's really all there is to it. Having a baby is hard, emotionally harder for some of us. Raw, brutal, painful, and so exhausting. But it most certainly gets better. Thank you for sharing your story for others. The best thing we can do as mothers is support each other. Sending all my love and strength up north to you! Much love, Posy

3:56 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Cape Cod Kitty said...

Bravo to you, Molly, for writing about post partum depression. Not until my youngest of 3 was 42, was I able to understand what happened to me after each of my beauties was born. It was crippling and the memories of it hung over my life until I found a blog post about PPD several years ago. I have never felt so free and relieved to know it was not just me.
June is the most beautiful baby and I wish you every happiness, peace and joy as each second of her life brings new wonder.
A long time reader and admirer from Cape Cod.

3:59 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger the sandwich life said...

ahhh...the hormones....the hormones....yes. I'm glad things are looking better. I remember the first time I was told I was depressed and all I could think was "THIS? THIS is depression?" I had no idea.

Good lord that baby is gorgeous by the way.

3:59 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you.

4:01 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Allison said...

Oh, much love, Molly. Thank you for acknowledging it, telling it, writing it. So glad to hear things are getting better and that you see another side.

And that's a beautiful beautiful baby.

4:03 PM, January 05, 2013  
OpenID sunflowerchild11 said...

Brave lady xx

4:05 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

<3

4:08 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your writing is the highlight of my day. Your words are strong, intelligent, profound and beautifully articulated. That you have been able write this, right now, shows you are recovering. May that process continue with speed and the grace you show here. June is a very lucky little girl to have such a remarkable Mommy and that sweet and precious picture shows us she knows it. With compassion and admiration and the sure knowledge you won't always feel like this and like childbirth, you will forget how bad it can be!

4:09 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Lex said...

Molly, rest assured that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I'm so happy that you're getting the help and support you need!

4:11 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Bethany said...

I'm glad you are able to talk about it, and I'm really glad you have help and support! And for what it's worth, I am sending love and positive thoughts your way. I've been reading since almost the beginning, and I feel like, in some strange way, you're a friend.

And, man alive, is June beautiful.

4:16 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Harriette T Rasmussen said...

Wow. I get to be your first comment on this blog. I'm on your site for the first time having finished your book 45 seconds ago because I could not put it down, even to do the smarky (is that word?) school reading I am supposed to be doing. Needless to say I loved your book and how amazing to find out that I've eaten at your restaurant too and didn't even know it was yours - of course I didn't know you then. Congratulations on that beautiful dark haired baby of yours and all I can say to pp depression is that it sucks. After my first the only thing that kept me going was reading a book about women climbing Annapurna and I kept thinking "if she can do this, I can take care of this one little baby." Hang in there. I am grateful for your words and for the yummy food yet to emerge from my kitchen, thanks to you.

4:16 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger The Mrs said...

I'm glad you got it off your chest. And it *is* temporary, although it lies to you, of course.

You can do it!

4:19 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Cara said...

Thanks for sharing. And your baby is freaking adorable :) Good luck. I hope (and am almost positive it will as a dr and a mommy) that it will all keep getting better!

4:22 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Rosie said...

Molly! I am grateful for you, and for your writing. Thank you for sharing this with us, for being brave and honest. It's always helpful. Your writing never makes me tired, no matter what mood it comes from. You are always inspiring. I'm glad you know you'll feel more balanced soon.

And that picture of June is unbelievably beautiful!

4:29 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Kelsey said...

Molly - thank you so much sharing, I know it must not have been easy. I feel grateful that more women are opening up about this, and in very public forums, so that others going through it don't have to feel so alone. I'll be a new mom to a little one in April and I really appreciate your honesty. And I'm so glad that you're getting help and that it's helping.

4:40 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger AuntieAllyn said...

Happy New Year, Molly . . . glad to see the update to your blog and trust that your spirits will continue to improve. I'm not a mother and can't comprehend what you're going through, but I do know that little June is just adorable!

4:44 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Zoomie said...

As usual, you have hit the nail squarely on the head. Thanks for your honesty - I know it will help some other new mother immeasurably. You rock.

4:45 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Rachel said...

You are very brave, Molly, and you are not alone.

4:46 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Sarah said...

That was pretty brave, Molly. Depression is a tricky beast and it takes real guts to stand up to it. Keep stepping outside of yourself. Only you can figure out what feels real and what is real.

4:48 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger C said...

I miss the days when people shared when things weren't always made of glitter. Pretending that we exist in these crazy realms of unlimited happiness is silly and it does us no favors. I'm glad things are getting better and June is absolutely perfect.

4:51 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Kitty said...

Thank you for this. My mother suffered for years after my birth, and felt so ashamed than the wouldn't ask for help. Thank you for speaking up- there are so many others that suffer in silence.

4:53 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You WILL get to the other side of this. And you will help others through this blog. This is such a random thing and I am so sorry you have had to struggle with it. How fortunate that you asked for help.

June is a treasure and she is lucky to have you for a mother.

Leslie

4:55 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger tara said...

leMolly, how very beautiful and bright and brave this is, and she is, and you are. It is so good of you to share all of it.

Sending such love from here, to all of you.

4:55 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous valerie {all mussed up} said...

Oh that face.

4:57 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure you have heard of Brooke Shield's book on postpartum depression...but if not, I mention it here. I saw her years ago on Oprah, I think, talking about it.

4:57 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This, too, shall pass.
:-)
--Jen

4:58 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you writing this WILL help someone, b/c it's very scary being a new mother. I have never been diagnosed with depression but I sometimes wonder what would it feel like. I also wouldn't say that I had postpartum depression, but I do say that I had 12 weeks of nursing hell and my whole life revolved around my boobs until one day around the magic number of 12 weeks, life moved on and I didn't think about my boobs every second or minute or hour of the day. BTW, June is freakin' adorable! Congrats! It just gets better every day, even when they're toddlers.

5:05 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Emily said...

Hi Molly. I, for one (and I'm sure there will be countless others), am so grateful you have chosen to talk about this.
You're right about there being few people who seem to discuss it, and having seen a close friend almost undone by undiagnosed post-partum depression, I wish we would all talk about it more.
Now 5 months pregnant with my first, I hope I am not afflicted with this heavy, heavy stuff in a few months time, but should I be unlucky enough, I'll be so grateful to know there is help, there ARE others and they DO come through it.
Thank you.

5:05 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Molly, bless your heart. Hope things get better soon. I thought of you today, when going past Delancey. The photo of June is adorable!

5:08 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Lisa said...

Sorry that you're going through this, but good for you for getting a diagnosis, asking for help, and working your way through this.

And thank you so much for sharing. I've not been through this (stupid infertility), but that is also something that people don't talk about. And we should.

Let's just talk about (almost) everything.

Take care of yourself. Allow others to take care of you too.

June is beautiful.

5:14 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Cheryl said...

That was beautiful, Molly. Those early days are overwhelming, but one day, months or even years from now, you'll have a down day and realize that you used to feel like that all the time and you haven't in ages. It happens in tiny baby steps. Then, the next thing you know, she'll be 16 and you'll be sharing all of your favourite books, music, and movies with her. Parenting rocks!

5:14 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to thank you for writing about what your going through. Today it seems that it's perfectly acceptably to have a psychiatrist (sometime it seems like it's in vogue) but actually discussing one's mental health is still frowned upon. As someone who has struggled with depression from adolescence it is nice to see someone with your profile discuss such a personal matter in a open and honest way. Post like this teach others to not be ashamed of their thoughts and that there is help out there. I hope this phase passes quickly for you and any one else struggling with PPD.

5:16 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger jaimalaya said...

I been staying at home with my two small children, a 4 year old boy and a 2 year old girl, since my youngest was born. I underestimated how difficult it would be and how well I would manage. Just in the last six months I finally realized that something was wrong, that it's not normal to have to lock yourself in the bathroom to sob and silently beg someone to help you at least once a week. And so I got help. And everything is so much better. I keep telling my husband that I feel like an actual person again. I'm embarrassed it took so long, but then I'm also still a little embarrassed that I needed help, that I couldn't just suck it up. I hate that. And so I appreciate it when people are honest about their struggles, even though only a small number of people know how difficult it's been for me. So thank you for sharing.

5:23 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been reading this blog for years. And until today, never felt compelled to comment.
Thank you for this -
It is both brave and lovely.
Your words will no doubt strike a cord in many, many women.
Motherhood... life, really - it's messy and beautiful.
Thank you for this.

5:24 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger emily said...

I've never had a baby, but I had a small bout with depression. it was not an easy hole to climb out of, so I'd like to cheer you on. wishing you warm things from Florida.

PS you already know this, but I'd still like to add that June is a splendid little thing.

5:26 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bless you for this. Thank you.

5:29 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Shelley in SC said...

Been there. So painful. Out on the other side now, with 5 beautiful children, restful nights of sleep, and sunshine when I awaken. I'm so sorry you've had this experience. The sun will shine again!

5:30 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger sarah roberson said...

I love this.
I won't go in to my own story, but it is very much like yours. I'm glad you have help, and support. It means so much.
That little face is absolutely adorable.

5:50 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know several women who experienced post partum depression, and who came out stronger and more understanding for having done so. This will pass, and it will get better.
Best mothering advice I ever got? If someone offers to help, say yes!

5:53 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous A Plum By Any Other Name said...

I am so sorry you've been feeling so low of late. I am glad you shared your story though. And about that June. She is beautiful.

5:54 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger The Yellow Door Paperie said...

When I was going through it, I felt like I was wading through mud. Trying to do full time college, full time job and full time parenting (with my husband), it was the hardest thing I ever have had to go through. And the thing is, I wasn't diagnosed until my daughter was 6 months old.

It's so hard to talk about because most of the feelings are loneliness, overwhelm and guilt. And when I breastfed instead of getting warm fuzzies, I got washes of shame. FOR 8 MONTHS. So, you are not alone. Thank you for sharing your story. My daughter is six now, and it's still hard to talk about-- like ripping of some proverbial bandaid from something that will never quite heal.

5:54 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Victoria said...

You gorgeous girl. Firstly, I have to acknowledge that delicious bundle of Juneliciousness, my gosh! Secondly, I have to lift you a little and tell you that your number 1 Spilled Milk fan here in Australia (Ella) has been relistening to all the episodes from number 1 through and my goodness does she belly laugh every time. We also posted you a letter this week - look out for it! Thirdly PND - it's dreadful. I was fine with my first child, Ella, but with our second, Leila, I was sooo down. Everything seemed so challenging, so much harder than I remembered. It was super hot, she was a fussy baby, I had a 3 year old to manage, I was older, but I remember clearly as you describe, the weight of it. I added to that my confusion and belief that I should know better, I should be doing better, I had done it all before, so why wasn't I doing a better job? I remember doing a test that they do regularly with maternal health asking a bunch of set question in relation to PND and seeing where you rate then suggests you may be "at risk". The questions were innocuous enough, but apparently I did very poorly. I met with a Counsellor and she referred me to a support group. I remember finding it so challenging to leave the baby and my 3yo in their childcare for the hour it required, not something I'd ever done, feeling a failure just having to leave my children because I wasn't doing well enough. I went to two sessions and was lucky enough that it helped me through but my gosh, some of the women I met, they were hurting so much. Two of them came in pjs to both sessions, it was so sad to see their suffering. Is it wrong, but for me, it shook me out of it, made me feel that I COULD cope, that I had it easy in comparison. I'm not downplaying anyone's experience, but I was so humbled I guess, but how hard it was for them, it was enough to urge me on beyond it. Now, when I look back to those early 3-6 months with Leila, I find it hard to remember much at all, it's blurred around the edges. I look at the photos from that time and there are ones of me smiling, holding her, looking happy - I can't remember it, but I see them and know that I must have been. Don't feel alone, don't feel (as I did) any sense of letting anyone down, it's the most wonderful and hardest job there is and you have a busy life. You amaze me with all you and Brandon have achieved, all you do, we LOVE you in this house and I KNOW that you bring to mothering June all that amazing qualities, just remember to look after you and what Molly needs just as much.

5:57 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Margaret said...

Motherhood is very hard, and the first several months is by far the hardest time. It is a sea change. And yes, the hormones are relentless. That baby is unbearably cute though. The cuteness is what helps you through it all, even when they become willful toddlers. Glad you are surfacing.

5:58 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Rachel said...

I am not glad to see this, but I am glad you wrote it - if that makes sense.

I was severely depressed for over a year, up until this fall. I didn't even realize for the first couple of months and if not for the death of a close friend of mine, I doubt I'd have even begun to deal with it. I felt, at many times, lower than I thought possible. At my worst, I was completely terrified of life.

I have tried, in the months since, to take better care of myself. I didn't know how to ask for help. I still don't. I'm glad that you did, and that you've written it here. It can only help.

5:59 PM, January 05, 2013  
OpenID tenoeldy said...

I've been reading awhile, but never commented. I had a baby 3.5 months ago, and while I've had no postpartum depression, I commend you for being honest about it. Sometimes when everyone is telling you to enjoy everything about new motherhood, it's incredibly difficult to admit that you can't and that you're not okay.
I wish you well.

6:00 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Emma Christensen said...

Oh, Molly, I am reaching out across the odd void of the internet and holding your hand very firmly. You'll be ok and you know you'll be ok, but sometimes it's nice to have hands to hold onto. I'm glad you shared what's been going on. Big hugs to you.

6:03 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

Thank you for sharing, and know that all of us out here are on your side, sending good thoughts your way. I know how heavy the wool of can be, and can't even imagine working through it while also caring for a tiny human. Much love and many blessings to you and your sweet family.

6:05 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger rae said...

Hi Molly,
I wrote this and hope you find it to your liking.

I was young When I first saw the old car,
A chariot it seemed to me
If there was a dent it was showing character
If there was missing paint it meant an
A brush with life
bright blue, Big, and cumbersome meant more
Protection for me
The car that I worked and waited for was mine.
I washed it every week
I filled it with my life
Every single day.
In this season of cheer sometimes:
The old looks old and the shiny new
Seems to be liked better
But, like an old blanket, where softness
Develops by age and washings
Or where Like a great pot, which is seasoned by repeated use only enhances the flavor of the food.
Most of all when a familiar face greets you
With a friendly “Hello” you feel known.
So, I say to you through this message
Is care shown throughout your land, and do you find yourself giving a reachable hand
To pull up someone you love.
Please show that wonderful smile that makes you so magical
And makes everyone else feel equally special
And as you listen to the songs that never get old
Remember neither will you.

Happy days of celebration.

6:06 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Hello Lindello said...

My friend, Molly, who is literally in the South Pole right now emailed me the link to this blog post today.

I had my little girl, Helen, this last June and Molly slowly watched as I became unraveled then tangled up in the complete hell which is PPD.

I have my own blog and have been spending the last month trying record my story, but that itself takes so much strength to regurgitate. I always wondered why so many women don't talk about their experience more, but now I get it. It takes a lot of courage to go back "there" when all you want to do is move on with your life. I commend you for sharing your story. When I was in the middle of it, I too just wanted to find SOMEONE who recovered. It was soooooooooooo hard believing it, but man it is true. We did it. You are a strong and even better person for it too. June's got one brave mama.

xxKate

6:08 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Patty said...

I am a registered nurse and work with pregnant and post partum moms. Thank you for sharing your story. I am so glad that you are feeling better. I am sure that your story will help others who are struggling.

6:12 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Emily said...

Much love to you. I'm glad you're seeing the other side of it now. Thank you for sharing.

6:18 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Corina Sahlin said...

Oh, dear, those damn hormones... I have three kids, the oldest is ten, the youngest three, and I can assure you, when you are in the thick of sleep deprivation, worry, and hormonal crazy-ness, it's hard to imagine that you will ever feel normal again. Ever.
Alas, you will.
But I feel for you, I really do. I've been there, done that, and it really helped me to talk to other people about it. New moms tend to NOT want to admit they have postpartum depression, since every one tells them they should be happy because they have this new precious baby.
F#$% that! Of course our new baby is magnificent. Of course we should be happy. Yet we feel totally down, sad, depressed, scared, and it feels like something is wrong with us. Well, there isn't.
So all I'm trying to say here is, hang in there, Mama. You will feel better again. I did!
Much love to you, and to your sweet family!

6:22 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Heather said...

I've been reading your blog for a while now. It's delightful. While making food and opening restaurants and writing about it all is nothing to sneeze at, being a mother isn't as tidy as all the hard work of being a successful woman. It's a little messier than the facebook pages let on. Thanks for being honest; not sure why we get cold feet about saying things are unraveling sometimes. You are in your element as a mother when you can admit that, and June is a lucky girl. Best to you and wishes for an amazing year ahead.

6:26 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Shana said...

Oh, Molly, she's so beautiful. You will get through it. I have faith. I was just talking to my husband on a long drive home tonight about how everything just seems to matter more since we had our children, two and four now. I feel everything so much more. I can't watch a lot of movies that I used to, or read short stories (short stories are rarely uplifting, you know). These little beings change us so profoundly. But I would rather be changed in a way that makes me feel more than feel less. We are blessed, and you will be stronger on the other side.

6:34 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Kristina said...

She is darling. Thank you for your honesty, and take care of yourself!

6:36 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Sarah said...

Hi....

I've been reading your blog for four years...about since the time that I had my own first baby and found myself flung overnight from a hip and foxy non-profit-organizer to a frumpy and sleep deprived milk machine. I've never commented before, but I wanted to tell you that I've been there. I too had postpartum depression. I applaud your post and am here to say, without a doubt, that it absolutely will get better. Motherhood and postpartum depression forced me to reinvent myself and challenged all of my perceptions of who I was. It changed me in ways I am grateful for today. One day, in the not too distant future you will suddenly realize that you feel like yourself again...except better.

6:37 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger The Chubby Vegetarian said...

Proud that you shared this. Could help a lot of folks. Your courage and honesty are absolutely lovely.

A and J

6:39 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh that little baby is precious. Thank you for sharing-- I think the feelings of isolation that can come with depression are one of the many scary things about it. I know that you'll probably help more people than you think with sharing your story. I'm glad to hear you're feeling better and am so very grateful for your words. I have been for years, but figure it's high time I tell YOU that! Kudos to you for getting help and your loved ones for being there. Best to you all.

6:39 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Wendy said...

The more people that write about it, the more web know they're not alone. I was diagnosed TEN months after having my first son, and the relief in asking for help and being understood was such a huge relief. With my second baby, so far, so good; we were ahead of the game this time around.

She is beautiful!

6:40 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Lynn said...

I'm sorry that you've having been going through this and am grateful that you have been able to get the help that you need. You are so generous to share your experience with us. I imagine that your father would be so proud.

And that baby, oh my! Seriously!

6:45 PM, January 05, 2013  
OpenID vslockhart said...

I don't have anything personal to share with you - I've never had a baby. But I have been seriously depressed, and when I was, the single most helpful thing I found out was that other people feel this way too. Somehow, in my years of being happy, I'd missed that. So thank you for writing this down, and letting other people know that they aren't alone. I know I'll remember it. And to you, big hugs. This is hard, and you're so brave, and strong, and I'm glad you're getting help. And your baby, she is so so beautiful.

6:45 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Jocelyne said...

I had my first child in April and was terrified when I would start crying over nothing, really. At day 11, I remember saying to my husband as I was crying, "I'm allowed to be like this for 3 more days. If I am still like this after that, I need help." I was so scared of getting postpartum depression (my sister had it with her first and it wasn't diagnosed until her daughter was almost two, and even then, was misdiagnosed as bipolar Type 2) but thankfully, as my hormones normalized, I came out of that fog. In those first two weeks, I had horrible thoughts such as thinking of all the ways I could accidentally injure/kill my son---just brutal, horrible thoughts I didn't admit until a few months later.
Asking for help truly is a heroic thing to do--it can seem much more "appropriate" to act like everything is fine, when in reality, it's horrible.
I am glad you are starting to feel better. That is one beautiful little girl.

6:45 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Annie said...

Molly, I was first introduced to you through your book when I was in the midst of being diagnosed with, what we now know is, a very treatable cancer...blessings come in strange forms sometimes. At the time my youngest of two was 10-months-old, my husband was living in another city working diligently on becoming an MD and my oldest was/is a robust young boy who doesn't understand the meaning of slowing down...needless to say life was a bit hard. Your words made me laugh, cry and inspired me, but most importantly they made me feel like life was real (in a good way) again...thank you.
I am grateful for your honesty, your trust in your readers and your true sense of the richness of life.
As always, thank you for sharing!

6:50 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Amanda said...

Every time a woman shares her experience with this I am grateful. I'm glad you are getting help and can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Best wishes for the new year!

6:50 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger doro said...

Thank you for your honesty. So many women struggle with PPD, and I know that it is difficult to discuss. Sending good thoughts your way.

6:51 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hang in there Molly. Kudos to you for talking about PPD, it is such a common experience for mothers and we too often la la la it away. One day at a time - Spring will come, and the veil will be lifted. Until then, lean on those around you.

6:54 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Kristin said...

Oh my dear goodness. I was there, I know. It took me six years to have a second child because I was so terrified that it would happen again and it did, and it was so unfair. I DID NOT SLEEP - for days, for weeks, I don't even know how long.

Someone that I barely knew emailed me to say that she understood - and that was something since I did my best the first time to hide it from everyone. Nothing has meant more to me than that statement.

I understand.

One day I will tell my girls how I walked away and said I'd never come back, but then I did, and I will be there for them if they need it in the same way that my husband and my family were there for me. I felt so robbed by it all, but your beautiful daughter - our beautiful girls - will be just fine. There is another side and we get there, even though we certainly can't see it for ourselves for awhile.

Thank you for sharing. I understand.

6:58 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Jen said...

You're so right. More people should talk about it. I had it with both my children and it was debilitating in a way I was totally unprepared for. I was a totally different person from the one who wanted these children to be here before they came out. It was scary, it was lonely, and it was real. With my second I ended up using medication instead of waiting it out (3 long months) with my first and one day I woke up and was myself again. My positive, happy to be alive and in love with both my children self.

Good for you, talking about it. My thoughts are with you and so many of us are out here, ready to listen.

6:59 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger b.mousli said...

Thanks for writing this post. It is so important to talk about this. Good luck on recovery journey, and your daughter is really beautiful..
Thanks for your blog.

6:59 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are so wonderfully kind and generous to acknowledge your vulnerability...that sweet baby is very lucky

6:59 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Kasey said...

Hi Molly, I just wanted to let you know that I've known many a woman to have suffered postpartum depression and as someone who went through a lot of emotional highs and lows as a teenager (and was also convinced that my best writing came at a time of unhappiness), the possibility of going through a similar experience has been at the back of my mind. I've actually been thinking about how I could mentally prepare myself for *the possibility* of being depressed after my baby arrives, which I am sure is silly. In any case, I am sure it is very difficult to see the other side of the tunnel, even if you tell yourself it's just your hormones, but I am glad that you are getting help and you at least know that your condition is only temporary. A big hug to you for being honest with yourself and for sharing your story with others who I am sure will benefit from reading your post. I'll see you on the other side soon, I know it. :)

7:03 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Allison said...

Look at your beautiful baby! Thank you for sharing your experience. My kids are older now, but I remember those days, and they were hard. I'm glad for you that you could ask for help and that it's helping. Hang in there!

7:03 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous sonya said...

Molly,
How gutsy of you to talk about this topic. Glad you are starting to feel better. And I'll bet this post will help more than a few other folks out there, as well, which is a really nice thing.
Such a sweet, lovely face with an impish smile under that mop of brown hair!

7:04 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Jen said...

She is so beautiful. You are finding your way and asking for help is an important and necessary teaching. Good for you for sharing about something many women experience but are unable to talk about.

7:04 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Melissa said...

Oh Molly - I'm so sorry you're going through it. Thank you for posting; it helps us all to know that we aren't alone or crazy and that there is help and things can be ok. Love to you, and Brandon, and your beautiful June.

7:09 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Navigating the Mothership said...

What a beauty!

And I, too, found myself dealing with PPD in addition to PPA after the birth of my second child. Part of it related to some minor but crappy life circumstances but a lot of it was exhaustion. I imagine if I had gotten more sleep in my pregnancy & in the first 6 months of my boy's life I would not have slumped as low as I did. And the other thing that was tricky for me in terms of recognizing PPD was that I never felt SO low. But certainly miserable, and I knew that I shouldn't be feeling miserable in my "happy" life. Anyway, I wrote a post about it if you are interested: http://navigatingthemothership.blogspot.com/2012/05/all-i-can-do-is-keep-breathing.html

I think sharing is good and helpful to so many others.

Hope you are feeling more joy and ease in your life very soon!

7:13 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've followed your blog for a couple of years, ever since I read "A Homemade Life". Without looking for it, I found your book in a bookstore about 3 weeks after I lost my mom to cancer in November 2010. The cover caught my eye and I love reading about food, so I flipped through the pages and immediately saw the chapter on mottling. I sat down in the bookstore and began to cry because I knew all too well the significance of that word and my grief was still very raw. I was definitely not expecting to find a book that talked about losing a parent to cancer in the cooking section of the bookstore, but I'm so grateful that I did. We're around the same age (I'm 33) and I was able to relate to so much of what you wrote about in the book. It was comforting.

I've never commented here before, but I wanted to say "thank you" for this post. My husband and I don't have kids, so I don't pretend to relate to what you're dealing with as far as the PPD. But I'm glad you posted this because it's nice to read some honesty. Too many people try to portray the perfect life online and it's not often that someone has the guts to say- "Hey, I'm going through something here and I need some help to find my way out". It's refreshing, it's honest, and it's human. Thanks for keeping it real. You never know who is reading and who you may have helped by sharing this experience. And your daughter's picture- gorgeous. Take care of yourself.

Tiffany

7:15 PM, January 05, 2013  
OpenID naivecookcooks said...

This too shall pass :)
I hope you recover soon and I wait to hear and read a lot more of your writing!! Your daughter is super cute, touchwood :)

7:36 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Nicole of all trades said...

I've been reading your blog off and on for 3 or 4 years. I'm so glad to see you take the risk to share your dealings with postpartum depression. My son is almost two years old, and I weathered postpartum depression (starting a little bit before he was born, actually) for most of his first 18 months. I had several fits of uncontrollable weeping, but like you said, it was more feeling pushed to the breaking point of overwhelmed than actually being sad. I loved my baby but I was filled with anxiety of all I had to do on my own (my husband was working and in school) to take care of him. Many people tried to tell me it would get better, but they were many people who had never experienced any type of depression, and it came off sounding like, "get over it" at the time. I am glad to tell you that it does get better, even if it's in ups and downs. The ups get higher and closer together, and the downs get shallower, too. :)

7:40 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Lily said...

Almost 32 years ago, my daughter surprised me by arriving a month early. Although she was healthy and we were able to take her home right away, she needed to nurse every two hours...not much sleep and very sore nipples. After a month, I was a basket case. Everything was gray fog. But I did get through it. It does get better. I'm glad you're getting help--always a good bet to talk about it with someone. And getting your feelings outside of yourself by writing them down is theraputic. Keep reaching out and keep writing!

7:40 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Lola said...

Like many who commented, I have been faithfully reading your blog for a certain number of years and have very rarely commented. Today, I come out of internet anonymity to say thank you and bravo to be so courageous. There is another side - you are almost there -, it's nobody's fault (but the hormones', maybe), and writing about it with so simple and humble words is a gift to many.
Now, I have to say AWWWWW, you have the most beautiful little girl ever!!!

7:59 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Hannah said...

Molly you are brave and wise as ever. It will pass - and you will ride the wave as you have so many others.

And that June is so stinking cute that it makes me smile every time I see her. What a wonderful photo! I'm glad that it seems you can recognize and appreciate the good all around you even in the throes of those deep dark hormones. Keep it up and you'll be through to the other side before you know it.

Be well! xo

8:04 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Kate @ Savour Fare said...

I had PPD with this go round and it completely blindsided me because I didn't have it with number one. I'm grateful to a friend of mine for pointing it out to me, and my husband for taking it seriously enough to call my doctor for me ( since I was too overwhelmed). I got medication (low dose Wellbutrin. - I call them my happy pills) and it helped tremendously. I was able to enjoy the baby and bond with him. Anyway, I've been there, it sucks, and I'm glad you're on the way out and can enjoy your darling daughter.

8:25 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Molly - I was never diagnosed but looking back I think I must have been flirting with PPD - I look at pictures of the time my boy was between 2 and 6 months and see my smiling face and can't remember feeling that way on the inside. He was my joy and I was terrified of all the things that could happen to him. It does get better and take advantage of everyone who offers help. There are better and brighter days ahead. Good luck with your gorgeous girl.

8:25 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger amy cleary said...

I am also a regular reader who has never before commented. Again, like so many others, I am saying thank you for talking about this so openly. A close friend had postpartum depression and the feeling that "no one can know" made things even harder for her at the time she needed all support possible.

8:26 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Eileen said...

Yes, absolutely this is temporary, and I'm so glad you asked for help, and chose to share with the world. too many of us keep the important things secret, which leaves us all feeling more alone. As a food lover, you might enjoy browsing this website about treating depression through food choices: http://www.rebuild-from-depression.com/

8:35 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous kiki said...

I've been there, and it sucked. And the hardest part about it all is the way in which you feel so overwhelmed so that even the most minimal of self-care (like getting help) seems too much. I'm glad it wasn't for you. I think we aren't honest enough with new mothers about how hard and isolating and lonely the work of motherhood often is. Other people have walked this path. And it does get better.

I'm due with #2 any day now. And I am worried. I've also resolved to find help this time, as soon as I need it. I'm afraid of the shadow, but unwilling to let it steal the sun, you know?

Hugs to you.

8:46 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for having the courage to write about this. I am due in June, and I am worried that I am liable to get this. If I do, I will be sure to come back here and reread this.

8:49 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Fran said...

I love that you had the courage to post this! I had my first baby about a month after June was born (I was rather envious when I read your post announcing her birth ;-)). While I haven't experienced depression I have found that many of the books meant to help romanticize the entire experience from pregnancy to delivery to nursing to learning to care for this person in a way that is unhelpful, unrealistic, and can easily make a "normal" person think they have a problem for having struggles or not enjoying every bit of it. So thanks for sharing when things aren't perfect, I'll be praying for you and Brandon and June.

8:50 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Dahlia said...

Oh, Molly, what a beautifully human post, so perfectly expressed and punctuated with photos. That last one of June is so, so gorgeous. Hang in there.

8:54 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger jen said...

You are a brave woman. Thank you.

8:58 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Kirsten said...

Thank you, Molly. Writing and talking about it makes a difference...for both you and for your readers. Thank you for being honest and straightforward about how it's going. Someone else will be able to do the same because you did and you just never know how big the ripples of a post like this might be.

9:06 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Keri said...

Thank you for writing so honestly about this weight. Motherhood, while it's often portrayed as one long joyous journey, is so difficult and asks you to be creative and energized all the time. It's overwhelming even for those like me who've never been diagnosed with PPD. I have two daughters and am a much more anxious person than I ever was before they were born.
When they were still small, I knew friends with PPD, and saw them get help, and witnessed big changes when the depression lifted. It's so wonderful you've decided to get help and to talk about it. More of us could learn from you.
Meantime, you can continue to share any pictures of June that you would like. What a bundle of sweetness!

9:52 PM, January 05, 2013  
Blogger Anne said...

Thanks for your bravery and honesty in writing this post. No-one talks about postpartum. I was completely unprepared when it happened to me with my first child. Even now I feel so alone and ashamed in my experience. None of the other mothers share stories of anything like what happened to me. The heart racing, the insomnia, the crying, and helplessness. It took 11 months before I got help and it didn't go away or get better in all that time. It nearly destroyed my marriage. I wish I'd known what was going on sooner and had help sooner. The antidepressant worked. I felt like myself again. Not over the top happy or drugged, just normal. And I could sleep again! Such a relief. After a year I was able to stop the medication. Now expecting our second child I know the signs to watch for and am determined to get help much sooner if I need it. I want to enjoy the first year of my child's life, not look back on a blur of deep exhaustion and sadness. I want to bond with my baby right away and not have that taken away like it was last time. If only more people talked about postpartum openly, I might have known what was happening sooner and not been so ashamed to get the help I needed. Thank you for sharing your story. You are not alone. It does get better from here. I needed so much to hear another parent say that with my first baby. It's true.

9:59 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous sacha said...

I was in constant awe- and often tears which felt joyful to me- after my first child was born. I felt like I was overwhelmed with a sense of wonder, and of duty. I also felt simultaneously as though I had joined a club of womanhood that I was meant to join and that I was alone on a new journey. My husband was both absent from our home and the big new deal of it and opinionated about everything to do with parenting and with breastfeeding and with... My mother pushed for medication. My husband teased me saying that people could be talking about avocados and I would burst into tears- which, while true, didn't help me at all. I remember being so consumed by my new role and all that I didn't realize that I shouldn't be bleeding six weeks later- it turned out to be a piece of calcified placenta had to be removed. Finally, there was a moment- I can really pinpoint this- when my emotionality became recognizable and I emerged. I remember taking the trash out and, on my return through the yard, I looked up, breathed in the evening and I had a very clear thought that my baby was wonderful and that I was going to be OK. Thank you for sharing- know that you're not alone and will put through it.

10:14 PM, January 05, 2013  
Anonymous Susan said...

Oh Molly, you so aren't alone... becoming a mother is amazing but often overwhelming and difficult. But yes, it does pass. Everything is a phase. Hang in there. We're all rooting for you and are sure you are doing an amazing job mothering.

And, damn, that is one BEAUTIFUL baby girl you have.

12:11 AM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger Merisi said...

Dearest Molly,
I am so relieved to hear that you got proper help!
And thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for opening your heart and mind and writing about this vicious affliction that hits us mothers in a moment of our life when we least expect it.
I wish you all the support and love you need and deserve,
Merisi

12:45 AM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous Jessica said...

Thank you. It does get better, and I am so glad that you have found help. All the best. Oh, and what a delicious Une she is!

12:50 AM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger Emmsyo said...

xxxxxxxx

1:04 AM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous Joanna said...

It seems (at least often to me) that too few people talk about the things in life that aren't shiny and happy and perfect and while those things are less fun to talk about, they are real and honest and true and very much a part of life. And I think it helps just to talk about those times - for ourselves and for others.

I don't have any experience of PPD but I know something of the overwhelming and the seemingly insurmountable and for what it's worth just asking for help and talking about these feelings openly shows such courage I feel sure that you will get the better of those damned hormones soon.

If I didn't live thousands of miles away, I'd offer to bring over soup or bake cookies or, you know, whatever but I'm so glad that you have people around you to take care of those things and I'm just going to send love and the very best of wishes to you all, Molly, Brandon and June.

1:27 AM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous Ellen said...

I'm so glad you figured out what was going on! I haven't had a kid, but I have dealt with depression and being able to acknowledge that there is a problem and then get the motivation to get help can be half the battle...

1:51 AM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous june2 said...

My friend had severe PPD, and for what it's worth I'll share a few things I remember from our conversations. Among many other insights she came to think that the birth and reality of dealing daily with so much responsibility was simultaneously hugely anti-climactic and overwhelming. And it depressed her that no one had prepared her for it. Yes, the love and connection is monumental, but we ended up believing PPD was a sort of serotonin deficit created by the whole experience of overwhelm and sleep deprivation that left her depleted. To support this theory, she ate seratonin rich foods, like edamame and buckwheat and took a supplement called 5-htp from NOW foods. She wanted to avoid chemical drugs.

Women have been doing this since the dawn of time, yet we haven't shared with each other enough about the mixed emotions and and sheer effort of will having a child requires, so that we are all fully mentally prepared. So weird. Thank You for doing it. Sending love and light.

PS: another friend said she would not have been able to do the first few months without a doula who came Every Day to help. I think we need a lot of support and as helpful as a husband may be, unless he has Swedish paternity leave, he is unlikely to be there during the day when you need company and support. A doula you connect with seems imperative.

2:46 AM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger Michele said...

Thinking of you and sending you good thoughts.

4:08 AM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous Elise H said...

Like many others, I read your blog religiously but never feel compelled to comment until now. It took me a while to realize that I was depressed after the birth my oldest son. I hated breast feeding and felt ashamed for feeling that way. He was a needy, cranky baby and there were times that I did not want to have him near me. I felt sad, alone, and a failure for not loving my son or even really liking him. After a few weeks I gave up breastfeeding and felt better.
When my youngest son was born, I soon realized that I was in the grip of PPD. He was a happy bouncy baby who smiled all the time. I was an unhappy mother who felt that she could barely handle a two year old and certainly felt overwhelmed with an infant. I knew that I was well-educated, and had a lot of support around me, yet I used to tell my husband that I could understand how some people could harm their children even without truly meaning to. Sleep deprivation, hormones, the overwhelming responsibility of caring for two people who completely depended on me just stopped me in my tracks. I worried about their future, I worried that I was about to scream. I worried that I could not do it. I worried, and worried, and then got some help. I realized later that I was in a fog and after some time the fog had cleared and I could go back to loving my children, my family, and my life.
My boys are 20 and 17 and I can honestly say that I grew up with them. I am also grateful for the PPD in many ways as it made me a more compassionate person (though i thought of myself as compassionate before). I had more patience, appreciated things more, and have tried to let the small things slide.
Most importantly, as you can see from the many comments, we hear you and we are here for you.

5:09 AM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous Victoria said...

She is some gorgeous baby. What a combination of the two of you.

This is really a wonderful post, and you are a dear and very special person for sharing this part of your story, which will go a LONG way to helping a lot of people.

Real clinical depression is a strange and scary entity. Obviously, there are things to get depressed about. It wouldn't be right if you didn't - the death of your dad, September 11th, etc., etc., etc. But when you find yourself suffering from depression when you think you should be just the opposite - happy, it's frightening and overwhelming and might even be something you don't want to tell anyone about.

So thanks, Molly, for living out loud. You're the best

5:17 AM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous Calantha said...

I have never experience postpartum depression (I'm childless) and don't know anyone who has, but I want to say how absolutely grateful I am that you posted this. For those who might be suffering similar symptoms and not knowing, for those who know they have postpartum, and for those who survived the ordeal--just knowing there are others out there can sometimes be a most comforting and inspiring thing. So thank you. It takes courage.

And your darling June just might be the prettiest baby I've ever seen.

5:34 AM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger Erin said...

So glad you are sharing what is real. Also, I think perhaps it is not so much that we write better when we are sad (like you said) but I know at least for me it is that I best process things by writing when I am sad.

6:23 AM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous Allie said...

Molly, thank you for being brave and honest and sharing this with your readers! Getting it out into the universe lightens your load.

6:34 AM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous Katie said...

Oh, she is so beautiful! I have two boys who are now 6 & 5. I wasn't diagnosed with post partum, but I remember so clearly sobbing at my second son's 1week appointment. I think that the doctor kept an eye on me and within a few more weeks the severity of EVERYTHING lessened. With both boys, those newborn months were so intense. And sometimes painful. There is just such a huge shift. I really don't do well wit change, how did I not see all that difficulty coming. But I can see so clearly now - almost the way you can look back on adolescence angst- and see how really hard it was. But also that it didn't stay that way. Today it's really lovely. Most of the time! And it has been for a while. Hang in there.

6:34 AM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger Christine said...

Oh my the hormones! As I holed up in my newborn's nursery, crying out hormones in that ugly, wracking way every evening at 7 p.m., I feared this was how postpartum would manifest for me. Thankfully, three nights later, the hormone leak wrapped itself up, and there was only one person — and a person who could sleep — left rattling around in my brain anymore.

Not that newborns aren't overwhelming most of the time anyway. But. I was much more prepared for the hormones the second time around. And in case you were wondering, they knew I was prepared and changed their game.

I'm so glad you have help. June is such a beauty, and you'll be better able to enjoy her. It's terrifying and great how quickly you'll be looking back at all of this.

6:54 AM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger AmyC said...

Writing is such a powerful thing. Never more so then those points in your life that are grey. I have always been a writer, but when I found myself a mother of two under two and caring for my ailing mother, it was writing that kept my head above water. I needed a place that was happy and upbeat and could escape the despair I felt watching my mother wilt away. It has been three and a half years since she died. Now, writing is taking a new role in my life. It is helping me articulate where things are now. My children are both in school and my mother is rarely mentioned in my daily life. I suppose most people don't really remember her or the years that I was caring for her Life is not what I expected as a child, but it is still beautiful in its own way. I have survived things I never thought I could. I am different, but I am happy and I am loved.

6:59 AM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger AmyC said...

(....sorry, my comment posted before I was finished.) I think that there is a place for private and public writing when you are in these desperate points in your life. I admire your courage in sharing these times in a public form. It is making a difference. Thank you for your words and your story.

7:02 AM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous melissab said...

o, molly, so glad you shared this.
i'm glad you sought help, etc.
sleep deprivation is tough, too, with newborns. have you considered doing yoga? it helps me to be more balanced, sleep well, and much more, of course. if you could find a good teacher and fit it in here and there with mothering/restauranting/writing, it could be very helpful.
xo, melissa
p.s. she's so cute!

7:11 AM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous SarahB said...

Molly, I am really sorry you're going through this. As is my husband, who knew exactly who you were when I said "the Ed Fretwell soup lady" and who also cooed over the photo of June.

I did not get PPD, but I remember the strangest experience, almost like seeing the opening of a dark path in a wood. It hovered around for a few days, and while I didn't go down it, I saw just how easily the situation could be a little different and I would--and that there wouldn't have been any choice about it. It was scary, and I'm sorry that you're there and glad you have people and resources to guide you out of it.

7:13 AM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous karen said...

I had my second just 2 months ago & FEEL YOU on this. I had postpartum depression much worse with my first, so I was better prepared this time around.

It does get better. June is lovely.

I also think there's something to be said for the transition between 'maiden, mother, crone' that can be painful - and part of becoming a new mother is letting that go.

7:33 AM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. I'm going through something similar (but pre-partum) and appreciate you sharing your story.

7:35 AM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got all upsett over nothing after the delivery of our only child, my neighbor a clinical psychologist suggested subtlly something was wrong, I sought help, oh my goodness it helped me. We only had one baby doll and she is nearing 36 used to live in Seattle and is a foodie..She never wants kids and is crazy about others babies, but never her. She said all the babysitting when in junior high and college was enough for her, she thought it an enormous amount of strain, in that she loves to work in films and travels all around the world and would not give it up for a tiny dolly like your JUNE, who in my opinion has to be the cutest I ever seen in about nearly 36 years since our only childs birth.Me I am swooning over her picture, I help at a food pantry and hold the babies, diaper them, love on them while their parents get food for themselves and dine with their toddlers and other children. I am thankful to remember to go to your blog I forgot the name for a while..but I love your writings they are so how can i say it REAL, plus you live in Seattle where we love to visit our only dolly lived there for 5 years, many friends, and a boy who is still smitten for her, he has only known her since Kindergarten, can you imagine. Happy New Year, Happy writings, Happy Happy and beautfiul baby JUNE and your hubbs Brandon sounds like a doll too. peace out!

7:55 AM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous Magda said...

Thank you for your sincerity, Molly. I wish you get better soon. hang on in there.

8:12 AM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a beautiful little bundle of joy to help bring this sad period of your life to a close!!!

8:13 AM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Kudos to you, Molly, for being able to talk about this, for recognizing that what you are going through is a real thing. Back in my day it was so different. Glad you are getting the help you need and can enjoy that beautiful baby girl. Love to you all.

9:05 AM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger Bow Street Flowers said...

A woman began coming into my flower shop a few months ago with her new baby. She and her husband had moved into a recently renovated condo building. She would always stay for at least a 1/2 hour, asking questions, praising this or that. On her third or fourth visit, I became a little annoyed because she seemed to be clinging to the corners of the shop and reluctant to leave. She was very sweet, and after she left I began to realize that she was having trouble. I never had PPD, but I had worried that I would.

Her visits became less frequent and I tried to be attentive when she came in and make her feel welcome. (I felt like a jerk being annoyed with her previously). I'll bet lots of women go through this with no diagnosis and look for relief in libraries, gift shops, flower shops or museums. I think she's better now.

9:20 AM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous Laura. said...

i've never had a baby, so i do have a period every month, and even with that. . . hoo, boy! almost every time THE HORMONES do try to pull that wool over my eyes like a big hat. they are so tricky, and depression in general is also tricky. so good to hear from you, as always. you will make it! thanks for sharing so honestly and articulately. you are amazing. and june. that FACE. man, so sweet.

9:22 AM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger Diana vW said...

So good of you to share this. It happened to me too, a long time ago, and it wasn't something one shared in those days. Thought I was just a horrible person and mother. I also quit smoking the first time I nursed my baby girl, and that made me bonafide crazy. That and being housebound for the first time! It led to me cooking hundreds and hundreds of crepes in three hot iron pans, and because my friends were intrigued and wanted to learn, so I began cooking classes in my kitchen that led authoring seven bestselling cookbooks and my own cooking show. I look at it all now as one of my two life-altering times of what I call "dark beauty." You are a woman who has inspired me greatly, and your life ahead is is, as Oprah says, " . . . so bright it burns my eyes!" Hang in there, beautiful!

9:28 AM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger Susan Parran said...

Thank you for speaking so openly about an issue often misunderstood in our society. Talking about post-partum depression openly and honestly can only serve to help other as you find your own way thru it.

9:37 AM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous Linda said...

June is radiant! Blessings to you as you navigate this exhausting time.

Joy and despair, well remembered. I had my one and only when I was 42. Had such difficulty with breast-feeding and dealing with it all that a friend flew from the Chicago area to eastern Virginia to help me out in a way my husband couldn't. And the hormones! A week after we got home, I threw the covers off the bed. I was absolutely burning up! Within a minute or so I was so chilled that my teeth were chattering involuntarily. No one had mentioned that such things could happen.

Seek whatever you need to help you. Adore June whenever you are able, send her blesssings when you're just not up to adoring. Both of you will make it through. Sending love your way.

9:39 AM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had what I realize now must have been ppd after my daughter was born a year and half ago. I was so surprised at the way I felt fearful and exactly the word you used, overwhelmed and not sad exactly. I remember not wanting to be alone EVER for several weeks. It faded somehow, thankfully. Glad you have support to help get you through, you will. June is beautiful (as you know).

9:48 AM, January 06, 2013  
OpenID girlseeksplace said...

I don't have kids, so I can't even fathom what it must be like to feel that weight sitting on you for so long.

But, as with anything, it will get better. Nothing is forever, even though it might feel like it. June is gorgeous. You'll come out of this braver and stronger than you thought possible.

9:52 AM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger Ckipps said...

Sure enough, not a lot of women talk about this, altho Brooke Shields actually broke through the silence and wrote a book about postpartum depression.I suffered from it, as well as clinically diagnosed "sleep deprivation" and was ordered to have, among other things, two weeks of bed rest. Women need to speak up about these health things that are NOT our fault -- just part and parcel of being women. Three years after the birth of my second son, at the age of 38, I was diagnosed with PMDD, and will likely suffer from the symptoms until menopause (in about 3 years). I joke that I'm the only woman in America looking forward to menopause, but I know that's not even true. Molly, you belong to a wonderful club of mothers. Stay strong, keep your eye on the important stuff, take deep breaths, and you'll still be writing (mostly) about happy stuff.

10:03 AM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger jora said...

I was diagnosed with depression after I weaned my second child and was pregnant with my third. I felt so alone until I started talking (and blogging a bit) about it, and then I was overwhelmed by support and stories of other women who had come out the other side. I know that your sharing here will give you some of the support you need and will help others too. Joanna of A Cup of Joe wrote about her PPD too awhile back....

10:06 AM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh my gosh....from one new mommy to another, thank you for having the courage to write about it so sincerley! It is very touching and very relieving to know you are not alone.

Sending you lots of mommy encouragement and support!

10:13 AM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger Chris Chambers said...

I just wanted to say that I just found your blog and love your writing. I don't have experience with PPD, but know some friends who did and there is light at the end of the tunnel... Stay strong. (And your baby is adorable!!--But your know that.)

10:17 AM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger Julie Luek said...

I read a quote recently that all art has its roots in sadness. It was made by someone fairly well-known in the writing world. I don't buy it. But I do believe we discover humility, insights, compassion and even joy in adversity. I applaud your courage and self-awareness to pursue help when you needed it and rather than deny the emotions, embrace them so you can keep embracing life. We call that...wisdom.

10:23 AM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger Sara said...

Molly, thanks for sharing this. Joanna Goddard did the same thing a while back
http://joannagoddard.blogspot.com/2012/02/motherhood-depression-and-weaning.html

You are a good sharer, of your full life, even parts like this that we all know and hope will be not only temporary but short lived. The motto in my family is 'ever onward'.. and so it will be for you and your new family too.

10:23 AM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous ladycourage4@lycos.com said...

Dear Molly: FEAR NOT !!!!!


I suffered through Postpartum Depression forty years ago. There were several monstrous things going on at the same time. The odds were really stacked against me and my baby, Joshua. My baby had his days and nights mixed up, we lived with my in-laws, and this meant that every time during the night the he needed to be asleep, he was not, and I would walk him in my arms most of the night to keep the crying at a minimum. I had felt that my son would sleep during the day, and I would just sleep at the same time. This was not to be.....Though my husband was gone during the day, everytime I tried to sleep, my mother-in-law would make me get up to do household chores, even ironing my new husband's underwear and socks. I was in a state of total exhaustion, and the few times during the night my son would finally sleep, my husband would try to strangle me to death, as he had just returned from Vietnam, had PTSD, would dream I was a prostitute trying to kill him, and he earnestly felt he was trying to survive death. I did not just have Post Partum Depression, EVEN SO, PROPER TREATMENT AND SUPPORT HEALED ME !!!!! Do NOT be afraid. Of course to save the life of my son, and myself, I fled the violence and frequent danger of death. Post Partum Depression is terrible, but it DOES go away with therapy and medications. Talking about really helps, and there is probably a support group, locally (some that you can bring your baby to). Never fear, God loves you, and will help you through this.
Your baby, June is beautiful and well worth the effort it takes to seek help. God Bless you, Dear. Love, Mary.

10:33 AM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had postpartum depression for a year after my baby was born. I was never diagnosed, but was so glad to have figured it out and have an explanation for feeling so down that first year. Thank you for sharing your story.

I have to say, June is an exceptionally adorable baby! Congratulations!

10:34 AM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger Payal Shah said...

First hooray for a new post, before I read it. Exciting beyond belief.

10:44 AM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing-that was brave and honest. Many new mothers will feel relief after reading this.
You will get through it-take one day at a time and the best part is that you recognize it for what it is.

The baby is beautiful. I hope she brings you much joy and less sleep deprivation.

This will pass....trust me, I have 4 kids and with each one, I had my ups and downs.
I look forward to the next post.

10:47 AM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger Sanderella said...

Kudos to you for sharing. I'm not a mom myself, but I've often wondered why everyone doesn't go through that - so much is changing and so much is new once you have a kid. Take care of yourself and know that you don't have it do it all alone - don't be afraid to lean on others. I bet putting a name to it must have been such a relief. You'll get through it - just don't try to hurry it. You only need to take on one day at a time. Best wishes to you all.

10:48 AM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous MC said...

Hang in there & know you are doing a fabulous job. It will get easier.

10:50 AM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous gwyn said...

boy oh boy this was powerful. naming the beast is the first step towards slaying it. and you will. you ARE. i think PPD, or any kind of depression, is like a kind of quicksand. it's helpful, i think, to identify the branches you can reach for to lift you up. whether it's a thought or an item or a person or an activity--reach for the branch, hold on and breathe.

you helped a lot of people today. and i hope you find the floodgates of support have opened and you feel the love.

june is magical.

10:52 AM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger Payal Shah said...

Thanks for keeping it so real. It is inspiring. I could only imagine what you must be going through, keeping you in thoughts. Much Love - Payal

10:54 AM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger In the Farm Kitchen said...

Oh Molly, I'm sorry you are having a difficult time. It will pass. It will. When I first had my son some of the best advice I had was to give myself permission to let go of everything else and just focus on being a mama, because it's a hard job and is more than enough! Your baby is the most important thing right now (and that is okay!) As women we can be pulled in so many directions and be so overwhelmed. I don't know if you are feeling that way, but since that advice helped me I thought I'd pass it to you. Enjoy your gorgeous, sweet little love.

11:06 AM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger KatyBelle said...

Thank you for sharing this with us, Molly. Hopefully your honesty will be able to help others affected by postpartum.

11:14 AM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger Anne said...

I did not have postpartum depression. I had a major depression for the first six months of my second pregnancy. I cried and yelled and shouted and said and wished for some very horrible things. Then one day it was as if someone had lifted a shade and let in the beautiful light of great love and joy. I remember those feelings very well. My daughter was born with a birth defect and has Asperger's Syndrome. The guilt I felt after her birth was huge. I blamed myself and how I felt those first six months of pregnancy. I realize that none of this was my fault but those feelings were very real and I will always acknowledge them. I was thankful to have people close to me that I could talk to and I am so happy that you have the same. You are never alone. Many blessings to you and your wonderful family. Stay strong and keep faith in knowing this will pass and your love will be even bigger.

11:15 AM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous Amy said...

Molly. I wish we could go have a coffee. I'm not sure if you ever read my blog during early motherhood but I get it. Like you, I wanted to hear from other women who got it, from someone who would stop telling me to sleep when the baby slept because I couldn't, for people to stop telling me to cherish every moment when so many moments were so scary, and yes, to hear that it gets better.

Listen, it gets better. I won't say when exactly because I spent a whole hell of a lot of time waiting for a magic week or month when it would suddenly be 100% awesome all the time. It didn't get magically better at any particular week, but it got incrementally easier and easier and easier and more and more normal. The sleep eventually came back. And then one day you look back and realize you are in a very different, much better place.

I have a lot to say about this, anytime. And hey, I know from experience how good it can be to have friends in other time zones on those lonely sleepless nights.

11:44 AM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger Melissa S. said...

I also have some trouble with depression though a very low dose of Effexor has helped. It's difficult to explain to someone who doesn't have it since we think of sadness, but really, everything is OK. Depression for me is about being overwhelmed and feeling like I can't do anything--going to the store for cat food feels impossible, for example. I appreciate your honesty about this.

11:45 AM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger Jen said...

I just hope you continue to talk about it, seek out support and help, and realize it will pass. Maybe not as quick as you want, but one day it will go away. You will wake up and it will be gone and you will feel a sense of freedom and weight lifted. Mine was horribly severe after my third and I felt so alone - because for some reason it is not the easiest to share and I didn't tell a soul. Not my family, not my friends. I didn't want people asking me how I was every second of the day. And I look back at that period and I think "whoa", I should of asked for help. I should of told someone - maybe it wouldn't of lasted as long as it did. Being a mom consumes and we forget to take time for ourselves. I think if anything, the best thing is to just take time to yourself when you can. Get outside and breathe, go to the store by yourself. Sounds silly, but man I love going grocery shopping by myself. :)

11:45 AM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous Margaret Hogan said...

Ah ha, indeed. I had a very similar experience. And I said to a friend on Friday morning, 'I know I have never met Molly, but something in the way she has been quiet and in the way she's written the few posts since June is familiar to me. I think something is up and I think it might be ppd.' I was going to try to email you, to say hello. And say, just in case, me too. I'm glad you are getting help and that it is, in fact, helpful. I am cheering you on. I hope you'll write about it. I find that has helped me.
Blessings and wholeheartedness to you and baby June. And I really, really hope to meet you some day.
xo - Margaret and baby Ruby

11:52 AM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger Jen said...

Just chiming in....sometimes what helps is sheer volume. My cousin was diagnosed with post partum psychosis manifesting as mania and was hospitalized for a short time. Baby is two, mom is fine! Also, though not PPD per se, Cup of Jo wrote about feeling immensely sad for several months right before her period returned after having Toby...and lots of comments there, too!

12:20 PM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger Sara said...

I'm so glad you trust us all enough to share. Even without postpartum depression, many women just seem to feel like they can't admit that things aren't always gloriously perfect when you have a baby. It is hard. And we all have a LOT of feelings. And we have to get better at supporting each other so that we can enjoy those beautiful moments when the light is just so perfect...

1:00 PM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger Sara said...

OH ... and I read a really good article not long ago about all the NEW problems that can arrive when you wean. That hormone shift can also cause temporary depression.

1:01 PM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger Daryl Willmott said...

You are one very beautiful soul, thanks for it all.

1:18 PM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger Meghan said...

Molly, thank you. Thank you. I have been a long-time reader, but never commented. My daughter was born within a few days of your gorgeous June, and I too have been suffering with PPD/PPA for two months now. It also manifested itself - to start - as insomnia. Not sleeping when everyone else is (including the baby I'd just spent two hours trying desperately to get to sleep) made me feel so terribly lonely. Those long, dark hours were some of the worst of my life, followed closely by the isolation of the days after bad nights, being trapped in my house as I didn't trust myself to drive anywhere on no sleep. Though every new mama's situation is different, I just wanted to say that I understand, and thank you so very much for being strong enough and brave enough to write about it. I'm glad you're getting support, and glad (to quote Zoe Bartlett from the West Wing), that the help is helping. Hang in there.

1:21 PM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger Bookmumm said...

Am glad you have identified the problem and are getting some help. In many other cultures, new Mothers receive more support than in our typical situation. Glad you can write about this. Good to hear from you again.

1:34 PM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous Maureen said...

I suffered from this too a million years ago when I was your age. I realized that I hadn't been outside the house for weeks and that's definitely not me.

"There's little chance of getting through without help," my doctor said. I took the help and within a short time I was back to seeing the glass half full.

She is the most beautiful baby. With a bit of assistance the sadness and fog will lift and you'll be back to looking at life with joy.

2:05 PM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger Carrie said...

I hope that you feel better very very soon. Becoming a mom is such transformative work-- Your little girl is a picture of health and wellbeing. Though it may not feel this way to you, it's plain to see that you are a wonderful mama...

2:32 PM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous sara forte said...

oh, my dear. SO glad you wrote it down. This is the real stuff. The stuff that connects you to others and makes this weird blogging thing worthwhile. I have watched a good friend go through it and felt so useless, as I know it just needed time to pass - that hormones have minds of their own. It scared me, being as emotional as I am, and knowing it will likely happen to me. You are a champ. Thanks for being honest. I will be thinking of you and hoping you continue to come through it. xo

2:37 PM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous Melanie said...

Sending you a virtual hand squeeze. Very brave of you to write about this and share it with us. It makes a thing less scary when you talk about it. The best to you and your beautiful little girl.

2:48 PM, January 06, 2013  
OpenID highdivingboard said...

PPD kicked my ass, for the first ~5 months of my baby's life. It hit me while I was still in the hospital - they wouldn't let me check out because I couldn't stop crying. It took months but IT DID END. I didn't take meds - a decision I made with my doc - but if I feel the same way about my next future hypothetical baby, I probably will. PPD sucks, and it's hard, and I cried so, so much, but it got better. It really did. The baby's 10 months old and just a delight and I feel SO MUCH BETTER that there aren't even words. Good luck to you, and your adorable little girl.

3:01 PM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger Shelley said...

I'd wager the statistic would be higher than 1 in 10 if PPD were talked about more openly. I had my daughter in August and am just now starting to feel normal again. I felt totally in-over-my-head and terribly isolated staying at home by myself all day with a newborn but everyone told me it was just the "baby blues." I'm glad to hear that you're starting to feel better and thanks so much for your honesty.

3:02 PM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Molly-I so feel you on everything you said. I have a 9 month old and while I haven't been diagnosed with PPD the insomnia and anxiety that circle around me, coming and going, are enough to empathize so much. You are brave for posting this and I have found a lot of comfort in reading the comments of others--so thank you for that! It is so so good to hear from others on the "other side", and to feel a little less alone in this crazy world of early motherhood. Even with a very strong support system it is hard to see the "it will get better!" through the fog some days.

3:38 PM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger Kate said...

Holly,
As I am trying to give my toddler his morning tea, I HAD to respond to your comment. I have been there. Consumed by anxiety and worrying about the future and things that we simply cannot control. It is a strange feeling to be so in love with your baby and yet so simply overwhelmed by them - I can so relate to that! Just know Holly, that like Carol said, this too shall pass. One day you will go out with June and think to yourself, today is a great day! It WILL happen. You have got onto your PND early and that is great. Be kind to yourself and do whatever you need to do to get back on track and be the mum you so want to be. I know you are already doing a brilliant job, you just need to believe it! Love Kate x

3:53 PM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger Sarah Imboden said...

It does get easier. Thanks for writing this and for always being so honest about your experiences here.

3:54 PM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger Katie said...

Oh goodness, if that isn't the most darling photo. Not sure if you read up to the 160th comment ;), but in case you do, just one more vote of confidence from a mama who's also been there. x

3:56 PM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous Barbara said...

I am sorry to hear about your postpartum depression; it is real and I am glad that you are getting help for it.
Also, I recently made the pear ginger upside down cake from your recipe index, for New Year's Eve, and it was one of the best cakes I've ever had!! Barbara

4:22 PM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger Beth said...

Thank you for sharing. I did not have postpartum, but my mom did, and so have many of my friends. I did have a week of depression right before I gave birth, and it is scary and unsettling and I felt guilty for not being excited about my child. But it is important to get help, and I'm so glad you did, for yourself and for June, and I'm so glad you shared your story for all the other moms out there that have experienced this. For any mom out there fighting post partum, you are strong and brave and a wonderful mom because you are taking care of yourself. :)

4:35 PM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger BettyCupcakes said...

I wrote about my bout of post-partum depression here http://bettycupcakes.blogspot.com/2012/08/comfort-food.html It's a real thing and a scary thing, but it does get better. Love and peace to you.

4:36 PM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous Clojo said...

Thinking of you!

4:46 PM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous janet said...

Thank you for this and all your lovely writing. Blessings on the courage to speak up and find community and comfort, and on mamas and babies all over the world. Please, all of you with a suspicion or a diagnosis of PPD or just plain D, and those of you with babies generally, please pretty please get your thyroid levels checked. Simple bloodwork. Most insurance covers it. PPD (and plain D) and thyroid disorders are hard to tell apart in the dark, and can both produce quite a lot of dark--both are common and too often overlooked (new mamas, for example, are supposed to be tired or wired or out of sorts, goes the 'wisdom') and can be made so so so much better when they are handled. Blessings on you and your family and the way forward.

5:45 PM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger ebkr said...

A very thoughtful, helpful post, as I am certain that one of the great difficulties with PPD is feeling like it shouldn't be happening-- I mean you have an incredibly gorgeous baby, and a wonderful partner and what the heck, isn't everything supposed to be sunshine and rainbows? Glad you are looking back from the edge of it now. Hope each day continues to improve as you and your family thrive.

6:24 PM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger Meg said...

This is a piece of writing that you can be proud about for the rest of your life. Thank you for once again sharing 'your best stuff' with us. And, yes, as so many people have said, the motherhood thing does get so much better. I have struggled with it for sure. And when my second was not sleeping and I was working in a restaurant at night after mothering all day, often on 3 hours of sleep, it seemed like everything was falling apart. But it wasn't! Things are much better now and I am so in love with both my girls it hurts.
And June -- well, she is simply remarkable. Those eyes look right through you, and then the mouth that looks about to smile a droll smile.... Remarkable. What a person. Please don't hesitate to post more photos.
And one more thing to maybe make you feel better -- the Kim Boyce Cereal banana muffins!!! Yes!! We have made them over and over. My household thanks you. When I had a housefull of toddlers here for play group one time, several of the kids ate like FIVE mini-muffins apiece. I was as thrilled as their mothers were vaguely embarrassed!

7:17 PM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger Meg said...

This is a piece of writing that you can be proud about for the rest of your life. Thank you for once again sharing 'your best stuff' with us. And, yes, as so many people have said, the motherhood thing does get so much better. I have struggled with it for sure. And when my second was not sleeping and I was working in a restaurant at night after mothering all day, often on 3 hours of sleep, it seemed like everything was falling apart. But it wasn't! Things are much better now and I am so in love with both my girls it hurts.
And June -- well, she is simply remarkable. Those eyes look right through you, and then the mouth that looks about to smile a droll smile.... Remarkable. What a person. Please don't hesitate to post more photos.
And one more thing to maybe make you feel better -- the Kim Boyce Cereal banana muffins!!! Yes!! We have made them over and over. My household thanks you. When I had a housefull of toddlers here for play group one time, several of the kids ate like FIVE mini-muffins apiece. I was as thrilled as their mothers were vaguely embarrassed!

7:18 PM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous Amanda P said...

This new mama stuff, it is HARD. Good for you for seeing clearly and doing what you need to do to enjoy that gorgeous babe! What a sweet, sweet face she has!!

7:34 PM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger Shari Steelsmith Duffin said...

I didn't recognize it either. Denial, I guess. I just did not consider myself prone to depression, so didn't see it as that. Finally asked for help. It worked. :)

Beautiful, beautiful baby you have there.

8:08 PM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Molly dear. I have not had PPD, but I have suffered from relentless major depression since I was 4 (am
now 59). I can honestly say that I would not be alive
without antidepressants. So don't be afraid of
medication, and know that with treatment and
support , this too will pass. As for Miss June-Bug, it
is very obvious from the photograph that this little
one is THRIVING. So don't worry about your having
PPD hurting your baby - she is fine. Just go ahead and do what you need to do, and one day (soon, I
hope!) the sun will shine again. Much Love, Susan

8:35 PM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful post.
Beautiful woman.
And you are truly a great writer.
Thank you for this post

9:01 PM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous Ashley said...

Beautiful, Molly. It's so very brave to open up about it. We women try to be so brave but it's vulnerability that is really the brave move.

9:03 PM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarah, I read your comment and immediately identified. I am newly pregnant now and terrified. Is it worth it? Does the foxy to frumpy change (physical and spiritual) reverse? Is being a mother transcendentally beautiful or not all it's cracked up to be? I have so many fears about loss of self.

9:09 PM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger Erica said...

Thank you for your honesty and bravery! I had ppd after my second child and told myself for way way way too long "it will get better, just keep trying and it will get better". I still see pics of those times and its all a fog. I wouldn't remember a lot of it if there weren't pictures to remind me of things we did and places we went. Such dark days, overwhelmed doesn't begin to describe. Antidepressants helped me get my feet back under me and eventually I discovered I also had hypothyroid. Wouldn't hurt to get that checked if you haven't already. As soon as I discovered and treated that, it was like the lights came back on! Life was still busy but manageable. KNOW that you will find your way back to yourself

9:24 PM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous Lara said...

I have to join the chorus of "thank you"s. I started following your blog just before I became pregnant with our first, and he was born four days after June. He is beautiful, healthy, hilarious, and everything we ever dared to wish for, my husband is wonderful, our life is great, and I also recently had to admit that I was being sucked under by PPD. It's humbling, and at first I was really ashamed. It's been so helpful to me to hear from other moms about their dark moments, to be reassured that I'm not alone and that I'm not a terrible person for not being happy all the time.

Your daughter is gorgeous. She loves you and knows you love her. Congratulations on being such a wonderful mother that you were strong enough to get help.

9:39 PM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger Sarah said...

Hi Molly,

PEPS is really big in Seattle, and although most moms/couples sign up before birth, I highly recommend trying to get into a group. It is a group of families who have babies born within a few weeks of each other in your neighborhood. A facilitator forms groups based on birth dates, and you meet once a week to discuss a given topic, or anything you need. Resources and support are right there for you. My experience with two different PEPS groups is that if you need outside resources, there is support for that as well.

9:42 PM, January 06, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never had a child, which is a whole other subject for review/reason to feel bad, so while I cannot fully understand your feelings, I thank you for sharing them. Your book touched a lot of feelings in me about the loss of my father and knowing that someone else was having a similar experience was a blessing. I hope that sharing was for you then and can be again a source of blessing, as is that beautiful baby. May you find peace as your body acclimates to new and different jobs and may your mind find an equilibrium in the many new things it is called on to do. Blessings on you and yours and thank you for the gift of sharing.

9:52 PM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger Windsor Meyer said...

I cannot tell you how glad I was to read this post.

My son is only six weeks old, and I've felt totally blindsided by the onslaught of emotions I've been feeling. I remember people talking about how hard it is, but no one ever told me that I would feel totally betrayed by myself, my emotions, my hormones. Now that I've opened up to other mom friends about how rough of a go I've been having I've heard so many stories that sound just like mine. But, I feel like we should be talking about it ahead of time. So, thank you. Thank you for your openness and honesty. It's really so crucial to know that you're not alone.

And, yeah, she really is adorable.

11:49 PM, January 06, 2013  
Blogger Žiupsnelisdruskos said...

Your little girl is so cute!!! Honestly, the most beautiful baby i've ever seen!

I hope you will feel better soon Molly dear. I dont have any experience with depression but I know the sensation of feeling completely and totally overwhelmed when you’re supposed to be very happy. It feels wrong and you feel guilty and stupid and useless and a burden and so on and so forth. Silly human brain!!!

Hope it passes away soon!

xx

2:12 AM, January 07, 2013  
Blogger KnitOne, PearlOnion said...

Postpartum depression is overwhelming and you did the right thing....you reached out. Thank you for sharing your story. It is not something to be ashamed of, rather, it confirms we are all delicate and human...just like that beautiful little baby you hold, feed and nuture.

3:13 AM, January 07, 2013  

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