Since having children, I find my life is often measured in firsts and lasts.
First poopy diaper, first bath, first words. First steps, and a first day of school.
Last swaddle, last bottle, last diaper.
Each milestone a testament to the bittersweet passage of time, and a common experience among all new mothers.
And then some unique to 15% of us.
First intrusive thought. First time I screamed at my baby.
Last time I felt like myself.
My time as a new mother is marred by these moments. Like scars, they fade with time but will never disappear altogether.
First antidepressant pill. First therapy session.
I can accurately recall dates for the onset of each depressive episode and panic attack. Appointments for hospital visits and therapy sessions are buried in my phone’s archive. At times it seems that the history of these 5 years is written in the margins of patient files and on the labels of pill bottles.
But as I look back at my journey through PPD, I find moments of light.
First tweet to Lauren Hale.
First visit to Postpartum Progress.
Last time feeling alone.
I wish I could remember which link brought me to Postpartum Progress…that I could point to a date or a website or a moment and bring back the relief I know I must have felt when someone finally told me I was not a bad mother. I was not a freak.
First blog post.
And though I know I deserve credit for all the hard work of recovery, the simple truth is that I could not have done it without my tribe. I would not be who I am today without Postpartum Progress, without Katherine Stone.
Last baby. First joyful birth.
Because of Katherine, I found the doctors I needed to finally have the pregnancy and postpartum period I never knew was possible. Because of Postpartum Progress, I discovered a tribe of women just like me, whose strength and courage filled me when I had none of my own.
First time meeting Katherine.
Last doubt of my calling as an advocate.
And as she has morphed from a Bono-like celebrity in my eyes to a mentor, resource, teammate, and finally friend, I have constantly found myself honored by her presence in my life.
When I think of her impact on my life and multiply it by the TEN YEARS she been advocating for women and families, I am inspired to do more and be more. You see, Katherine’s gift is that she doesn’t just help women like me. She doesn’t only provide them with resources and information. She empowers them.
With Katherine by my side, I find myself grateful for where PPD has led me and who it has helped me become. So when I tell her “thank you,” that really doesn’t even begin to cover it.
She didn’t just save my life. She gave me a new one.
July 13th marks the 10th anniversary of Postpartum Progress. YOU can help moms just like me by donating to the non-profit by clicking HERE.
You can read other Diamond Anniversary Blogathon posts soon! Link is coming!