Written Stories

Vanessa Benson

I am a 31 year old mom of 2 boys. I had postpartum depression with anxiety and panic after the birth of my second son 2 years ago. I had experienced some baby blues with my first son, but it dissipated once my son started sleeping through the night. My second son's birth hit me like a train.

Read more ...

Ellie Berkowitz Handler

I often feel like I could be the poster child for postpartum anxiety. During the past 7 ½ years, I have had three children and with each birth, had entirely different experiences. With all of my pregnancies, I felt really incredible emotionally. Aside from the early nausea and light headedness, I felt energetic, excited and happy for my babies to arrive. I ran or cycled daily, and was able to multi-task all of the components of my life with ease. Then postpartum, things changed rapidly.

Read more ...

Jessica Burton

Mental illness is something that’s pretty much always been in my life.  Either in the forefront or as a shadow behind me, it has been a constant presence.  A close family member of mine has struggled with anxiety his entire life, and the disease has landed him in the hospital multiple times.  And, tragically, my best childhood friend committed suicide when we were freshmen in college.  Personally, I had also struggled with mild depression and anxiety since childhood, so I knew I was not immune.

Read more ...

Jennifer Carney

I'm reasonably sure that the person who originally coined the phrase about crying over spilled milk never spent any time hooked up to a breast pump. They probably did not pump for 4 weeks while their premature infant was hooked up to all manner of monitors in a NICU 15 miles down the road. I would also guess that it's safe to assume that the spilled milk was not tinged pink with blood from cracked nipples. There are times when it is perfectly okay - in fact necessary - to cry over spilled milk.

Read more ...

Belinda Costa

I had longed for a third baby for many, many years.  When my second child was almost 3, I got pregnant, but sadly miscarried at 10 weeks.  After the miscarriage (which was due to a hormone abnormality), my cycles became irregular for the next year.  I finally got them regulated through medication and became pregnant very quickly.  I was initially very excited and could not wait to meet my third baby. I struggled through the sickness and exhaustion of the first trimester.  However, I felt strange right away.  My mood began to sink and I sometimes had suicidal thoughts. I thought this was strange because I was happy and having a great time with my kids.  I also began to have trouble sleeping.  Not that this is unusual for a pregnant woman, but the sleep was peppered with an anxiety. I began to wonder how I would manage three kids and how I would survive the babyhood of another child. I began to contemplate terminating the pregnancy.  But by this point, I was 20 weeks and the option of terminating seemed to have come and gone.

Read more ...

Martha Escudero

My name is Martha Escudero.  I am a mother of two loving girls - almost 6 year old Victoria and 3 year old Meztli.  I currently work as a case manager doing home visits for high risk mothers in the East Los Angeles area. I had postpartum depression with my first daughter but during my second pregnancy my anxiety and depression was so strong it almost knocked me over.

Read more ...

Karen Flores

My story of postpartum depression is deeply personal, so much so that I have not shared the details with anyone. For approximately the first year of my child’s life, I was ashamed and fearful that I was emotionally unstable and not able to adequately take care of my baby, or, worse hurt her intentionally. This fear and anxiety came on me days after I brought my daughter home from the hospital. I was traumatized by the birth, but that was nothing compared to weeks and months that followed.

Read more ...

May Gibbs

I am not a doctor, a psychologist, a spiritual leader, or a high profile anyone. I am a mother. I am a wife. I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am a friend. I am a survivor of perinatal mood disorders. My diagnosis was a moving target consisting of postpartum depression, anxiety, panic disorder, adjustment disorder, etc. When I was ill, I made a promise in my deepest and darkest moments that once I was able I would write about my experience as a way of reaching out to other women. To cry out, “You’re not alone. It’s not your fault. And there is hope.”

Read more ...

Lindsay Marie Gibson

“She is here Lindsay! Your Rainbow baby is finally here!”

This was the very first text message I received after announcing that my daughter, Layla Donna had arrived. It was snowing the day she came as it sometimes does in Connecticut in early Spring. 

Read more ...

Danielle Gwiazda

My name is Danielle. I'm 38 years old and the proud mother of a beautiful almost 3 year old and 17 month old. I love them more than I can put into words. I never quite understood when people told me about how they would give their lives for their children. I get it now. There's a lot I get now. But it's taken me a long time to get here. Back up about a year ago and I was crying on the couch of some doctor that I had just met 5 minutes ago. For me, I had hit rock bottom. I was being evaluated for medication for post-partum depression. At the time, I thought that was the most disgraceful, shameful and pathetic thing I could be doing. I don't think that now. As I said, there's a lot I get now.

Read more ...