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Editor’s Note: We love all of Allison Robicelli’s stories, but we never expected the response generated by her recent screed on the difficulty of getting kids to eat well. After being picked up by The New York Times’ ‘Motherlode’ parenting blog, it freaking blasted off, garning thousands of facebook ‘likes’ and almost a hundred impassioned comments (only one of which was a flat out flame-job on Allison herself.)

After receiving sacks full of emails and letters thanking her for her honesty on the controversial topic, Allison felt compelled to write a follow-up. In Confessions, Part 2, she bares a deeper, darker truth about her experience as a first-time mom in a heartfelt attempt to reassure others who find themselves in similar straits. Seatbelts, people!

Full disclosure: This post is NOT about food. She’s back with the laughs next time!

“Just love your kids as much as you can.  It does get better, I promise.”

by Allison Robicelli

After the last piece I wrote for Nona Brooklyn, I received an overwhelming response that I am still trying to take in.  I got comments and letters from all over the world: people sharing their personal stories, swapping parenting tips, and thanking me for putting a realistic face on motherhood.  I have never envisioned myself as a “mommy blogger”, mostly because I am the farthest thing from an expert on raising children.  In fact, I promised myself I wouldn’t write about parenting again for a good, long while.  The article I had been writing for this installment of my column was going to be in my forte: marginally adequate attempts at food humor.

Of course, once you promise something, the tides change.  I got more letters about a specific line in my last column, a line I sort of threw in as an offhanded joke because it’s something I’ve never felt brave enough to talk about publicly.  From what I deduced from these letters, very few people are brave enough to discuss it.  Every time I would sit down and try to write something snarky or funny, I would just sit and stare blankly at my computer screen, reciting these letters over and over in my head, and wondering if I was strong enough to tell my story for all the women who are still too scared to.  So I’m just going to write, email this to my editor as quickly as possible, and hope for the best.

For all the girls out there who have suffered from post-partum depression, and to all the girls who couldn’t breastfeed, this is for you.

If you are of childbearing age in this country, you have no doubt heard far more than you ever wanted to hear about breastfeeding.  The boob people must have the best PR agency in the world, because long before I even met my husband I knew that if you love your kids and don’t want them to eventually become degenerate crack addicts, you breastfeed.  It strengthens the baby’s immune system.  It stimulates brain and eye development.  It prevents cancers and disease when the child gets older, and results in less obese adults.  If you listen to the way some people tell it, the reason we’re a nation of fat idiots who are bad at math isn’t because of McDonalds or VH1- it’s because of powdered infant formula.

I wanted to be a great mom.  I wanted a child who would be brilliant and good looking and have 20/20 vision.  There was never a doubt that I would breastfeed.  In fact, I bought into all the hoopla about it so much that I, pre-childbirth, actually looked down on mothers who chose not to do it, thinking that they were irresponsible fools who didn’t care enough about their kid’s health and future.  Because, you know, I’m an absolute moron.

My depression began long before I gave birth – I had a few very dark weeks in the first trimester, followed by a decent middle, and then ending with a third trimester that was so bad that Matt had considered hospitalizing me (we decided against seeking treatment, because we were worried the state would try to take the baby from us because of my illness).  Though I was rattled with total emotional instability during those nine months, one thing I never wavered on was my complete and utter love for my son.  I was certain that once Atticus was born and my hormones returned to normal, everything would be fine.

Childbirth marks one of the many significant times that I feel television has totally let me down in the preparedness department.  High school was NOTHING like “Saved by the Bell,” having that alien living in my garage was NOTHING like ALF, and childbirth is not remotely close to what I saw on a single 80s sitcom.  There was no waking up with a smile on my face saying “Honey, I think it’s time!”- there was significantly more pain, screaming, and death threats.  But that was the disparity I expected and was prepared for- I mean really, there’s no way a 9 lb 9 ounce human being is going to claw his way out of your ladybits without it hurting just a teensy bit, and by that I mean it was the worst thing I have ever physically experienced in my entire life.

The part that I was fully expecting, the part that would change me for the better and heal all the pain inside me I had been living with to bear this child, was the moment that my son was born.  You know that scene on TV, don’t you?  Where the baby comes out, and everyone has the biggest smiles on their faces, and they hand the child to their beaming mother who looks as if she’s so happy she might explode?  Where the bitchiness, discomfort and depression immediately end, and your endorphins thrust you into the ultimate high of total unconditional love?

Yeah, that part didn’t happen.  After an extremely rough birth, I laid there in semi-consciousness looking at my son, and didn’t see the love of my life, but rather a complete and utter stranger.

I had spent nine months falling in love with this little guy living in my belly.  Nine months humming songs to him, talking to him, feeling him squirm and hiccup and be a part of me. And now, that person inside of me was gone.  Yes, I knew I was holding him – that this was that person I loved who grew inside of me.  But the boy I held, my little boy – I didn’t know who he was.  At some point there was an emotional disconnect, where I began to go into a deep mourning for the child inside me who was no longer there, and was left with a child I felt I didn’t know or recognize.  Though logically I understood what had happened, part of me didn’t process it.  That was the first step in my spiral into severe post-partum depression.

The two days I spent in the hospital were two of the hardest days I have ever had to live through.  I had visitors every hour who I had to entertain and put a happy face on for, even though I was already ripping myself apart for failing at my first official act of motherhood: being able to immediately love my child unconditionally.  He ate every hour, so I didn’t sleep at all since I was attempting to breastfeed.  We would lie there in bed as the nurses and lactation consultants would walk me through what to do, and I would just stare at him blankly and wonder what the hell was wrong with me.  Who are you supposed to tell? Your doctor? Your husband?  Tell them that God made a horrible mistake in giving me a child, and that I don’t love him?  What sort of monster doesn’t love their own baby?

One night a young nurse came in with Atticus who needed to be fed again, and I asked her in a very veiled way about not feeling like I was “bonding” with the baby.  She assured me that all I needed was time, and that it’s an essential step that doesn’t happen right away for everyone.  I hadn’t heard that discussed in the frank terms I was experiencing it, so again I turned my hatred inward and continued beating myself up. I tried rationalizing my feelings as just being overtired, or maybe it was my hormones going back to normal. I did a lot of praying that God would cure me and my life would magically become “Full House” levels of perfect.

My final morning in the hospital, I finally got to see my actual OB and not her associates, and knowing the difficulties I faced in my pregnancy she brought a psychiatrist with her. Probably a smart move, because after her initial question of “How are you feeling?”, I broke down crying hysterically and couldn’t be subdued for about five minutes.  I underwent a thorough psychiatric evaluation, and my doctors in tandem decided that for a few weeks, I needed strong doses of anti-depressants to stabilize myself.  The first question I asked was if I would be able to breastfeed, to which they immediately replied “no.”

I had already failed as a mom immediately after he was born by not loving him enough. There was NO WAY that I was going to fail again by not breastfeeding.  If you love your kid, and you want what’s best for them, you breastfeed.  That’s what society says, and there is absolutely no counter-discussion.  I demanded that the hospitals lactation consultant be called.  Her response, as well as the response of every OB I had my doctor query, was also “no.”  They explained to me that I couldn’t care for my son in the condition I was in, and that they had a responsibility to care for the mother to ensure they could care for the child.  That was not good enough for me.  They were telling me that I was too weak and damaged to feed my child.  This is something mothers are supposed to do – it’s in our biology.  Now not only had my heart failed my son, but my mind and body were as well.  The decision was being made to help save me from depression, but it felt like it was hammering a nail into my coffin.

I wish I could tell you a detailed account of what happened over the first few weeks of being home with my son.  Maybe I don’t remember because I was so sleep deprived, or maybe I’m trying so hard to forget.  I have gone through many parts of my life where I have despised myself, but it was never as bad as it was those first few weeks.  And if it wasn’t enough to be privately struggling with one of the worst things you’ve ever faced while putting on a big smiling song and dance show for every person you have ever known who, are ALL coming to your house in droves to see the baby, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE asks you if you are breastfeeding.

Or they look shocked when you pull out a bottle of formula, and then begin to tell you about all of the benefits of breastfeeding and wonder why you would be so irresponsible with your child right off the bat.  You don’t really want to say “Because I hate myself and think about jumping in front of the R train about 600 times a day,” because that just makes for awkward conversation.  So you make up some story about having an infection that you’re taking pills for, to which they’ll tell you some story about how the same thing happened to their sister/cousin/friend and they were totally able to breastfeed, so you should call your doctor again because you’re really fucking the baby up.

I’m a bad mom.  Got it.  Thanks for the baby blanket.

This didn’t end with friends and family. This continued as I stopped in a local cafe to make Atticus a bottle, and two mothers having coffee nearby began to have an excessively loud conversation about how they’re such great moms for breastfeeding, and how that’s the responsible choice.  An elderly lady in Rite Aid was asking how old my son was as he slept in his baby carrier, only to immediately ask “Are you breastfeeding?” At what point did this become an appropriate thing to ask new mothers?  Why not just ask me how my episiotomy stitches were holding up?

I spent months caring for my son while silently fighting my way out of depression, not having anyone to lean on because it’s not something that is safe to openly talk about until many, many years later like I’m doing.  The fear is overwhelming.  Fear your baby will end up fat and ugly from infant formula.  Fear you’ll never get better at being a mom. Fear that if you talk about what you’re going through, ACS will come and take your baby from you.  Fear that you are failing the person that you love more than anything in the world, even though you can’t feel the love because the pain is so horrifically bad, it’s the only thing you feel.

Depression is not the cutesy sounding “Baby Blues” or akin to a really bad mood swing. Depression is the most horrible thing I have ever encountered in my entire life.  I’ll put it this way: I’ve had cancer.  Stage IV, 4-months-to-live-type cancer.  And if I got to pick between having cancer or depression again, I’d take cancer in a fucking second.

It does get better. I may not have needed to beat myself up over the breastfeeding if I had just refused to take the medication, but it just would have been something else.  The pills don’t make you happy – they just make you functional enough to survive while you heal.  I survived, and as the pain began to melt away and I started to find myself again, I found the deep unconditional love for my son that had always been there.

I am in no way anti-breastfeeding.  My second pregnancy was a total 180 from my first, and I breastfed Toby for several months before eventually driving my car into the garage door because I was so goddamn overtired from the kid eating every freaking hour.  What I am against is the judgement that we impose on other mothers.  That judgement nearly killed me.

We don’t worry about hurting women with post-partum depression because we don’t see them.  You never will.  My doctors were right: to support the child, we have to take care of their mothers.  And ALL mothers, not just the struggling ones, need love, support and kindness – not critiquing, judgement or unwanted advice.

Now, I’m getting off my soapbox.  I’ll leave the ultra-analysis and stories of child rearing to all the psychoanalyst experts and mommy bloggers.  Just love your kids as much as you can.  It does get better, I promise.

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33 Responses to Confessions Part 2: What You Never Expect When You’re Expecting

  1. Amy says:

    Hats off to you Allison!! i’m still passing this article along to friends & family… hoping it will reach as many as possible for all mommies, daddies & wannabee judgers! You are truly blessed with so many beautiful talents & we all look forward to reading your treasures for many years to come! Wishing you and your family great joy & i look forward to getting some Easter cupcakes soon!!
    Thank you

  2. Jessica says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this.
    I’ve said from the beginning of my pregnancy that moms have GOT to stop judging other moms! It’s hard enough as it is.

    I suffered from mild PPD and although breastfeeding came easy to me at first, my milk supply dwindled quickly and I had to supplement with formula. My biggest struggle was being judged for both formula feeding AND breastfeeding in *gasp* PUBLIC! how dare I subject the general population to the distasteful and emberrasing act of breastfeding!

    Ive always resented the society that shoves breastfeeding down your throat while condeming you for doing it in public.

    I hope that by making people more aware of the struggles of PPD we can all finally move toward being less judgmental to each other as parents.

  3. Kerry says:

    Allison,

    I just want to hug you. I’ve posted both the food post and this one to my Facebook page in an attempt to get the word on these “controversial” issues. The food post was hilarious to me, mostly because it made me realize how ridiculous we can all be when dealing with making the “right” choices for our children.

    To say that I’ve struggled with the things you’ve written about is an understatement.

    My PPD started before I even had my children. At my 24 week ultrasound, I was whisked off to the OR after the sonographer found Baby A’s water sac literally hanging out of my cervix. I had emergency surgery that day, and spent the next 6 weeks on very strict bed rest. This is where the depression began. It continued through my boys’ birth, which was when I was only 30 weeks pregnant, and made its way through their two month long NICU stay as well. I didn’t tell anyone about it other than my husband and my doctor, mostly because I was so embarrassed to be feeling that way, particularly after we brought home two seemingly healthy babies before my due date even passed.

    Long story short, as a result of our boys’ prematurity, as well as the anti-depressants I was on, I too was a breastfeeding “failure”. And that spiraled into control issues with feeding our children. I’m very “proud” to say that I made every single bite of food that went into their mouths (*when they were with us) from the moment they tried their first bite of “real” food, up until the first time I gave up a little bit of control to let them eat out at a *gasp* restaurant, which was probably around the 18 month mark. When friends and nosy random strangers would ask me “when did I find the TIME??” to steam/cook/bake/puree/mix their FRESH, ORGANIC baby food, I had a blanket statement I would blurt out – “it’s not that big of a deal, it only takes a few hours”. That was much more acceptable than being honest, and telling them that my feelings of failure over not being able to breastfeed were still so strong and so overwhelming that I simply HAD to make all of their food to do at least *something* right.

    This control issue with food still lingers today…it made my PPD worse at around the 12 month mark (yes, that’s possible), and I got so bad that I seriously considered taking my own life because I just felt so.goddamn.overwhelmed at having to “make up” for the fact that I couldn’t carry my babies to full-term, that I couldn’t breastfeed, that I had to go back to work, that I wasn’t feeling as bonded with them as I “should” have been feeling, etc etc.

    But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I can tell that my husband still worries about me, even two and a half years after our kids were born, every single time I give up that little bit of control by “allowing” our boys to indulge in some pizza, chicken nuggets, or ice cream. And that makes me sad, but it’s getting better. My formula-fed, sometimes-pizza-mac-and-cheese-and-candy-eating toddlers are some of the cutest, smartest, sympathetic, most polite little boys I know (not that I’m biased, or anything). I didn’t ruin them, and that – in and of itself – is something to be celebrated.

    Thank you again, you’re a real inspiration!

  4. Nice post! I love the honesty and humor. I can completely relate–I too, am a BAD MOM because I bottle fed. I actually had a woman in a mom’s group (which was supposed to offer support and love) gasp and ask me with incredulity, “WHY would you DO THAT?” as though I was feeding my son formula laced with rat poison. I have prepared bottles in bathrooms, closets and other small spaces and tried to sneak them out of my diaper bag later and pass them off as breast milk, to no avail. Some mother was always onto me. Now, my son who is two, is completely healthy and strong and super smart (which mother doesn’t think her kid is any of these things?) and I still cringe when I read, “Breast is best!” and other mantras of the breastfeeding community. Breast may be best–or not. Depends on the mom and the child and the situation.

    Thanks for the fantastic look into your experience. I really appreciate it.

  5. Rachel says:

    Great article. It has taken 2 1/2 years since my baby was born to be able to really face my PPD. Your words really resonated. It is somehow healing to know that others have felt like I have. And especially to see that opening up about my story really does help others, just as your story here is helping others. Thank you for your honesty!

  6. Helena says:

    I hope you no longer feel regretful about sharing this–look at the chord you’ve struck with all of these women!

    I had twins, and though I didn’t have PPD (though I can relate to the feeling of loss after my little internal “companions” were born), I was dead exhausted, felt isolated, went back to work too soon, and had to stop nursing for a week because I was taking steroids for an all-over-the-body case of hives that I contracted about a week and a half after the girls were born. My milk wasn’t coming down very well as it was, even though I was pumping, so I needed to supplement with formula after I was off the medication and the girls were nursing again, but it just never “clicked”, they were never able to get enough from me, the pump wasn’t helping, and it was just frustrating all around. So, we switched to formula full-time, and I felt like a terrible failure for not “working hard enough” to make a go of nursing. Luckily I wasn’t subject to quite as much abuse as you were (maybe I got a pass for having to feed two kids, maybe it was because I was prematurely grey and everyone assumed I was the nanny or granny; maybe I just looked mean, who knows); I was the person who beat me up the worst, regretfully donating and returning to the library all of the nursing books I’d bought and checked out.

    It’s an ongoing battle, this disapproval thing, though. My girls are 5 1/2 now, tall, strong and beautiful, a couple of real Glamazons. But they are also on the autism spectrum, so we do get to deal with people glaring at us in public when one of them freaks out over something, and offhand comments like: “I think all those vaccines give kids autism.” Thanks, thanks a lot–may you come down with frickin’ whooping cough from some unvaccinated child.

  7. Cindy says:

    I want to thank you for bravely writing that article. My experience with my daughter was much the same as yours, I couldn’t figure out the disconnect of why I had loved her so much in my belly and why that same love was immediately there when she was born (I remember googling it in a desperate attempt to understand what was or wasn’t happenign to me). It took me almost 2 years and revisiting my therapist to understand that I had experienced PPD and had never even realized it. I wish I had gotten help sooner but was so sleep deprived and focused on a being a “great” mom that I thought I could get through it all by myself. I hope people start understanding how difficult it is for some new mothers, and to stop the judgement (which I was guilty of myself before I went through my experience).

  8. aagblog says:

    I adopted my two youngest children and did not nurse them. Additionally, we used WIC for my youngest as his placement was (to say the least) legally risky. I wasn’t about to explain to every random waiter-in-line, cashier and passer-by our complicated situation, but the looks! My god the looks! The judgment! The comments!

    Thank you for sharing this, and I am glad you’re doing better.

    • allison says:

      Thanks for adding that adoptive mothers generally can’t breastfeed. It’s possible (but very difficult and time consuming) to stimulate lactation with hormones, and pro-lactation people will try to convince you it’s worth it, but frankly I’m not going to do it and no woman should feel pressured to breastfeed if it’s not in their best interest for whatever reason.

    • Roza says:

      I did this for about a week because thats all I could take with brdeftseaeing. I think its only fair so your husband can help because it is a big bonding time with a newborn. I would speak to your pediatrician about it but I know it has worked for many of my friends and family. You can also pump during the day so you could use breastmilk at night and still have husband help. Hope this helped!

  9. Lisa says:

    Thank you for writing this. I also had horrible ppd/ocd and did breastfeed and take medication (thank you zoloft) but would have not breastfed if my son had not been extrememely allergic to dairy and soy. I only have one breast, after all! Not much left of that after two years of breastfeeding. I’m also a cancer survivor (hence the one breast), and yes!!! PPD IS MUCH harder than cancer/treatment. No one ever believes me when I say that, but I know you get it. Thanks for writing. It’s notbody’s business if anyone else breastfeeds, that’s for damn sure!

  10. Debbie says:

    Thank you for telling the truth about PPD and breastfeeding. Breastfeeding advocates always forget about the moms with PPD. One of the hardest things was dealing with the mean looks and questions about why I wasn’t breastfeeding. I didn’t want to tell them why, and it hurt my recovery to feel so judged about something I could not control.

  11. Kathy says:

    This is just what I needed to read today! Thank you so much for your honesty. I still have regrets and self judgement about not breastfeeding even though I know it was the best decision for my well-being. I needed the medication and the sleep to help me get better. It also helps me to know that there are others out there who understand what I have been through with PPD. I have had some tough battles in my life but this has been the hardest. I find my faith from stories like yours which remind me that I am not alone and that we can get through it. Thanks again for your story. Also thanks to those who do not judge me :)

  12. Nancy says:

    Another comment in support of all the mothers who survived PPD. I am one of them too. My anxiety/depression came on so fast and furious that I couldn’t even try to breastfeed – even during that haze, I knew I had to give myself a break and use formula. I decided that it was what I had to do, and even to this day, I make no apologies for it, when people ask if I breastfed (3 years later!). And we are all fine, happy, and healthy!

  13. Stephanie says:

    Thank you so much for facing down your fear putting your story out there. Thank you, too, for telling it with humor! I love that you feel like ALL Mamas should be supported; me too. I also couldn’t agree more that as Mamas we have to stop judging one another. It sure would help.

  14. Bonnie says:

    Thank you for being so brave to share your story and encouraging others to share their experiences. Over 30 years ago I had PPD and still can’t be open about it publicly. The message I received was to be ashamed. It is so important for mothers suffering from this awful disease to be assured it is in fact chemical and curable and they will get better. Bless you.

  15. Maura says:

    thanks for sharing. I could have written most of this myself and I completely understand and felt the same emotions you did. Love it that us PPD/PPA survivors are becoming more open, so that us ex-judgers and current judgers can get a grip that the world won’t end if we take meds or bottle feed our kids!

  16. Raine says:

    Thank you for posting this. I’m glad to see more women speaking out about PPD and about how all the guilt really makes things worse, because people make judgments and comments without knowing a person’s situation.

    I also had PPD with my son, and ended up not taking medication which I probably needed because I was so set on breastfeeding (I already felt like a failure for needing a c-section after 2 days in labor, and figured that was the one thing left I could do “right”). He latched on good at first and, by all accounts, was nursing fine, but I wasn’t making enough milk and had to supplement to keep him from starving. Despite support, using a SNS instead of bottle, pumping hourly to boost my milk supply (getting 30-40ml a day at best), and ordering medication from overseas to help my body produce milk, nothing worked and I had to formula feed. I felt like I couldn’t even really talk about it on my blog, where I did get support from people for the PPD and other things, because everyone is so pro-breastfeeding and I felt like I was letting them down and really did not want to be told I needed to just try harder or something.

    I just wish there was some way to make sure women were informed about both of these things, and had access to counseling, both before and after their births. I see so many people who have gone through similar things and wonder how many more have kept silent because of the whole culture of shame around PPD and, to a degree, around breastfeeding and how many feel like they are alone because they haven’t heard or read the stories of others like themselves.

  17. Ariel says:

    And on a happier note, you’re a hilarious writer and your cupcakes are the reason I will (contentedly) never be thin again. :)

  18. The more moms who share their stories of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders the better. Soon pregnant and new mothers will see how common these illnesses are, and will know that it is okay to get help. Moms: You are giving a gift to yourself and your baby and the future health of your family by getting help for PPD, even if it means in the end that you can’t breastfeed.

    I had to make the same choices, and they were very hard to make, but I don’t regret them for a second as I take a look back. Not one freaking second.

  19. Jacque says:

    You’re a brave mom and an awesome mom – cupcakes or not! Thanks for sharing, Allison.

  20. Sheila Rivera says:

    Wow! Either you heard my story before or you were in my body in a Freaky Friday kinda way. All the things you said resonate with me 100%. Finding help for post-partum depression and anxiety may seem easy and available but true help: advice/support from real women who REALLY suffered is not easy to find. Your story and stories like it should be available in short story books/pamphlets at ob-gyn offices, hospitals, clinics, etc BEFORE birth, heck, upon a positive pregnancy diagnosis, and in the maternity wards in hospitals. so that women can be prepared(armed for battle if you will)and be endowed with some modicum of control. The more we know and the sooner we know it, we can begin to prepare to tackle it and get on with the joys of being/becoming a mom.
    You may not have wanted to share your story but do not be deceived, what you have done here is a GREAT thing! I am proud of you!

  21. Ariel says:

    Thanks so much for writing this. After a horrible pregnancy, intense post-partum complications, no maternity leave, and then being completely unable to breastfeed (no milk and a baby who refused to even try), I felt like such a failure. And the people telling me, with no shame, that I was feeding my child “”poison” and “just not trying hard enough” and could “relactate” if I really wanted to breastfeed, and how easy breastfeeding was for them, and didn’t I know that it was SO much better for my kid, etc, only helped me feel worse. As did the mom’s group who didn’t want me because they found it disturbing to see me feeding my kid formula. More than three years later, it still stings. I forwarded this to everyone I know, especially the ones who keep sending me articles about all the benefits of breastfeeding.

  22. Thanks for all the positive feedback, guys. It was really hard to write, and I regretted it at all the second I sent it to Nona Brooklyn to be published. I can’t tell you how many times I almost called him to beg him not to run it.

    Please- share your stories. You are anonymous here. It feels better knowing that I wasn’t the only one.

  23. kate says:

    Thank you for this – I feel we are finally getting to the point where women are telling the truth about the down side to breastfeeding advocacy. I breastfed my twins for 17 months, after weeks of agony and frustration (and yes, I also had PPD). One of the worst timess was in the NICU, with my tiny babies whose mouths were too small to get a grip on my semi-inverted nipples, looking up at the “breast is best” poster which had a *literally* soft-focus shot of a young, blonde mum and her plump full-term baby. It was just heart-wrenching.

  24. MamaRobinJ says:

    Love your writing style, Allison. And thanks for sharing this story.

    I’ve been dealing with postpartum depression too. It’s not talked about enough, and because of that I didn’t get the help I needed soon enough. My son turned 3 yesterday and it’s only in the last few days that I finally start to feel like I might just get past this. 3 years, in case you’re wondering, is a really freaking long time to have to deal with this!

    I know how hard it is to tell people about this, or to admit it to anyone. I didn’t for a long time, not even myself. And then earlier this year I started blogging about it and realized just how many people are out there who struggle with this same issue. And it comes in so many different forms. It’s no wonder moms don’t get enough support.

    So yay for honesty! The more we share, the easier it will be for another mom who needs help.

  25. This is probably my favorite blog post EVER in more than three years of doing this work advocating for women with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Amen. Bless you. I pray your story reaches millions. You hit the nail on the head about PPD & Breastfeeding in one post- AMAZING!

  26. Angel says:

    This is such a moving story. Thank you for sharing. No one should feel alone in dealing with these thoughts and feelings. In telling about your own feelings and thoughts, I have confidence you have moved a few other women who are experiencing the same. And a big thank you to Nona Brooklyn for publishing a story that may not fit its usual theme.

  27. Julie says:

    Thank you for your honesty about the fourth trimester, and about the ways in which mothers feel like failures from the starting gate. I remember feeling so detached after my son was born, and then worrying what that meant, and then not wanting to tell anyone how I felt because I feared their judgment and feared they’d decide I was a bad enough mom that he should be taken from me. Oh. It can be so hard. Thank you.

  28. Thank you for writing this, Allison. I loved you for the picky-kid post, but for this one, I think I worship you.

  29. beautiful Allison. Just beautiful. And true.

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