Our FIRST Guest Blogger!
Today on the blog, we have Independent Author and PPD Survivor, Karen Hesson. Karen and I met on Instagram and she was kind enough to send me a copy of her new book, "Hush Now: Short Stories", a book on PPD and Pregnancy Loss. It's a good read with great short stories about the reality and truths that come along with PMADs, and shines light on the stigma on maternal mental health.
(You can buy her book HERE! )
I'm an independent author from Utah. I love my husband, my two boys, and writing honest words. A pen and a blank page will always be the most effective form of therapy for me.
But inside I was drowning.
I suffered from severe postpartum depression after each pregnancy, including my miscarriage. I didn't understand what was happening to me until my second son was about four months old. I was having a bout of terrifying suicidal thoughts when an alarm sounded in my head. This wasn't normal.
I wrote a raw and real blog post about my depression, and buried my face in my hands, just waiting for the flood of judgment. It didn't come. Instead, I received an outpouring of love and support.
Nearly a year later, I was at the park with my kids and a few other families. The mom conversation turned to family planning, with everyone wanting one or two more kids. I blurted out, "I'm definitely done! I get really scary PPD!"
It went silent, and fake smiles melted away. Then I saw relief creep into some of the mom's eyes. Some nodded and said, "Yeah, me too." Everyone admitted that those postpartum days are HARD. Again, there was no judgment -- only relief that we weren't alone.
A few months after that, a friend told me about her three back-to-back miscarriages. I'd seen her multiple times while this was happening, but she'd never said a word. Even as she finally told me, she insisted that she was okay. I told her that I'd had a miscarriage too and we cried and talked about how bad it hurts to lose a baby while simultaneously pretending to be fine.
Finally, I knew that I needed to write about PPD and pregnancy loss. I needed to do SOMETHING to help fight the stigma and let other moms know that they could speak up, too.
"Hush Now" is a book of eight short stories about women struggling with PPD or pregnancy loss. The stories are fiction, but real women are on every page. The stories are about me, my sisters, my friends. This book is my small way of adding my voice to the swell of brave mamas working hard to end the stigma.
(It's available on Amazon in Ebook and paperback.)