September 13, 2013

Postpartum Depression

It took me months to find a name for what I was feeling. Tired, listless, unmotivated. Wildly swinging back and forth between adoring these little people in my care and immobilizing fear that I can't do this motherhood thing for another day.

It didn't even occur to me that it was postpartum depression. Sure, I cried a lot after Ruby was born 9 months ago, but I told myself that it was just normal hormonal swings, and then the busyness of Christmas, and then a long winter that never seemed to end. I got my thyroid checked and took a multivitamin and swept it all under the rug.

And then all of a sudden it was the middle of summer and somehow I had missed the arrival of brighter days. Somehow I was still in my pajamas waiting for life to make sense again. This was definitely depression.

Depression is exhausting. It's anguish. It's wanting to crawl out of your skin and having nowhere to go. And it's loneliness, because no matter how committed you are to living life out loud and being real and honest you can't make people understand the invisible chronic pain you carry around in your heart and head and gut, the suffocating inside oneself. But so many of you already know this; You don't need me to tell you how much depression hurts.

I've got a support system and a plan. Help from good friends on long days. Prayers. A better diet, regular exercise, fresh air, and a prescription. Because if this little pill will help me to be a better mom, a better wife, a better friend, then I will take it.

The truth is that I don't know if I'm getting better yet. When I am feeling well I can't remember ever being depressed, and when I am at my lowest I can't remember ever feeling well. But I have memories of bursting into my kids bedroom every morning, singing to wake them up, excited for the day ahead. I so desperately want to be that mom again.

Lord, help me to be that mom again.

So what about the blog? I have some blog post ideas in the wings and a couple half finished DIY projects sitting on my porch. And I miss blogging, I miss the community of women that I get to engage here. But honestly, it is hard to write about laundry and chalkboard paint when getting out of bed takes nearly everything you have. I guess what I'm saying is please be patient with me. I haven't gone anywhere.

Blessings,


147 comments:

  1. Praying for you. As you know, you aren't alone. I'm waiting to be me again too.

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  2. I recently found your blog and have been loving digging through your archives. I am glad that you have support and the resources to help lift you out of this dark season. Sending lots of love and positive thoughts your way.

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  3. I was worried something like this was going on behind the scenes as you hadn't updated in so long. Take care of yourself xxx

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  4. Kelly, I just wanted to tell you that even though I'm not a mother , I'm not Canadian nor American, I'm not really into DIY, I love your blogs+, yes both of them!! and I agree on the things you say all the time.
    So don't worry, take your time and all the positive thoughts.
    :)

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  5. Kelly! Rooting for you! My heart goes out to you and your family. You WILL get better, absolutely for sure you will. I know it.
    Take care of yourself and don't worry about the blog. I could read your archives for days and be happy about all the beautiful work you've already put out there. Hugs. Ieva

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    1. Amen to this! No worrying about the blog please! You have already written so much great material - there is so much I haven't even gotten to try yet!

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  6. Mine wasn't as deep a depression as that but I certainly felt useless, despite managing to put on a bright and breezy attitude. I was finally diagnosed when our son was 2. It took a few weeks for the pills to kick in, and I was on them for 2 years, but boy, did they make a difference. When I came off them, slowly, over several months, I was still fine thank goodness.

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    1. It is so endemic and it is great that we can share and feel with Kelly and let her know she will come out of it and all will be well.
      I was similar to you and it was after the birth of the third baby that someone worked out what had been wrong with me for a couple of years.

      Take each day as it comes. XXXX

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  7. Kelly,
    Thank you for sharing this very personal post. You want to get better, you know what's wrong, that's already half the way!
    Please just try to feel well again so you can light-heartidly do what makes you smile. Don't try to be a perfect mum, just be yourself, that's already great :)
    My prayers with you.

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  8. Beautiful post. Thank you for the honesty. Praying for you. You are a great Mom.

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  9. Kelly,
    I can't thank you enough! First for your blog as I've been a follower since I had my first daughter and have admired your huge heart. For your boldness and willing to share your life with us especially this topic of post partum depression. This July I had my 2nd daughter and haven't felt the same since as well. But I want to thank you for introducing me to Duck Dynasty because once a week I get to laugh with my hubby and not think about all the laundry that needs to get done or dishes piled high in the sink. Hang in there and again thank you.

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  10. I am in the same boat. You are never alone even if it feels like it.

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  11. Just wanted to send you a hug and let you know that you are not alone. Please don't worry about the blog and just take the time to feel better.

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  12. You are not alone in this! I've been there too. Hang in there Mama! Praying for you!

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  13. Prayers to you. Don't worry about us, we'll be here when you get back! You are not alone, even when it feels like it. *Big Hugs!*

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  14. I was just here checking on you earlier this week. I experienced PPD after my first child was born. You are not alone. I figured it out when my son was 6 months old and thought he was too old for it to be post partum, but I was wrong. Keep doing these good things for yourself. You are worth it. You will get through this.

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  15. Kelly, you are courageous for getting the help you need and taking better care of yourself. It is not easy, but things will get better. Bless you!

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  16. I just wanted to say how much I admire your honesty and your bravery in sharing this. I am so sorry that I don't have any profound words to add, but please accept my love and best wishes.
    Sending hugs from my tiny corner of England xx

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  17. Thank you for writing this. I also dealt with PPD and anxiety after my second and then my third child. It's a deep hole. Some things that worked for me (along with all the good stuff you are already doing!) was reading an easy book (romance novels by Susan Wiggs were my favorite) just to get out of my own head and into someone else's story. And I know there's no time to read, but I would literally read 2 pages in the bathroom 4 times a day!
    I also made sure I had ONE thing to look forward to each week: a quick date with my husband (even take out food after bedtime worked!) or an hour out with a girlfriend so that I missed doing bedtimes. That got me through so much. I will pray for your journey to be short and easy. God is with you and has a purpose for this. Writing what you did may be a big part of it.

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  18. Bless your heart! I've been there too. Thank the Lord, it doesn't last forever. And, yes, it may erk you to take that little pill, but if it makes you even just a little better, it is worth it. And, yes, it takes weeks for it to really kick in. I pray this season in your life is short, but the compassion it gives you for others lasts forever. Going through PPD gave me a whole new outlook on life and on the people around me. God bless you!

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  19. Also been there, mine kicked in when my first was 2 weeks old. It was so bad that I begged my husband to take me to the emergency room in the middle of the night because I just couldn't stand the feeling one second longer. I know how deep and lonely the hole is but you absolutely will climb out. I remember my husband saying to me " when am I going to get my wife back?" And he did, these days I feel better than I ever have in my life. Just hang in there it WILL get better!

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  20. "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness"-2 corinthians 12:9 I don't know what God's purpose is for you in going through this great trail, I hope and pray that you will find strength and hope to get through this time, but I do know that that was really powerful the way you shared your struggles so honestly. You are such an encouragement to so many people, even in your weakness. xx

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  21. Kelly, you are not alone, moms - and even dads! - all over the world share your condition and your feelings! My thoughts and empathy are with you! Don't worry about the blog, you've given us plenty of creative ideas to think about. I'm acutally thinking about painting an old oak cupboard teal! ;-) Just hang on, honey, you are great!

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  22. Oh, Kelly....take all the time you need. I've been there with both of mine, although I wasn't diagnosed until the second baby came. It sounds like you're doing the right things, so you know what? Just rest and take your time. God is carrying you through this; the Lord knows your sorrows and joys and He loves you. Don't make "I should get better now" or "I should be blogging" into new expectations that you are putting on yourself, which only makes it worse. You will feel like yourself again some day. :) Can I recommend the album "Joy Beyond the Sorrow" by Indelible Grace? They take old hymns that just speak such truth to my heart and give them new life with a sort of folksy, bluegrass influence.

    I know it was hard for me to start taking antidepressants, and I think the Christian community has a lot of work to do in making people feel 'okay' about being depressed. I found a lot of comfort (and actually the impetus to get treatment for my depression) in the book "Christians Get Depressed Too" by David Murray. It's very short but full of compassion and God's words.

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    1. Everything that Steph said is just perfect! Hope things start to look up for you soon. A lot of us have been there and feel your pain. Thanks for being honest and sharing your story!

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  23. I'm so so glad to hear from you!! I love you. And I'm so sorry to hear about this tough time you're going through. But I know that it will pass by and someday it will seem like a faraway memory from the past. And you will feel like you again. Mean while we'll all be here. Waiting. Praying for you and your sweet family. Thank you for your honest writing. It helps me remember what's important. And what's not :)xoxo.

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  24. Precious Kelly, I thought that was what was happening. I surely understand. Those hormones and chemicals in our brain can become tangled up and it is a definite hole! Hang in there. It WILL get better! I've been there. Love and prayers, Paulette

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  25. I wish you the best, you and your family are most definitely in my thoughts and prayers. I love your blog and look forward to reading your new posts.

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  26. Dear Kelly
    I was where you are now over 25 years ago. The sun does end up shining again and the days get better.
    My GP was the best thing that happened there. He referred me onto expert help and with a little medication I was slowly on the road to recovery. Coupled with the counselling to ensure I stayed okay, I came out the other end. I'm sure you will too.
    My heart is with you. Bless.

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  27. We love you Kelly! You'll be in my prayers today and we'll be here waiting when you feel well enough to come back!

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  28. Kelly, please know that there IS an end to what you are facing. I will add you to my prayer journal. We have missed you, but we completely understand. Love and hugs!!

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  29. You are not alone! I've been on an anti-depressant since high school, and have taken them through both of my pregnancies. To quote my doctor, "You could stop taking it because of the extremely minimal birth defect risk, or you can be sane when your child is born." I'm currently pregnant with my second, but I know for a fact that little pill was a life saver when my son was born.

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  30. Praying for you and your family!

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  31. Lord, thank you for the strength you have given Kelly. She is courageous in you to even write these words. I want to say something to encourage her, but You are all that she needs every day. I praise you for being by her side, that she still praises your name. Help her heal, Lord. Help her see what an incredible role model she is for her children when she leans on you. THAT is what they need Lord. Us crafty mom's like having a good time, but our children ultimately need to be pointed toward you. For their relationships with you to be real. I praise you for using Kelly's illness to teach her family about how much we each need you. I ask that you strengthen their marriage and their family. I pray for Kelly to feel your grace every day as she works so hard to fulfill the role you have given her.
    Amen

    -Amy

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  32. I had my son a little over a year ago and struggled/struggle with postpartum anxiety and depression. It gets better, and you're doing the right thing by getting help. God bless. We're all pulling for you and for each other!

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  33. Thank you for being so honest. I had a little postpartum with my last 2 pregnancies. Do what you have to do to take care of yourself and the little ones. The blog will still be here. Virtual hugs and prayers coming your way...

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  34. I have missed you and I am thinking of you while you work through this difficult time. I love your blog, it has changed my life. You are so strong and passionate and most of all REAL. Postpartum depression is part of your journey and you will come out of it stronger. Take your time, I am sure we will all be here waiting for you :)

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  35. I've been there, too, you're not alone. Just take it one moment at a time, and have faith that it will get better. Do your best to not let any "shoulds" make you feel worse!

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  36. Oh honey I am right there with you. I have been suffering from depression too lately and no one understands. My mom tells me to suck it up and choose joy and believe me I wish it were that easy. I have been a stay at home mom for a year and I both love it and despise it. It is the hardest thing I've ever done and my husband doesn't see that. He sees it as "my job" and I get no appreciation for it or praise. Even my best friends can't seem to help much. I just started agluten free diet 2 days ago and hope it helps me with my obvious thyroid issues and complete body discomfort. I pray constantly that God will help me see what He wants with me because I feel like I am failing! I hope you and I can both come out of this stronger and better. Just know that you are not alone and I would happily chat with you about anything or nothing if you ever need to. I felt from the moment I found your blog that we were very similar and I would love to help you in any way I could. Much love to you momma!

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    1. Hey Cynthia
      I feel your pain that is on top of the burden you are already enduring. My husband didn't get it either until my GP called us both into his office after he diagnosed me. His first wife died from the psychosis that some women can develop and his second wife had a touch of PPD. He got stuck into my husband about his expectations about everything - from sex to housework - and told him to pull his weight as well. He was wonderful support.
      I hope you have a supportive health professional who is assisting you in your recovery. Knowing what is wrong is one thing, but having the appropriate care is paramount.
      Thinking of you across the Pacific.
      XXXXX

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  37. I had extremely bad PPD and anxiety after my child's birth and didn't seek help until 9 months PP. I let mine go on so long I felt suicidal at times and developed OCD that still rears it's head sometimes. I let it go so long without help that I self medicated with alcohol and marijuana, which only made a bad situation much worse. The 2nd medication I tried (wellbutrin) worked for me and seemed to help along with going to a support group - you can share anonymously and WILL find MANY others deep in the throws of depression by going to emotions anonymous meetings (they're free, anonymous, and you can bring kids if needed). The only person who can bring your happiness back is you, and you have to fight for it every day. You will feel well again when you seek help and heal yourself:) Big hugs from a young mom who has been there and back - now I know where to get help should I have PPD again when my spring 2014 baby is born:)

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  38. My children are grown. I ran across your blog when I was looking for a granola recipe (which, by the way, is the best one I have had!!!). I am glad you are getting the help you need. You and your family are in my prayers.

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  39. I've been there... and then someone says, "Maybe you're depressed.." And you don't even want to fathom it because what will that say about yourself-- that you're ungrateful, mentally sick, etc. I suffered from this for so very long in silence and denial. My 4th child was born and was taken to Children's Hospital with a lung infection... the doctors doubted he would make it. And while we were going back and forth from seeing him and the other children, my little brother passed away unexpectedly-- so I had PPD and grief... I thought if I sought medical help then that would mean I was weak. So I tried to handle all of my feelings on my own which ended up leaving me with thoughts of suicide... People judge without even considering how an individual may truly feel. So I recommend crawling out from under the stares and talking with someone who loves you. Help and encouragement isn't far away. Thankfully, my little one made it and is the picture of health today... and he has one awesome Guardian Angel watching out for him.... *Thank you for all you do for mothers and women, Kelly! You're touching lives everyday with your blog!

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    1. And I think its AWESOME that you have your plan now, Kelly, and hang in there, peace and happiness will find their way back to you!

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  40. I dont know you... but, I love your posts and your wonderful creative ideas.. and I especially love that you have a large family that you take such good care of on a budget.... I am so sorry to hear about your depression... I send enormous hugs to you as I am afraid I might unknowingly battle that myself sometimes... I know you will find your way thru this and get back to being the wonderful mom, wife, friend and exceptional person you are at heart.. my Dad gave the best advice recently... the sky is always there.. you just have to keep reaching... coming from my dad, it was pretty amazing as he isnt much of an advice giver... Good luck to you and again, Big hugs and lots of prayers and love from one stranger to another... =) ~Anna

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  41. HUGE hugs. I had PPD after the birth of my first, and it also took me a while to recognize it. I am not generally a pill-taking person, and I question the overuse of antidepressants in our society. BUT, I am so with you. If that little pill was going to make me a better mom, that was all that mattered. And it did! It helped so much. Getting help was the best decision I ever made. I was able to actually enjoy this little person instead of constantly feeling like I couldn't be her mother for another minute. Thanks for sharing your story, and I'll keep you in my prayers as you continue to heal.

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  42. I've been where you are and it's no fun. I don't know why God gives us these particular crosses to bear, but it is all in His plan. God bless you and know you are not alone.

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  43. I have been deling with depression for the past 7 years. I will be praying for you. I have learned that I have to choose happiness or I will be curled up in bed. I will be praying for you. It is not easy but you can do it.

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  44. My thoughts are with you. My advice? (Unsolicited, I know!) 1. Get outside. Try a walk or just sitting in the grass breathing. 2. Journal. Write down everything making you feel what you're feeling. 3. Get enough sleep. So hard, I know, with littles, but do what you can. 4. Fake it till you make it. Turn on the music, bake your favorite muffins, read a good novel, chase your kids on the playground. Eventually these things that brought you joy in the past, will perhaps bring you joy again currently.
    You have my prayers. Not feeling like yourself is hard no matter what, but somehow it's worse when you're the mom. Chin up, girly. You'll get through this!

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  45. Prayers for you! Take care of yourself and your family first. We'll be here when you're up to blogging again.

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  46. Sending you big hugs from across the pond. I know how you're feeling, it's hard but you have a fabulous support system & you will get through it. Just recently my depression has come back to the forefront following a miscarriage but I know that there's light at the end of the tunnel, I've just got to get there. xxxx

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  47. You don't know me from Adam, but I wanted to extend my support and comfort, for all that it's worth. You are an amazingly strong woman, and you have helped so many other mothers, wives, and single women realize that imperfection is beautiful. You will defeat this, I know it.

    Keep us updated, even if it's just a few words here and there?

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  48. I am so proud of you for posting this. I have been going through the same stuff since this last winter too. It has been a really tough year. I have found a few good friends that are willing to be open with me about their depression struggles and it has been such a blessing. I am glad to hear you have support too. I pray you find your reason for joy again.

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  49. Im positive that all mothers are a little depressed just because of the stress we are put threw from day to day. I have had to find what makes me happy and make sure I do those things! that's how I stay positive!

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  50. Thank you for your posting. Nice to hear from you. Nice to know you aren't goining to put an end to blogging. We will wait you, take your time! I'm sure it's worth waiting 'cos I just love your blog! Take care of yourself now.

    Lot's of love,
    Anu

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  51. Bonjour kelly, je vis en Belgique ( Europe), j'ai 45 ans et 6 enfants. J'ai eu mon fils à 18 ans et mes jumelles ( girls twins) a 20 ans, je peux te dire que j' eu une dépression post partum suite à la fatigue de 3 enfants en 2 ans. Cela a été difficile et j'ai pris des médicaments, parfois je m'enfermais dans la salle de bain seule pour ne pas entendre tout ce bruit. Puis ils ont grandis et devenu capable de se prendre en charge. Maintenant mon fils a 27 ans, mes filles 25, un fils 18, une fille 11 et le dernier 9. Nous avons perdu un bébé garçon il y a 6 ans et puis nous n'avons pas su en avoir d' autres.
    Je veux te dire que dans quelque temps tu te rendras compte que tu vas un peu mieux puis beaucoup mieux, un jour tu te diras il y a quelques années j'étais bien fatiguée je me souviens de tout ce travail quand les enfants étaient petits.
    Garde courage ça va aller, tu es une mère magnifique

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  52. Dear Kelly, we'll be waiting for you, please don't feel rushed into blogging. You are in my thoughts and in my prayers.

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  53. Hello Kelly- i've been following you for about year. I echo your other readers good thoughts and prayers and send you big hugs, even though we may be strangers. All the comments here are evidence of how you have touched and comforted so many people all over the world. I hope you can take heart in that little fact, in addition to being a great mother and wife.

    Hugs from Rome
    Pamela

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  54. Kelly,

    Thank you so much for posting this. This is a wonderful post, about such a upsetting topic that impacts so many mothers! And as many others have said, take care of yourself! We still all love you and are sending you our thoughts and prayers. I won't say I know exactly how you feel, but I was having a very difficult time as well. I started taking a pill and after the amount of time my doctor said it SHOULD be kicking in, it wasn't. I almost stopped taking it, but now I am very glad that I didn't. I don't know how long you have been taking yours, but I think the time it takes to REALLY work varies from person to person. And different medications work for different people also. It is OK to need help now and than! I am very happy that you have a wonderful support system! It makes a world of difference. Again take care of yourself! This Mama gig is hard work, as you very well know! We are all thinking of you! Blog again when you are ready and feel that it will help you as a mama, not before!

    with love-Emily

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  55. I hope you feel better soon -- actually, I'm sure you will! I know how it feels like you'll never be yourself again. But you will, you just need to give it some time. You're doing all the right things. Best wishes for you and your family!

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  56. You are not alone. I think everyone has days that they don't feel like themselves... I've battled depression and anxiety my whole life. You will get back on your feet and be the woman that you KNOW you can be! Don't forget that you have a wonderful support system in your readers. Thank you for putting yourself out there. I'll be thinking of you!

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  57. Kelly and all Moms reading this: You moms are HEROS! You are a HERO!!! I will pray that Our Lord lifts your spirits, and that you are given the fortitude to persevere even if your spirits are low. (Posted anonymously by a dad of four, ages 6, 5, 3, 1.5, who tries his best, despite his many imperfections, to help his HERO wife).

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  58. I enjoy your blog very much, and since I'm so new to it, I look forward to taking the time to dig through your archives while you take all the time you need. I had a bout of depression after my first, and I also didn't realize that's what was going on until much later. But being able to recognize it is the first step to feeling better. Wishing you many happy thoughts and strength to do what you need to do.

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  59. Kelly,
    Hugs to you and I hope you start feeling better soon!! I can relate in 2012 I delivered a stillborn baby after years of trying it has thrown me into a lot anxiety and depression issues. I love your blog. You are such and inspiration. I know you will make it through this.

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  60. I had wondered why there were not any recent posts but you take the time you need, meanwhile I will keep you in my prayers.

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  62. You are awesome. And real. And loved.

    Be well friend <3

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  63. We haven't gone anywhere either - the community that loves your blog and loves to hear about your life and loves YOU for everything you are is here and will still be here when the cloud lifts and the sun shines on you again. Just the fact that you have reached out to us by sharing your pain means you ARE getting better and I hope that all the lovely messages of support you have had already and will continue to get will remind you how special you are. I have recently returned to the world after a six month bout of severe depression - not the first and probably not the last - and can tell you that recovery is sometimes a long and bumpy road, and that you won't always be moving in a forward direction, but you WILL get there. Be kind to yourself and always remember you are not alone. Big hugs and much love xxx

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  64. Please take care honey!!! we all be here when you will feel better, I am going to pray for you too :)

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  65. I have wondered where you were and prayed everything was ok. I struggled with depression and anxiety for a year before realizing that I couldn't get out of it on my own - no matter how/what I tried. Once I started taking medication and went to counseling for awhile, I finally began to feel like myself again. I tell you this because I so remember the "dark pit" as I call it. There is light again and you will appreciate the light so much more! Hugs and many prayers to you.

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  66. Kelly, Thank you for checking in. I have been worried about you. Hugs and prayers.

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  67. Bless you, what a good thing to recognize you needed some support and act on it. Great job taking care of yourself so you can then take care of your family. Gentle Hugs and Love!

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  68. I've so been there and done that. I'm glad you're taking the steps to health, including a prescription. So many people shun the pill, and it can be a great addition to a well-balanced cure. I was on mine for only about 9 months. Good luck and it's great to see you blogging again!

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  69. You are BRAVE, you are STRONG, you are LOVING, you are HUMAN *bolded, underlined, italicized*.
    Hang in there hun, if you're not going anywhere, neither are we :)

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  70. Hi,
    I love your blog and appreciate your love for the Lord. I know you've gotten tons on comments and suggestions, but I wanted to share my own journey with you. After each of my babies, I struggled with PPD/anxiety. It felt worse each time. And again after I weaned each baby. My family doctor check my thyroid and blood levels, said all was well. After symptoms worsened, I saw my midwife. She ordered blood tests to check my hormone levels (specifically progesterone). Progesterone was low. I started bioidentical prog. cream (prescribed) and it has put me back to normal. Anti-depressants are good, but if you aren't feeling normal taking them, the hormones might be the problem.

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  71. Oh wow, sitting here late at night doing Mom stuff, and this post pops up and I think gladly "Oh there she is where has she been". I can't believe how honest you are and it is such a blessing to this world. I have been where you are and will be thinking about you, knowing you will come out the other side eventually. So glad to 'see' you. Sending a huge virtual hug.

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  72. Blessings to you, Kelly! I had PPD/anxiety after #3 & #4 & was on meds for 5 years. I didn't want to be, but with lots of littles running around, I needed it. This, too, shall pass. My baby is now 6 & I've been off meds for 3 years. Remember, the Will of God doesn't lead us anywhere the Grace of God can't find us.

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  73. I KNOW how it feels. I have been there in the deepest darkest bottom. I also know that down there it even seems like God isn't there anymore. But He is. Even when you don't FEEL him...he's there. He will never leave you and he love you SO very much. Hold on, dear lady, and keep doing your best. You WILL get there. I promise. I came into the light at the end of the tunnel and you will enjoy that warmth once again too. I want you to remember that you are a GREAT mama, you are a WONDERFUL wife and you are a BEAUTIFUL woman. And despite not feeling those things right now....they are TRUE. My thoughts and prayers are with you and I wish I could give you a big hug and come over to do your laundry/dishes and make a batch of cookies...and just BE with you. I don't know you but you are a sister in numerous ways. Love, Becky

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  74. Kelly, thank you so much for your honesty. Praying for you - for the peace that passes all understanding & for God's grace to carry you when you can't find the strength to do it yourself - blessings!!!!

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  75. Been there....Praying for you!!! :-)

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  76. My prayers are with you, Kelly, so you can be better and strong again soon! I'm sure you'll pull through and come out of this a better mom, wife and woman. Don't worry about us. We're all praying for you and wishing you the best. No pressure! <3

    God bless you!<33

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  77. I understand completely. I have been struggling since the birth of my first child 5 years ago. I have never been brave enough to seek help, though.
    Your own mental and physical health is what's most important. We'll all still be here whenever you're ready.

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  78. Kelly, I'm so sorry for this dark time.

    Know that we are working to change things so moms are surrounded by more knowledge, understanding and support of maternal mental health disorders.

    The 2020 Mom Project is a national campaign. This 3 min video explains what we are up to.
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0nk05y-h90

    Warmly,
    Joy

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  79. Thank you for posting this so honestly and beautifully. I was really missing you in my life and concerned. Now I know just how to pray for you. Don't forget you are wonderful xxxxx

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  80. Dear Kelly,
    When I read your post this morning I felt (and still feel) exactly like the way you described it. It's got nothing to do with what you have achieved in life or whether you seem to have everything.
    It just comes sometimes and you can do nothing about it except trying to cope with it.
    We all do. And we all are doing our best, like you!
    Here's a big silent hug for you! You'll be better, take your time. You've done it before!!!
    Love from the other side of the world
    Shelly

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  81. Don't worry about the blog, as said it's already "wonders-full" and we'll still be there when you'll be back. And as said, you're an admirable mother. Pray for you.
    Marie

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  82. Just wanted to add a very quick comment to say agreed with everyone else, you have already done such an amazing job with your blogs that I absolutely love, it would take me months to read all your content!
    Also I wanted to say that I particularly appreciate you covering PPD because you're the mother of 6 SIX children and whilst I am aware that it can 'strike' at any time, I think it's important the world remembers and knows that. So take your time getting better & we'll all still be here when you feel up to it, whenever that may be.
    XXX Biggest hugs Kelly!

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  83. I could not let this post go by without commenting. Depression is HARD. I have struggled with it most of my adult life and you described it so eloquently. Do what you need to do, take whatever time you need and feel better soon. Your blogging community will still be here when you get back, whenever that may be.

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  84. dear Kelly,
    wishing you all the best from across the ocean, don't be too hard on yourself! Hope you'll feel like you again soon,
    Helen

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  85. I was praying for you.... and very concerned that something like this was going on. :( I am a homeschooling mom to many as well and... um. boy. do. I. get. this.

    Unfortunately, I DON'T having a loving support system but I do have my Lord ;) and He did and does answer my daily prayers as well. When I do not have the strength to get out of bed, He gives it to me...... and some days, when I just know that His grace is sufficient, my children and I crawl into my big giant bed and watch Netfix archives on the Age of Dinosaurs or Volcanoes or Ancient Egyptians.... whatever floats our boat. And we pop popcorn. And I make spaghetti (the very easiest thing in our kitchen) for dinner and I snuggle and we have backscratching chains and somehow, God gets me through another day.

    Give yourself grace. He does. You will win this. It is not easy but you will win. I believe in you and I am praying for you.

    Much love and many prayers,

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  86. Kelly, I miss your blog posts but I totally understand as I've been there. Praying for you! Give all GLORY to God!

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  87. Wow, look at all the support you have with all of these comments! I had PDD with my second child. I remember being so shocked an confused with the scary feelings I had..rage, anger, sadness. And wondered why I wasn't happy with all the blessings I had? Take your time healing. And keep close to those who support you! And remember how brave you are for getting the help you needed!!! I also admire the fact you could share your story. More women have PPD and suffer through it when they don't have too. Hugs to you!

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  88. Hang in there Kelly! Take all the time you need to feel like yourself again. Love and hugs from another adoring fan.

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  89. Again, you are not alone. My second son was just 2 months old when my husband asked me why I wasn't eating. Reason? I wasn't hungry. No desire to eat. No motivation to find joy. With encouragement and 2 little boys counting on me, I too realized that I needed the little pill. It helped tremendously and as I felt better I was weaned off. Brighter days are to come and know you are blessed and loved by many. Finding delight in a chaotic life is indeed a simple pleasure you are so great at! Hoping the light shines brighter soon!

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  90. I found your blog while in the midst of my bout of PPD,A,OCD (depression, anxiety, and OCD). You helped me so much by being a light in the dark tunnel. It is very scary and lonely, but there are so many people you can lean on during this time. There are wonderful FB support groups (Postpartum Depression Support Group or Postpartum Depression for starters) where you can read other's stories or reach out for answers. Praying for you and hugs to you... I've totally been there!

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  91. So glad you acknowledge that you have this and by doing so, are helping others look into themselves a little more and find help. Too many times is depression "swept under the rug" as you put it, that people are not getting the help they need and deserve. Friends of mine are doing a Run for Mums in a nearby city where I live, to raise funds and awareness for postpartum depression and hope people begin to understand what it is all about. Hoping you find the light to your days again soon.

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  92. it's a difficult thing to admit Kelly. I still can't believe it happend to me. but each day is new, each day is a chance, each day is hope. pray for guidance and peace - I'll pray for you too.

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  93. The LORD has put you on my heart today . . . praying for you throughout the day.

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  94. Yesterday evening, BEFORE your post arrived at my inbox, I was searching for your Chicken Broth {in a crockpot!} recipe. It was as if the Lord was drawing me to your blog for a reason...

    I'm thankful you shared your heart with the world and, by the looks of the comments, you are definitely not alone. I have not had a baby recently but have moved from Germany back to the US, and am going through a similar battle of my own. I related to much of what you wrote. Thanks so much!

    (And I did use the broth recipe and am now cooling it to remove the excess fat at the moment.)
    ~Jennifer

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  95. Depression touches my life, as well. I know the feelings you speak of intimately.

    Do what you need for -you- to be okay. We will be here.

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  96. I love your blog. Praying that things will get better for you.

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  97. Thank you for your honesty. It must have been so hard to write this piece. Sending some extra prayers your way.

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  98. "It's wanting to crawl out of your skin and having nowhere to go." Such an accurate description, and so sad. Thank you for sharing! I've been there too...

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  99. Dear Kelly, Oh honey, I know that was so hard to write but thank you for getting help and for talking about it. I have suffered with depression all of my life. You just forget what feeling good feels like, but I promise one day you will feel the joy of life and you will say to yourself, OH YEAH, this is what I want to feel! Depression is just horrible but it will get better. Make sure you have the best medical care you can get and do not be hard on yourself. When getting out of bed takes every thing you have got you just can't tackle a mountain of things. Do what you can and ask for help. Please read the "spoons story"---you will understand when you read it. http://forums.prohealth.com/forums/index.php?threads/spoons-story-how-to-explain-our-disease-to-others.130905/ It is perfect for explaining to people how you feel and why you can't do everything. Yes, she has lupus and we have depression but chronic pain and fatigue is the same whatever the cause. I, myself, am having a 2 spoon day. Love your family and love yourself too. Praying for you....Betsy

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  100. Seeing my own experience from soem years ago, being written so precisely.. Was a bit shaking, to tell the truth.
    Good news is , it gets better - not on it's own, for me, but with help, and support, and yeah, the right prescription .

    Hugs.

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  101. Hi!!!

    I´m a spanish girl and I´m in love with your blog! Thanks for inpiring me! I really admire you! <3

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  102. Praying for you and your family in valencia, spain.be patient, God, s time isn, t our time...

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  103. I know very much what you are talking about. After my daughter was born in December I didn't recognize myself anymore and it frightened me. Thank you for being transparent about your feelings, it is such an important step in the right direction. I will be praying for you and your family. It will get better!

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  104. I just found your blog last week and have been slowly making my way through the archives.
    You are amazing. You are an inspiration. I wish I would know you in real life. :) (I'm pretty sure I've never said that about a blogger before! Hopefully not creepy!)

    When my twins were born last year (8 weeks early) I got hit with PPD pretty hard. Like sitting on my bathroom floor with a bottle of pills at 4am ready to end it all. It took a long time to get back to a happy place, but it really did happen, and every day will be slowly better than the last, and you will smile at every stupid thing again. Honest.

    Best wishes.

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  105. Thanks for being so honest. Take all the time you need and we will be here for you when you feel back to normal (or a different, wiser and more experienced you).
    Greetings from Austria.
    Thinking of you.

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  106. Hi Kelly,

    I've been reading your blog for over a year now. You inspired me to make a patchwork quilt for my daughter like you made for yours. A huge personal undertaking, since I'd never made anything bigger than a wheat bag before. But I got there. :)

    I live on the other side of the world from you, have two kids, not six, I don't home school and I work outside of the home. But I do feel connected to you, because we're both mums, who work hard to be the best that we can be, even though we do things differently.

    Your honesty humbles me. I've had friends with PND, and family with depression. It's not easy. But I know that you'll get there. Feel better soon.

    Hugs from Australia,
    Sarah

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  107. Hello Kelly
    I had very bad deppression as well and was put on seriquele but only had to take it for a year and things got so much better I read battlefield of the mind which helped get my thoughts in order because its important for us to know the devil doesn't come upon us with an army but whispers in our ear with all our imperfections speak the word out loud and get angry dont let him take advantage of u.....
    I love your blog that might sound crazy but it helped me Jesus died that we may have life and live it to the fullest Im praying for you

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  108. Kelly, you crossed my mind after I finished my devotional this morning. I prayed for you and your family. After reading this post, I know you will get better. It will take some time and patience with yourself. You are doing an amazing job, and you will continue to forge ahead. Take it moment by moment. I had PPD for two years, after my twins and then I got pregnant with our forth. I wish I had gotten a little pill. It wasn't until a year after he was born that it lifted. Do what is best for you and your family right now. We have plenty of wonderful archives to go through. You are a wonderful storyteller with bright spirit. I know you will emerge on the other side of this.
    Prayers, Blessings, and Happy Teal thoughts to you
    Jaminthia

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  109. You are on my favorites list and will remain my friend. I too have to deal with depression daily and I agree if taking that little pill makes me a better mother, friend and person then I will take it. Praying you will get better and back to where you want to be.

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  110. I've been looking for posts from you and missing them like crazy. I fully understand this post, as I've been diagnosed with PPD myself as well, though I've struggled with depression since I was a teenager. One of my dear sisters, who had her fourth in June is struggling with it as well as one of my best friends. It's just not talked about enough - everyone just assumes you're doing okay and I don't like telling people because it makes me feel weak and misunderstood.....Hang in there, love - we're all on your side and love you dearly. <3

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  111. It's a terrible feeling...to feel like your missing the big picture...to feel like a crap mom...when everyone says you are doing AN AMAZING JOB...when they say you make it look easy...but you don't you don't get it...you should be doing more...I feel fake...

    been there, take the pill and thank God that He has provided you the wisdom and the resources to get back to living in the moment with your angelfaces. Man, I think about how my children must have seen it... terrible thing postpartum....you miss so much. It will be better, you will be better. So many are there for you, Kelly. I've admired you from across the country. My go to inspiration was your blog.
    Breathe, exercise hard, eat clean, hug your babies, bless your husband, enjoy Autumn (your favourite season) have a Merry Christmas,
    Take care & thank you for inspiring so many.
    Writing from Northern BC
    Adrienne (mom to a 10yr & 2 yr old ID twin daughters)
    :)

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  112. Kelly, I've been reading you for a while but never left you a message.
    You CAN get out of this. It has happened in my family and although it seemed unbearable, it gets better. And before you know it it will be behind you. Just don't despair. You have our prayers and love from Greece...

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  113. I LOVE your posts, they were a big help to me when my mom passed, love to you girl, praying for you& yours. Susan ( mom of three and a big fan of Kelly)

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  114. Kelly, I so appreciate you being honest and authentic! I had bad postpartum after my first born, but I didn't know it...I just thought motherhood was awful. No one talks about postpartum and it IS awful, but you WILL get better. With your happy pill (which I took after each of my 3 children were born: ages 3,2 and 6 months and strength from God to get you through even the mundane tasks of the day, you will be normal again. Praying for you, because I know the days of Postpartum can be very dark. xoxo from Wyoming, USA

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  115. Oh, Honey. I've been there, too. It took me six months after the birth of my first child to realize I had PPD. Then, somehow, with my second child it came as a complete surprise eight months after that birth that I had PPD. I mean, you'd think I would have seen the signs and realized what was going on, but I think I was just so deep "in it" that I wasn't thinking rationally. With my third child, I told my Doctor: "Put my sweet newborn baby in one hand and put a pill in the other." I'm sorry you're going through this - I know it's hard and frustrating and also sort of....not always clearly defined (for lack of a better term), especially since some days are great and other days aren't and it's easy to be hard on yourself about being "lazy" or a "bad Mom". It sounds like you have a plan and some routines and good nutrition and you're on your way to recovering. Be especially kind to yourself right now. ((((((hugs))))))

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  116. I watched my cousin battle depression after her second child was born. It was not resolved until her third child was 2 years old. She lost many years of happiness with her little ones because she was too afraid to admit to the pain. I applaud your bravery in admotting you were not yourself and seeking help. There is nothing you cannot overcome with a good support system and God. Sending healing thoughts your way. God bless!

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  117. Reading your post was a confirmation for me. Ive only seen one of your blogs before this one....i have not been diagnosed with ppd.....but i now have the courage to make an appt with my dr...it has been a long long long road....i have 3 beautiful children...i believe ive suffered with depression since my 2nd (who is also ruby;) she is now six! My father passed while i was 7mos preg....then i got pregnant when ruby was 1....then violet came:) (4) and now....i have had 3 miscarriages in the last year and a half....but for some reason i dont feel "justified" to go to the dr........so thank u god for drawing me to your post....and that u for your honesty! I pray that the joy of the lord will be your strength!

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  118. What an inspiring post, on the bad days just come back to this post and read about the people who have taken the first steps to get some help for themselves because you had the courage to let everyone in on your struggles. Don't even worry about the blog/readers. We will still be here whenever you feel up to posting. Praying for you!

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  119. Hey Kelly, I am so touched that you were willing to share this very personal experience with us blog followers. Just know that you have an enormous amount of support through us and I know that in no time at all you will get back to being you - this is perfectly natural.
    The other thing I wanted to share with you was some information on Niacin (otherwise known as Vitamin B3). It seems, like me, you generally take a more natural approach to life, and Niacin has amazing anti-depressant qualities. I originally learned about it when I watched the Food Matters movie (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7K2tqxKf2EE) and having gone through something similar myself, I tried it and it had an amazing benefit for me. Of course, everyone is different and you have to do what works for you, I just wanted to share this information with you if you didn't already know about it, because boy was I grateful when I learned about it!

    All the best Kelly - I know you'll get through this!

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  120. Praying for you and sending love your way. May you find peace in your heart and may happiness fill your life again.

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  121. Thank you for having the courage to share what you're going through. I was diagnosed with postpartum depression when my fourth child was 7 months old. I went from being a confident, efficient mom to being paralyzed, like the simplest task was insurmountable. I desperately wanted to be normal again, my family needed me!

    I learned a lot through that experience. A six month course of anti-depressants helped to get me out of the "pit". You will feel yourself again. I find I am more understanding of others now, more empathetic.

    We need to speak out about our experiences like you have done, so that others will have hope and will know that this is more common than people think.

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  122. You are not alone! After my oldest was born, I slowly started slipping into a deep depression. I would lie awake at night filled with anxiety because I didn't want the morning to come. I was embarrassed and ashamed. All I ever wanted in life was to have children and be a stay at home mom. I finally had my dream come true, and I had this crippling depression. I couldn't stop comparing myself to other moms. I grew up in a family where medication was absolutely not an option, and depression was looked upon as self-pity.

    When my son was 8 months old, I finally sought the help from my OB/GYN. BEST DECISION EVER :) I started on medication which was a life saver. I stayed on the medication through my second pregnancy until last month (my youngest is now two). So, I was on medication 5 years.

    I am happiest I have ever been in my life. I love my husband and sons more than anything. However, I will not forget how scary depression felt. I still work hard on not comparing myself to other moms. I also realized over the years that I have to be completely honest with myself and be okay with my decisions.

    I know it seems like things won't get better, but they will!!
    Hugs,
    Jen

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  123. Awe...Kelly! I knew something was up; it was very brave of you to write that blog...and it was written very eloquently. I admire the way you open up to all of us. Know that we are praying for you! I can relate, as many other mothers can, to what you are saying. And like many others, I’m on the other side of that now and I can tell you with all confidence that YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE IT! The Lord is faithful and you can count on Him to help you through! You have lots of comments to read though, so I will keep this short, but know that you’re still a great mom, you and your family are going to come through this just fine, and we’re all here for you! BIG HUGS TO YOU!!!
    ~Kelly Wayne Tolono, IL

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  124. Simply put, prayer said for you. <3 Hugs to you. May God heal your heart, and may He help it to be a complete and healthy recovery. <3

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  125. Kelly, please consider adding a Vitamin D3 supplement to your diet and/or trying to get more sunshine on your skin (without sunscreen - sunscreen blocks the absorption of Vitamin D by the skin.) It worked wonders for me and completely eliminated my blues over time. I used to walk around crying and didn't know why, and I now understand that I had been suffering mild depression most of my life. I even had PPD like you after the birth of my children. Now I just feel normal and can't remember the last time I cried. It's easy to do a little research on the internet about the connection between Vitamin D deficiency and depression. There is a lot of information out there. A good place to start is here:

    http://www.naturalnews.com/039643_depression_vitamin_d_deficiency.html

    and here:

    http://www.vitamindwiki.com/Depression

    I also just got out of the house and walked around the block for 15 minutes or so most days. Do whatever exercise you can do. I really do believe that fresh air, a little exercise, sunshine, and Vitamin D (I took 5,000 I.U. per day for a few months, then cut back to 2,000) along with a good multivitamin and attention to nutrition, helped improve my whole outlook. (Also, drink more water. It helps your system function better - kind of like watering plants - gives you more energy, and flushes toxins out of your system.) I'm not saying it's a cure-all, but it certainly can't hurt you and just might help.

    I just discovered your blog today and am so impressed with your talent and wisdom. I will keep reading. Good luck. You will get through this. --Gail

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  126. Praise to you for coming out about this! And praise to you for getting a plan. It is difficult to have a plan and follow through with it when you are in the throws of depression (I know, from personal experience). I am new to your blog and just added it to my bookmarks. Take your time and more importantly, take care of yourself--your family will be grateful later for the fight you when through for you and them.
    Prayers!
    Kim

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  127. I am so very , very sorry to hear this. You come across as a wonderful person and a GREAT mum. Your children are sweet and LOVED in all you do for them. I have alwsys found your posts inspirational, I hope you find healing and know that many will now be praying for you too.

    Rinty

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  128. Kelly!!!!! I can't tell you how much this post means to me. I accidentally arrived here and oh my god...... So this is what's happening to me!!! I've never felt so relieved in a long time. I had almost lost hope of finding my true self..... Thanks a ton..... So glad I've found you even when we're probably miles apart

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  129. Take all the time you need. I, and many other women, are praying and standing guard for your heart. Be gracious with yourself, be kind to yourself, don't be afraid to "outsource" things in your life for a while. Lots of love to you!!!

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  130. Hi Kelly, even though I'm a male, yet I can understand a little bit about what women has to undergo with their hormonal changes. I can't imagine if I were to face what women are facing.
    I have a suggestion on how solve the depression, try to read any chapter of Quran. I always find it helpful. You'll be amazed by it, I swear. you don't need a printed copy to read it, it's available online for free, in multiple English translation and languages. One website that I use regularly is quran.com.
    May God help you and me. Cheers

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  131. Kelly, I've enjoyed reading your blog so many times. And reading this I can't help but wish I could give you some of the joy your blog has given me. You seem to be on the right way though, and you have a support network which I believe is really important. There are so many comments before mine, haven't read them all, but I'm sure that we all, in our own ways, are supporting you as well as we can. While I'm not religious, you will be in my thoughts.
    All the best, Malin in Sweden.

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  132. Hi Kelly! A friend referred your blog to me. I am coming through the exact same thing and you are on the right track, plus you have Jesus to bring peace in your heart everyday even if the day isn't a great one.

    Here was the post I did on my jewellery business blog a few months back - yours is a thousand times clearer and I am grateful for moms like you who take the lid off topics like depression and make it OK.

    http://kristikyle.blogspot.com/2013/07/hello.html

    When I am having a tough day, I will remember to pray for you too x

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  133. Hang tight kelly! I read your blog often and havent said much but i want you to know you can always write to us...Psalms 34:17 When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles...amy in kerry, ireland

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  134. I have been there - though I could never have worded the pain as eloquently as you have. It is hard, it is miserable but it does pass. You are an amazing mother, a wonderful person, and an inspiration to more people than you realize. We are praying for you and your family, always.

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  135. You are not alone. I have and still do walk that road personally. Thank you for sharing because in doing so, you give other moms permission to be imperfect, seek help for themselves and come out of the shadows of mommy shame. I want to be that mom again too. God bless.

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  136. You have shown so much strength in writing that post and in your honesty. I LOVE your site - amazing! Best wishes to you... I don't think I could have written that having gone through it. You're awesome!

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  137. I read your post.
    I cried.
    I went to bed for 3 days and hid from how deeply it affected me.
    I let my husband and 3 beautiful children think I had the flu.
    Thank you for your honesty, it has given me the courage to be honest with myself.
    I wish you all the joy you are seeking to regain and then some.
    Thank you.
    Thank you for speaking your pain. You have given me the courage to face what it is I'm going through.

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  138. Hi Kelly. I liked your comment "I've got a support system and a plan. Help from good friends on long days. Prayers. A better diet, regular exercise, fresh air, and a prescription. Because if this little pill will help me to be a better mom, a better wife, a better friend, then I will take it." I agree but am apprehensive about the little pill. I recommend doing as much research on this because I have seen a lot more bad than good come from these medications. Irving Kirsch & Mercola.com are a good start. If you decide to take the prescription, I pray that it helps you. This was not intended as a lecture or to be preachy. There are still many debates on this topic. You are a good mom, wife & friend. I just want the best for you. :)

    Love Cheryl (an old friend)

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  139. I just came back here to let you know that after reading this post, I realized too that something might be wrong. I'm 34 weeks pregnant and didn't even realize I could be depressed. Have a support system in place and hopefully will be able to get better and not have the PPD that I'm sure I would have had otherwise. Hugs, and thank you so much for this blog. - Lianne

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