A Year in the Life of PPA

I’ve wanted to share this for some time now but just couldn’t quite find the words.

Life is funny. And weird. It’s so freaking weird sometimes.

Looking back at the past year I find it so unbelievable that you can have the best year of your life at the same exact time as hands down your most difficult year on this planet.

As time gets closer and closer to our daughter’s first birthday I can’t help but think back at how much has happened since she’s been born and the whirlwind of ups and downs that has followed us through the past 12 months.

I knew I wanted to be a Mom. I knew there would be ups and downs. I knew that the second I saw her my heart exploded and being her mother was the reason I was put here. I knew no one would ever love her like I do. I knew that it was going to be a big transition from a family of four (my husband and two stepsons) to a family of five.


It took too long for me to figure out that what I was experiencing in the months following her birth was more than me just being nervous about being a new Mom.

It took too many declined invitations to meet up with other Moms…

Too many excuses as to why I couldn’t go somewhere, eat at a restaurant, go shopping or bring the baby to visit…

Too many “pep talks” I had to give myself before being around people, including family…

Too many days in a row of not leaving the house…

And a few instances that are unfortunately burned into my memory…

I had a really bad panic attack in the grocery store in October where I left a full cart of groceries and called my husband in full on frenzy ugly-cry mode (although I did responsibly note which aisle I left it in so he could find it easily when he went back to buy them).

There was the day we took our kids to see Santa Clause. It will forever be in my “Mom-guilt closet” because I missed everything. I put the baby on Santa’s lap, the room instantly spun, my face turned red, I couldn’t breathe and I had to get out of there. I wish I could apologize to the nice lady who was trying to take a family picture with my parents and grandparents and all of the kids. I swear I’m not a Grinch. I thought I was going to pass out by the Christmas tree.

And then in early January I was on a day date with my husband in Panera and had a panic attack that had me literally gripping the table, trying to take deep breaths, failing at that, and leaving. Quickly. I bolted out the door for fear of completely losing my mind (followed by my sweet husband who made sure to grab my sandwich on the way out. Bless him I swear)…

In the days following the Panera incident I realized that without even meaning to, I had little by little rearranged almost everything in my life to avoid anything I thought would trigger one of these episodes. I ordered my groceries online where some nice smiling person would shop for me and then bring them to my car (WalMart pick up is amazing by the way, I don’t think I’ll ever change doing this!), everything else I needed was brought to my doorstep via Amazon Prime. I even did an eye exam on 1-800-contacts.com to update my prescription so I didn’t have to go into the office. I realized I hadn’t gotten my nails or hair done, been to a girls night, or gone to a restaurant since the baby was born.

I also realized the only people who knew were my husband and my parents. Not because I was purposely trying to hide. I dont care about being imperfect or “only showing good things on social media” or having flaws. I just didn’t understand what was going on so I didn’t really know how to explain it. I am very much a homebody and always have been, but this was on a whole other level.

It took way too long to realize that Post-Partum-Anxiety was affecting my life, my personality and my relationships. I specifically say PPA and not PPD because I wasn’t depressed. I wasn’t crying in my bed. I wasn’t having abnormal thoughts. I was tired as hell but still so happy and grateful for my family so I didn’t connect the dots that it could be post-partum related. My baby was happy and loved and cared for, and I was happy to be the one with her. Because of this, I thought my constant racing mind and worrying every single time I knew I’d be leaving the house was normal.

In the past few years I have experienced anxiety, but only when I was taking birth control and since I stopped taking it altogether it became almost nonexistent. Until after I had baby girl. This period of time was different. I think of it like my mind being a race car, going round and round at full speed without stopping.

I made an appointment with my OB and the day of I almost didn’t go in. I was sitting in the parking lot contemplating leaving but couldn’t stop thinking about my husband and my daughter. I walked into that appointment because of them and laid 10 months worth of anxiety, panic attacks, insecurities and tears on my doc.

I wasn’t too surprised when she prescribed me a anti-depressant. I probably would have given myself one too if I were in her shoes because I just had so much built up I didn’t even realize was there and the tears were flowing like freaking Niagara Falls. The more I spoke about it out loud to someone though, the better I felt. I walked out of there feeling lighter. Slightly embarrassed, but definitely lighter.

Through my chat with the doctor I also realized I hadn’t slept through the night in months, as our little angel wasn’t a big fan of sleep. I was running on fumes a lot of the time. I realized that leaving my career was harder on me than I thought it was going to be, that while I was happy being with the baby and wouldnt change the decision, the transition to a stay-at-home-Mom had been a challenge. My husband also left his job and we started a company together in which I was in charge of finances for a business in a field I knew nothing about. I had people calling me about invoices and questions while I was holding a teething baby who hadn’t slept all night. One time I even sent a check to the wrong person. Throw in everyday adulting like making sure the family eats, the bills are paid, the laundry is done, homework is complete and correct, keeping the house in somewhat working order and trying to be the Stepmom and wife I was before all of this, and here I was. I had put so much damn pressure on myself that I weighed myself down. Its not my husband’s fault, its not my kid’s fault. I hit my limit but didn’t ask for help. That’s on me.

Through this I have learned that stress does different things to people and this is how it showed up during this time in my life. Looking back now I see these panic attacks and behavior changes not only as something out of the ordinary, but as warning signs that I ignored. The mind and body are powerful things and will tell you when something is wrong. When you ignore it you feed it, and that is the worst thing you can do.

I think as strong women we like to think we can do it all, and we do regardless of the situation. We’re wired to put our heads down and keep pushing forward in the name of keeping things running because let’s be honest here – without us, things fall apart.

Once the dust had settled from starting my husband’s company, my Young Living business hitting a milestone, baseball season and all of the holidays were over, I couldn’t hide behind anything. Everything and everyone else was finally settled and ok. And so I broke down.

Luckily, my husband was there to catch me and so were my parents. I was honest with myself and with them. I also finally reached out to other Moms and my friends. It was almost a relief that what I was feeling had a name. That I wasn’t crazy or losing my mind and I wasn’t “sick”. That other people knew exactly what I was talking about. That I was still a kickass Mom. That I was OK!

In my personal situation, I chose to not take the anti-depressant and instead wanted to try changing certain aspects first. I’m far from full on “crunchy” but I do believe in natural remedies as a first option because my body has a hard time with medication in general.

A friend of mind suggested a meditation app called “Headspace” which was a big help. Download it today. Everyone needs 10 minutes of quiet and stillness.

I also started taking vitamins and a natural alternative to the anti-depressant. I began making sure I went outside daily and talked to my girfriends on a regular basis. I made sure I was going places with baby girl and also getting alone time. Also, shortly after my doctor visit the little one started sleeping through the night, which meant my sleep also got back on track. Broken sleep + stress is one awful combination. Go to bed at a decent hour.

To be honest I am not sure if I’ll ever be 100% free of anxiety. I am not saying that I will never in my life have another panic attack or that being in a super crowded area won’t make me nervous. I am fairly certain anticipation and I will never be friends. However, I can say with confidence that I have this certain situation much more under control and that the worst of it lives in the past right alongside those months of sleepless nights.

I am at a point where I am completely ok with sharing this with anyone because I understand it now. If even one person reads this and says to themselves, “This sounds like my friend”. Or sister. Or daughter. Or even themself. Then its totally worth it. This is real and raw and the worst feeling I’ve ever had. I don’t want anyone to feel like that if they don’t have too.

And finally, if you’re ever in Panera or anywhere public, and you see a woman rushing out the door followed by a man holding two sandwiches, don’t assume they’re arguing. And if you see a cart full of groceries in the store with no one in sight, leave it be. A worried spouse might be on their way to get it.

((Special shout out to my amazing grocery-getter, sandwich-grabber, Santa-picture-taker husband. Christopher you’re a damn good man and I love you ❤️))

((Good article about PPA – https://www.parents.com/parenting/moms/healthy-mom/the-other-postpartum-problem-anxiety/ ))

You Mom. You Mom Hard!

When you and your bestie both end up with your babies on a hot Saturday (in October!!!!) at the Farmers Market to work your booth….what do you do?

You Mom. You Mom hard! 

Here’s to all of you Momtrepreneurs out there hustling to get all of your jobs done!

LOTS of coffee and LOTS of oiling happened today! But it was well worth it!


coffee. oil. repeat.

I was debating for awhile on how to start this whole thing off. I went back and forth and started writing things and ended up deleting all of them because nothing seemed to fit for that first “Here I am and here is my blog” post.
Then last night happened.
First of all, I am 30 years old and have been happily married for almost two years. I have two stepsons, ages 7 and 11, a 5-month-old baby girl and then there’s Duke the family dog. The levels of crazy in our house vary anywhere from “laugh it off” all the way up to “want to gauge your eyes out with a spoon and chug wine straight from the bottle”. It really just depends on the day. I’m sure you can relate.
I heard all of the horror stories about babies while I was pregnant (thanks, world!) so I was pretty terrified when the hospital said “Ok, you can go home. Bye! Good luck!”. I was confident in the fact that my husband had done this twice before so I just kept telling myself he would know what to do. So far, baby girl has been fairly “easy” as I guess some would call it. She slept through the night pretty early on, cries when hungry, over-tired and/or gassy and eats like a champ. For a first time Mom who was scared to death, I am beyond grateful for all of these things.
I’m usually the one who gets up during the night if need be. I’m a light sleeper, a morning person and my husband works long hours so I don’t mind.
For some reason last night I just couldn’t hang.
Maybe it was because it was a string of a few rough nights, perhaps the weather is to blame, maybe I had things on my mind, maybe it’s that time of the month or I was just really overtired. I don’t know for sure but “Positive Polly” that my friends jokingly call me was not in the house last night.
It was just bad. If you’ve had a kid for 10 minutes you know how it can feel being up for the duration of the night. Some nights you feel like a total rock star and then on others you feel like your head is going to explode. Some nights they rock right back to sleep and others they suddenly become night crawlers that just will not go back to sleep no matter what you do. I waited until the point where BOTH baby and myself were about to have the tears flowing before I cracked and got my hubby involved. That sounds too nice, let me rephrase because I can’t make this sound like I went in quietly to gently wake up my husband. I walked into our bedroom at 3:45 am complete with crazy-mom-bun hair and hands on my head and pretty much yelled, “She’s driving me crazy!!!!”. Bless this man, he got up, probably figuring it was bad since that’s not a normal move on my part. He told me to go to sleep but in my crazy state of mind I was too wound up and thought for some reason I should fill him in on EVERY detail of the past 2 hours. I mean, its SUPER important he knows exactly how much she’s eaten and that her diaper is clean and she fell asleep when I rocked her in the chair but not on the couch and that I didn’t have a chance to wash the bottle yet and it’s still sitting on the counter and will smell horrible in the morning if we don’t clean it…….
Yea. I was in total mombie-psycho mode.
It was definitely the worst night I have had probably ever, even when you throw in the time my stepsons threw up all night like clockwork every 30 minutes or the first night we had Duke (definitely a future post). But, like all nights do, it ended, the sun came up and the coffee pot went off at 5:00 a.m. as usual (Thank you sweet Jesus for that!). I found my hubby had gotten himself back to the bed and my little girl was sound asleep on her blanket-covered boppy looking like a little angel.
Here’s the main point for all of this….
Before my husband left for work he asked me if I was ok and immediately the tears started coming and I blurted out a question that I am positive has crossed every mother’s mind at some point…
“Am I a good Mom?”
Now I don’t know many things for sure because I’ve learned in my 30 years so far that absolutely nothing ever goes as planned or turns out like you think it will. But, I can say one thing and one thing only for certain; I married the right man.
“What do you mean ‘Are you a good Mom?’. Of course you’re a good Mom. You’re the best Mom”.
“But”…((sobs))…”I got so frustrated and it’s not her fault she’s just a baby and I can usually handle it and I’m sorry I woke you up I think I’m just getting my period but its been a long few nights, but seriously who gets frustrated when it’s just a little baby….”
“Umm, try every single parent in the world! But the thing is, if you care about whether or not you’re a good parent, then guess what, you are.”
I love him. And the coffee he poured me after that. And the snuggles I got all morning from little.
Ladies. Being a Mom is hard. Being a Stepmom is hard. I hear you, I AM you!
So pour the coffee, stock up on the lavender and let’s do this Mom thing.
It’s basically how I get through life at this point;
coffee. oil. repeat.
And I want to share the crazy with you 🙂