I am about a week late posting my support for Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act Blog Day. Busy week – traveling, guests, and everything in between. I do not quite manage to plan far enough in advance to pre-post a blog post. Maybe someday, right? I’ve even got articles in the making I need to finish…laundry to do…kids to raise…a husband to train… *grin*
In all seriousness, I am adding my voice to so many out there who are screaming with all their hearts about how important this act is to the women of this nation. Let me give a couple of different perspectives that I, personally, have experienced.
First, I was so incredibly fortunate and blessed to have a doctor, nurses, and close friends who were all educated about this illness. How often does that happen? Really, not often enough. I know I am in a slim minority with that kind of support. When PPD hit me like a speeding train, they were all there to catch me and I received help so fast that most of the time I hardly remember what happened when. All I knew was that I was getting help. The hopelessness I felt had begun to dissipate slowly but surely and I was surrounded by a gentle cushion of love and encouragement, along with the support of concerned and educated medical professionals.
That is how it should be. That is what I desire it to be for every woman in America.
But that is not the case. How do I know?
In this ministry called Out of the Valley Ministries, Inc. where you are reading this blog, I have been in contact with so many women, more than I can count. I have heard countless stories from women who have lost all hope of speaking to their doctors any more about how they feel. Their doctors have minimized their feelings, not listened, dismissed them and their symptoms, simply called in a prescription without listening to the entirety of what as going on and asking questions to get the whole scope of the new mom’s situation. I’ve talked to women who have had no home support – significant others and loved ones who tell the new mom to get over it and move on, friends who disappear, churches that abandon them and tell them they have no faith, they need to read Scripture more and pray more. I’ve talked to women who have attempted suicide, I’ve had to tell husbands what their wife just attempted, I’ve prayed with women over the phone at midnight because of anxiety and confusing thoughts and feelings and not understanding what is going on. I’ve answered numerous email questions about the very same stuff as well.
This underscores the need for education and screening.
Both personally as a survivor, and as a lay advocate and encourager, I’ve seen enough to know that the passage of this act is vital. I’ve had enough of hearing of more news stories of moms committing suicide or harming their infants or even sharing of those intrusive thoughts, and then hearing the common masses crucify her in the press and internet.
Walk a mile in our shoes. You. have. no. idea.
The least we can all do is support the passage of a bill that would assist women in becoming better moms if they are sick, and screening at-risk moms, educating moms and health professionals. This hurts no one, and helps everyone. To not pass it harms everyone – everyone.
To those of you who do support it, thank you from the depths of my heart. Your heart and your concern for new moms is so clear in such a simple act. We are forever grateful, as are future moms and babies. Their very lives depend on it.
To those of you who do not and seem to believe the act is about forcing pills down someone’s throat (and no, it is NOT) I ask that you first walk a mile in my shoes, in Melanie’s shoes, in her mother’s shoes, in any survivor’s shoes, in any deceased mother’s family’s shoes, then tell me it doesn’t need to be passed. Until then…