Mother’s Day- from my mother

An extra special Happy Mother’s Day to my beautiful daughter and mother to my four favorite little people. I know you probably don’t want anyone to wish you Happy Mother’s Day because it must seem impossible to feel happy through this incredible pain, but your role as their mother deserves to be recognized and honored.

Mothering Willow, Reid, and Ivy will be a fairly easy and enjoyable role compared to mothering Aspen. Being Aspen’s Mom means not only carrying her but carrying the pain of her loss for the rest of your days.

On April 15th, Aspen took her last breath and her little body died, but it was only her body that died. Her soul didn’t end; your love for her didn’t end; your role as her mom didn’t end. She still exists, although painfully you can’t see her and your arms will forever ache to hold her. Your love for her didn’t end, and throughout your life that love will continue to grow just as if she were still on earth. Your role as her mom didn’t end, but now it must evolve.

A mother’s role to her children is constantly evolving, and it’s not always easy to fit into the new role you play in your child’s life. I struggle constantly with my role as your mom. When you were young it was easy. As you grew, you changed, and I had to try (although I have often failed) to change with you. I had to learn to become mom to a teenager, then mom to a mom; and now as you learn to become a mom to a child in heaven, I will be learning how to become mom to a bereaved Mom.

There’s so much literature on parenting a baby, parenting a toddler, parenting a special needs child, parenting a teenager, etc, but I don’t know of any resources or self-help books on parenting a child in heaven.

How do you continue to parent your child when the abyss between heaven and earth separate you? I don’t know the answer, but I’ll walk beside you as you learn. I know part of that role will be to continue to love and honor Aspen. We will all carry her with us for all of our days, but it is you who knew her best, you who bore witness to her life, you will know best how to continue to love and honor her until you see her again.

Maybe part of parenting her now, will be finding her purpose. Not the purpose in her death because I don’t know that we will ever understand it, but maybe the purpose in her life. When God created Aspen, He created her in His imagine, perfect in every way. He knew her and loved her and had a plan for her…a perfect plan. Before she was conceived, before you took your first breath, before the earth was ever formed, God knew the length of her days and the number of her breaths, and in His omniscience He chose you to be her mother. He gave her to you for a reason; He had a purpose.

I don’t have the answer to how you parent a child in heaven, but I know that you will find the answer, you will find a way. You alone are Aspen’s mother, you alone can fill that role. It’s not a role that ends with death; it’s a role that continues through eternity. It will mostly likely be the hardest role you ever fill, but you will find a way, even as the abyss between heaven and earth separate you, because you alone can do it and because the love between you is eternal.

I wish you a Happy Mother’s Day because despite the grief you deserve happiness and because you are a wonderful mother. I love you! And I love my four little Woodland Creatures.



Growing up my siblings and I always made fun of my dad on birthdays and holidays because cards were always in my moms handwriting signed

mom and dad.

I have 3 cards from my dad in his handwriting.

I’ve saved all of them.

One on my birthday when he was deployed.

One when I was walking through what, at the time, I believed was the darkest valley I’d have to walk through.

Don’t get me wrong he was the best dad in the world cards just weren’t his thing.

Today was hard.

He wrote in card for me today.

You’re the most loving and caring person, while being a warrior when needed.

From him that means a lot.

Because he is a warrior.

My whole life I’ve watched him leave to go defend our country.

He has been my hero my entire life.

He doesn’t say things he doesn’t mean

(So yes he meant it when he said I’m his favorite)

Seriously though he doesn’t.

He’s real.

He is well spoken.

And even when he is fuming he chooses his words wisely.

Saturday he was telling me about someone he used to work with.

He said he was the one they let off his leash when things spiral.

They break the glass in emergency and let him go.

A weapon.

My dad has always been that for me.

I’ve broken the glass more times than I can count.

To let my dad fight my battles.

When I was too small.

When I was too weak.

When everything with Aspen happened I knew the cards I held.

I broke the glass.

Sick the hounds.

He has seen me at my lowest.

He has been a punching bag.

When I was screaming at him to get out of my house but he knew I was having a mental breakdown and followed me until he saw I was safe.

He’s left work so many times to come to the rescue.

He forgives quickly.

He said I was a warrior.

But I feel like the saddest most pathetic excuse of a human right now.

I feel like I need a warrior.

And he reminded me every terrible thing in my life I’ve recovered from.

Not gracefully.

Not in the best ways.

I regret a lot.

I tear myself apart over some choices I made.

But my warrior

Thinks I’m a warrior.

I don’t.

But I survived Mother’s Day.

That is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

So while getting out of bed yesterday seemed so simple.

That alone took a warrior.

A child in heaven and it’s Mother’s Day

Tomorrow it’s Mother’s Day.

I’m sure my mom got a card or flowers and signed it from my kids.

My 5 year old yelled today “MOM did you know it’s mudders day tomorrow?”

I nodded.

Kind of annoyed.

With a 5 year old.

That sounds awful I know.

But I also have an 8 month old who I haven’t seen in 4 weeks.

Because she’s in heaven.

I saw her for the last time April 14th.

She took her last breath April 15th.

I don’t care that it’s Mother’s Day.

I’m angry that everyone else can kiss their babies tomorrow.

Meanwhile my voicemail if full of investigators and medical examiners.

It’s so many questions.

Some days I like talking about her.

But most days I can’t say her name.

I can’t think of her without breaking down.


For me.

Please kiss your babies.

Whether they be a day old or 70 years old.

Tell them you love them.

Trace the lines where their smile forms.

Tell them everything you want.

Remember their smell.

Be thankful you have them.

Right now I feel like I have PPD.

But worse.

I love my kids.

But I’m also terrified of them.

I don’t want to love them.

That sounds awful right?

But not in that way.

I’m scared they’ll go too.

I’m terrified.

My heart has spent the past 5 years being torn out of my chest.

Stomped on.

Shoved back in.

And people praise me.

You’re so strong.

Can you talk to my cousin/friend/whoever

I admire you

Meanwhile I cry myself to sleep almost every night.

I had severe PTSD and PPD at the same time.

That was a cakewalk compared to this.

Have you ever looked in the mirror and hated that it wasn’t you?

That your child left instead of you.

I went in my backyard last weekend.

I smashed so many dishes.

I screamed.

I broke dish after dish.

As if that would bring her back.

I sat in my sandy Florida backyard.


My face stained in tears.

With my head between my knees.

My face was covered in sand.

I yelled at God.

She did nothing wrong.

Punish me.

She was pure.

She was perfect.

Why her.

I still don’t understand.

I’m trying.

But I don’t get it.

I have so many messages I don’t even read because I don’t have the energy.

I scroll through her pictures in the middle of the night.

I wish I could go back and hold her a little tighter.

I reread texts and my heart sinks so far into my stomach.

Most days it feels like I’m walking through a fog with an elephant sitting on my chest.

I’m angry.

I’m confused.

This Mother’s Day do what I can’t.

For me.

For Aspen.

Kiss them.

Love them.

Squeeze them.

Cherish every inch of them.

Tell them how glad you are you have them.

For all the moms who can’t kiss their littles tomorrow.

Do it for us.

Do it for the mothers like myself who are dreading tomorrow.

I love you to the moon and back my little winter bear. I know you know how far that is cause you’re already there. I never knew a love like this could ever possibly exist. I love you to the moon and back. As long as I live. 💜🦋🐻🌙


Aspen came home.

Her urn isn’t here yet so they gave me a temporary one.

I was told she was ready 2 days early.

I loaded the kids.

Took them to my mom’s.

My dad insisted on going with me.

I said no.

I needed to have her to myself.

I am reading a book written by mothers who have lost their child and every single one talks about driving recklessly.

I had to force myself to not do that.

I didn’t realize I was taking the toll bridge until the last minute.

I fumbled through my wallet and couldn’t find anything.

And then I saw my waitress book on the floor of my car.

I opened it up and basically threw my money at the man.

I didn’t even stop my car.

I pulled into the empty funeral home.

Cindy had come in on her day off just to let me pick Aspen up.

It was oddly beautiful when I pulled in.

The flowers were blooming.

And as I walked to the door I saw a purple flower that clearly wasn’t planted like the rest creeping over the sidewalk.

I audibly said “hey little bug”

And when I realized it left my mouth I looked around to see if anyone saw even though it was empty.

I was hoping to see a butterfly.

But there were none so I rung the doorbell.

She opened the door.

She looked at me with the same eyes everyone looks at me with now.

The sad eyes.

The eyes that don’t know what to say.

The eyes that scan my face to see if I’m going to cry or scream.

She walked me to her small desk.

She opened a cabinet.

As she opened it I noticed a butterfly on her bracelet and my heart sank.

She pulled her urn out of the cabinet.

She told me she was cremated on the 3rd.

Honestly I blocked most of what she said out.

She put my daughter in a box and the box in a bag.

She offered to carry her to the car.

I said no.

I grabbed the bag and walked to the car.

I couldn’t drive.

I pulled her out of the box.

I held her urn against my chest.

I screamed at the top of my lungs with tears pouring down my face.

I unscrewed the lid to read the details on the lid.

The ashes didn’t look how I anticipated.

I don’t know what I expected.

I pulled myself together.

I held her urn in my lap as I drove.

I talked to her like a crazy person.

I told her what we’d been up to the past three weeks.

I told her my darkest thoughts.

I told her sorry.

I felt like I was actually insane.

I couldn’t stop talking.

I pulled over.

There were purple flowers everywhere.

I cried.

This time I couldn’t stop.

I threw up on the side of the road.

When I finally got back to my moms I put Aspen in between my seats.

I didn’t want anyone touching her.

I grabbed my kids.

Drove home.

I set Aspen on my dresser.

Willow wanted to show everyone that sis is home.

“Absens pixie dust is here.. want to see?

Aspen you’re home.

I’m happy you aren’t alone anymore.

But this is a pain that never goes away.

I think everyday I just learn to mask it more and more.

I watched a video of myself the other day.

I don’t even recognize that person.

She died with you that day.

I look at myself in the mirror and the happiness doesn’t reach my eyes anymore.

I look in the mirror and see a shell of a human.

I see an empty person.

Smiling doesn’t feel natural anymore.

When I laugh I feel guilty for being able to laugh.

I went out last night for dinner.

He said “I saw today you got..” and trailed off.

And I just said yeah. Because he meant well but I didn’t want him to have to finish that thought because I don’t even know how to finish it.

I got Aspen.

I got my daughter.

I got the remains of my child.

As we were walking there was a baby in front of us and I felt my heart crumbling in my chest.

I don’t know how to do this.

Everyone keeps saying “there’s no right way”

“Just do what you have to do”

“Lean on God”

And baby I’m trying but this life will never feel right without you.

Sleep is either night terrors of that day again.

Or you rotting.

Or you being alone.

I can’t unsee your body in that ER room.

It haunts me everyday.

Or sleep is you alive and happy.

I don’t know which is worse.

Because I wake up broken hearted all over again.

I love you more than I’ve ever loved anything.

I wish I could change so much.

I wish it had been me instead of you.

I wish you had had a chance to fall in love with the ocean.

And climb mountains.

And fall in love.

And climb into my bed in the middle of the night when you couldn’t sleep.

And go to prom.

And smell the flowers.

And road trip.

And have a favorite band.

And laugh until you cried.

And taken hour long bubble baths.

And been embarrassed when I was the loudest parent at your soccer games.

And have a favorite color.

And played a sport.

And stolen clothes from Ivy’s closet.

And dated Reid’s friend and fought over it for weeks.

And sing in the shower.

And jump in rain puddles.

And dance in the kitchen.

And learn to ride a bike.

I wish you got to live.

I’ll always wonder who you would have been.

I’d give anything to hear your little giggle one more time.

Fly high little bug

But her body is much smaller.

As I stared at the cremation order the words were blurred because my eyes were still full of tears.

He said go over the information make sure it’s correct.

7 months. 11 days.

21 days I was annoyed he couldn’t do his job. I was annoyed I was tired and didn’t feel like I should have to correct something so simple.

She was seven months and 21 days old

He crossed out the 1 and wrote in a 2.

I scanned the rest.

He went over the details.

You can buy an urn from us.

Blah blah blah

It usually takes 4-6 hours for adults

“But her body is much smaller than an adults…”

I remember looking up over the paperwork as I felt the wind had been knocked out of me with so much hatred for this old man just doing his job.

Great. That is great. I’m so happy she’ll be in and out quicker than your average person

Thank you for the information.

I wanted to flip the desk.

I hated this old man more than I had hated anyone and for a reason that wasn’t really his fault.

The past three weeks I’ve realized people say a LOT of stupid things.

They mean well.

But it’s hurtful and honestly just annoys me.

The people who say you have to move on.

As if they’ve lost a child.

As if it’s that simple.

I took the pen.





Then when I went back to see her the same old man was sitting behind his desk.

He walked me back to her.

Her lips were the wrong color.

I again felt that same hatred.

Why couldn’t you get her lips the right color?

Her cheeks were hard.

She was cold.

They said “the funeral home is taking good care of her”

Then why was she cold?

She was alone.

She was cold.

Her lips were wrong.

She was stiff.

I hated him.

I was supposed to have half an hour.

I stayed for closer to an hour and a half.

When he came back in I wanted to scream.

You can’t tell me my time with her is over.

She is my child.

I am never going to see her again in this life.

You cannot tell me our time is up.

He stood next to the crib that she was in.

My dad and granddad tried to tell me it was time.

It was time to put her down and say goodbye.

My legs felt weak.

I knew I was never going to see her.

I begged my mind to not forgot anything about her.

I told her how sorry I was I let her go.

I kissed her face one last time and walked out being supported by my dad and my granddad.

I think my brain couldn’t handle it.

I remember feeling really light headed.

And then nothing.

When I “woke up” I was in the back of my dads car.

He was holding me against his chest.

I couldn’t form words so I knew I had had a seizure.

I suffer from stress induced seizures.

I felt numb.

I couldn’t form words and my right side wasn’t working correctly yet but I was so numb.

I needed to go home.

I wanted to be with her things.

I hated that old man.

It took me a while to realize it wasn’t him I hated.

I hated the fact that I’d never see her again.

I hated that she wasn’t alive.

I hated that no one saved her.

I hated that by the time the ambulance got to her she was cold.

I hated that the second I walked in that ER room and all the doctors and nurses looked up at me I knew she was gone.

I knew they were trying to “save” her so that I didn’t think they quit on her.

Her heart never started again.

She never took another breath.

She was dead well before 911 was called.

She was foaming blood because while they pressed on her chest over and over again for my peace of mind her body had already started to deteriorate.

And I will hate that for the rest of my life.

The old man behind the desk was just the reality of what my life now was.

He made me admit she was gone to myself.

It wasn’t a nightmare.

Well it was.

But it was also my life.

day 18

I’m trying to figure out when this will stop feeling like survival mode.

I feel like a roll over in the morning and realize I made it through another night and mark another tally on the wall.

It’s surviving at this point.

It’s forcing myself to be happy.

It’s doing whatever it takes to not think about the hard things.

It’s throwing your phone across you house and crying you eyes out after talking to the investigator.

It’s an anger I can’t explain.

It’s suppressing everything.

It’s trying to shove all the sadness and angry and confusion and questions into the deepest parts of you.

It’s trying to be numb.

It’s wanting to stay in bed all day.

It’s forcing yourself to leave the house so for just a second it stops.

It’s trying to act normal because you don’t want anyone else to be uncomfortable.

It’s leaving any situation that she is brought up in.

It’s saying don’t say sorry. Please don’t talk about her like she’s not here. Because I feel like I’m drowning and every apology and every “she would have” or “you were such a good mom to her” makes in more and more real and the farther underwater I’m sinking.

It’s the smallest comment pushing you over the edge.

Her name.

I’m sorry.

It’s not your fault.

What happened.


Something that smells like her.

Somewhere we used to go.

Someone moving her things.

Reminder calls for appointments.

Seeing her things.

It’s survival mode.

It’s surviving.

It’s saying I am here.

It’s saying even though I don’t know how to do this without her I am here and that is the best I can do right now.

Surviving the day is enough right now.

It’s the best I can do.

When everything happened a woman I love dearly said “you don’t have to do it gracefully. You just have to do it

And that’s what we’re doing.

Day 18

What no one tells you about losing a child

I’ve had loved ones pass before, but never someone so dear to my heart. Never my child. Never someone who I cared for. Never someone who I grew. Never someone who I loved with my entire being in a way only a mother can. Never someone who I fought for over a year to save.

Today someone said grief never dies because grief and love come from the same place and our love never dies regardless of how much time goes on.

When she died the pain I felt was feeling that was so unbearable and indescribable. I’ve heard a mother cry over the loss of her child. I always said it was the worst sound I ever heard. And then on April 15th I heard the same cries leaving me. They didn’t even sound like me. I didn’t even mean to make them. And as I heard the same cries leaving me I realized we were about to walk through the darkest valley of our lives.

I was overwhelmed with the questions in my own head as I sat just doors down. Was she in pain? What happened? How did this happen? And then listening to the investigator and the autopsy report days later made my heart break all over again knowing it’ll be months before anything is done and you are given any real answers. It is miserable giving them the time to do their job correctly but I am thankful they are.

She died alone. I was just down the road. When I walked in the ER the pink nike onesie I dressed her in 5 minutes before she left the day before was cut down the middle, laying under her lifeless body. They were stained. And this will haunt me for the rest of my life. All the factors of this situation that for the sake of not jeopardizing the case I won’t share will truly haunt me until the day I die.

What no one tells you about losing a child:

No one tells you that you genuinely forget sometimes. Some moments I’m fine. And then I remember she’s not just napping.

No one tells you about the questions their siblings will ask. The morbid ones that you want to answer to help your child cope but never want to hear anyone ever say. (My 5yo is smart, and picks up on everything and has made it into a story she tells people.)

No one tells you that you are reminded of them constantly.

No one tells you that your heart will truly never be able to be full again.

No one tells you about the questions other people will ask. Like do you regret not having an abortion?(because that’s a great question to ask a mourning mother) and I can genuinely say I don’t because for 7.5 months I got to know the strongest person I’ve ever met. Who could have died during delivery. Who was 29weeks 3 days when she was born. Who was born via emergency csection. Who from day one was high risk. Who struggled, but fought every single day.

No one tells you about the feelings of hatred you have for anyone who is still “okay”

No one tells you about the anger you feel as you watch the world go on when your world is broken beyond repair.

No one tells you about still hearing them.

No one tells you about still seeing them.

No one tells you about ziplocking their dirty clothes.

No one tells you about cleaning/not cleaning their things.

No one tells you about seeing them that last time and being upset their lips are the wrong shade of pink, about wrapping them up trying to warm them, about how stiff she is. About knowing she’s not there but begging her to come back.

No one tells you about the moments when you completely break down. When you are “fine” and then want to shatter every dish in your house.

No one tells you about the hundreds of messages you don’t reply to because you don’t want to feel anything.

No one tells you about the numbness.

No one tells you about how dark it is.

No one tells you about staring at their pictures hating yourself for every time you went to work. Every time you got a sitter. Every time you complained about being tired. Every moment you didn’t stare at their perfect little face.

No one tells you about remembering it all in the morning.

No one tells you you don’t want to forget a single thing but it is also unbearable remembering anything.

No one tells you about the dreams.

No one tells you.

No one tells you because this pain is indescribable. So after we become a functioning human again, after we try to get back to “normal” we smile for the people we love. We pull ourselves together while we can. And then when it is still and we finally have a moment to ourselves it all sweeps over us again.

No one tells you it feels like having the wind knocked out of you over and over again.

No one tells you about your legs giving out.

No one tells you about waking up on a drenched pillow muttering “baby please come home.”

No one tells you.

8.26.17-4.15.18 My sweet Aspen

My sweet Aspen,

Right now I know you’re in heaven. You have a new body. You aren’t in pain. You are sitting on the lap of our Lord with your sweet smile and soft laugh.

I am never going to forgive myself for letting you go. I am never go to be okay. My heart will forever be empty.

Yesterday at 1:34pm I got a call. You were supposed to come home at 6:00pm. I let you go for one night. One night. Because that was the agreement. I wasn’t the first call. You were already in the ambulance or at the hospital before I was contacted. I had your siblings at a trampoline park just a mile or two from you. I dropped everything. I drove near 100mph blaring my horn to get to you. Clinging to the fact that maybe I’d get to see you alive for just one more second. But deep down I knew you were dead and I was praying I’d be tboned and wouldn’t have to walk this valley without you. I called my parents and couldn’t talk. It was only broken screams. I sprinted into the ER barefoot begging for help.

I walked in and the second I saw you I knew you were gone. My world stopped. I watched them press your chest over and over. I watched the blood pour from your mouth. I felt your cold hand. I watched the screen stay at a flat line. I told them to stop. There was no point. I knew they were doing it for my peace of mind. I wrapped your cold body in warm blankets. Tried to warm your body with mine. I studied every inch of you. I begged you to come back.

I sat in a room with nurses because you were evidence and they had to make sure I didn’t tamper with you.

My child.

My baby.


It was silent as tears poured down my face and theirs. They held me while I held you. I kissed your cold forehead over and over. I pleaded with God to give you back. I screamed. I tried to love you back to life. My tears fell on your face. I rocked you. And then it was time. So I laid you down.

I went and sat in a room with your blood on my shirt being questioned by the police. I clung to your aunt. I clung to our friends who sat with us in that silent room. The medical examiner came in. She told me your autopsy would be today and to pick a funeral home so you could be release and I could see you before your cremation. I left. And I know your soul wasn’t in the hospital but every inch of me was screaming to go back. A close family friend put an arm around me and took me to the car.

My legs felt weak. My vision was blurry. It didn’t feel real. I walked into the house. It was so empty. Friends came and prayed with us. They held me together.

Family rushed here and it took what felt like forever but I didn’t realize how desperately I needed them. I barely slept but the sleep I got was just your face in my dreams. I woke up and was numb. I didn’t want to move. I didn’t want to remember. I am okay one second and then an overwhelming sadness takes over. I laid in your uncles lap unable to breathe. Furious that you aren’t here. The pain was unbearable. I seized and honestly I was thankful for a moment I forgot you were gone.

Today I told your sister you’re gone.

She doesn’t understand.

She wants to bring you a blanket so you aren’t cold. And a stuffed animal. She keeps saying we can always go visit you in heaven. She doesn’t understand why you won’t come home. She doesn’t understand that we have to say goodbye to your body but that you’re already in heaven.

I went to the store and picked out the clothes we’re going to view you in. With a hat because your body has been through an autopsy. It was unbearable standing in the baby section and looking around for clothes to dress my dead child in.

Now I am sitting here begging the hours to go faster so I can see you again.

I want your ashes to come home.

Please give me a sign you’re here.

Please give me strength.

Please protect your siblings.

Please remind us you’re near.

You’ll be in our hearts until we see you again.

I’ll look for you in the butterflies.

My Aspen. For 7.5 months you fought the good fight. I am so lucky I got to be your momma. I will cherish you forever. I am so sorry I let you go. This life wasn’t fair to you. I am sorry I didn’t protect you. I am sorry I couldn’t keep you safe. I love you so much little bug. I will carry you with me every single day of my life.

I’ll love you forever I’ll like you for always as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be.


I’m fine|Save me

Today I pulled into the church parking lot. I had all the kids dressed. A diaper bag packed. It took me 30 minutes to drive there. I saw all the cars and flipped my car around.

You know when you’re swimming, you’ve held your breath for a long time, your lungs burn and you come up for air. And that first breath is almost painful. You feel the air go in your lungs but you don’t feel like you actually got anything. That’s how anxiety feels.

But it doesn’t stop.

It’s never being able to shut your head off.

It’s feeling like an elephant is sitting on your chest anytime there’s conflict.

Even though you can feel your chest going up and down you feel like you can’t get any air.

You are suffocating.

It’s either shutting down completely during an argument or screaming back completely irrational. There is no in between.

It’s hating yourself for being like this.

It’s knowing how you are.

It’s knowing you seem crazy.

But it’s also never being able to stop it.

It’s hearing one thing and understanding it.

But your brain flips in and turns it and replays it and dissects it.

It’s being certain everyone is always mad or annoyed with you.

It’s hating when your kids ride with other people because you’re certain the car will wreck.

It’s begging it to stop.

And then there’s the depression.

The one who whispers to you all day long.

The one who tells you you will never be enough for anyone.

Never a good enough friend.

A good enough daughter.

A good enough significant other.

A good enough sister.

The one who drains your energy and tells you you can’t get out of bed today.

The one who tells you everyone would be better off without you.

The one who doesn’t remind you to eat because honestly on the darkest days walking downstairs for food is too much.

The one who constantly reminds you you are unworthy of love.

The one who you have to fight every time you walk past a liquor store because you know inside is a temporary fix.

The one who notices every sharp object.

The one who knows that enough sleeping pills could do it.

The one who knows that if you let your car run in the garage it’ll all be over.

The one who tells you your kids are better off that way.

The one who your fake smile masks.

Because you know if anyone sees your depression they’ll pry.

And you know you can’t handle that.

You can’t talk about why you’re always sad.

Or why you have no energy.

Or why you canceled plans to lay in bed.

My anxiety and depression both hate and love each other.

They fight.

And when both are present I just accept that I can’t leave the house that day.

This year has been really, really painful.

I’ve cut out a lot people I love.

I opened up about being raped in high school and was so proud of myself for not staying silent another year.

And then it happened again a few months after admitting it happened years ago.

And I realized in this life nothing is fair.

But I know some have it so much worse.

I know that.

I sat at the police department completely numb.

I felt nothing.

They took my clothes for DNA.

They interrogated me to the point I felt like it wasn’t worth the pain.

Their response when I was finished filing a police report was at that point it was “he said she said” and they’d argue that bruising was consistent with rough sex so it was going to be a hard battle and I had to be prepared for that if I was going to move forward.

Just writing that out killed me a little.

I took the right steps this time.

The first time I regretted not telling anyone for years.

I never ever thought I’d have that happen again but I did.

And it was a waste.

So what? I go through hell? The court tears me apart? And maybe they’ll be given a few month? Maybe.

I felt like I was the one in the wrong.

I remember them pointing out the fact that I was wearing shorts that were “very short” (I was a waitress and live in Florida, it was terribly hot)

So I dropped it.

I didn’t pursue it.

They won.

They always win.

And I’d like to think that’s where my anxiety stems from.

That I have seen the most evil side of people.

I don’t want to be around them.

I cringe when people so much as wave to me at Walmart.

I hate making eye contact.

I have to genuinely think about.

My depressions been around longer than that though.

And the two of them are just too much for me.

There is a war in my head all day long.

I take care of kids and remind them they are loved everyday because I never want them questioning their worth.

Even on the days I don’t know how take care of them when I’m so emotionally checked out.

Even on the days it’s terrifyingly dark.

I’ll smile for them.

I’ll hold them.

And it is so draining.

It’s draining being okay for other people.

They go to sleep and I pass out because I’m so exhausted.

I have a newborn I can’t bond with.

And right now my life it’s hard.

It’s so hard right now.

And everyone says one day it’ll be better.

One day it won’t hurt.

Hang on for us.

Hang on for your kids.

Hang on for the good days ahead.

So I’m hanging on, but it is unbelievably painful.

Yes. You’re a terrible mother. 

I suffer from depression. 

I’ve gone to counseling for it. 

I’ve taken medicine for it. 

But there’s a huge difference in depression and postpartum depression. 

Moms are made to love their kids. 

But what if you feel nothing towards them? 

What if you even dislike them? 

When I had my third child I honestly didn’t like her, at all, but refused to tell anyone because what kind of mom doesn’t like their kid?

It was a huge show. 

It was months of trying to make myself love this tiny thing that sucked all the energy out of me. 

If you know her you know she is the sweetest, easiest, most mellow child, so me not liking her made no sense. 

I didn’t feel bad when she’d cry. 

I’d sit outside her door bawling out of irritation because she just wouldn’t stop crying. 

I’d cry about how she took so much time from my other kids.

She had a seizure and I remember my dad asking me if I was okay and I couldn’t even answer because how could I tell him yeah I’m perfectly fine I just want to go home but I can’t because this kid is in the hospital. 

I watched her scream when they put a needle in her hand and my dad patted my back when he saw my eyes swell with tears and I couldn’t explain that I wasn’t about to cry because I felt bad for her.  I was on the verge of tears because my child’s in pain and I feel nothing. Just numbness. (This isn’t like me I cry every single time my kids get shots)

I finally got help. 

I had people tell me I’m an awful mother for not feeling any emotion towards my baby.

And I really believed it and hated myself for even asking for help. 

I asked for help and the thoughts I had for months were verified. 

Yes. You’re a terrible mother. 

Yes. You’re failing your kids. 

Yes. You’re alone in feeling this way. 

Yes. You’re the problem. 

She was born the end of July. It wasn’t until October that I felt somewhat okay.

I’ll never forget the day I finally looked at her and felt love towards her. 

We were setting up the Christmas tree in October to help “make the depression leave”

And I looked at her little face and she smiled back and there it was. That was it. I finally felt that motherly love. 

The antidepressants had kicked in. I had explained to my family how I felt. I could finally talk about it. I was okay. We were okay. 

The best way I can descibe what depression feels like is breathing but drowning. 

Like every good moment changes to grey. 

Like an elephant is sitting on your chest. 

Like night time is the best time because the darkness feels the safest. 

Like numbness. 

My family has been nagging me about it this time around and watching for red flags because they saw how bad I got last time. 

Aspen, my littlest, has now been in NICU a month. 

She’s not home and my hormones are still out of wack, but the fear of also disliking her is still there. 

I’m extremely cautious this time because if I’m sinking into another round of ppd I want to know and “fix it” immediately. 

I was talking to my dear friend in the middle of the night the other night. 

I was tired. I was extremely sad. And was feeling so alone. (If you have depression you know you could be in a room full of people and it still be lonely and grey)

She texted me this; 

Aspen is just as precious as the other 3. You know that. It’s just hard for you to see that because you’re grieving. And that’s okay. You have given Aspen life, a name, a place to stay, encouragement, clothes, and 3 awesome siblings. You don’t have to feel for Aspen right now: you are enough. She has her mom and her dad. What more could she ask for?

You don’t have to feel for Aspen right now: you are enough.  

If you are struggling with PPD, get help. You are enough. Take care of YOU. That’s what your child needs.