Archive for April, 2008


For a while now, many of us have been trying to help get the MOTHERS Act passed through congress. I guess there are rumors going around that this legislations is a conspiracy theory made up by big pharmaceuticals to boost their already-humongous profit margins by forcing new mothers to take medications. Yeah…it sounds like a great premise for a John Grisham novel to me too. Maybe he’ll write it and donate a % of proceeds to this worthy cause? Until then, would you sign this online petition in support of legislation to help provide education and resources for new moms to get help after having a baby? I did…twice I think by accident. Click here to Connect and be Counted!

From Susan Dowd Stone, President of Postpartum Support International:

We Must Speak Out in Full Support of Postpartum Depression (PPD) Legislation NOW.

You may have heard the complaints on the internet lately; asking readers to block passage of legislation to help new mothers and their families cope with postpartum depression. The House and Senate both have legislation – H.R. 20 and S. 1375 – that some mistakenly believe is a conspiracy to push new mothers to take medication.

Tell that to the more than 800,000 women who will develop a diagnosable postpartum mood disorder this year! This does not include the 7.5% of women who will develop major depression during pregnancy.

How disappointing! Those who are speaking out against the Melanie Blocker-Stokes Postpartum Depression Research and Care Act obviously know little to nothing about this legislation. Some are even saying that Melanie Blocker-Stokes, who took her own life after suffering this illness, was simply just sad.

This could not be farther from the truth! Ask her mother, Carol Blocker, who has dedicated her life to the passage of this protective legislation named in honor of her daughter.

This legislation does NOT recommend drugs, require drugs, or endorse drugs. What it does is:

  • Encourage the Department of Health and Human Services to expand the research into the causes of postpartum conditions and find treatments.
  • Establish a national public awareness campaign to increase awareness and knowledge of PPD and psychosis.
  • Make grants available for programs that develop and offer essential services to women with PPD.

Even if you have already done so, please take the time to let your representatives in Washington know that you support this vital legislation . Help counter the misinformation they are currently receiving!

Click here to Connect and Be Counted!

One Person Can Make a Difference.


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Because it’s still a little too fresh and it’s hard for me to type when my eyes are full of tears, I defer to Dan, who so succintly and sweetly portrays a major life event for us last week.

Today was a really hard day. As much as I fought it, the time had come to finally let Encore go. His hips were giving him such trouble. He was irritable and definitely in pain.

Encore was my first dog. He got his name because when we first met him he kept howling like a rock star who deserved a double encore like the Rolling Stones. He didn’t disappoint. As many of you can attest, he was never one to back down from barking or letting you know that he was there. He was a sweet dog who loved everyone and expected the same in return. And during my first battle with depression/anxiety I spent many a night on the living room floor curled up next to him. He was always the most comforting when you needed it. I will miss him. In fact, every time a car has driven past this evening, I keep waiting to hear Encore let them know who’s boss on this street.

Taking him to the Humane Society was one of THE hardest things that I’ve ever had to do in my life. I’d been doing OK, trying to ignore the fact that I was hurting inside. But as Liam was saying goodbye to him, I grabbed the leash for the last time. I noticed that Liam started to fill up. And in a moment, I completely lost it. I was literally sobbing against the garage door so hard that Jenna simultaneously gave me a handful of tissues and took the leash to get Encore. I finally got myself together and took him out to the Kent County Humane Society.

I have to say that as hard as this was, the staff at the Humane Society were some of the nicest, most caring people I’d ever seen. They were wonderful as they walked me through everything asking great questions and completely respecting Encore. I’ve actually been saying my good-byes for the last few months, but as I left, I just kissed him on the head and headed out to the car as fast as I could to listen to Jon Foreman who I knew would sympathize with me as I drove away.

I know we did the right thing, but still we’re all just a little bit heartbroken tonight…


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https://i2.wp.com/www.catholicsupply.com/christmas/_borders/26800C.JPGJust when I needed it, my far-away friend Amelia sent me an encouraging word to me  put my focus back where it needs to be and lift my spirits. To remind me to look to God’s good character in the rough times, not look at the storm around me. To know that what seems thankless day in and day out is making a mark on eternity for myself and those around me. Thank you friend!

Jenna, My great-great aunt who was the most Godly woman I’ve ever known (and lived to be 101!!), had a poem that she sent to every new mother that she knew (she’s not the author, just a poem she loved). I recently came across it in a little journal that she started, passed on my grandma, who then passed it on to me. I thought you might find it to be encouraging! Have a happy Friday and weekend.

A Parable For Mothers

by Temple Bailey

The young mother set her foot on the path of Life. “Is the way long?” she asked. And her Guide said: “Yes, and the way is hard. And you will be old before you reach the end of it. But the end will be better than the beginning.”

But the young mother was happy, and she would not believe that anything could be better than these years. So she played with her children, and gathered flowers for them along the way, and bathed with them in the streams, and the sun shone on them, and life was good, and the young mother cried: “Nothing will ever be lovelier than this”.

Then night came, and storm, and the path was dark, and the children shook with fear and cold, and the mother drew them close and covered them with her mantle and the children said: “Oh, Mother, we are not afraid for you are near, and no harm can come.” And the mother said: “This is better than the brightest of days, for I have taught my children courage.”

And the morning came and there was a hill ahead, and the children climbed and grew weary, and the mother was weary, but at all times she said to the children: “A little patience and we are there.” So the children climbed, and when they reached the top, they said: “We could not have done it without you, Mother.” And the mother, when she lay down that night, looked up at the stars and said: “This is a better day than the last, for my children have learned fortitude in the face of difficulty. Yesterday I gave them courage, Today I have given them strength.”

And the next day came strange clouds which darkened the earth – clouds of war and hate and evil, and the children groped and stumbled, and the mother said: “Look up! Lift your eyes to the light.” And the children looked and saw above the clouds an Everlasting Glory, and it guided them beyond the darkness. And that night the mother said: “This is the best day of all, for I have shown my children God.”

And the days went on, and the months and the years, and the mother grew old, and she was small and bent. But her children were strong and tall and walked with courage. And when the way was hard, they helped their mother; and when the way was rough they lifted her, for she was as light as a feather; and at last they came to a hill, and beyond the hill they could see a shining road and golden gates flung wide. And the mother said: “I have reached the end of my journey. And now I know that the end is better than the beginning, for my children can walk alone, and their children after them.”

And the children said: “You will always walk with us, Mother, even when you have gone through the gates.”

And they stood and watched her as she went on alone, and the gates closed after her. And they said: “We cannot see her, but she is with us. A mother like ours is more than a memory. She is a living presence.”

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by Dan

For the past few days, as my friends will attest, I’ve been obsessing over the new Weepies album, Hideaway. Today, I forgot to take my meds again. I was writing e-mails, getting a to-do list finished before heading out of town for two weeks, my anxiety level was rising, I was snapping at the kids, not being patient at all. I hate myself when I’m like this. I was listening to the Weepies album AGAIN and the first track hit me hard. I needed this song today. It continually amazes me the power of music to sooth and connect us back to the amazing reality that is so ever present and better than what we’re feeling in the moment.

We all have these moments where we’re feeling on our own and want to be anyone other than ourselves, but that beautiful reality is that we walk on together and can’t go back to any time that may have seemed better. We’re in this together as much as it seems like we’re headed in opposite directions sometimes. The beauty is that no matter where we are, we’re behind each other every step of the way with so much love for each other.

The song is “Can’t Go Back Now” Click on the song title to hear a short snippet from Last.fm.

Yesterday, when you were young,
Everything you needed done was done for you.
Now you do it on your own But you find you’re all alone,
What can you do?

You and me walk on
Cause you can’t go back now.

You know there will be days when you’re so tired that you can’t take another step,
The night will have no stars and you’ll think you’ve gone as far as you will ever get

But you and me walk on Cause you can’t go back now
And yeah, yeah, go where you want to go
Be what you want to be,
If you ever turn around, you’ll see me.

I can’t really say why everybody wishes they were somewhere else
But in the end, the only steps that matter are the ones you take all by yourself

And you and me walk on
Yeah you and me walk on
Cause you can’t go back now
Walk on, walk on, walk on
You can’t go back now

(Jenna’s note–oh, this just hits the nail on the head. I have SO been feeling this way lately. I went online to the library website and ordered this CD so I can listen to it. I hope I find solace in it, not an even heavier albatross to tie around my neck.)

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The past month or so I’ve been forgetting to take my meds, which I usually gulp down at noon with lunch. I haven’t not been taking them on purpose, just because either (a) I don’t actually eat lunch–just pick at the leftovers on the kids’ plates or (b) lunchtime is so stinkin’ hectic that it gets lost amidst the “I need more milk”, “I don’t like grapes”, “I wanted my sandwich cut into circles, not triangles!”, “my hands are sticky…waaaaaa”, etc.

Usually around 2-3 pm I feel my shoulders getting tight and hear myself snapping at the kids and realize what the problem is. And past the lips and over the tongue, into the tummy, here they come.

Yesterday, the 2-3 pm realization came and went without my taking my meds and it really showed up at Home Depot.

Even though we tried to separate the kids by taking 2 carts, they still managed to fuss, fight, scream, cry, kick, whine, grab things, climb out, hit, spit, etc.

I draw the line at spitting. When my son mimicked spitting in my daughter’s face, I lost it. I tried to grab his face between my two hands so he could ‘look at me’ while I was talking to him, but while I was growling at him using ‘the voice’ I swore I’d never use in public and heard myself saying things I swore I’d never say to my child in public OR private, I realized my pinkies and ring fingers were wrapped around his neck.

Had there been a security camera in the store, it probably would have appeared that I was trying to choke my child. How horrifying.

Not only that, but I had my face in his face growling at him through clenched teeth about how you NEVER, NEVER, EVER spit in someone’s face. I’ve seen this pose before, on Super Nanny. Where she seriously censures the parent for that kind of behavior to a child. And of course, I, and all of America are appalled and disgusted with the parent who would ever do that sort of thing to a child.

All to say, I’m not “there” yet. I still need the meds to keep me balanced and help me remain myself, not the monster that has crept in unbidden and lies barely below the surface ready to rear her ugly head when the security system’s batteries are low or dead.

This is not something I go around bragging about, just something I share with you in the privacy of the LABlog, my dear friend, who read these confessions because you understand and know the horror these unexpected actions bring you each time they ‘happen’ to you too.

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Because what I do all day doesn’t affirm me in the form of a paycheck, a thank-you, a ‘nice job’, or any other form of accolade, I am obnoxiously bragging about myself to try to overtly seek your affirmation and encouragement that I am indeed good…no great, at what I do all day. Which, to me, never seems like enough as the list for tomorrow always seems longer than the list for today.

Take today, for example. Just an average Wednesday.

  • Feed and dress myself and girls
  • Get myself, girls, and Jell-O chiffon to church in time to work in the nursery
  • Change myriad diapers, feed babies bottles, rock, hug, play with, and wipe noses of said babies
  • Eat lunch at kiddie-tables 6 inches off the ground with other nursery workers and their kids
  • Get 3 kids and leftover Jell-O chiffon packed into van and drop Liam off at preschool on time
  • Get check cashed at the bank–2 lollies for 2 lil’ girls
  • Grocery shop with 2 very tired and cranky little girls
  • Go to library to pick up ‘Northanger Abbey’ video
  • Get home, unpack groceries, put Jell-O chiffon in fridge, change Addi’s diaper, change into work clothes, change Elli into play clothes
  • Rake 3 bags of leaves from our front yard
  • Pick up doggy-doo in back yard
  • Hard boil eggs for dinner
  • Fold basket of laundry and put away
  • Put girls in van to go pick Liam up from preschool
  • Chat with preppy moms despite wearing Champion shorts from high school and “day of the African child” t-shirt and purple Crocs
  • 3 kids buckled in van and brought home
  • Use leaf blower to clean out garage and clear leaves from front lawn
  • Mow front lawn
  • Chop vegetables, cheese, eggs, and make amazing salad-bar for dinner, thaw homemade cinnamon raisin bread
  • Eat dinner, clean up, run dishwasher, eat 4 pieces of Russel Stover dark chocolate candies
  • Miss meeting I should have been at b/c Dan has a church meeting that trumps me (grrrr)
  • Move sprinkler that is watering front lawn
  • Bathe 3 children
  • Start laundry
  • Brush kids’ teeth
  • Turn off sprinkler
  • Read kid books
  • Tuck kids into bed
  • Empty dishwasher and clean kitchen
  • Call ICR and get in-home taste-test
  • Send out prayerlink e-mail, e-mail future-sis-in-law’s sister to see if we can combine personal shower/bachelorette shower rather than duplicating effort, e-mail Diane re: LAB this week
  • Make this list
  • Wind up sprinkler hose
  • Put clothes in dryer
  • Go to bathroom, shower and change in to PJ’s, read book and probably faint dead away until tomorrow when the list starts all over again with a vengeance

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