Episode 33: Victoria’s Story

This week, Victoria Smith shares her story of postpartum depression and anxiety.

Victoria has a personal history with depression, so she knew she was at risk for postpartum depression; but one month into her pregnancy, she was blindsided by the news that her parents were divorcing.  The next nine months were so stressful, she even got shingles.

Victoria planned on having an epidural, but because of the position she needed to lie in during labor, it did not work.  So she had an unplanned natural childbirth which was traumatic.

Her son had colic and went on three hour crying jags.

We’re sharing this photo because this moment — the crying red-faced alien — is as much a part the transition to motherhood as all the tranquil moments depicted on commercials.

Victoria’s mission is to help women achieve their goals and to help them live their best life possible. Victoria blogs at Girl Tries Life and her podcast of the same name launches March 1, 2017. She can also be found on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @girltrieslife.

Episode 32: The 2020 Mom Conference

Whew, this was a big episode!  Postpartum Progress announced that Warrior Mom Con 2017 is happening November 3-4 in Denver, Colorado. Woot woot!  I am so excited.  And registration has opened for The Climb Out of the Darkness.  Click HERE to register or donate or just head over to Crowdrise.com.

Earlier this week, I went to the 2020 Mom Conference, Emerging Considerations in Maternal Mental Health: the link to Hormones, Inflammation and Policy in Action.  Speaker slides and handouts are available already right HERE. It was a great day, and I will definitely be going again next year.

Videos from the conference will soon be available on 2020 Mom’s YouTube channel.  I’ll update when I have a link for that.

Ken Ventanilla shared the story of the loss of his wife and their newborn Shane.  I remember hearing about their deaths on the news, and I am so grateful he came to the conference and spoke.

Dr. Samantha Meltzer Brody spoke about the impact of hormonal changes during pregnancy and their effect on postpartum depression. (Spoiler alert: hormones affect PPD!) But on a serious note, it is so encouraging to hear about cutting-edge research that scientists are doing. I can’t repeat back all the scientific names, but I do know that scientists are working hard to fine tune different treatments for postpartum depression.

Dr. Kathleen Kendall Tacket gave a great talk on inflammation and depression. Bottom line: inflammation increases your risk of depression.

Erica Julson, a registered dietician nutritionist, talked more about inflammation and depression, recommending a Mediterranean diet to combat depression.  America’s Test Kitchen has a new cookbook, The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook, that she recommends. I already ordered my copy and will report back on how I like it!

We also heard about federal policy and the Maryland and California Commission Reports. Since the California Reports is being presented in Sacramento at the end of February, I’ll wait until then to report back on their findings.

Episode 29: Chelsea’s Story

In Episode 29, Chelsea shared her story of postpartum depression and anxiety, including intrusive thoughts and suicidal ideation. For professional reasons, Chelsea has decided to remain anonymous

Chelsea took the above photo on September 7, 2016.  That was the first day in almost a year that she really noticed how beautiful things are around her.  She had to park her car and take a photo to remind herself to be mindful and acknowledge beauty.

Shortly after we spoke, Chelsea had a really hard week with anxiety. With the help of her health team, Chelsea decided to be voluntarily admitted to the hospital for five days as she was not feeling safe at home.  At the time of her admission, none of her family knew about her struggles.  Her husband did not even know how bad things were because she felt like she didn’t want to burden him.

This was officially Chelsea’s rock bottom.

But the great news is that after having intense treatment, sleep and a lot of support from her healthcare team, Chelsea feels like things are finally turning around and her admission may have been the best decision she has ever made.

Her entire family is now aware of how much she is struggling.  They are aware that it is part of the illness to isolate and not want to tell people how you are feeling.  And Chelsea’s husband has been the most incredible man on earth and she is really comfortable telling him now when she is struggling.

She is seeing an outpatient program on a weekly basis and recently got off the waitlist for the Eating Disorder program.  Now that her anxiety had reduced, she is eating in a much healthier way.

Chelsea’s husband is attending a peer support group for family members with mental illness as well as going to counseling for himself.  his family is taking the kids for one day on the weekend now so they can focus on building up their marriage.

Chelsea says: “There were SO many good things that came from accepting that I could not do this on my own and I am really excited to see how the next few months improve.”

Chelsea, you are such an inspiration! Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

Episode 28: Jen Gaskell’s Story

Episode 28: Jen Gaskell’s Story

In this episode, Jen Gaskell shares her story of postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, OCD and intrusive thoughts.  The Plain Mama English Symptoms on the Postpartum Progress website helped her understand her illness.

Jen blogs at The Tranquila Mama and tweets @Jenrenpody. She used to write a monthly column for the Postpartum Progress blog. Here is the post she wrote about postpartum rage.

She works for Listen to Your Mother Milwaukee, a live production of stories about what motherhood is really like. The show always includes a story about postpartum depression. Below is the piece that Jen performed for Listen to Your Mother Milwaukee.

Thank you, Jen, for sharing your story! You are truly an inspiration.


Episode 26

Some very belated podcast show notes, at last!

I talked a lot about JOMO, the Joy of Missing Out.  I first heard about that concept on The Good Life Podcast, which I highly recommend.  Melissa Ambrosini talked about it on this episode.

Jonathan Fields, the host of the Good Life Podcast, recently published a book, How to Live A Good Life, which is outstanding.

I hope you took it easy and enjoyed your holidays!

Episode 25: Kristina’s Story Of Postpartum Psychosis

Kristina Dulaney is one of the many amazing moms I met at Warrior Mom Con. I’m so glad I got the chance to do a live interview with her. It was my first live interview, and I felt super awkward, but Kristina was very sweet and understanding.

This week’s episode is a bit shorter than usual because I was interviewed for an episode of the Mom and Mind podcast.


If you haven’t already, you should definitely check out that show. Dr. Kat is a psychologist who suffered from postpartum depression. Now she is a very powerful advocate for moms suffering from maternal mood disorders. I love love love that there are so many incredible women fighting to crush the stigma and spread awareness about maternal mental illness.

Episode 24: Ashlee’s Story

This week, Ashlee shares her story! I loved talking to her and was so excited to spend some time talking to her in person at Warrior Mom Con… and then we got caught up in the whirlwind of events and barely had a chance to connect. Boo!  Oh well, I guess this means we both have to go to the next Warrior Mom Con.  (Spoiler alert: I will move heaven and earth and the moons and even a few other planets to make sure I’m there.)

Ashlee Rahmlow is a wife, mom to a spunky two year old, a Behavioral Health Specialist with Affinity Medical Group-Ascension Wisconsin and the founder of Mom2Mom.


Ashlee is a passionate advocate for moms and, in addition to her work with Mom2Mom, volunteers as a State of Wisconsin co-coordinator for Postpartum Support International.


She recently presented at Postpartum Progress’ annual Warrior Mom Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Ashlee believes that healthy communities and families begin with healthy moms.  She strives to bring awareness, knowledge and increased feelings of support to all moms in Oshkosh and the Fox Cities.

Thank you, Ashlee, for sharing your story!


Episode 23: Kylie’s Story

I am so excited to bring you Kylie’s story!
Kylie Marshall is the mother of two wild boys: Ivan Elwood (2.5) and Alexander Elias (5 months). She’s been married for 5 years to her best friend Stephen. He is incredibly graceful and passionate and they both share a deeply held belief that life is meant to be lived passionately and creatively.
Kylie and Stephen choose experience over money all the time–which does make life a wee bit more difficult, sometimes–but they both are pursuing livelihoods that they both actually enjoy.
Kylie graduated from Southwest Institute of Healing Arts in June 2016 with a Holistic Wellness Practitioner Degree. Her official degree is in Transformational Mind/Body Psychology.
She also has a diploma in Holistic Nutrition and a diploma in Urban Farming. She want her boys to see that it’s possible to live passionately and still “make it” in this world.
They live in the heart of Ozarks, surrounded by the diverse forest and the incredible Buffalo River. Their small town has vast opportunities–if they create them.
Right now, Kylie is focusing on healing herself and sharing that journey through social media, in hopes that she can empower other women to be courageous against whatever it is that they are fighting against.
Kylie is all about the dirty work of real transformation. She’s committed to having conversations that aren’t being had on a day to day, surface level.
She’s a woman who strongly believes that sisterhood–real sisterhood–is something that we are missing and it’s something that she wants to create for others.
Kylie wants to create a safe space to be who we truly are, and discover that, and embrace our wild nature. She believes our feminine intuition can be restored, and we can have fulfilling, creative, lives. She’s learning the balance between motherhood and that wildness, and has been on a journey to embrace both.
Kylie’s website explains what life coaching is and gives an in depth look at her story and what she hopes to do in the future for other women. Check it out at  www.earthsidelife.com. You can also follow Kylie’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/earthsidelife, and her instagram is @earthsidecoaching.