ACTION ALERT: Maternal Mental Health: H.R 3235 / S. 2311


The National Coalition for Maternal Mental Health is calling for all hands on deck to get 100 Congressional signers in the next couple of weeks to pass H.R 3235 / S. 2311), Bringing Postpartum Depression Out of the Shadows Act. Please take 5 minutes to submit a letter to your Congressman and Senator urging them to sign on in support of this legislation. A draft letter is included below and can be submitted online at:

Dear Honorable Congressman / Senator,
I am writing to respectfully and urgently ask you to sign on in support of H.R. 3235 Bringing Postpartum Depression Out of the Shadows Act of 2015.
Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMAD) are the #1 medical complications related to childbearing. When a woman has a PMAD and does not get the proper support or treatment she is at an increased risk of chronic mental health issues, she and her partner experience increased absenteeism at work, higher incidence of divorce, and her children risk increased cognitive, emotional and physical deficits.
Currently PMAD screening is not a standard of care at Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) for new mothers and only a small fraction of new mothers are receiving a Peri-natal Mood and Anxiety Disorder (PMAD) diagnosis. We know that as many as 20% of mothers are suffering without a diagnosis. For many women a diagnosis and referral to treatment by their provider is essential to connect with with resources and support.
Communities across the Country are  forming Maternal Mental Health Task Forces to raise awareness about these issues and develop local action plans to improve care, both clinically and community-based, for new mothers and families. But we can't do it alone. We need your help. Please sign on in support of H.R. 3235 Bringing Postpartum Depression Out of the Shadows Act of 2015.
Thank you so much for your consideration. It means so much to us moms. I look forward to your response.


Today was not an easy day. It started off okay. I got up with Little Fox. Got him dressed and fed and ready to head off to school with daddy. I was on my own for about an hour, which was much more anxiety provoking that I expected. My mom arrived to take me to my therapy appt. I was freaking out about leaving the house. The panic just escalated until we got the the therapy office where I started crying. and crying. I had a list of things to talk about and ran through them all. The bottom line was that we agreed that my meds were not working. I needed to get seen by a physician asap and get them adjusted. The anxiety spiral was getting worse and worse. I didn't want to leave my room anymore.

It got ugly when my mom and Mr Fox disagreed about the best steps forward. It was beyond stressful for me to hear them trying to come to terms with a plan forward. In the end I just started taking xanax. It was an old prescription but i was desperate for some relief from the panic. The xanax helped. I did some grown up coloring. I did some facebooking. I cuddled with Mr Fox. Then it was time to go to the new Dr. I don't understand what happened but Mr Fox said things that freaked me out and we got into some sort of argument. I was freaking out, crying, fearful of leaving our house, terrified that the new Dr was not going to help me and I'd be left in this awful state of mind.

We got to the Dr and he did listen to me. He took away the Halcion and Klonopin, but added valium 3x day and Xanax as needed. He gave me a regular schedule for the meds, but also told me how much extra I can take if needed. We have another appt on Friday.

The other thing I was SO worried about was work. I'd spoken to my boss who was supportive, but then my colleague called today and I panicked. Turns out she was just calling to let me know that I have a ton of vacation and can take as much time off as I need. Wow. Okay that was a relief.

So, As it currently stands, I am LOADED on drugs right now. Hoping that they can help me get to sleep, but instead I am here blogging. It feels good to write though.

I do believe (in this particular moment) that I am strong and will overcome this, but damn it, I wish it could happen faster.


happy easter, or whatever

I suddenly feel like a enormous burden to everything around me. and yet all afternoon I was feeling so good, so cal, so collected in my thoughts.

Mr Fox, don't even know how to unravel these thoughts. He was drinking again without telling me. He was only doing it when I wasn't around or after Id gone to bed, but HE LIED TO ME AGAIN. I can't rewind conversations from the past but I swear that the agreement was that no matter what happened he would NOT lie to me ever ever again about his drinking. I am so angry, no hurt, but yet I so desperately need him, for like everything right now that I don't even know how to call him out on that shit. Had the circumstances been different I would have told him to leave.  To leave until he had time to think over his choice, apologize to me and swear that he would never gain lie at the risk of our future together. Those are the things I can't say, because I need him, because my only other option right now would be in-patient treatment at a local hospital.  Shit. And to hame it more complicated he has been amazing, gone out of his way to make me NOT feel like a burden, to be a rock star advocate, to keep me safe. He is my hero, so it just doesn't feel fair to have all those other feelings about the betrayal of drinking.

I talked to my  boss tonight about taking long term disability, activating my FMLA and trying to figure out to keep my benefits. The health benefits that I carry for our family that my employer pays about $2,000 month for. I could go withoutn the pay, (which is the deal since my unit opted out of SSDI), but I can't have the additional expense of paying for the health benefits, even if they agree to save my job for me. My boss is amazing, like a fairygod mother. She loved me and supported me and offered anythign that we need to do to extend my leave as long as I need and to keep my benefits as long as we possibly can.

The thought of being out of work for months, I just can't understand what happened. I was there one day and then bam I devolved. Part of me wonders if I should just ask mr fox to take me back to the hospital so that he can have a normal week. The guilt i feel is overwhelming.

Little Fox is such a sweetheart. He is loving and kind and gentle. We had a very nice easter morning. I even did the pinterest mom things and put creape paper up on his door and made a cute little basket with his favorite toys. I t was hard to leave the house to go to brunch with my mom. I felt on the verge of tears the whole time. But I did it. My family loves me.

I spent the rest of the day at home in my bed, with my laptop and tv, and magazine. it felt safe and warm and relaxed. I felt like everything was normal. It was in the state of mind that I spoke to my boss.

The cotton mouth is killing me. Its from the drugs, but dang I cant drink enough water to starve it off, and it gives me a sore throat. and the sleeping drugs, I'm not sure they are helping at all. I took the Hancion at 7:30 last night but was still awake at 11pm worried about the creape paper in the hallway. However I slept hard enough that I woke with a yukky kink in my neck, probably because I didn't move in my sleep. Things to talk to the Psych about I suppose.

I don't think that these meds are right, at least for right now. The acute panic sets in like a thunderstorm and I can't get it back under control fast enough which sets off a cycle of rebound panic. I need something that will zonk me. I get why people self medicate. I get it now. I'm not going to do it, but i'm going to tell my psych that i need better tools to control/prevent the spiral.

I really do feel like I am a hostage being held by my brain. Like my rational brain is being held hostage by the crazy brain. But even the rational brain has issues that need to be addressed in order to feel as peace.

I have a masseuse coming to the house tomorrow morning to give me a massage. Maybe it will help me get a little grounded. and help my neck krink. Other than that I have on my list, to take a shower, get dressed, and try to do some gardening in the year.

Augusta thank you for your comment. It meant a lot coming from you.  Did you get the little package we mailed a month ago? I know the mail can be slow and getting back to people is even harder. Little Fox helped me make the bag, He loves his.

Damn this journey. Damn it all.

At least my little fox got an easter to be remembered.

too much

My big plans for today included getting up, getting dressed, eating breakfast, walking down the street to an exercise class, then walking home and working on a small to-do list. Sounds reasonable right.

Dressed safely in my sunglasses and hoodie, because just like the the Dude taught us sunglasses will protect you from anything, I walked the two blocks to class.

My alerts were all on high as I walked farther and farther from my house. There were only a few moms at the class but my anxiety kept climbing so that I texted Mr Fox to come get me halfway through the class. As soon as we were done I opened the door and he was waiting right there with our dog to walk me home.

I've been reeling since then. I don't ever want to leave our house again.

I am so scared that there is something seriously wrong with me, wrong with my brain. I am so scared that everyone is saying this is just a reaction to an unsuccessful IVF. I am so scared that it is more than that and I am actually really broken, but no one is going to figure it out.


I need a California Therapist for Phone Therapy

The plan right now is to take things one day at a time, accepting that some days will be harder, and others easier, but that overall I am going to get stronger and healthier. This makes sense, logically, but just a little deeper the 'What If's" are still spinning strong. I woke from my drugged sleep last night mumbling about making a list of things to do.

How do I get from where I am right now, on all these medications, unable to drive or be left alone, to a place where I am healthy enough to grow a baby and be a mother?

Clearly I have a shit ton of trauma from our infertility journey that I need to work through, and I need a therapist who is going to hold my feet to the fire to do the work necessary to get healthy again. One of the reasons we chose CCRM for this final cycle was because they have a strong counseling component. My mom reminded me of this today and I called to see if I could schedule some phone sessions. These therapists know their stuff when it comes to infertility. BUT they can only 'treat' patients who are in Colorado.

I love my current therapist, but I think that it's time to find someone who really knows what I've been through and can push me to talk about the things that are hidden beneath the surface, the things that I am not going to bring up on my own. Please anyone, if you have a recomendation, please leave it in the comments.

Love to all,


PS: This is how we celebrated Little Fox's Birthday!


It's all about the journey, right?

This is not the destination, just a stop along the way. I have excellent care. Really, I think that this was the culmination of years of infertility trauma that finally caught up with me. Taking it one day at a time, and trusting that this too shall pass.


I Won't Give Up

I know that there are some hard core Jason Mraz lovers here. I just listened to his song "I won't give up" and it it home BIG time.

Last Friday I was sitting in the 'clinical decision' unit of our local hospital for a psych assessment. My therapist had sent us there. The Labor and Delivery Nurse manager met us at the door and took us straight into a private ED room. I hugged her, but it was super awkward since I work professionally with her, often as advisaries. My mom and husband were with me. I'd glad that my mom was there and told the nurse that I didn't need to put on the paper gown - I was already feeling beyond incredibly vulnerable. We waited for what felt like forever, until they moved us to a different part of the hospital, the 'Clinical Decision Unit".  

A man came into our room and asked my mom and Mr Fox to leave. It sounded like a statement rather than a question and I immediately wished that I had said no and had them stay. He asked me a bunch of questions, I honestly can't remember any of them. My mom and husband came back into the room and I held onto my husband like he was the only stable thing in the room. The staff and my mom and therapist were all recommending admission. I honestly didn't care anymore. I just couldn't feel this way any longer. I was desperate for an escape from my mind, from the grief of our failed FET, from the fear of our final cycle not working, from trying to function in a world that just kept moving forward while I was paralyzed.

God love my husband who kept asking questions, who kept pushing to get me seen by a psychiatrist as an outpatient, who spoke up about my fears about being left alone in a hospital, he was incredible. He wasn't going to give up on me, even as I was clinging to him, curled on a hospital bed crying and unable to speak up for myself. His perseverance got us an appt that afternoon with a psychiatrist and a safety plan to take me back home to my own bed. 

We drove straight across town to the Psychiatrist office. Also awkward is that I know his wife well and used to babysit for his step daughter. He has twin daughters who were born via gestational surrogate after his wife lost a pregnancy at 5 months. He knew intimately the grief and loss that is infertility. Nonetheless, I wasn't in a place where being told that my grief would pass was helpful. But having a plan and knowing that someone was going to try and help me was really helpful. He added some prescriptions (abilify and ??? ) to the mix I am already on and made a follow up appt for the following Tuesday.

Mr Fox got me home, got extra help to watch Little Fox and me, got my prescriptions filled, and has taken care of everything since then. We've had our challenges, but dear god, this man "Won't Give Up On Me." I may be a royal mess, but he's got my back. 

There is so much I need to get out and I think that it might be time to add blogging back to my toolbox of coping strategies. In the meantime Thank YOU (Yep YOU - whoever you are and however you ended up here) for reading this and for being a safe place for me to share.


Not so Fast.

I'm on a lot of medications at the moment, and am having a hard time keeping track of the days this past week and what exactly is was that 'broke' me. Here goes at my best attempt at recreating a timeline that led me to the Emergency Department for a Psych Evaluation.

Our Frozen Embryo Transfer went perfectly. My lining was better than it had ever been. The embryo defrosted perfectly as a day 5 AA CCS genetically perfect blasting out of its shell. I was so sure that it worked. I just knew that I was pregnant. I felt all of the right twinges and my boobs grew and hurt like a bitch. I knew I was pregnant.

I went for my beta 9 days later on Thursday, but when I got the call from the clinic it turned out that the lab had only ran a qualitative result (Yes or No). They had the lab working to re-run the test and would call us on Friday with the results. A few calls back and forth with the Clinic and the Lab to figure out what has happened and I finally had to beg the nurse to tell me that it was a Positive result. BFP!!! I was pregnant, just like I knew I was.

When Mr Fox got home that evening, I had Little Fox tell him "I'm going to be a big brother." It was the excitement and happiness that I've dreamt of. On Friday we got the actual beta of 45, which confirmed pregnancy, so I met up with my sisters and got a video of telling them that I was pregnant. It was so much happiness and joy. The next day Little Fox gave my mom a little onesie as I told her we were pregnant. Her reaction was beautiful. Later that evening we stopped by Bestie's house to make the big announcement there too. I made a sweet little meme image that we could share announcing Baby Fox due in November.

Mr Fox had plans in the City to engage in debauchery with a few buddies on Saturday night. I got my second blood draw done, knowing that it would take a day to get the results.

Sunday morning as Little Fox and I were getting ready to go to a birthday party I got a call from the Clinic that my beta had dropped from 45 to 8 and it wasn't a viable pregnancy. Danm it. I asked for another beta just to be sure. I left a message for Mr Fox. I sent a brief text message to important people saying that we'd celebrated too early and that it wasn't a viable pregnancy. And we went off to the 4 year old birthday party.

Mr Fox was home shortly and we were sad, but accepted that this is an imperfect science with odds against us. We still had one final embryo to transfer, so hope was not lost.

I went back to work that Monday and kept busy all week.

I woke up the following Saturday with awful cramps. I loaded up on Advil and fixed one of those back heater wraps to my tummy and went to an important work event. The Advil wasn't helping. My mother in law was in town for the weekend so I sucked it up and did afternoon activities as a family. Early that evening I retreated to bed and called my Dr to ask about the cramps.

Who knows what she really said, but what I heard was "you're fine, take some more advil, get over it." In retrospect this may have been the beginning of the unraveling. I had physical pain that was now directly connected to my emotional pain and I couldn't ignore it anymore.

We went to breakfast with the in-laws the next morning, and I want to bed for the remainder of the day.

The tears started that evening.


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