Monday, June 16, 2014

Interview with Producers from When the Bough Breaks

Hello and Happy Monday. I have a great surprise for you to kick off the new week. Today I'm joined by Lindsay Gerszt and Tanya Newbould the producers of When the Bough Break- a documentary about postpartum depression.

I'm super excited about this film because I honestly believe that we should hear more women's stories of how they battled with postpartum depression. We are not alone and we can get through this difficult period in our life. There is always hope.

 As many of you know I released a short personal memoir last month sharing my story with PPD. Last year was a very tough one for me and hearing other mother's stories really helped me through those dark moments. That is why I am thrilled about this film and am so honored that Lindsay and Tanya allowed me to interview. So let's dive right in!

Me: Thanks so much for stopping by Urban Goddess Revealed. Tell us about When the Bough Breaks:

Tanya: "When The Bough Breaks" came about after I discovered I had suffered from PPD.  Brooke Shield's book "Down Came a The Rain" actually saved me as no doctor or therapist could vocalize what I was going through.  I then had the fortune of meeting Jamielyn Lippman, who filmed me for her documentary "Die Trying" about being an Actor.  We spoke of being mum's.  She hadn't suffered from PPD but was interested enough to partake in this journey with me to make a documentary.  We then interviewed Lindsay Gerszt, and realized she was a perfect fit in our puzzle. The three of us are now producing, with Jamielyn Lippman directing, and we are creating an important film to bring notability to this area of Motherhood that desperately needs attention.


Me: That is so great. This area definitely needs more attention. What inspired you to produce a documentary about postpartum depression?


Tanya: I wanted a child more than anything in the world, but at four months pregnant I found myself on the kitchen floor crying so hard there was drool coming out of my mouth.  I had no idea why, and so I began therapy.  The baby came, and I became depressed, badly.  I was not sleeping and I wanted to escape my life.  This made no sense.  I changed and became isolated.  My marriage was failing, and I had a hard time functioning. My OBGYN and therapist both wanted to out me on anti-depressants.  That didn't work for me.  I needed to understand why I was feeling this way.  I then read  "Down Came The Rain" by Brooke Shields.  For the first time I knew what was wrong with me.  I had PPD.  I overcame it with the help of natural supplements, no longer breast feeding, and going back to work.  I realized that many women suffer from this, and no one talks about it.  There needs to be light brought to this very important subject.

Lindsay: Postpartum depression affects 1 in 7 women. The numbers are just going up.  Why are so many women and families suffering from this illness.  I look back at what I could have done differently after I had my son.  How could I have prepared better? I did not make sure I had an OBGYN that had experience with PPD. In fact, my doctor talked me into being induced as she was going away the day I was due. She did not warn me about the dangers of being induced. I also was not well during my sons first visit to the pediatrician after birth. The pediatrician, as wonderful as they were with my son, did not know how to deal with a mother who was clearly struggling.  What could they have done differently?  What resources could they have given me that may have helped. 

 The hardest part of having postpartum depression was the lack of understanding from my friends and family. Unless you go through it how can anyone really understand it?  The answer to this question is simple. Teach, tell your stories, do whatever you can to raise awareness!  Ask the questions that have gone unanswered.  Find a way to help others understand this epidemic.  Let them know they can help!  They can make a difference in our lives.  With understanding and without stigma women will be less afraid to tell their stories.  The more people this film reaches, the more awareness can be spread, the more lives can be saved.

Me: Yup, *nods* Describe your experience with postpartum depression.

Tanya: I was exhausted, sad, detached, I wanted to disappear.  I really believed my husband and child would've been better off without me.  My marriage was failing and we went to therapy.  I couldn't understand why I felt the way I did when so many moms were filled with joy.  The thought of even leaving the house or going for a walk was terrifying.  My friends left me alone thinking I needed to adjust to being a mom, when I was really sinking into a deep depression.  I also felt my husband was in a depression.  I had anxiety a lot, and I was terrified.  It was awful.

Lindsay: I had a strong feeling I would get PPD after the birth of my son six years ago. I had experienced severe depression and panic disorder when I was twenty years old in college. It was so bad that I had to leave school and stay in bed for half of a year until I got better, which was with the help of medication. 

I thought I had prepared for the worst when I got pregnant. I had a psychiatrist, who was watching me and my family was aware that PPD could happen. We also hired a night doula for three weeks after the baby was born so I could get sleep at night.

As prepared as we were nothing could have prepared me for the storm that came. Two days after I gave birth I went into a severe depression with OCD and anxiety.  Sadly my son also had severe reflux, which made it hard for him to eat, sleep or put a smile on his sweet face. For a mother who questioned everything, I didn't think I knew how to be a good mother for him. I had intrusive thoughts that told me I didn't know how to change the baby, feed the baby, hold the baby or be a good mother to my baby boy.  Because of my OCD, I had to have control over everything. This way of thinking is not good for relationships and many of mine suffered because of it.

When my son was seven weeks old, I changed doctors and found someone who was able to get me stable on a cocktail of medication.  The past six years has been a roller coaster of emotions. I have moments when I know I have a lot more work to do. One thing I have always had is hope. I have and will always fight to overcome PPD.  I find such joy in my son and look at him as a hero. 

Me: Anxiety is the one part of PPD that you don't hear much about nor the accompanying rage. PPD is such a roller coaster. My god, I remember feeling better when my daughter was nine months old and started sleeping through the night. I thought I had cleared the woods and then at right after her first birthday she started getting sick because she was in a daycare. Fussy sick baby, sleepless nights, stress, no support, and BAM I was back on my ass again.

Thanks so much for sharing your experience. In conclusion what is the number one message of this film and when will it be complete?

Tanya: One in seven women are affected by PPD.  There is nothing to be ashamed of and we want to educate mothers, soon to be mothers, family, and the public that this is real, and there is help. When The Bough Breaks will be complete in early 2015. 

Me: Yay, I look forward to seeing it! Thanks again for the interview. For the rest of you out there here is a little preview of the film. Enjoy and have a wonderful week.

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Art of Extreme Self-care Chapter 6

Hello and welcome to The Art of Extreme Self-care postpartum style. For those of you who are new to my blog, last December I announced I would be doing a read-a-long of The Art of Extreme Self-care by Cheryl Richardson and sharing with you how I applied the principles of the book in a postpartum setting.  We will be focusing on one chapter a month. Last chapter was about letting go of control. Let's dive into chapter 6.

Overview: Absolute No List.

What I got out of the chapter: This chapter became a game changer for me. I love lists. I write out lists for shopping or daily goals or chores/errands and pretty much anything I can put in a list I will. I even have a list of the top 5 things I want to do every day written on my bathroom mirror which includes things like oil pulling, meditation, and going outside. (Ever heard of the obscure condition called "mommy brain?") But of all the lists I have written in my life, I've never written an Absolute No List- things I will not do or do not want in my life anymore. That is, until I read this chapter. I started small because as will all lists, I have the tendency to get carried away. Here are the top 3 absolute Noes for me:

1. I will not go to bed past 10 on a week night.

2. I will not buy non-organic fruits/vegetables for my daughter at home.

3. I will keep my phone ringer turned off from 6pm-7am.

Cheryl points out the importance of knowing why you do not what these actions, items, or behaviors in your life. For me:  I go to bed before 10pm because I need to rest. Rest is my best weapon against depression. I refuse to put unnecessary chemicals into my daughter's young body, therefore if I can only afford to buy organic for her, so be it. My evenings are my time for family and self-care. I don't need to be answering texts or phone calls, unless they are expected/scheduled calls.

I have other items on my list too, but I wanted to give you a general idea of what a Absolute No List looks like. The best part about this list is that it's a reminder of what is important in my life. As a mom, I get busy and forget what I'm supposed to be doing. It's so easy for me to lose track of the time and get so involved in whatever project around the house, I forget to stop and care for myself. So what is on your list? Please share!