365 days.

1 year. 52 weeks. 365 days. 8,760 hours. 525,600 minutes. 31,536,000 seconds.

My baby boy turns 1 today.

I can’t begin to describe how I feel.  Years ago, I never thought I’d have any children, let alone three.  But then my first child, a daughter, was born and after a difficult year with postpartum depression, as the fog lifted, I had a moment of clarity.  She was almost a year old and I sat with her in the nursery, reading Goodnight Moon as she drank her bottle.  I saw an image in my mind of sitting in that exact chair, surrounded by three children.

One year ago, that picture became a reality.

Happy 1st birthday to my beautiful, beautiful boy.  You have brought me so much joy in the past year.

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Let’s Talk.

Day 28 – January Daily Blog Posting Month

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Today is Bell Let’s Talk day.  It is a yearly campaign to raise awareness and money for mental health initiatives.  Last year, over $5 million dollars was raised.

I’ve been honest here about my struggles with depression and postpartum depression after the birth of my first child.  It was a very dark time for me, one that should have been a happy time.  For the rest of my life, I will remember my first maternity leave, not because I was ecstatic to have my little girl, but because I struggled daily to get out of bed and be happy she was here.

I got better when I finally admitted there was something wrong.  I went through 16 weeks of intense, weekly Interpersonal Therapy and learned a lot about myself as a mother, as a wife, as a physician, as a woman.

In a lot of ways, experiencing PPD was a good thing; for one, it made me a better family doctor.  It allowed me to empathize with the moms in my practice and to recognize the early signs of depression, especially in the postpartum period.

Mental illness is rampant in our society and the stigma is only slowly being lifted.  I hope that more days like today and stories like mine help ease it just a little bit.