I’m Courtney, the voice behind Beyond Postpartum Depression. I’m a wife, mom, writer, and postpartum depression survivor. I’m a Content Manager for a software company, and my husband, daughter, and I live in central Indiana.
My experience with postpartum depression began after the birth of my daughter in February 2020. About 3 weeks after she was born, Indiana shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and my husband and I were suddenly alone, cut off from our village, attempting to navigate the sleep-deprived newborn period with a baby who had colic and reflux.
I began to feel that I was not adjusting well to motherhood, that I was failing, that I must be doing something wrong because my baby was clearly uncomfortable and unhappy. I felt that I was a burden to my husband and a failure to my daughter.
When I finally broke when my daughter was around 6 weeks old, I was able to get help from my OB, my primary care doctor, and my therapist. Through medication and therapy, I am better. My daughter’s colic resolved when she was around 5 months old, and she is a happy, adventurous, fearless toddler. I found Postpartum Support International and eagerly joined as a volunteer Climb Out of the Darkness leader, a volunteer support coordinator, and as a member of the Indiana chapter’s Board of Directors, wanting to help other moms and parents.
But I still felt a calling to do more.
At my core, I am a writer, and I believe deeply in the power of sharing stories. I believe in the power of healing out loud, of refusing to live in silence and stigma, that we all deserve to live in the light. I had a vision of awareness, education, empowerment, and healing.
Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders like postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety are the #1 complication of childbirth, yet not even half of cases get diagnosed, yet alone treated. 1 in 7 moms (including 1 in 3 moms of color) and 1 in 10 dads will experience a perinatal mood and anxiety disorder, and the COVID-19 pandemic has just made those rates climb.
I want to show the mom who is scrolling through hashtags on Instagram at nap time and googling symptoms in the dark while her baby sleeps next to her that she is not alone. I was you. I see you. I am you. You will get better.
I’m not a therapist or a counselor, just a mom who spent what should have been one of the happiest times of her life isolated, empty, and broken.
You may feel alone, but you’re not. I started Beyond Postpartum Depression to show that you are never, ever alone and hope is out there.