Published Work

7 Things You May Not Realize About Anxiety

New piece up at Project Hot Mess….

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“There are so many illnesses that are not necessarily visible to the human eye. There are secret battles some of us fight day in and day out. Often times we face these illnesses by ourselves or with only a handful of loved ones by our side.
One of the most common psychiatric disorders around the world is anxiety disorder. It’s a debilitating, lonely, and frightening condition to live with. I know this because I am a lifelong sufferer. Anxiety disorder is often misunderstood and misrepresented in media and popular culture. Here are 7 things that you might not realize about having anxiety, from someone that lives with it every day”

Read more here

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Loved Baby book review

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I had the honor of participating in the launch team for Sarah Philpott’s new book, “Loved Baby: 31 Devotions Helping You Grieve and Cherish Your Child After Pregnancy Loss.” From the first page, this book touched a part of my heart that I had closed off since late 2015 – the part that I had “locked down” since I lost two of my own babies in April 2015 and November 2015.

The book features 31 chapters of stories, prayers, ideas, insights, and a “soul work” tips that the reader can use on their road of grieving and remembering their baby in Heaven. From chapters such as “Seeking Medical Answers” & “Words Do Hurt,” this book touched on a lot of subjects that severely affected me in my personal miscarriage experiences. It brought me some peace on my search to find answers as to why they happened and the hurtful words people use to describe my losses.

I wish would have had this book two years ago. It could have saved me a lot of pain. But, I’m glad that it made it’s way to me now. I am so happy to be a part of sending this out into the world. As part of my participation, I was given two copies of the book to giveaway. I gave the first copy to my local hospital, “The Foundation at CVPH” to give to a mom who has recently lost her baby or to pass around the local bereavement group. They were so happy to receive it and I was happy to give it to them too.

I would like to give the second copy away to another mom (or dad) in grief via my blog’s Facebook page. Whether you lost your sweet baby 37 years ago or yesterday, this book can help take some of the pain away. I’d like to ask those that think they could benefit from this book to please private message me either their name or the name of a friend/loved one that they’d like to see the book go to. I will collect all of the names and randomly choose a winner to send a copy to via USPS.

In honor of two babies that I lost – who I refer to as Bayley and Charlee – Bay was due on October 28th, 2015 and I got pregnant with Charlee around that time, I’d like to open the contest starting today and I will pick the winner on Saturday, October 28th – for my two sweet angels.

Please private message me with any questions or with your submissions. Please don’t feel that you have to tell me your full story – just a name (first/last) is acceptable. But, as a mom to two angel babies I am always receptive to hearing stories of other angels that have gone to Heaven too soon. ❤

Everyone else can pickup a copy of “Loved Baby” from the distributors listed below. ❤

~ Britt

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Published Work

Things Nobody Tells You About Having Miscarriage

“She lost the baby.”
“She had a miscarriage.”
“The baby died.”
“I’m sorry, there’s no heartbeat.”
These are all words no woman ever wants to hear. Simple phrases strung together that are every expectant parents’ worse nightmare. Nobody ever expects it to be them.
“That won’t happen to me.”
I thought that once myself. Until it happened to me – twice.
Nobody tells you what to expect when you find out your baby is dead inside your womb. That he/she has been for 2 ½ weeks without you knowing it.
Nobody tells you what to say to your husband when you have to call him at work to tell him your baby died.
Nobody tells you how much you’ll have wished the baby would have just come out on their own instead of you having to have a D&C.
Nobody tells you that you will cry in recovery and ask your doctor what they did with your baby.
Nobody tells you that you will never get your answer.
Nobody tells you about the large pieces of uterine lining that will fall out of your body in the days following.
Nobody tells you just how awful it is to see all of the pregnant moms in the waiting room at your post-op check up.
Nobody tells you that the world doesn’t stop just because your baby died.
Nobody tells you how quickly others move on from your loss.
Nobody tells you that some people that you thought would be there for you in your time of pain, won’t be.
Nobody tells you that you will obsess over every little thing you ate, drank, consumed, were exposed to, etc. while you were pregnant, trying to find an explanation for the loss.
Nobody tells you that although you know it’s not true, you will blame yourself for a very long time.
Nobody tells you that you will sink into a depression greater than you have ever known.
Nobody tells you that a part of your heart will always be broken and yearn for that baby.
Nobody tells you that you will constantly think about whom they would have been or what they would have looked like.
Nobody tells you that people will say things like, “It wasn’t meant to be,” or “It happened for a reason,” and you’ll secretly want to punch them.
Nobody tells you that you will feel guilty for being happy to get pregnant again after the loss.
Nobody tells you that it can happen to you again.
Nobody tells you that you will wake up one morning with uterine cramps and just know that your other baby is dying inside of you.
Nobody tells you that when you go to the bathroom in the early morning hours and wipe blood from yourself that you start to cry because you know it’s happening again.
Nobody knows that you will go back to bed and silently cry because you can’t go through this again.
Nobody tells you how long you will bleed in the days following.
Nobody tells you that each pad that you change is another layer of your soul being stripped away.
Nobody tells you about the intense pain you will be in not just mentally, but physically as well.
Nobody tells you that it will take you a long time to want to try again.
Nobody tells you about the strain the losses will put on your marriage.
Nobody tells you how scared you’ll be when you eventually do get pregnant again.
Nobody tells you that you will hold your breath at every appointment and anytime the baby doesn’t kick in a certain period of time.
Nobody tells you how genuinely surprised you will be to successfully enter your third trimester.
Nobody tells you that even when that new baby is born, you will still have a broken heart.
Nobody tells you that as much as you love your living children, a part of you will always want your others to be here on Earth too.
Nobody tells you that the pain never truly heals, but that time makes it a little softer.
Nobody tells you that some people will continue to be awkward when you bring up your babies in Heaven.
These are all things that I wish I had known before I had to walk the path of miscarriage. Something else I wish I had known was the amazing community of women that have also lost a baby to miscarriage or had a stillborn baby. Those women exist in all of our neighborhoods and online. They are like secret angels waiting on the outskirts of motherhood, to jump in and scoop up the next mom that has lost her baby into their arms. They are there to embrace them and comfort them. Then that mother becomes one of these angels herself. So when her best friend from childhood or her cousin is subjected to this awful pain, she is now the angel to swoop in and make that new momma feel safe, loved, and heard.
It’s a club I would never wish on any parent to join. But, it is a club that I’m now a part of and always will be. I will always advocate, educate and carry the mark of a mom to an angel baby. I am 1 in 4 and I want my voice to always be heard.

Originally published on Her View From Home

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Published Work

I Got Kicked Out Of An Online Moms Group

New one up at Bluntmoms:

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“Being a mom is hard. It’s amazing, wonderful, and every other descriptive word you can imagine for “the best thing in the enter world.” But, it’s really, really hard too! After I became a first-time mom in 2013, I joined a few online moms groups to have a resource of other moms to reach out to for those moments when being a mom was just too hard. Of course, I had real-life mom friends including my own mom and older sister, but it was nice to have a community online that I could talk to at any time during the day and maybe to talk about some things I didn’t want to share with my real-life people.
My favorite group was this group I found on Facebook that had a funny name and a large following. Moms would post all kinds of questions and opinions. Some questions were general and popular in nature (breastfeeding, labor, etc.), but some were not the normal type of questions asked in other groups I was in. I remember one mom asked for advice on a situation with her baby daddy cheating on her while she was pregnant with their second child. She got a lot of great answers and suggestions from the group on the situation! Another mom griped about how cheap her daycare provider was in regards to not including meals in the cost of sending her child there. It was kind of funny because unbeknownst to her, her daycare provider was actually in the group and saw the post. I’m not sure how that situation panned out.”

Read the rest here...

Published Work

Let’s Talk About Male Postpartum Depression: Our Husbands Deserve The Discussion

 

I love television. At any given time I probably have about 10-15 different shows I stay current on from week to week. I am also not afraid to admit that a few of them are reality shows. TLC in particular is a channel I have long followed.
I was recently watching one of the newer shows on the channel, “Outdaughtered,” which follows Adam and Danielle Busby and their six daughters, Blayke age six and two-year-old quintuplets Parker, Riley, Ava, Olivia and Hazel. The Busbys live in Texas and the show follows them on their journey of balancing being the parents of six girls, and also finding time for work and each other. It’s a fabulous show!
On a recent episode, Adam admitted to having felt somewhat down since the quints had been born. He was in a sort of depression that he couldn’t pinpoint. After he consulted with a pastor/male friend he was informed that he may be suffering from “Male Post Partum Depression.”
It’s a real thing! WebMD estimates that “slightly more than 10% of new dads also become depressed before or after their baby’s birth.” PPD in women is not talked about all that much in this day and age, so it’s no surprise that most people have never heard of the male version.
Watching Adam Busby go through it on TV reminded me of my own husband after the births of both of our kids. He was easily frustrated, distant, and very pessimistic. My husband has never been like upbeat Ned Flanders (“The Simpsons”), he’s more of a cross between snarky, yet supportive Dan Connor from “Roseanne” and sturdy and strong Ned Stark from “Game of Thrones” in his overall persona and parenting style. So, for him to be withdrawn and dispirited was very unlike him.
Looking back, I can now say that my husband was most likely suffering from his own version of postpartum depression. Since I had postpartum depression with both of our kids myself, I didn’t really see it at the time. I knew he was “sad” during those times too, but I guess I didn’t quite think about it much more than that. However, when you are so deep in the darkness yourself it is hard to see much beyond yourself and your new baby. It’s not hard to imagine this happening quite frequently in other marriages around the world—moms being treated for postpartum after the arrival of a new baby, but what about dads that are suffering too?

Yes, women carry, birth and are often the early nurturers of our newborns, especially if breastfeeding. However, more dads are helping out with their children than ever before. Parenting has become a team effort in many households and a great deal of dads are right “in the thick of it” with their spouses from the minute the baby is born.
One article I read said that dads were more likely to get PPD if their spouses had it as well. This was the case for us. I know I was not a fun person to be around in the months following the births of both of my sons. The same article even said that the severity of the depression was linked between the couples. This would again make sense since a large majority of couples are two parts of a whole that makes up the union. My husband and I have always complimented one another in this way. We were very much “cut from the same cloth” as my mom would say. So, when I was in a hard season of life after our boys were born, it’s no surprise that he was too.
Let’s not forget that babies are hard! I’ve always strongly disagreed with anyone that says babies are easy. Even babies with easy temperaments are tough! Babies constantly need attention, to be fed, changed, bathed, carried, burped, and usually don’t sleep in the beginning! Therefore, parents are sleep-deprived, we lack personal time, and are often unshowered. It is so difficult on a person! It wears on you. It is easy to conclude that all of these factors could contribute to all forms of postpartum, in men and women.
Regardless of the cause of male postpartum depression, we need to bring more awareness to the topic. As female postpartum depression continues to inch out of the darkness of topics less talked about, with it, we need to talk about how dads can carry the same burden.
Men should not feel ashamed to reach out for help or support from their partners, friends, family or physicians. They should not feel like they are inadequate fathers, less than stellar husbands, or weak men for feeling this way.
Our culture has long set men in the role of provider and cast them as the symbol of stability and order within their family. Even in this day and age men are often looked down upon for crying or showing signs of fragility. This has to stop – especially in cases of male postpartum depression.
New dads, like new moms, need support from those around them. They don’t need to be made to feel ashamed for admitting they are having a hard time. Because, let’s remember that babies are hard! And it takes a village! Dads (and moms) are the heart of the village that raise each child so we all need to do our part to hold them up in times of hardship. We need to destigmatize PPD, at all levels and let our husbands, brothers, dads, and friends know that it is alright to feel this way after the arrival of a new baby, and that it is very important for them to get the help they need and know that they have a team of loved ones behind them all of the way.
I wish I had seen it in my own husband after the births of our children so I could have done more of this myself. I hope other men aren’t out there experiencing this in silence or not telling their spouses how they truly feel. If you are, or if you think your loved one is, please talk about it because male postpartum depression is very real and worth the discussion.

Originally published on Her View From Home

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Published Work

5 Labels We Need To Stop Giving Women

New piece at Project Hot Mess comes out today…

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“We live in a culture of labels. Whether or not we like it we are all instantly judged on how we look, act, live, who we love, where we worship (or don’t), our jobs, where we live, how we parent, our health, and so on. You name it and someone has been judged because of it.
It’s really the way the world has always been. As far back as anyone can remember people have been judged. Although, some would say the world is a harsher place with labeling than perhaps it has ever been. The invention of social media has given people free rein to more or less do and say whatever they want. Some people completely lose their manners and rules of etiquette and kindness are often thrown right out the window online.”

Read more here