Popular Posts...

Friday, May 9, 2014

I Cried today

It's 2am and I have a belly ache


I thought I could drift off but just as I turned off the light my mind began to wander and into a million thoughts it roamed and soon I just began to cry. The crying doesn't happen that often, but here's what does...


I try to close my eyes and as I am fading into sleep my mind wanders and I start thinking about the all
Postpartum Psychosis, Natachia barlow ramsey, depression, own what you say, natachia barlow, postpartum psychosis stories
the people who I am upset at. All the things going on I want to fix. All the people who have let me down. My thoughts quickly and fluidly digress from one person to another to another as one connection meets another in my mind. 
A lot of these people don't know each other, some do. Each one thinking it's their duty to dole out justice in some form as they see fit. Or it's up to them to make sure _____________ fill in the blank. I am the only one who knows this get repeated all the time. I am the one who goes to bed each night and as my mind wanders I think of the local police officer who I spoke with last week who decided it was up to him to inform my current roommates about my (Postpartum Psychosis) past even though it was completely irrelevant. 
I think of the Ob/Gyn for my daughter we had to fire because he wasn't comfortable with my past so he didn't want me in the room. He then broke confidentiality we found out today. 
I think of the Foster Parents my granddaughter is placed with who won't engage with her bio family and how upsetting that is all around especially for my granddaughter. 
I think of my ex and how much faith I had in him and how much he betrayed me by allowing his sister to put up a hate site with my name registered on it. 

At first I feel angry, but just for a moment. Then it quickly turns to hurt and I want to forgive all these people. Every night that I think of these things (sometimes more sometimes less); in the end whoever it was, and whatever it is that's hurting me or that I am angry at; I want to forgive. I want to let these things go. I don't want to lie awake at night and let these people or things invade my head and thoughts. 

I practice pushing them out of my mind. I practice forgiving each person. I even envision telling the person I forgive them. Sometimes just doing that brings tears to my eyes. In my mind that means it's working. 
I'm not an angry person. Even when I am really angry and quite livid I don't even tend to raise my voice. I have a hard time staying angry. I want to forgive.

I mean, don't we all just want to be forgiven?

Thursday, May 1, 2014

RE- POST - Postpartum Depression vs Postpartum Psychosis; 1, 2, 3, 4, - I declare... War?

Are We Battling for Our Place; Our Voice?


In my longstanding pursuit of wanting to not only have a voice myself, but to enable others to have a voice in similar circumstances as well, it seems we have (and by "we" I mean 'me') inadvertently stepped on some toes. It's often difficult to be heard unless you shout in this busy world of everyone talking over everyone else. 

So generally I still start out by saying in an ever so low voice, "excuse me, would you be so kind". Then I work up to "pardon me, I have something to say and I would appreciate some of your time". (Now this may happen a couple times) To eventually "Excuse Me! I Have Something I Am Going To Say And I Will Be Heard"! *Sigh*



natachia barlow ramsey, postpartum psychosis stories, postpartum depression, not guilty by reason of insanity, hunter ramsey, insanity defense
Stormy Outside My Home Today. Our First

Nor'Easter Of the Year.
Honestly, it never feels good to get to the point of the proverbial finger shaking (even in my own mind as I type). But what's a gal to go? I mean these are important issues. 
Bridging the gap from the tragedies, to the happy endings of where we find ourselves at the mercy of Postpartum Mood Disorders. They strip us of our ability to function at the most basic level. They can take away our sense of reasoning and our ability to rationalize. It attacks our brain; what we rely on to tell us something isn't right. If our brain is telling us  the water isn't hot and we get in it and our brain doesn't register it as pain, we get burned. 

So as I have stated previously, I have been wanting to narrow the gap between what I feel is all the women running blogs and speaking on websites about how they "survived" Postpartum Depression or Postpartum Psychosis or any Postpartum Affliction. I think it is more than wonderful that all those women are reaching out and talking. I want to hear from all the "other" women as well. Not only the women who committed infanticide or attempted suicide. But their families of suicide survivors. Also as one women on another site recently commented -


Saturday, April 19, 2014

I call Bullshit

Discrimination and Disgust


This is just a small add-on to my post from yesterday about the "Contest" that Postpartum Support International ran for an International Maternal Mental Health Symbol. Here's the breakdown of the final ten and I will paste my reply to a condescending response on a facebook post-
Maternal Mental Health Contest, Postpartum Psychosis, Natachia Barlow Ramsey
My Maternal Mental Health Contest Submission

Just because you pretend something doesn't exist does not mean it isn't real.

Sharon Gerdes with PR and Marketing Chair at PSI on the Board of Directors - Purple Heart, mother/baby Circle

Teresa Twomey Wrote the Book Understanding Postpartum Psychosis And is the Connecticut State Co-Coordinator for PSI - Cowrie Shells

Joy Burkhard who is on the Executive Committee and the Project Director for California Maternal Mental Health Collaborative - Pink Sparrow

Peggy O'Neil Nosti is the founder of The Blue Dot project and works in collaboration with the Postpartum Health Alliance - Blue Dot

Adrienne Griffen is the Founder and Executive Director of Postpartum Support Virginia and State Co-Coordinator for PSI Virginia - Purple Flower

Suzanne Nelson runs support groups for PSI out of New York - Shades of Light Pregnancy and Postpartum Peer Support Group - (Two entries actually) Purple green swoosh and Abstract Butterfly

----
Out of ten that's 7 that either work directly for PSI or greatly influence them. 70% is not realistic if this were a genuinely fair and indiscriminate contest. I call bullshlt
1 min · Like



There's my post from yesterday explaining why I was upset and today I looked into who made the ten finalists. Thinking I would find something to be not so upset about. Yesterday I was only aware of three of them that were affiliated with Postpartum Support International or linked somehow. Now at least seven. There's 3 I have no idea about. Maybe, or maybe not. I think at least one of them is not. I just don't know

Talk about being sleazy, underhanded, hypocritical, there's not enough adjectives. There's just not enough and I call Bullshit

Friday, April 18, 2014

Maternal Mental Health Contest Controversy

But I sprinkle babies on my oatmeal - Say What? 


So it seems that when Postpartum Support International said they were hosting an international contest open to All; what they really meant was it was open to everyone who was already in good standing. You know, had some clout, had a good name, had a little oomph behind them or at the very least was not me. Because, as you all are very aware; I am a hideous ogre that eats little children for breakfast. 


Regardless, when I first heard of this... oh boy was I so very excited! I thought "Oh my, what a wonderful opportunity". I actually believed for several weeks (and it took me a week to create this piece which I will share with you) that I would at the very least make it to the top ten. I even thought I may win and might have my name next to something remarkable and good revolving around Postpartum Psychosis for a change. Oh how I desperately wanted to win. To have my name finally googled and it associated with something Other than all the horrid things people have often said about me would have been glorious. 
I kept thinking about how I would get to attend the conference at UNC in Chapel Hill and be surrounded by
Maternal Mental Health Contest, Postpartum Psychosis, Natachia Barlow Ramsey
Maternal Mental Health Contest Submission
my own kind. 

You see, I've grown accustomed to the other kinds of people tossing me half sideways glances and backhanded compliments. You get used to the false friends, or the people who just want to talk to you because they are nosey. The pretenders. But it's always so much more hurtful when you think you are in a group of your own and they turn out to be just the same as you've always known and you realize once again you are really alone. 

I'm too controversial to have my name associated with being the design that people might vote for the most... So I can't be in the top ten. What if I won? Then Postpartum Support International would Have to announce Me as the winner. *Something I thought would be so wonderful and could show support to so many
women* They would be horrified to have to announce me. I mean, I took the life of my son when I was sick with Postpartum Psychosis.

This is  the Written part of my submission, I should have included it earlier but did not. Some people have been asking if I had included anything explaining why I chose this design since that may have been the reason... Well, I certainly did! Although there appears to be one image on the top ten that says nothing other than his wife sent him a link and thought he would find it interesting. Regardless here is my written submission:
I am a Postpartum Psychosis Survivor. I blog, advocate, speak loudly and softly. I would be honored to have my design be chosen. I have been speaking with and for women since I became ill in 1999. Maternal Mental Health means a great deal to me and at the moment I am the only women who currently runs a blog and is speaking publicly about losing a child to PPP. 

I give you a bit of my background because I want you to know that this is something I take seriously and I hold it so close to my heart I am not sure I could find the words to express it properly.

2. How do hope your design will impact awareness around maternal mental health issues? 
Even before I found out about this contest I was tweeting #PostpartumUnity
I think if women and families know just by seeing the symbol there is someone with some knowledge and understanding without having to say a word, so many more people would be willing to start talking. You don't always know who is going to understand what you are going through. 
I am including some brief context as to why I chose and created the Symbol that I did. 
I thought long and hard and have spent a great deal of time on this. 

Birds as Symbols of Motherhood in History and Cultural Lore -
Dove:
Associated with peace, love and tranquility, the dove is a companion of Venus (Roman goddess of love). The dove is also a common symbol of the Virgin Mother Mary and is portrayed in Christian art as a representation of selfless love and the sacrifice every mother makes for the well-being of their offspring.
Dove symbolism has seemingly inexhaustible sources of flavor and dynamism throughout most histories, cultures and myth.

Did you know doves produce their own milk? Yep, it's called "crop milk" or "pigeons milk." It's an oddity in nature for birds to produce their own milk to feed their young. From this unique ability, we can glean symbolism of nurturing. In fact, doves are commonly considered a symbol of motherhood.

Borromeam Rings/Trinity Rings/Seed of Life Rings etc...:
It represents many things, in many contexts including Strength in Unity. That is a solid concept in whatever context the rings are seen in. Strength in Unity are also represented by circles. 

I give you a bit of my background because I want you to know that this is something I take seriously and I hold it so close to my heart I am not sure I could find the words to express it properly.
2. How do hope your design will impact awareness around maternal mental health issues? Even before I found out about this contest I was tweeting #PostpartumUnityI think if women and families know just by seeing the symbol there is someone with some knowledge and understanding without having to say a word, so many more people would be willing to start talking. You don't always know who is going to understand what you are going through. I am including some brief context as to why I chose and created the Symbol that I did. I thought long and hard and have spent a great deal of time on this. 
Birds as Symbols of Motherhood in History and Cultural Lore -Dove:Associated with peace, love and tranquility, the dove is a companion of Venus (Roman goddess of love). The dove is also a common symbol of the Virgin Mother Mary and is portrayed in Christian art as a representation of selfless love and the sacrifice every mother makes for the well-being of their offspring.Dove symbolism has seemingly inexhaustible sources of flavor and dynamism throughout most histories, cultures and myth.
Did you know doves produce their own milk? Yep, it's called "crop milk" or "pigeons milk." It's an oddity in nature for birds to produce their own milk to feed their young. From this unique ability, we can glean symbolism of nurturing. In fact, doves are commonly considered a symbol of motherhood.
Borromeam Rings/Trinity Rings/Seed of Life Rings etc...:It represents many things, in many contexts including Strength in Unity. That is a solid concept in whatever context the rings are seen in. Strength in Unity are also represented by circles. 

No One wants to actually talk about that reality. It's better to just sweep it under the rug. BUT, when the NEXT mother drives her mini-van into the ocean or gets shot down in front of the White House... Well, let's ALL be up in Arms about it. We wouldn't want to try raising awareness NOW by say having someone like me represent those women. So push me back down and shut the door on me again, that's what most of you are really good at doing. But make sure you all raise your fists in the air when once again it's too late for another Mom and/or her kids. 

Oh and I will give you a link to the site to vote but you won't find my design there because as I said, I am too controversial. I suppose you could use the Contact button  next to Contest Hosted By: Postpartum Support International on the link and vote for me that way but it probably still won't count. But I would still appreciate it.

I am still holding out hope that some day when my name is googled there will be something besides the horrible things and something good will be said. No one talks about the good stuff you do, only the bad.
**Add-on** The next day I took a closer look at who DID make the top ten and here's the breakdown in the following day's blog post "I Call Bullshit" or you can just go to the homepage and see both posts.
Thanks Everyone

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Living a Life of Postpartum Psychosis

Help us, feel our pain


We are broken and we look around, waiting, begging, dying inside. We look for the arms to wrap around us and bring us to our feet. The Ocean we drive into is a Sea of Desperation. Hold out your arms, lift us up, hang on tight and guide us to the light. All we can do is keep breathing and trying. 


No more tears, we have wept a lifetime of sorrows for motherhood. The aches, the breaks and the tragedies to come. Help us, feel our pain. 
For every woman that the public and media is ready to tar and feather because there isn't Universal Mental Health Screening for every pregnant and Postpartum Woman there are thousands that do receive effective treatment. Does that mean we should allow those woman to continue to slip through
the cracks? No. 
But there needs to be a better understanding for cases of Postpartum Psychosis and Women's Mood
Disorders. The stories the public hears about are the Postpartum Stories that end in tragedy. Why? Well because it sells. 
postpartum psychosis, depression, natachia barlow ramsey, suicideI mean I can't blame the public. I read those stories too. I have said over and over that "we" in our own Postpartum Psychosis/Depression/Anxiety community, we do nothing to help ourselves if we perpetuate the ideas that "those" (myself included) moms are different than the moms who did successfully receive treatment. 
I can tell you I am shunned by many in the Postpartum Depression community and when I finally get the opportunity to speak with any of them the most I often get is "well I don't know what to say". As though I speak a different language. I find it to be highly hypocritical that these same people want to advocate and call to justice all those who did not do anything for these "poor" women in their time of need, yet those women are me. So if they are at a loss of words of what to say to me what exactly do they think they are or would say to that woman if given the chance?
I am Miriam Carey and I am standing before you all now. I am Ebony Wilkerson (Mini-van Mom), 15 years later. Speak to me now - say something.

There's a class of women that I remember one very insightful lady blogging about and she got it right on the nose when she said... it was as though saying they had Postpartum Depression got them into some club or something. Without fully realizing the enormity of it. Like it was the new trendy thing to have. 
I remember thinking "Wow, she hit the nail on the head with that one". I am disgusted by it. It diminishes the real and genuine struggle some women are going through and there are many variables with Postpartum Mood Disorders. Especially Postpartum Psychosis. Which is very real, very scary and can lead to real tragedies. It needs to be taken very seriously.
Postpartum Depression, especially left untreated can have unforeseen consequences and tragic outcomes. 

I do need to say this; that as disgusted by this new trendy era of PPD (that's Postpartum Depression for you not in the know); I am even more disgusted by the general public and their "trolling". All of you out there with your pseudonyms (let me save you a step - it means the fake name you use online to hide your true identity) scouring the headlines and just chomping at the bit to get to the comment section and say something oozing with ignorance and common fallacies. Just pouring hatred and judgement into this world as though there isn't enough already.

I use my real name here; Natachia Barlow Ramsey. At least I have found the courage to do that. It's not easy and I decided I will be the person who gets to decide what's put out there about me. Not another "troll". I get to tell my story.

If that means that someone reads this blog and finds inspiration from it, that is wonderful. If they are disgusted but they walk away with just a bit more knowledge and think.. Good lord I Never want to end up like her. Well more power to them and hopefully they will pass that along as well. 

This article was started on my son (Hunter's) birthday. Yeah, it was Tuesday, March 11th; he would have been 15 years old. My mother's birthday was Thursday, March 13th. I've been keenly aware of the dates this week because my appeal briefs were due on the 11th.

Hey, like me, love me, hate me. But I know every single one of you has or had a mother. There's no truer truth than that. So sign the damn petition. 



Monday, February 17, 2014

Postpartum Psychosis

Is Postpartum Psychosis as Scary as is Seems...

Yes and No. While it is the scariest and most concerning of the PPMD's(Postpartum Mood Disorders); there is only a 5% suicide/infanticide rate. So while that does seem like such a small percentage rate alongside an illness that only occurs on roughly 1-2 births out of 1,000. Does anyone want to raise their hand and volunteer to be in that 5% that end in tragedy?
Yeah, I didn't think so... 



As I read the many stories(well let's face it All the stories) about women coming forward to share their experience with Postpartum Psychosis; I read the same sentiments over and over. They were afraid to be labeled a baby killer or one of "those" women (and it's usually Andrea Yates) who tried to harm their kids. 

Well, there's a reason PPP is considered a medical emergency; and it is because of the risk to the mother and child. The reason women are afraid in part to talk about it for fear of being labeled? We do the labeling. The media grabs ahold of a tragic story to make headlines and we also share those stories. 
Do I agree? Yes, we should share. Change does not come with remaining silent. It's also unfortunately not going to come from a group of moms who had Postpartum Depression and wear it as someone said "like a badge of honor", as though they were part of special group now. 
I have noticed this trend of Postpartum Depression seeming to be the New Trendy thing to have had. I had actually been noticing it for a while now and made reference to it in a blog I wrote titled Postpartum Depression vs Postpartum Psychosis; 1, 2, 3, 4, - I declare... War?. It feels like a clique from high school where you had to pay your dues to get in but if you went too far... well you just weren't allowed to sit at the same lunch table anymore. Yet those same women will ride your coattails and all those who follow by saying "Look at this! See what can happen to any of us if not enough attention is paid" "We could have become one of Those women!"
It's not just the media. We perpetuate this. We turn on one another in conversation. We use the term Baby Killer. That is an awful, derogatory, insensitive term. I cannot tell you how often I hear people use a qualifier of sorts when talking about their illness. "But I would never hurt my children" or "I never hurt my kids"
I for one can say I could have gone my entire life without wanting to be in this "Club". Now that I am though, I do not want to remain ignorant to any aspect of it. I feel as though it is my job to educate myself to the best of my ability and those around me.  

PPP is most likely within the first four weeks after delivery. But it can occur at anytime and the onset can be rapid. Moms' can also have periods of lucidity. Looking back now, I was also ill with Pneumonia so I attributed a lot of feeling "off" to that. But now I can see I was depressed and that should have been a red flag. Honestly my history should have been a big red flag along with my family history etc... but this was Maine in 1999. You practically had babies in a Potato field and kept right on picking Potatoes.
The Action on Postpartum Psychosis has a lot of useful information and a great resource tool as well as Postpartum Support International

Postpartum Psychosis is an Illness related to hormonal imbalances. Often the mom has subtle thoughts and feelings that can become more and more exaggerated if left untreated. These thoughts range from delusions to hallucinations. A new mom may appear overly anxious or paranoid. Close family and friends need to help recognize the symptoms. This time and this illness can be difficult and stressful on everyone. Remember the mom is not doing anything on purpose and does not want to be ill. Likely she may not even be aware of how irrational she may be. The most important thing is keeping mom and baby safe. 

My son, Hunter, would be 15 this coming March. I called him my little fellow. Whatever mementos I had left of his (which weren't much) a small blanket, the little blue card they write the baby's name on at the hospital, an ultrasound photo and a few pictures... Those were lost in the fire in my home on January 17th. Just typing that sentence took me 20 minutes and I had to sit with it. 
People make sweeping assumptions when they hear you are responsible for the death of one of your children. (This is where the name calling (baby killer etc...) comes into play) Also, the Moms who had Postpartum __________ Something want to make sure you know they would Never hurt their children (just so you know they must be a better mother than you, but let them in the club because they too have suffered).
Well for those of us who were not so fortunate to have had "your" experience (and perhaps some extra support around to recognize we needed help) and we lost a child or harmed ourselves or our child(ren). (We all jump on the Andrea Yates bandwagon when it suits us) 
I want to say, I loved my son. My particular illness wasn't not hallucinations. I had delusional thinking. My husband (now ex) did not believe Hunter was his son. We had been separated when he was conceived (although he would still come over for... yes Sex). So after a series of events leading up to the birth of my son, (which you can read here) I became ill and thought I needed to die. I also believed no one would take care of my son, so he needed to be with me in Heaven. I did not want to leave him behind on earth. 
I did not think he was evil. He was not unwanted. I was not angry. I was delusional, because I was ill and I thought I was doing something out of love. 
I used to ask my Psychiatrist every day... How could my brain fail me like that? How could my thinking be so backwards? It did not make sense to me and for years I would revisit that question over and over. There is no definitive, black and white answer. I spent years in therapy and had to ask my therapist for permission to grieve my own son. I did not feel as though I had a right because I had been responsible for his death. 

I am coming upon 15 years now and I have seen progress. I am also keenly aware of all the areas that we still need to improve upon. We have a lot of many talented and incredible women dedicated to making changes. For that I am infinitely grateful. Teresa Twomey; Author of - Understanding Postpartum Psychosis;, Wendy Newhouse Davis; PSI Program Director;, Walker Karraa; Program Co-chair at APA Division 56 - Trauma Psychology (What doesn't Walker do?);, Jennifer Hentz Moyer; Mental Health Advocate and Writer;, Elaine Hanzak; Motivational, Inspirational Speaker and Author..... these are just a smidge of the women who work so hard to make changes. They are a part of what I am grateful for.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

So there was this fire

Fire is a Life Force

The title that ran in the Bangor Daily News about out Home burning doesn't 
Woman injured re-entering burning house in Bangor in attempt to save her dogs
really tell you the story about what was really going on inside the house. I feel these waves of emotion wash over me as I open the door to my daughter's bedroom and the entire room was ablaze. It was heart-stopping, I knew I couldn't contain that and I had to dial 911.


I haven't been blogging and posting for a while because of all the legal things happening with my grand-daughter. But I am so full of pure, raw emotion that I came here. 
fire, tragedies natachia barlow ramsey, 40 dillingham st, bangor maine, postpartum psychosis

I have seen other people's houses go up in flames on the news and just about a month or so ago my sister's friend lost her home to a fire. You imagine it, but you don't feel it.
About 5-6 years ago I lost my Uncle and a Cousin in a house fire. I kept envisioning that over and over again in my head for quite some time and how horrible it must have been. Everyone was reassured that they just succumbed to smoke and fell asleep. I think that may happen if you are already asleep. But if not and you are trying to find a way out....

I was in my bedroom upstairs and heard the fire alarm go off. (Actually at first I thought it was on the television. All the alarms were hard wired so once they start beeping they beep from upstairs and down and it's not in unison. It can be confusing.) So I came out of my bedroom and I am at the very top of the stairs and could smell something burning but didn't see anything. 
Honestly I wasn't panicking. I thought.. it's toast. I mean it's ALWAYS burnt toast. So I went to the kitchen and was sniffing the entire way. I saw my daughter in the dining room. I said "it must be upstairs".
So I went back up over the stairs and the first thing I did was go into Karen's room. (This is my daughter's future mom-in-law, she was staying with us briefly) I had recently caught her smoking in there and there's no smoking in the house. I opened her door and there's a small knitting bag on the floor of her room on fire. 
I saw her two dogs huddled in the closet and I did a quick mental check (they're okay), this is small I can put this out and deal with it after. 
My daughter's bedroom door is directly beside Karen's and I opened her door to grab a towel (or something to smother the fire with) and when I opened the door the entire room was on fire. I couldn't contain that. My brain starts to race... I run to get my phone and yell to Shey "It's a fire, get out of the house". 
I am telling 911 my house is on fire and giving them the address. I grab my jacket and go back up over the stairs after seeing Shey was outside. The smoke is so black and thick. I need to get to the dogs. I keep yelling for them but they're not coming and the smoke is billowing, it's happening so fast. I am trying to see if I can see a window to break to let some of the smoke out so I can see, so I can get to the dogs and I can't. I try getting down on the floor and I a yelling over and over again to the dogs. I am lying on the stairs desperate to get them to me. I hear them whining and it's breaking my heart. I can't breathe any longer so I try running around to the back where the window to that room is. But it's on the second floor and fire is shooting out of the window. 
I thought if I can just get to the window and pull them out they'll make it. I am trying to pull this chair out the door to the back to reach the window, when a man comes and drags me away. 

They told me at the hospital the dogs didn't make it. I keep hearing them whine over and over again in my head. I keep thinking I should have just grabbed them when I first went into the bedroom. I should have not grabbed my jacket first....

You have no idea what it really means when people say they lost everything. My glasses, I didn't even have a bra on when I ran out. My hair was knotted up and I had soot in my teeth. I thought I have no tooth brush or even a brush to brush my hair. Some things cannot be replaced. Anything I had left of my son's. That is now gone forever. 
I am just heartbroken and I feel frozen in place right now. We didn't have insurance, so how do you even begin to replace any of everything? It feels so daunting.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~