“I know words, and I love words, but I simply do not have the words to express my gratitude for this book and for all of the people who made it possible.”
When I wrote this in the acknowledgments of Baby Ever After, it was my way of trying to convey the deep and profound appreciation I feel in a way that will never do it justice. I call myself a writer, but I could never possibly impart the gratitude; it is just so vast.
Six years ago, right now, I needed help. Not the help I wrote about today in a long Instagram post (more on that tomorrow!) but intense and intensive support I required just to survive. So that I could try to claw my way out of the hard story, even when the hopeful story felt so far away that I couldn’t even see it on the horizon line.
Out of sight, out of my mind.
Life has changed so much. The world is colorful, but in different ways. The palette is not even the same.
I am not depressed. I have anxiety that, at times, can feel debilitating, though I don’t know the clinical severity. I do know the big thing — the thing that I have said over and over, in front of crowds of thousands, and in the quiet of my own bedroom, said solemnly to Kenny in the dark of night: I am one of the lucky ones. I never, ever forget that, nor do I take it for granted. We have struggles, and since January 2014 they have only grown, but I feel indescribably blessed to be here for my children as we all claw our way up different mountains.
I cannot believe that I am now just two days away from the release of my second book. Not only is it something that still astounds me on a fundamental (and high) level, but I cannot believe I have been given the opportunity to share my story and write about my experience and share the stories of others and write about other people’s experiences and, now, once again, I am at a loss for words.
Fortunately, in just two days, you will be able to read approximately 80,000 new ones, I hope they turned out OK.
I hope you like it.
Let me just tell you, if you thought my first book was honest and raw, you ain’t read nothing yet. In this new book, I talk about some of the most personal things a human being can share as I take you on a tour of my body and my mind in ways I never imagined, but also do not regret.
We talk about my ovaries. In detail!
We talk grooming. I shave my legs for you!
We talk tattoos. I LET YOU UNDER MY SKIN!
We go deep. Oh, do we go there.
I hope that by unzipping myself as I have in writing Baby Ever After I can help you or someone you love to feel seen or understood or a sense of camaraderie or the deep belief that none of us are alone.
Aside from my own unzipped self, seven women and one man shared their unique stories for this book, and they are just exquisite. We have stories of pregnancy post-postpartum depression, and tackle topics including marriage, divorce, fertility, vasectomies, OCD, psychosis, religion, and other things that are often considered to be too taboo,
and therefore only talked about in hushed tones.
And they don’t even know this yet…
While every story is different and unique and discreet, they are also so similar. There are things that unite each story in ways that turn my belly in a flip or give me goosebumps or make me weep.
It is a tapestry.
A multimedia collage.
A woolen blanket.
It is my own ragged pieces of yarn, woven together – hopefully with some dexterity – with the colorful threads shared from the incredible contributors, all so beautiful and tattered and soft and delicate,
which are then expertly woven,
over and under,
around, up and down
to your stories –
the ones that you hold in the deepest places of your heart, and that no one knows, or may ever know.
It is something that we make together, and it is heavy and light in the right ways.
Six years ago if you told me I would be two days away from releasing my second book on postpartum depression…
well…honestly? I don’t know what I would have done, as my emotions were very up and down those days.
I will tell you that I shared more than I ever thought possible in this book, because I have more than I ever could have imagined.
We did this. Baby Ever After is our hopeful story (with happy and hard sprinkled in – anchoring it).
It is our piece of art. It isn’t the very best thing I have created,
as that is a clear tie between the two creations currently playing on the jungle gym in my backyard,
but it is my hope that it is up there.
Thank you for continuing to be a part of my ever after, and for allowing me to be a part of yours.
Cheers to words, and woolen blankets, and the light and the red balloon, and all that is hopeful -