My Thoughts on A Mouthful of Air, a movie about Postpartum Depression

So yesterday, I finally rented the movie A Mouthful of Air on Amazon. It is a movie about a woman who gets postpartum depression. There will be major spoilers in this if you have not already seen it and there are so many triggers in this. If you are easily triggered by discussion of suicide or suicide attempts, please do not read ahead. I am trying to be more understanding of people’s triggers, but I personally like to be triggered so I can face things head on. Many don’t understand it, but it is often part of how I heal. I already had seen and heard spoilers before I watched this movie, but they were much needed to emotionally prepare me to watch it personally. I was told before watching that the character takes her own life, and when I saw that the movie was rated R, I expected some graphic scenes I did not want to watch, but that was not the case. I am honestly not sure why it is rated R. I guess you cannot even openly discuss suicide without it being rated that, but why? I think it should be PG-13 personally.

There is a warning at the beginning that if you have a history of depression and anxiety this may be hard to watch and there are tons of warnings elsewhere warning many they may not want to watch. I do have that history, and it was hard to watch, but I am still glad I did. I personally am far enough in the healing process I thought I could handle it and I could. Not only did I handle it, despite the sad ending, relating to the character still comforted me in ways, that feeling again of not being alone, but it also brought so many emotions back for me again. I cried during the movie, and I cried for a little bit after the movie had even gone off. I know I am making a truly hard sell on watching this, right? But hear me out. I often feel that those close to me probably think I dwell on the worst time in life, but that is not the case. I will never stop talking about it because it would have helped me if others had talked about, if others hard warned me, that is it. I am happy now, my life is great, and I am thankful that my story ended with my daughter reading a book about how I conquered it instead of the book the daughter in the movie got. I also hope that one day my story, or at least one more like it, will become a big movie to show people the happy ending you can have, but I do also think it is important to see the possible unhappy endings too.

I am going to try to possibly get rawer in this post than ever before, which those of you know me know that is pretty raw and I will try to turn this into a podcast soon for those of you who prefer it to blogs. I did not have a happy ending because I was braver or stronger or a better person than the woman in this movie. I also did not have one because I had more support than her, she actually had more than I did because no one around me knew what was going on because I was even better at the character at hiding it for a very long time, but even once I no longer did, most did not seem to understand and seemed angry at me instead. Even though I had never been the person it was all about, it was always about everyone else, I think for once I wanted it to be about me, I needed love and help and attention and I was treated the same as people who act like that their entire life, even though I had never acted like that before. I thought it was my turn, but instead I eventually learned to set boundaries and take better care of myself.

I never tried to take my own life. I prayed to go to sleep and not wake up, that way it would not be my fault, and no one would be mad at me, but I could still have peace and the pain could go away. I had thoughts about if an 18-wheeler swerved into my lane and hit me I would not care when driving alone and the thought of driving into a wall or off a bridge sometimes crossed my mind for a moment, but I am not sure if I could have ever actually acted on it. People are often called cowards for committing suicide, but I honestly think being a coward saved me. Recently watching the Yellowstone Prequal 1883 with my husband, a character who lost her husband and 7 children to death ends her life with a gun to her head after her last remaining child dies. While burying the character, Sam Elliott’s character mentions how brave she had to be to do that, and Tim McGraw’s character disagrees at first, but Sam Elliott continues to basically say that it took guts. I knew what he meant. We don’t want to say that because it feels like we are encouraging suicide, but that is not what he meant nor is it what I mean. The thought of cutting myself or shooting myself or doing anything else painful to myself just never truly crossed my mind and never has. However, if there had been a pill in front of me that I could have taken and known it would have happened quick, I might have done it. I had heard of people taking a lot of pills but often that did not work and resulted in them waking up in the hospital upset they were still alive and now everyone was mad at them, and they were in physical pain as well.

I watched the first season of 13 Reasons Why before they cut the graphic details of the suicide scene. I honestly never knew how people slit their wrists until seeing it portrayed in that show. I honestly thought people must just cut the bottom of their wrist and it is a spot that just bleeds so much you would die quick, but no she went all the way up one arm and then the other and died a lot slower than I thought. My arms hurt watching and not only did I not want to do that, but I had even less of a desire than ever before to ever think about doing anything like that to myself. In the movie, those around the main character were not aware of her condition at first until she tried to take her own life once and failed in doing so. When she is later explaining to her doctor and her husband why she did what she did, I did relate to that part though. She said that any time she was alone with her child she would constantly worry something was going to happen to him. If she got distracted at all while giving him a bath he might drown, something might fall on him, he might fall and hit something, etc. She thought he would be better off with someone else and someone else was on the way over to visit and she did it then because she knew that person would take care of the baby.

In another part of the movie, the main character can hardly hold a conversation with other adults because she is constantly watching her son and worrying about him even when around tons of other people. I was the same way. I worried if I looked away for a moment someone might take her, or everyone else might not be paying attention and she might run off or hurt herself or tons of other horrible scenarios and it would be my fault because I am her mother, and it is my job to protect her. My worst fear was something happening to her and the burden of constantly trying to stop or prevent that was too much to bear making me at times want to run away or wish I’d never had a child or making me wish for death for relief. In one line of the movie, I believe it is when she leaves behind a children’s book that she wrote to explain to her daughter why she did what she did, but how much she loved her, she says, “She knew the beauty she was leaving behind, yet her pain was so bad, death was her only option.” She discusses how the little girl, and her mommy were best friends, but the mommy got sick and could not get better. The mom had been on medication, but when she found out she was pregnant again when her first child was still a year old and not even out of diapers, she was afraid to take her medication because she thought it might hurt the baby and prevent her from breastfeeding and bonding with her child.

I have been in a lot of online support groups and often women have more children before they have even healed from postpartum depression. They also often refuse to take medicine despite the advice of their doctors and/or family and friends for the same reasons. This happened in the movie. So, despite having support from others, despite knowing medicine helped, she chose not take medicine but even that decision was not rooted in selfishness, it was out of concern for her child. Her OBGYN told her once in the movie that he now asked women how they were doing emotionally not just physically when they came in for appointments. When I say the movie brought back emotions, anger was one of them in moments like that one, like why was this not already a thing? But mixed with that anger was hope, that what she went through, despite the sad ending, did change people, people around her did grow from the experience and learned, but that is possible even with a happy ending I can say, speaking from experience.

I lost a fellow author and friend to suicide a little while back. This friend had already tried once and actually used that experience to blog and write books like me and try to help others. However, like in the movie, he had been through such bad childhood trauma he still could not overcome it and the second time he attempted, he did not fail. I don’t know that we can always prevent it. We want to and we often blame the person and/or ourselves, but I think our number one focus personally should be trying to prevent these traumas from happening in the first place, so people do not have to overcome them, and I do feel that overall, that is happening in so many ways. I think everyone has some trauma and some can overcome it, and some cannot, but it is not as simple as being a better person or being stronger or having more support. Support often can and does help and I still strongly encourage it, but when I say I have some childhood trauma it comes from many things, but I also still feel like I had a pretty good childhood overall. Also, when I went through what I did, my mom and stepdad did not understand at first, but like every other time in my life, they tried their best to be there for me and my daughter. We all made mistakes along the way, but we learned from them, and we learned from each other.

My friend who died by suicide was molested as a child by a neighbor and I don’t think much if anything was ever done to the person who did it. Yes, we have all been through trauma, but I had not been through as much trauma as he had been. You just never know who has been through worse and what people’s limits are. A person can only take so much. Despite the sad ending for my friend, he still impacted many lives before he passed, including my own. He helped me in being brave enough to share my story and he helped me become more confident in being my true self. Even in those unhappy endings, you can still find some good.

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.

Donate an Hour to Support a Black Mom in Need!

‘She Matters is currently looking for doulas, licensed clinical social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists to DONATE up to five hours to support Black mamas during the first 40 days of their postpartum period. She Matters is making huge strides to make change, we are establishing partnerships with hospitals and other organizations to bring QUALITY postpartum care to Black moms everywhere. We are selecting 25 therapists et al. to be part of our pilot program that will soon be adopted by a hospital network. Our volunteers will receive FREE access to our cultural competence certification and access to our network of over 7,500 Black moms ready for therapy and coaching. If you are interested, please complete the form below. We look forward to hearing from you! Thank you for your support. Happy Holidays to you and your families! Best,Jade KearneyCEO/Co-Founder, She Matters”

She Matters is a digital health platform designed to support postpartum Black mothers experiencing anxiety and depression through community, culturally relevant resources and culturally competent therapists. We also train mental health professionals as well as healthcare organizations on how to become better resources to Black moms.

https://docs.google.com/…/1FAIpQLSeM9xB4VLcX9Y…/viewform

6 Ways to be More Productive During Addiction Recovery

Photo via Pexels

I personally have not struggled with addiction, but many close to me have or still do. This is a guest post written by This is a guest post, written by Lucille Rosetti. You can find more information about her, her book Life After Death: A Wellness Guide for the Bereaved and other articles at bereaved.org:

6 Ways to be More Positive During Addiction Recovery

When you’re focusing on recovering from addiction, it’s easy to get lost in feelings of guilt and shame. You might feel guilty for the grievances your addiction caused family and friends, or shame for the way you handled your finances.

These thoughts creep into nearly every addiction recovery process. Finding healthy ways to overcome them, though, will help you fully heal from your addiction. Staying positive is essential to being able to celebrate that you are a survivor.

Keeping this in mind, Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine takes a look at six ways you can start working on positive emotional empowerment.

Stop Negative Talk
There are plenty of great benefits to replacing negative emotions with positive emotions. According to the experts at Mental Health America, pessimistic people have a 20 percent higher risk of dying over a 30-year period than their optimistic counterparts. In addition, people who kept a gratitude journal were more upbeat overall with far fewer complaints. There’s plenty of reasons to get working on your new glass-half-full approach today.

Get Back to Work
Returning to work is a critical part of any addiction recovery plan. Working will help you regain your financial foothold and keep your mind on things that are beneficial to your life goals. At the same time, it can keep you away from negative social interactions and the emotions that come with them.

Be sure to talk to your employer about their Employee Assistance Program. As scary as it may be to share your addiction recovery with your boss, these programs are designed specifically to help people with personal issues that are interfering with their work. This helps the company reduce absenteeism and improve productivity, so take full advantage of it.

If you’re currently out of work, you could ease your way back by starting a career in freelancing. Whether you write, design websites, or offer video editing services, there are many jobs available through online freelancing platforms.

Put an End to Black-and-White Thinking
Black-and-white thinking, also known as all-or-nothing thinking, is when we believe that just because we have failed once, we will always fail. According to Planning Mindfully, you can eliminate this way of thinking with a few tricks: avoid using extreme words like “never” and “every,” reframe your thoughts, and search for middle ground.

Master the Art of Saying “No” and “Yes”
People who are on strong psychological ground know what serves them best and what doesn’t. It’s important for you to establish boundaries and learn to say “no” to things that will hurt you. Likewise, now is a good time to learn to say “yes” to things you want in your life, such as support from loved ones. The experts at Psych Central report that by learning to say “no,” you’ll be boosting your confidence and your self-esteem.

Surround Yourself with Positive People Who Bring You Joy
Spend time with a co-worker who told you what a great job you did versus one that talked about his latest drunk escapades. Or, reach out to family members who are living lives you admire instead of ones who are struggling and disenfranchised. Choosing to be around positive influences will help you reframe your negative thinking. Plus, research shows that strong social connections lead to increased happiness, improved health, and longer lives.

Enjoy More Music
Elton John may have put it best when he said, “Music has healing power. It has the ability to take people out of themselves for a few hours.” It’s true: music — whether through listening to it, learning to play an instrument, or musical therapy — has many wonderful benefits, including its abilities to:

⦁ Increase motivation
⦁ Improve mood
⦁ Reduce symptoms of depression
⦁ Help manage pain
⦁ Improve memory
⦁ Reduce stress
⦁ Help with insomnia
Help heal addictions, such as overeating and alcohol or drug abuse

Shifting to a more positive way of thinking takes practice. It won’t happen overnight, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time and practice. Start working now not just on your positive thinking, but on self-compassion. Remember, you’re human, and all humans make mistakes. Allowing yourself to fall down with grace is important. Now, it’s time to master getting back up.

Easy to Implement Hacks and Tricks to Reduce Anxiety

Picture Source -Unsplash (https://unsplash.com/photos/rXrMy7mXUEs) “This is a guest post, written by Lucille Rosetti. You can find more information about her, her book Life After Death: A Wellness Guide for the Bereaved and other articles at bereaved.org. While I think some of this is helpful, as someone who suffers from OCD and anxiety, I realize cleaning and decluttering doesn’t always help your anxiety and sometimes having to do so may make it worse, while other times once the mess is gone, I feel so relieved. I personally have benefited many times from yoga breathing during a panic attack and it has helped calm me. I hate drinking water and have to force myself, so some of these hacks and tricks below are easier said than done, like the drinking one if you suffer from alcoholism, and of course we all have the intention of eating healthy, drinking healthy, getting enough rest, etc. but we don’t live in a perfect world and that is not always easy to do, but these things can help certain people at times, and some may be at least worth trying, especially when you want some immediate relief and don’t have medication, therapy or other methods immediately available, or if they take some time to help since they usually do…” -Amanda Dodson Gremillion

Easy to Implement Hacks and Tricks to Reduce Anxiety

If you ever have feelings of extreme stress or anxiety, know that you are not alone. In fact, one out of every five people have had some form of anxiety disorder and are looking for solutions. Luckily, there are many different natural methods that you can try to reduce these feelings and feel better overall as you go through your days. Here at Just Buy Her a Dress, we love to promote relaxation with our meditation and life coaching lessons, so we have great tips for how you can reduce the potential for anxiety attacks and live an overall happier life.

Listen to Relaxing Music

Whenever you are feeling stressed or a situation in life is starting to cause panic, take the time to listen to some relaxing music. Something soft or ochestrial will do wonders. To get the best experience, listen to your favorite music through a set of noise-cancelling headphones, which come in many different formats and sizes and you can take them with you wherever you go. Find a quality pair that fits in your budget. You won’t regret it.

Yoga

When you feel an anxiety attack coming on, then you need to take a moment to calibrate and centralize your breathing so you can return back to a feeling of normalcy, and you can do that by practicing yoga. The idea of yoga is not so much about losing weight as it is about toning your body while focusing on meditation so you can make your stress melt away. Even if you don’t often deal with anxiety attacks, yoga is a great activity to pair with cardio and weights to create a healthier lifestyle.

Clean Your Home

If you often feel anxiety while you are at home, then it could be your residence that is causing the stress. This can often be the case when your home is full of unnecessary messes or clutter because the lack of organization can cause confusion and a feeling of suffocation. You can remove bad energy from your home by clearing the clutter, wiping down all surfaces, and then you can ensure that that negative energy stays away by lighting some sage and bringing it through the home so it can do its work and cleanse the premises.

Avoid Fatty Foods

There are many reasons to consume a healthy diet. The most obvious reason is that by being smart about what you eat, you will be in better shape so you can feel better overall and live a longer life, but there is also a mental health component. Many bad foods like those sold at fast-food restaurants contain trans fats which slow down our bodies and make us feel sluggish.

There are also many fatty acids that can affect our brains and our behaviors, leading us to feel anxiety. While the occasional unhealthy meal is okay, try to stick to healthier options like salads, high-protein foods like fish, and nuts and almonds that are high in vitamins and antioxidants.

Alcohol is Not the Answer

If you are feeling down, the last thing you should do is resort to drinking alcohol to feel better. The issue is that by drinking beer and liquor, you can actually feel worse because these beverages are considered to be a depressant that slows down our bodily functions and the way we think. If you are feeling depressed, the best beverage you can have is a cold drink of water because it helps your brain to work faster while improving your concentration so you can be more productive and less anxious.

In the end, trying the tips above will help you to feel better overall so you reduce the chances of an anxiety attack and live a happier life.

Moving House After the Death of a Loved One

This is a guest post, written by Lucille Rosetti. You can find more information about her, her book Life After Death: A Wellness Guide for the Bereaved and other articles at bereaved.org. When I went through severe postpartum depression, dealing with the death of two family members was one of the many things that left me feeling overwhelmed, so when she asked to share this story on here I was totally on board. Hope some of you find it helpful…

Moving House After the Death of a Loved One

Navigating grief is a personal journey, and there’s no set time frame of when you need to approach the emotional and practical aspects surrounding the death of a loved one. Following the death of a loved one, you’ll feel raw and overwhelmed. At some stage, however, you’ll need to take steps towards creating a new life for yourself. You have to build on top of your grief in order for the rawness to disappear. One way of doing this is to move for a fresh start, which provides a change of scenery and an opportunity to move away from feeling trapped by grief.

Getting Your House Ready To Sell

There are certain steps you need to take in order to make your house more appealing to potential buyers. 

  • Deep clean. Get carpets professionally cleaned and tiled areas polished.
  • Paint. Wipe down walls or get them painted by a professional.
  • Plumbing. Make sure that the plumbing works properly and the water pressure is good. 
  • Buy light bulbs. Change lightbulbs in the house. 
  • Declutter. Make your home more appealing by removing clutter. 
  • Window repair. Clean all windows, and repair cracked windows and window frames. 
  • Flowers. Add bunches of fresh flowers throughout the house before a viewing to entice potential buyers.
  • Garden maintenance. Get a garden service to remove weeds and tidy up.

Benefits of Moving for a Fresh Start

Moving provides an opportunity to live and not merely exist in your grief-stricken comfort zone. 

Here are a few benefits: 

  • New friends. Although you rely on the support of old friends, new friends don’t constantly feel sorry for you and ask repeated questions about your grieving.
  • Alternate perspectives. When you move to a new place, your perspective on life might shift. 
  • Career opportunities. These can provide a new focus.
  • Fresh scenery. New sights and areas to explore can provide you with a new lease on life. 

Sorting Out Stuff

Sorting out a loved one’s stuff adds a whole new dimension to grief that others might not understand.  It’s important to keep a few things but to also remember that stuff is just stuff. 

Clothing and personal belongings. Invite close friends and family around to help sort through clothes, as it can trigger waves of emotion. Give them an item of clothing that reminds them of your loved one. Keep a few items for yourself for memory’s sake. 

Furniture. You might not need all your furniture, especially if you’re moving. Keep a piece that holds a lot of memories. An idea is to sell the rest, and donate the money towards a cause that your loved one was passionate about. 

Photos and memorabilia. You can always digitize old photos if there are too many. Alternatively, sort through them and hand them out to friends and family who might want them.

Paperwork and contracts. Enlist help if you need it to sort out paperwork, cancel contracts, and find passwords to accounts. 

Moving Forward

The only way out of the raw grief phase is to take small steps towards a new life. Move forward by moving to somewhere new, and embracing the new chapter. 

Visit Just Buy Her a Dress for more information about mental health and how to adjust to the world around you.

I Did Not Realize I Had Depression Once as a Child Until I Got it as an Adult

When I got severe postpartum depression after my daughter was born, I found myself analyzing my entire life wondering how I went from someone who was so happy most of the time, to someone who did not want to live anymore. I eventually came to realize that I had always had OCD and it caused Anxiety and I finally got help for it. I also finally realized that I had depression at one other point in my life and had not even realized it. When I was in middle school, we moved for the third and final time. I had just started 6th grade and was almost 12 years old. We had moved a couple of times before due to my stepdad being promoted. The first time we moved from where I was born in Alabama near Anniston to South Carolina. I was only 6 at the time and had just started school so the move was not devastating to me, and we did not have a lot of money before and now we would have more. I did miss some family though, so when we did get to move back to Alabama two years later I was actually excited about that move, and it meant even more money again, because we were still far from being well off. We would still be two hours away from where we before, closer to Huntsville, but that was better than how far we were now. 

We ended up living in this new place for almost four years and it ended up being my favorite place we ever lived. We moved right around by 8th birthday so I remember my family taking me to Chuckecheese because I did know anyone else yet. We lived in the country on three acres. My mom and stepdad still rented the brick house we lived in, and would not finally own their own home until our next final move. We got a new dog once we had been there about a year that my parents would end up having until she died of old age when I was 23, the year I got married. I will never forget the day we got her. My parents called us all into the living room and we thought we were in trouble, then my stepdad walks in with a little mixed weenie dog puppy from the pound we named Sissy. Sissy was a major part of my childhood and truly a member of the family. She was always following us kids around wanting to be involved in everything we did, and finding her way in to most pictures. I eventually made a best friend who was like a sister. We were always at each other’s houses. She loved my dog too and I loved her cats. We both took baton lessons at the same place outside of school. She got off the bus with us the day of the Blizzard of 1993 hit until her dad could come get her, and we got the closest to making a truly large snowman we ever had as Sissy was hopping through the snow nearby chasing rabbits.

When another move and possible promotion a couple hours away near Birmingham, AL came up not long after that, I was not happy about it this time. The dog even had a hard time with the move, because we went from the country to the suburbs and she went from 3 acres and wandering as she wished and coming back in the house whenever she wanted, to a fenced in back yard when she was not inside. My mom had to start taking her for walks in the morning, and she would often break free if we left a door open too long, but she always came back usually within about 3 hours or less. She also once learned how to jump their small fence until my stepdad found something to put at the top of it to stop her. The move was hard on my mom as well. Where we used to live she would get off at 4pm every day and went to the gym regularly with my stepdad. In the new place, with the same company, they often worked her to death and she would sometimes work until 9pm. Our allergies seemed to get worse and we all got sick more too, and I think it was partially due to living closer to a bigger more polluted city like Birmingham.

Right before we had moved I got a call I had made Silver Belles, which was the highest honor at my baton place. High school girls were in it and I was going to be in 6th grade! My mom had trouble finding a baton place like the old one I went to at first and I never got put back into it. By the time I could try out for majorette in high school, which they would not let you do until 10th grade here, I did not think I was good enough to even try to make it anymore. I think my sister had just made the dance team before we moved, so I know she went through her own similar troubles. My stepbrother was in college by this time, but our move to the country I loved so much, was the move I think was the hardest on him. He was in high school and went from a big city to a country high school, and just did not feel like he fit in, and he had to leave his long time girlfriend. 

I would eventually understand his pain. In this new school district, there were as many people in the high school for 9th to 12th grade as their had been at the entire K-12 school I went before. Yes, every grade was in one school so it was an adjustment to say the least, especially at a time I now realize is hard for most kids that age regardless of moving. My daughter is now 13 and in 8th grade and 6th grade was a rough year for her and most of her peers. Everyone is hormonal and mean and going through so many changes. I felt like there were already cliques here and we did not have those yet at my old school, or maybe we did but I had so many friends I had not noticed them until I had no friends at first. Even though I had always enjoyed school and did well in school, the first couple of years I cried a lot and I missed a lot of school due to migraine headaches. My mom had migraines before and knew how painful they were, so she did everything she could to try and help me. She would miss work, which I felt bad for, to take me to a headache clinic, I had an MRI done and was checked for jaw issues, etc. We never figured out the cause, but the headaches eventually stopped. I now realize it is because over the next two years I would eventually have a good group of friends and was very active playing drums in band and loved it. I also enjoyed high school even more and ended up meeting my future husband there. The fact he had to move here in 7th grade and leave his best friend was probably what bonded us the most. 

Back when we moved, we did not have Facebook and face time, etc., but now we do and I do keep in touch with my childhood best friend. She lives in D.C. now and I have met up with her time both times I visited. Instead of mourning how close we might have still been today had I not moved, I now realize I might not have my husband or daughter if we had not, and moving enabled us to have opportunities we never would have had otherwise and resulted in some generational curses being broken. I truly think I had depression back then now. It was not talked about as much back then so my parents nor I had any idea, but I feel like if the same thing happened to my daughter today, I would realize it and be better able to help her, and I think that means we have made a lot of progress in society, although we still have a ways to go of course.

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.

Getting Ready for Motherhood

Image Courtesy Pexels

This is a guest post written by Julia Merrill of befriendyourdoc.org:

The final weeks of pregnancy are full of conflicting emotions and emotional turmoil. Maybe you’re calling your mom every day for advice, or trying to spend a lot of time with your partner while it’s still just the two of you. You’re excited, you’re exhausted, you can’t wait for this pregnancy to be over. But you’re nervous too, unsure what to expect. The one certainty is that your life is going to be irrevocably altered.

You’re Going To Be Different:

As big a change as your body has gone through, your personality has changed as well. While you were growing a little person, you were growing into a mother, yourself. Your brain has changed, along with your center of gravity. You’re going to question assumptions you held before you had children. Your opinions may change, sometimes radically, once you’re a mother. Before I had kids, I rarely locked my door. I was trusting, and thankfully, no one ever took advantage of that. Once I had a child, it was as if my sense of danger turned on. Someone flipped a switch, and the world looked different, more random and dangerous, full of terrible drivers and rude people, and toxins and slippery surfaces and other things that can hurt your baby.

You’re Going to Get Powers:

Maternal instinct is real. When my first child was born, I questioned whether I had any at all. I loved my baby, but I didn’t feel warm and fuzzy and bonded when I breastfed him. I felt icky and uncomfortable and a little bit resentful of the tiny stranger at my breast. I questioned whether I was up to the challenge of being his mom. But I vividly remember the day that I got my answer. I was feeding my son little bits of chopped up sausages in his high chair. He began choking. Instantly, I whipped him out of the high chair, turned him upside down, swept the bits from his mouth, and he was fine. It wasn’t in the books, it wasn’t any way recommended to handle a choking child. But I did it instinctively, without thought, and it worked.

As I sat there shaking afterward, the adrenaline coursing through my body, it hit me like a tidal wave: I knew what to do. When called upon, I had what it took to keep my tiny human alive. It was humbling, and awe-inspiring to me.

When their children are in danger, mothers have lifted cars and successfully fought off wild animals to protect them. You might think you’re the most nonviolent person in the world, but once you’re a mother, you’re going to find that you do have it in you to hurt someone, if that someone is a threat to your child. There is no one more dangerous than a mother protecting her offspring. You’re going to grow eyes in the back of your head, and develop a sixth sense for when your kid is in trouble.

You’re Going To Be Tired:

Prepare to lose sleep for the rest of your life. Okay, I’m kidding, it’s more like for the first six months, and then again, for some months around the terrible twos. And then again, later when they start driving, until they’re around twenty-five. My own mother assures me I’ll start losing sleep again once mine have their own kids. The point is, kids make us worry, and they take a great deal of energy.

Take these last few weeks of pregnancy to nap as much as possible, and once the baby comes, sleep whenever he does. The housework will still be there when you both wake up. If you can afford it, consider hiring a cleaning service. If you have pets, consider a dog walking service. Take help when it’s offered, and ask for it when it’s needed. Give yourself time to rest, and when the baby is awake, play with the baby. No one ever lay on their deathbed wishing they’d done more housework. The moments with your baby go by so fast, and you’ll never get them back again. Spend as much time as you can together, making memories.

You Want to Take Care of the Details

With so much overwhelm in the final weeks, a lot of details will slip through the cracks. When the time comes to head to the hospital, you will feel a mix of exhilaration and terror. A lot will be going through your head, and the last thing you want to worry about is whether you’re wearing shoes or if you have a cord to power your phone. That’s why it’s always recommended that you put together a hospital bag in the weeks leading up your due date. Pack whatever you anticipate needing. Hair ties, a robe, a labor and delivery gown, socks, slippers, lip balm, moisturizer, device chargers, headphones, clothes for the baby. Any creature comforts you can think of. Then be sure to pack up copies of your driver’s license and your insurance card. Gather it all up, and put it in a bag that you can leave by the front door, right next to your comfy shoes. It might not feel like much, but having control here can almost feel like an accomplishment.

It goes without saying that your life is about to change. You’re going to have baby-proofed cabinets, corners, and light sockets. You’re going to wind up reading food labels and second-guessing all your decisions. That’s normal. But you’re embarking on the greatest adventure of your entire life. You’re getting ready to meet the most important person you’ll ever know, and you’re going to love them more than you ever thought was possible.

For regular insight into parenting, motherhood and more, check out Just Buy Her a Dress blog and podcast today!

Interview with Shoutout Atlanta

Check out my interview with Shoutout Atlanta below! Sorry I have not been podcasting or blogging much. I thought I would be more than ever with my first summer off since high school in over 20 years. Instead, I have found myself not on social media or online at all near as much and I have been taking some trips to visit with friends and family, cleaning things in my house I have not cleaned in a long time, and many days find myself staying up late and sleeping in, just like my teenage daughter. She has me on her schedule most days now. I have also caught up on all my shows and am even currently rewatching Dawson’s Creek for the first time in 20 years as well, which really makes me feel like I am in high school or college again. I will try to post more about my “boring” summer once it is over.

Meet Amanda Dodson Gremillion | Author & Blogger – SHOUTOUT ATLANTA

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.

Why my Book is Called Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine

I wanted to share a part of my book so those who have not read it yet can understand why the book, and the chapter this part is from are called Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine

“From the time a woman is pregnant, her life changes forever. When people hear that, they think of the fact that you have a tiny person living inside you. You bond with that person, which forever changes your life for the better. But suddenly, you are not just one person anymore. You can’t even walk around in public without some stranger thinking they have the right to touch you without asking because you have a baby inside you, and it fascinates them. They believe they should have a say in how you should give birth and the right to tell you how to raise this child that hasn’t been born yet, even though they don’t know you. This doesn’t stop once the baby is born. People think they can walk up in public and touch your baby without asking, and that you should listen to them about everything: how the child’s hair should be, what clothes they should wear, what they should eat, what you should be doing to prepare them for school. If they aren’t potty-trained fast enough or don’t seem smart enough for their age or tall enough or skinny enough or don’t act well enough in their opinion, you are going to hear about that, too. I now realize everyone is excited and trying to help, but when you have just become a new parent, all this input can overwhelm you and make you feel like a failure. When you learn you can’t please everyone, you can quit trying and do your best.


Another thing that can be overwhelming: People don’t only tell you what they think you should do when it comes to the baby. Because you are now the baby’s mother, they have opinions about what you should do with your life. This is especially true when you are pregnant. When I was pregnant, I didn’t get depressed. I was one of those happy pregnant women that other pregnant women hate. I felt very bonded with Aubrie. I talked to her all the time and couldn’t wait to meet her. However, I now see that some things started then that did affect me over time—especially the feeling that I could never be good enough as a mother, a woman, or a wife. I never did anything I thought could be dangerous for my child when I was pregnant, but that does not stop people from telling you how much rest you should be getting, what you should be eating, etc. You already feel these concerns have little to do with you and everything to do with the baby. After the baby is born, it starts to feel like the only reason anyone is concerned with you is so you can care for the baby. Being a mother is a very important role in life, but what about your other roles as wife, daughter, sister, friend, employee, or simply a human being?

Some people, especially women who have been through this before, understand and try to think of the woman. They give her attention when she is pregnant and when the baby is first born. I have heard someone make the statement before that they bought someone a new dress so she would not get postpartum depression. If only it were that simple. It is a nice gesture, but it would be even nicer if everyone was aware of this happening and tried to give mother and baby both the attention they need, knowing it benefited both mother and child. This would not require gifts or constant attention, just showing a legitimate concern for the person and making sure they feel loved too.
It is easy to love that little baby so much that you forget to give the mother the attention and love she still needs. After having the baby, the mother typically gets less medical attention and fewer checkups than the baby. She is expected to continue her everyday duties and care for a newborn while recovering…. People always think the husband should step up, notice if something is wrong with the wife, and help her. Often, he does, but other times he is as affected as she is. Approximately half of men whose wives get postpartum depression will get depressed, too. Your husband is your partner, and what affects you affects him. If you experienced deaths in your family and a layoff, your partner did, too. They have a new baby, too. They are also working and not getting any sleep. They also miss the time you two used to have together, and their life is completely changed as well.”

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.

Why Everyone Should Care About Postpartum Mood Disorders

This blog is also included in the podcast below

The estimates vary but it is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of women experience baby blues the first two weeks after having a baby. These go away on their own but another 10 to 20 percent develop postpartum mood disorders such as postpartum depression, postpartum OCD or postpartum anxiety. Approximately 10 percent of men do as well. These men and women could be your spouse, your child, your parent, your sibling or other family member, your employee, your boss, your coworker or your friend. Sometimes men or women develop more than one and how long they last can often depend on how quickly they get help. If you do not get help and continue to have more children, they can last for years and symptoms can worsen. Less than one percent of women develop postpartum psychosis which is what you normally see cases of on the news due to women harming themselves and/or their children. Even most women with this disorder do not harm their children. Usually the symptoms are more obvious, so it is caught earlier and they normally get help earlier. What this tells us is that most women get depressed if even for a short time after having a child, but most of them do not end up harming their child. The fear of people thinking they will harm their child is one big reason a lot of people do not get help sooner. They are scared to tell anyone and they feel ashamed for their thoughts, even if they cannot help it and do not act on them.

It is actually more common for the mother to harm herself. Suicide is the leading cause of death in new moms. Others suffer for years, never acting on any possible suicidal thoughts, but suffering in silence while it often starts to affect their entire life including their physical health, their marriage, their job, and their relationship with their children and everyone else around them. Some even abandon their children, but again this is rare. However, thinking it is a pretty common symptom. My daughter was planned, but I still thought I regretted having her at times and wanted to run away to the beach. I never acted on this, but even thinking it hurt my husband and also hurt someone else close to me. It hurt my husband for obvious reasons, but it hurt the other person because they had been told all of their childhood that their mother never wanted them or their siblings, so they were actually angry at me at first for saying it or even thinking it. Their mom truly did not ever want to get married or have kids and was forced out of their home as a teenager into marriage. They eventually saw that I did not truly feel that way and it was something I could not control thinking and did not want to feel. If anything, it eventually made us both more sympathetic to their own mother, whose mental health got worse with every child, and whose choices had never seemed to be her own as she was born in a different time. Her mother also never left, and could have, and she had some good moments as a mom, so where we judged her before, we now both tried to be more sympathetic.

Also, that person has always tried to be the opposite of their mother, always telling her children they were her biggest blessing and always wanting to be a servant to everyone. She is the opposite of her in so many ways and a good mother. However, she has sometimes shown that same resentment as her mother without ever even realizing it, because she has always taken care of others ahead of herself which always results in burnout, because everyone is human. This resulted in her daughter trying to do the same when she became a mom and quickly realizing she needed to take care of herself first, and she needed to teach her daughter to do the same if she was going to break this generational curse. My family and I knew nothing about postpartum mood disorders until I went through one myself, and it almost destroyed my marriage and I did not want to live anymore. After getting help and starting to educate others, older women in my family started to tell me they think they suffered from it too, but they did not realize what it was and just suffered in silence for years. We all now see so many generational curses that this caused or continued. I just want anyone going through this to know, you are not alone and you can get better. A lot of people do not want to talk about it because it is depressing, which is why my book has some humor in it and so do some of my blogs and posts on my pages. Learning to laugh about everything again was another step in healing for me. If mood disorders are not treated, the effects and aftermath can not only last years, the harm it does to individuals and families can last for generations to come.

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.