As a New Mom, I Constantly Worried My Child Was Going To Die

I have never been what you would call a helicopter mom. Even when my child was pretty young, I would not hover over her at the playground, fearing every boo boo that might come. Even now that she is older, I am one of those moms who would let you fail if you just refuse to do your own homework. This has never been an issue though because she does it, usually without help, but I do help when occasionally needed of course. However, when it came to things that could be life or death, such as swimming, or getting into things once she could crawl and walk, I constantly worried and hovered. I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and it causes Anxiety. It got severe postpartum before I finally realized I had always had it and got some help. Medication, therapy and a lot of other things helped. Once she got old enough to not get into everything that helped as well.

Looking back, I would have maybe done more to make me feel better safety wise too. I mean I baby proofed and took certain precautions, but years later I now work in a preschool where the environment is set up for kids to play freely without constant fear of them getting into everything. It is harder to do that with your entire home, but maybe with certain areas at least you can. Also, when it came to swimming, I would have scheduled swim lessons sooner, as early as possible. You can even teach babies. What happened to me though, apparently happens to a lot of people. It is like that overprotective mama bear goes overboard. You take sole responsibility for this new life and think anything that happens to them is now your fault and responsibility, even things that may be out of your control. Of course it is good to be protective of your child, but not to the point that you are in a constant state of panic and anxiety.

Many women have thoughts of something bad happening to their child, and when they have them as often as I did and they become obsessive, you will often hear them called intrusive thoughts. Sometimes, these even turn into thoughts of the mother hurting the child. This did not happen to me, but I will say as I have said many times before, that if a mom admits to having these thoughts and ask for help, she is asking for help because she feels guilty for having these thoughts. She does not have control over them and she does not want to hurt her child. She is being a good mom, doing the right thing, and deserves to get help without judgment or without having her children taken away. I had a friend tell me she once thought about driving into a pole with her child in the car years before when she had postpartum anxiety. She thought for a moment that she would be doing the right thing by taking her daughter with her. I instead wanted to run away at times, or prayed to not wake up, or had thoughts about driving into stuff when alone, thinking my daughter would be better off without me.

It was so conflicting to be such a protective mama bear, scared to have anything happen to a child you love so much, but at the same time feel so overwhelmed being this mama bear, that you just felt like you could not keep going sometimes. It is because no one can keep going in the state I was in, and no one should have to. They need the help I eventually got and wish I had gotten sooner. My daughter is 13 now, and deep down, my worst fear is still something happening to her. I do not think that fear ever goes completely goes away as a parent, so a little fear of that is normal, just like a fear of death in general. As Eleanor on the show the Good Place once said, “All humans are aware of death, so we are a little bit sad all of the time. That’s just the deal.” I think she is right, that is the deal, but I have learned to live with it and to not let it consume me anymore, because that does not have to be part of the deal.

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.

Pregnant Woman Need to Know About Postpartum Mood Disorders, Even if it Scares Them

Someone asked me recently if they should give my book to a pregnant woman or would it scare her? She apparently already had some anxiety about becoming a new mom which is why they were thinking about it giving it to her in the first place. I told them I think it would be a good thing to give it to them. I wrote it with some humor to lighten the subject and it has helpful information for any new or soon to be mom outside of just the postpartum mood disorder part. Then today, in a support group I am in to provide support, a discussion began about how people, including a lot of doctors, do not discuss postpartum depression with pregnant women because they do not want to scare them. I think this is a huge mistake of course. I understand the concern. The last thing you want to do is stress a pregnant woman out, especially if she is already stressed. You are worried about her health and the health of the baby, but yet they do not mind putting you through the same regarding other health conditions that affect a lot less mothers. Every woman is screened for gestational diabetes despite the amount who get it being much lower, but every woman is not screened for postpartum mood disorders. My doctors scared me as a new first time mom a couple of times while I was pregnant. We had to have extra ultrasounds to keep an eye on a possible kidney condition that turned out to be nothing. We also did extra ones to keep an eye on her large size, but she ended up coming on her own three and a half weeks earlier than they thought healthy and weighing eight and a half pounds. I am still glad we took these precautions even if it scared me a little and turned out to be nothing.

The fact that I thought motherhood would be mainly butterflies and rainbows is part of why I got postpartum depression in the first place. No one did my any favors by withholding helpful true information. If anything, maybe it could have prevented it, or at least made it less severe, or I could have at least gotten help sooner. Most women will not get a postpartum mood disorder but a lot will. Most will get the baby blues for the first couple of weeks though, it is pretty normal, and most statistics I hear show up to 80 percent of new moms get these. If they do not know about those, they might feel guilty for not feeling joyful right away and that guilt could lead to them feeling blue for even longer. I think so much of what many new moms go through can be prevented and that is why I try to shout all that happened to me from the rooftops. Women and everyone around them should know all about postpartum mood disorders even before they get pregnant, it should be common knowledge. That is my hope for one day. Learning about them should not be scary, and if hearing about them does scare someone a lot, they probably already have some anxiety which is a risk factor for getting them, so they really need the information.

Pretending they do not exist does not make them go away. Talking about them actually takes away their power. So what happens when someone does not get help? They often suffer in silence for years, and yes it can last for years, especially if you have a child, do not get better, have another child and so on. Maybe it sometimes eventually goes away on it’s own, but I think it instead it just changes from a postpartum mood disorder to a regular mood disorder or back to a regular mood disorder if you had one before, like me without realizing. If you never got help though and never address it, I think it will affect you and your children in negative ways. It adds to generational trauma and this is a best case scenario. Worst case scenario is of course what you see on the news, a woman harming herself and/or her children. This is the reason a lot of women do not seek help. They worry someone will think they will hurt their children. That is rare, but still can happen without help, so help should be encouraged, not discouraged and a mom seeking help is a good mom. She should get the help she needs and if that requires a short time away from her kids, she should be reunited with them as quickly as possible once better.

It is more likely that a woman will harm herself and everything should be done to try and prevent this as well. Some other pretty bad things that can happen is postpartum mood disorders can destroy a marriage and break up a family. Sometimes maybe this was bound to happen anyways and that was just the breaking point, but it can even destroy the best of relationships. It can ruin other relationships as well with other family, friends and with your own children. So if having posters and pamphlets everywhere, even in the waiting room during your pre and post birth appointments, or keeping those regular appointments you have before birth, even after birth and being screened regularly and checked on even for the first couple of years can prevent all of that, why would we not do it? If this was a regular thing would it not make it less scary? If people knew more about it, if people knew what to do if they have some of the risk factors or symptoms is this again, not less scary?

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.

Happy as a Mother Website, Podcast and Workshops

I wanted to share a good source I have found for those looking to parent without the constant anger, and losing their cool and who want to enjoy parenting more. This one is aimed at mothers but currently, due to COVID, I think everything is online right now anyways through zoom, podcasts, etc. Even when in person they probably allow men, or could supply some other good resources for fathers as well I am sure.  Help for postpartum depression, anxiety and rage | Happy as a Mother

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.

The Myth of the Instant Bond

There is a show on Tru TV, also available on Hulu and some other places of course, called Adam Ruins Everything. I love the show! It is a comedian who basically aims to debunk common misconceptions in society with facts and sources galore. So, you can guess when he did an episode called “Adam Ruins Having a Baby”, where he addressed things like having a baby over 35, formula vs break milk and postpartum depression, I was all ears, especially since it was nice to see these subjects dealt with using a little humor, the way I try to address them personally. I cannot find a free version of the episode online, but I have linked some free clips below, as well as the full episode for purchase if you do not already have free access elsewhere and want to watch. The episode had such am impact on me that I mentioned it in my book.

One thing mentioned that really resonated with me is that we know the average life expectancy was way lower not so long ago. This was mainly because of so many babies dying. Most people did not die at age 35, but the average age was drug down to 35 by so many babies and young people dying. Vaccines and other medical advances, including baby formula as mentioned in the show, eventually changed this, but it used to happen to often that parents often did not name the baby the first year in case they baby did not make it. Being a comedy show, at one point a woman is shown casually looking at her baby for the first time saying, “Nice to meet you number 4.” This part of the episode was in the postpartum depression section, because women often beat themselves up if they do not feel an instant bond with their child. The instant bond idea is a newer idea. While I do like that we are trying to bond with our children earlier, even in cases where we might or for sure will lose them to miscarriage, stillbirth or death in babyhood or childhood, as painful as it can be, this just proves that this idea that most mothers and their children always magically bond instantly has always been a myth.

Adam Ruins Everything – Why Baby Formula Isn’t Poison | truTV – YouTube

Adam Ruins Everything – You Can Still Have Babies After 35 | truTV – YouTube

Adam Ruins Having a Baby – YouTube

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.

Some New Moms Telling Their Husbands and Doctors They Want to Die Are Being Brushed Off

I am part of a postpartum support group so I can try to help others going through postpartum mood disorders as I once did. I was in a different one years ago that helped me so much. Many times I read about women trying to tell their husbands or doctors how they feel. You would think this may involve them trying, but not being clear enough, because with men especially, you often have to be very clear and direct, they even often tell you this. I once read of a woman who says she told her husband she did not want to live anymore or wanted to run away (not sure how much more direct you can get than that, although she is advised to be more direct and repeat, repeat, repeat), and the responses I have seen from the husband in these posts are the following:

“He tried to reason with logic, I had said this before and he knew I would not do anything.”

“See, this is why I want out of our marriage, you are unhappy too.”

“He said I don’t need medicine, that in the past it made me worse even though I thought it made me better and so did everyone else around me.”

“He says I need to leave then and leave the baby with him, even though he works from home while I am on maternity leave, and he will normally only keep the baby about 30 minutes a week before giving him back.”

These are just a few examples of course. I will also say I have seen some women say the same to the doctors and often get a response that what they are feeling is normal. It is not normal to want to die or run away, and if your doctor says this and does not show immediate care or concern, you should find a new doctor. I know it may seem I should say the same about a husband, but with husbands it is more complicated. Husbands, and most people in general are not trained in postpartum mood disorders. We did not get any info about this when I was pregnant, or after that I recall, and my husband and I ,nor my family knew much about them. Yet husbands are expected to notice if something is wrong with their wife and try to get her to seek help. Often they do, but husbands are usually sleep deprived too, husbands are often missing your old life too and the old you and the old them too, and if you are depressed, your husband has been around you depressed for a while, and being around a depressed person is well, depressing. They may even get depressed themselves.

When I told my spouse, I got a response similar to the second one above. By the time I told him, it was already two years postpartum and our marriage was falling apart. He thought that is why I was miserable, because of our marriage. He thought I was praying not to wake up because of our marriage. He thought he was doing me a favor by leaving, we could both be happy now. Years later, now that I am in a much better place and my marriage is in a much better place, it still baffles me that my husband I both got to such a bad place in life and our marriage that I could tell him I was praying to not wake up anymore, and he did not seem alarmed or concerned and thought the solution was to end our marriage. Ironically, it kind of ended up being the solution. When he left, I got even worse and could no longer hide it from others. That was also the beginning of me openly sharing my story in a way that helped others and eventually helped me as well. My husband and I also eventually worked things out.

I personally was a very happy pretty bubbly person before going through postpartum depression. I did not change overnight, it was a slow process, easier to see looking back, than in the moment of course. When I now tell people I did not want to live anymore, that I prayed to not wake up, that I thought for a second about driving off bridges or into a wall when I was driving alone, that I almost ran away and even drove down the road once, that I no longer worried or cared if an 18 wheeler almost swerved into my lane and that if there had been a pill ever put in front of me that would have painlessly ended it all, I might have taken it, people were shocked. It does not matter if I ever did act on these thoughts or would have or not, the fact that I was feeling like this was not okay and I needed help. When you tell people this though and they don’t seem to think you need help because you have not actually either tried to kill yourself yet or been successful in doing so, you start to think that this is either normal and all mothers feel this way, this must just be how awful motherhood really is, or that you are just a bad mother.

I can say that my husband was very supportive of me taking medication and never responded negatively to that. He probably noticed my medicine helping me before I did, as my doctor even joked might happen. However, I did worry at first he might blame changes in my behavior on my medicine, since men often make jokes about you being on your period, or being an emotional woman when you voice an opinion they are not happy with. My advice to the woman who husband was saying her medicine made her worse was that her husband would find other things to blame her behavior on besides her medicine when he did not like it. She could probably even tell him she quit taking the medicine and he might say he noticed a positive difference. She could then tell him she is still taking the medicine and prove him wrong. My husband also never tried to take our child, or even insinuated doing so and thought I was a great mother. If anything, I wanted him to take her more than he did, because I was overwhelmed. I eventually moved in with my parents for a short time during our separation for some help.

Most mothers with postpartum mood disorders do not ever harm or neglect their children. Unfortunately in the rare instances when they do, the worst cases make the national or international news. When a woman does share that she has thoughts about hurting her child, usually she is sharing them because she knows this is not healthy, and she feels guilt and would never act on them. In most cases she just needs more help and support, not to be guilted, shunned or have her children taken away. It is actually more likely that the mother will neglect or harm herself, but when women share these thoughts, they are often ignored and that really needs to change.

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.

Information on the use of Medication While Pregnant or Breastfeeding

“The InfantRisk Center provides information on the use of medications for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Call us at (806)352-2519”

Home Page | InfantRisk Center

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.

Private Support Group to discuss Parenting, Marriage, Pregnancy, Mental Health and/or Postpartum Mood Disorders…

Hey everyone! I have a support group, but not a lot of members yet. It started as postpartum mood disorders support group, but I have modified to also include privately discussing parenting, marriage, pregnancy and/or mental health. Here is the link if you or anyone you know would like to join…

(3) Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine Support Group | Facebook

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.

Micromanaging and It’s Effect on Mental Health

I read an article the other day where a woman was seeking advice because she felt her husband did not do anything right when parenting their child. Here is a link if you want to read that first, which I strongly suggest:

https://slate.com/human-interest/2021/01/husband-is-incompetent-father-care-and-feeding.html

Twelve years ago I probably would have related more to her, but these days I related more to the advice columnist, who basically replied telling her she was micromanaging her husband and causing him to lose interest in parenting. Micromanaging your spouse can destroy a marriage and it can destroy that spouse’s relationship with their own child. I was not intentionally doing it of course. It was a symptom of my postpartum depression and my OCD becoming worse postpartum, but some people never overcome this and do it their entire life. I had a boss who micromanaged me and all my coworkers once, and it took a toll on our mental health and majorly affected our lives. It also changed a job I loved, and a company I was devoted to and would have retired with, to a company that disappointed me and broke my heart.

I was at a job I loved most days for years. I was my boss’s right hand man, I got raises and even thought about getting back into management again when my boss decided to leave and my daughter was older. Turns out my boss left, after over 20 years I might add, because she had a new boss who was micromanaging her. After she left, he replaced her with another micromanager, but did promote me and another person to assist them. I stayed for another year and a half. Most others have since either been fired, or eventually left like me. Even the ones who were star employees before were no longer good enough. The thing is though, we are all human and make mistakes daily. If any boss followed their best employee around all day and looked for mistakes, they will find them, as would their boss in them. Once this is done though, it can affect your confidence and of course make you nervous. The next thing you know, you go from making the every day common mistakes everyone makes sometimes because you are human, to making more and more and bigger mistakes because you are a nervous wreck. The micromanager then uses this against you to make you look like you were always this bad, the old boss just was not managing correctly.

Before we knew it, they had HR and upper management believing we were all the problem and not them. No one else would speak up with me, in fear of losing their job. This is how worthless we all felt by this point, that the company would get rid of an entire department, even people who had been great employees for years and would have retired with the company, before they got rid of this person. I on the other hand, could no longer take the toll on my mental health or take the injustice. I got another job, worked out a notice and left on good terms. A party was thrown for me, people gave me gifts and money and food. It felt crazy I was even leaving, or felt I had to. I told them everything I thought, as professionally as I could in an exit interview. I even told them I did not want the person fired, they were good at the other parts of their job, just not at supervising people. I also told them that one coworker I knew, who had never even had Anxiety or panic attacks before, had two caused by this boss, and I, as someone on medication for OCD and the Anxiety it causes, had no longer suffered attacks in a long time since being put on medication, but started having them again.

I loved this job before, and most of the people there loved me and had the same opinion of this boss as I did. I even reflected for that year and half trying to determine if there was anything I could do to change or make the situation better, until I realized it was not me. Everyone saw this at the time, except those that had the power to stop it. By the time they finally did, people’s lives, careers and mental health were already hurt. I had told them most of it before, they just did not listen because they wanted hard evidence, and I was not sitting around documenting everything instead of doing my job like that boss was. Some others were, but it did them no good either. As a former HR director myself, it was hard to lose confidence in HR. I tell this story as much as I can because I have been shocked at the people who have been through the same.

I was told that after I left, my old boss’s boss quit before they were fired or laid off, but my old boss is still there. They are no longer a supervisor though, because once even all the people they hired had the same experience as us, they finally believed us, once most of us were all gone and once our mental health, careers and lives were already majorly affected. Some other good people in the company were laid off after I left , so maybe I got out at the right time. The company was not as good as I thought and disappointed me. Luckily most of my bosses have been great, although I did Nanny for a couple for a short time who micromanaged their kids this way, so I felt kind of micromanaged as well, or required to micromanage them myself one, and both made me uncomfortable. I have also had coworkers at times, some even Leads or ahead of you seniority wise, maybe even training you, who micromanage, and that is hard as well. They see you struggling with something and do not jump in to help unless you ask, and sometimes even then, do not. However, they see you make a minor mistake and call it out from across the room. They never make any, and even have time to check everything you are doing while they do everything perfectly.

In so many of these cases, these people do have the best of intentions. They think they are helping, they are perfectionists. Because of this perfectionism, they are also often very good at certain parts of their job. However, this leads to them being very critical of anyone who even does it the least bit different, even if or when their way might be better, or when it might be okay for someone else to do the same thing differently. I say all of this as someone who has battled perfectionism my entire life, but I do not want to be them, but I also do not expect to change them. That is part of overcoming my own perfectionism. I cannot change them. I can only change me, my reaction, or my situation, as hard as that is sometimes, So I write this, not hoping to change them or those like them, but more so for people that are affected by them, like me, so they know they are not alone, but also for the ones that may find they are like that, as I once was, and do want to change. I also write this for those around who can change things for the person being micromanaged, like the ones who did not believe us all, and the ones who would not stand up with me and risk a job they eventually lost anyways.

As someone who has been a lead and manager, if you see someone struggling, a coworker or someone who works for you, or someone you work for, or your spouse, or your child, help them without them even having to ask, or if you do not see them and they ask, try to help them. Lead by example, by practicing, not preaching, and give them a little room in error. I work in childcare now, so of course if I saw a situation where I truly believed a child was in true danger, I would speak up to someone about what they were doing, whether it was intentional or not. However, I have often found these people often seem more concerned about things that are not life or death, while ignoring others that are or could be. Also, like with kids, when parents get onto you for everything, you eventually drown them out, or just do not care anymore because you seem darned if you do, or darned if you don’t, as is often said. For instance, with that old boss, if you did not take initiative you should have, but if you did take it you should have asked permission first. Life is not a Disney movie. Sometimes the bad guy just seems to win in real life, and it just hurts. I am almost 40, and tired, and I am ready for it just once to easily work out for me, as it seems to for them, but while actually doing the right thing. I guess I just wanted any of you reading this and feeling the same, to know you are not alone.

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.

The movie Marley & Me nailed it’s Depiction of Postpartum Depression

The movie Marley & Me was based on a book, which was based on a real life story, which I guess should make it no surprise that it’s depiction of Postpartum Depression was pretty accurate to me. If you have not seen the movie yet, it came out in 2008 so this blog contains some spoilers. I will also warn you, some may have a hard time watching it. It is one of my favorite movies, but there is a part that deals with pregnancy loss that may be hard for some, and it does follow Marley, a dog, to the end of his life, but I personally love a good tearjerker sometimes. As someone who experienced postpartum depression myself, it felt so good to relate to the main character Jennifer Anniston played. The postpartum depression part was probably only about 10 minutes of the movie, but that is part of my point. It was one thing that happened in their life. The way she acted during that time was not the person she was, it did not define her, but I could relate to her character the entire movie. 

She was a planner, and had her whole life planned out early on, but later in life realizes, as I have, that it is the things you don’t plan that end up being the best parts of life. She wanted to have kids, she wanted to get married, she loved children and animals and was a sweet person, but after she has her second child, and is overwhelmed, she seems filled with rage. In one scene, she finally gets the baby and toddler both down to sleep, then she hears the trash man coming and knows the dog is about to start barking and wake them up. He does, and she loses it. I could totally relate, and was so relieved to see such a realistic view of postpartum depression I had not seen before, except in my own life. Her husband did not understand what happened to his former wife, until his boss suggested it might be postpartum depression. He now dreaded coming home and when he mentions the postpartum depression to her, at first, she gets angry and defensive, a normal reaction for many. 

They later have a heart to heart where she opens up about how much she had to give up to be a mom and a wife. Earlier in the movie, she was having more success than her husband when it came to their careers, but eventually she wanted to stay home with the kids, and gave it all up for her family. Her husband eventually became more and more successful, and he often started to wonder what he was missing out on as well at times, as he had a single friend who was always traveling and always with different women. One day he realizes how good he has it though, and realizes that his single friend is actually jealous of what he has. Even her husband in the movie reminded me a lot of my husband. Even though she chose being a wife and mother, she sometimes missed all she gave up too, which is normal of course, and she and her husband both admit not realizing how hard it would be sometimes. 

I personally was not able to stay at home, but at one point in my marriage, I was the breadwinner. My spouse and I have kind of taken turns in that over the years. Once we had a small child, and both of us were trying to be managers, I chose to step down from management because it was just too hard. My husband eventually changed jobs to one with much more work life balance too, even though it was still a management position, but somehow he ended up making even more than he did before and having more growth opportunities, which honestly made me a little jealous. However, I still do not regret the choice I made. When I changed jobs, my daughter was just starting school, and having a job with more work life balance allowed me to go on field trips with her, help with a class Christmas party and be involved in so many other things I would have missed otherwise. 


In the movie, it goes from showing the wife and husband talking things out, and joking no more kids for a while, to years later when they have another kid and they are all in a much better place. Kind of like the movie The Notebook, where they do not show you how they go from passionate young lovers to dying together in their 90’s, they do not show you how they got from that one point to the other, because it is a movie, and from experience I can tell you, they cannot fit all that into one movie.

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.

My Love Hate Relationship with Cleaning and Planners

I think I started using planners in college. After college, when I started working in Human Resources, at one point I had a work planner and a personal planner. When my husband saw some of what I had written in there, which included some things most people just remember all on their own daily, he joked if I had written to breathe in there. When my OCD and the Anxiety it causes got worse than ever postpartum, and I became severely depressed, I took a short break from planners. This started when I accidentally lost mine and decided to try life without one. I eventually started writing to do lists again and started using my work Outlook calendar for work and personal reminders. I would mainly have reminders at the end of the day pop up, like my daughter is supposed to dress up for crazy hair day at school tomorrow for instance.

When I eventually took a break from the corporate world and became a preschool teacher again, I had to buy an actual planner again because I was not on a computer all day anymore. I could have set up reminders on my phone, but this is one area I remain old fashioned. I love to write it down and cross it out and I love that it can never die, unlike my phone, so when I have that urgent feeling to add something before I forget, I can just write it down. Doing this sometimes even helps me sleep better and get it off my mind and can be a good thing when I don’t get too obsessed. I think using the written planner gives me some kind of feeling of accomplishment and more of a feeling of control. However, when I didn’t get it done, it would often stress me out. I would also often find myself writing too many things down and becoming too dependent on having to write them down to remember anything. Once my lists got too long, I would become overwhelmed. Over the years, I have learned to incorporate planners into my life again, without letting it overwhelm me.

People with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder obsess over different things. Two of the things I always have obsessed over are planning and cleaning. When we are having people over, and we get the entire house clean and it stays pretty clean for about two to three days, it is the best feeling in the world to me still, even now that I have gotten my cleaning obsession more under control. I can handle a mess more than I used to. I had to learn to because my husband is messy, and then we had a child, and now two dogs as well. Boy was dog hair hard for me to get used to at first, but I finally have. However, occasionally the house will get messy enough to start stressing me a little bit and cleaning it does make me feel better. It can be therapeutic. I don’t even normally do it for others, it is more for me, like it feels like my life and everything else is under control if everything around me is clean and in order. When things get too out of order, it can make me feel like my life is out of order, even if it is not. When I go to other people’s houses, I don’t find myself judging the cleanliness, and if anything if I see a little dust it makes me feel better to know we are all human and no one has a perfectly clean house all of the time. Even if it is pretty messy, I may not want to stay and live there in it daily, that probably would stress me out in the long term, but I can visit for a short time and be just fine.

The medication I currently take is often given in higher does to women with eating disorders. I never thought of my OCD as similar until I realized, I clean because I think it is something I can control. I have never had an eating disorder, but others close to me have and I do know I have been told it is often feeling like you think you control that one thing, your weight. The truth is you are really out of control, just like I am not controlling the cleaning, it is really controlling me, when I am stressed so much based on whether it is done or not. My obsession with planning is about trying to have control as well, but again something that actually makes me out of control and has consumed my life at times. When I was at my worst postpartum, I remember cleaning our house even though I was supposed to be getting ready to go to someone else’s house, with my husband and daughter. I have also knocked down cobwebs in the middle of having guests over the moment I noticed them or have been late, even to my own parties at my own house. When people would show up, I was still cleaning, so my husband entertained while I got ready.

Some people with OCD often get offended when people who do not truly have OCD but like things clean, joke about being OCD, but I don’t because for one, I actually did that myself before I realized I was actually OCD. I also realize, just like when I did it, some people truly do not realize how much cleaning can consume someone’s life, but it can. Obsessing over anything can and is not healthy, including when I used to change out the pictures in our house constantly, until my husband pointed out one time that no one had even come over since the last time I had changed them. Obsessing over these things is something I may have to battle off and on the rest of my life, but now that I am aware of that, it is much easier to try and keep a handle on it, with the help of those around me and help from other things, like medication.

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.