No Rain, No Flowers: My Battle with PPD

Hello all.

It’s been a non-stop emotional rollercoaster since 2016. I won’t go into too much detail because there is just… so… much. But if you’ve been on this ride with me or you are experiencing depression too, then you’re probably slightly interested in what’s been going on in my personal life.

I am writing this with the hope of encouraging or relating to anyone in a situation like mine because it is more common than people really know — and that is 100% because people don’t talk about it. There is a lot people don’t talk about when it comes to the not-so-glamorous parts of real life and I’d rather not contribute to that silence. So many women go through miscarriages and postpartum depression alone because of the shame that comes with these very natural and very common processes. I, myself, have only recently started seeing a professional for mental and emotional support; and with that, I am starting to see the beauty in reaching out, in relating to others, in the community of it all. I guess that’s why I am writing this now. There is a phrase I’ve heard before but now truly understand: it takes a village to raise a mother. Fuck. Yes. It does.

Before my first child, I lost a baby. It was the summer of 2016, right about when this blog went silent. I miscarried at 8 weeks. No symptoms, no warnings signs… no words. The weeks after I lost my first baby were filled with confusion; self-doubt; and so much intense, white-hot rage. I isolated myself and got angry with everyone and everything around me. I started dumb, petty fights on Twitter with girls from my industry, even some I cared about.

I was not okay.

I truly didn’t know how to cope. Even though he was so supportive and loving and held my hand through it all, I had a hard time facing my husband, Zack. I couldn’t face him because I felt like I had failed him. I had failed us — or so I kept convincing myself. So what did I do? I ran away to Europe for 3 weeks. Literally. Packed my bags and left for France, ended up drowning myself in wine and delicious food. It sounded pretty destructive to those closest to me at first, but it honestly ended up being a great healer. I was able to distract myself with the beauty of Paris on my good days, but I also stayed cozy in my Airbnb with wine and reruns of The Office when I just wanted to hide from the world. After 3 weeks and some train rides around Europe, I returned to Vegas, which is where we were living at the time and before I could even stress about where to go from that point, we got pregnant with Finn. It was like the universe was making it happen. I went from complete self-doubt to being this glowing ball (literally) of life. It was a huge shift, the first of many life-altering adjustments to come.

To make a long story short here, I’ve had 3 pregnancies and 2 babies in the past 2 years. All of my pregnancies were very rough and both babies spent significant time in the NICU. And with each birth have come these huge emotional waves of postpartum depression (PPD). Did I mention we have also moved 4 times in the last 2 years? Right. Okay. So THAT amount of compounding hormones and stress would surely do a person in. Well after the 4th move, I really snapped. I had finally reached my physical, mental, emotional maximums; and I was rapidly unraveling. The day before we arrived at the new house, everything went dark. I just could not visualize my life past that day… But I’m still here.

I’m still here because I was honest to those close to me that I wasn’t feeling like myself, but it was also pretty clear to my immediate family that something needed to be done. I was drowning.

I have recently started talking to a mental health professional who specializes in PPD. It’s not for everyone but it is already helping me so much. Talking it out with someone versed in my struggles and finding healthy ways to cope seems like the best route. I refuse to take prescription medication for depression so it’s up to me to actively find ways to be the best version of myself I can be, or who am I to my family? What kind of wife am I? What kind of mother am I? What example am I setting for them if I just wallow and stay miserable? I need to be the best for them, but in order to do that I need to take my health more seriously and stop testing my limits. I need to be better at asking for help and stop telling myself “I can do it, I don’t need help”. That is all incredibly isolating and it does not benefit anyone involved. It’s the whole “secure your own mask before helping others” thing. I get that now.

With all of this crushing pressure, this intense emotional weight I am bearing, I know I am in a period of transmutation. Each ugly, painful moment is shaping me into the woman I am capable of being. Grapes are crushed to make wine. Diamonds form under pressure. Seeds grow in darkness. That whole jam. I just can’t wait to be on the other side.

The figurative black cloud has not lifted. It’s still hard, but I’m taking each day as it comes. There are some days that I feel like Supermom. There are some days where I wake up and struggle fiercely until bedtime. On those days, we go slow: eat good foods, watch movies that make us happy, go for a walk to the playground. My oldest is 1 1/2 now and he is so good at keeping my spirits up. I am so grateful for him and his brother everyday.

I am still trying to catch my breath after all that the last 3 years have thrown at me, but if anyone is dealing with these feelings too then please reach out to someone you trust. Or someone you can pay to trust. Or my DMs are open for loving conversations.

19 thoughts on “No Rain, No Flowers: My Battle with PPD

  1. Wow Remy! Such a powerful writting, here at the distance all the forces and encourage to you!!

  2. You’re Amazing Ashley. I am confident that you and Zack have done everything right here and I am proud of you for getting help. PPD is no joke and hard. Watching my wife go through it to a degree with our little ones was difficult and there was never just ONE way to help. I had to know and accept that I could help in different ways…. Or I wasn’t trained to help where she needed. Your little ones are wonderful and your young family is beautiful to watch grow. As one of your many many fans that you’ve allowed to be a part of your life’s sojourn I am constantly in awe of you. Keep your head up. We love ya guys!

    • Glenn S says:

      I echo that. My wonderful life loving wife went threw PPD. She sought out professional help. See did take one medication and it truly did help. Meds are not for everyone. I wish you all the best. I don’t know if you are a praying person, but for what it’s worth, I will be lifting you up to God in prayer for healing, grace and happiness.

  3. Farhan says:

    Life is nothing but just a collection of very small and tiny moments. For a past life its a moment, but for present it is always a long journey. So do one thing don’t live your past in your present, just accept that you have already passed with everything and start calculate what you have today. And believe me you have more than enough to start your new present to make a perfect future. I am not good writer but I knw can feel it.. You just need a restart 😊

  4. Nito Rivers says:

    This entry is very inspirational, as a man I can only imagine how difficult these situations could be. I can never honestly say “I feel you” or say I can relate. However, I can say that reading situations like these help to inspire me to hold on when I get my episodes. It always feels good to know that we are not the only ones fighting an internal battle and that there are other people just like us who are fighting and slowly but surely progressing during this battle. Thanks for sharing this blessing take care !

  5. Gary Yoder says:

    God Bless,and stay healthy,,,,mentally and spiritually

  6. Matt says:

    Hearing the heartbreaking words of a beautiful soul.

    Reach as often and as far as your head will let you, to stay. The other side is different place you’ll grow into, and where everyone who matters is waiting.

    Much love x

  7. Glenn S says:

    My wonderful, loving wife went threw PPD and I myself have depression. She sought out professional help as well from both counseling and her Doctor. See did take one medication temporarily and it truly did help. My depression is under control. I do have a therapist I see regularly, and a Psychiatrist as well as have medication. Meds are not for everyone, and sometimes I am tempted to skip appointments, maybe because I am, at that moment, doubting their help. Keep with It! I wish you all the best. I don’t know if you are a praying person, but for what it’s worth, I will be lifting you up to God in prayer everyday for healing, grace and happiness!

    Your mommahex twitter has always been inspiring. I love your posts, pictures, and videos you have put up. Thank you for sharing and hope you will, as you feel comfortable, continue to share your life with us in some fashion. I know I am only one of many who feel the same. You have a wonderful family!

    Ash, you are clearly a special person, a loving mother, wife and friend! You may not feel like it right now, but you truly are an inspiration to people who follow you! I know you are to me.

    Thank you so very much,

    Glenn S

    I would love to be able to DM you from time to time, but I’m not real computer savvy. If you don’t mind, post how I can DM you.

  8. Johnny Falcon says:

    You’re an inspiration.

  9. Dennis Lowe says:

    Poignant. Profound. Heart-breaking. Life-assuring. I have a brother with MS and have watched that disease and resulting depression end his career, marriage and relationships. You have my utmost respect.

  10. Kevin Terrell says:

    I’m glad you’ve gotten some professional help.It sounds like things are turning around. I’m really hoping for the best for you!

  11. Terence rae says:

    you can do it girl. 💪💥🆚👿🚫💊🚳☮️▶️▶️

  12. @proudapology says:

    Hello Ash
    I was a follower on Twitter for years and we even exchanged messages now and then. I have followed your career and your life with interest and always with admiration. I know what a struggle mental health can be having had it in my family for over 20 years. I am happy that you have taken these steps and I hope that you will look back and see this as the beginning of the end of these difficulties. You will get through this and you will raise amazing children. Look after those you love and who love you, the rest can deal with their own lives.

    Take care x

  13. Carlos G says:

    hopefully you can have some time with yourself I dont know if you are an excercise person but ride a bike jog lift weights that will help with anxeity especially weights.THen just step back when it hits,Im sure you know this and just let it go by.Im sure its harder for you because im assuming not only how you feel but your body went thru alot and you are constanly giving so that takes a toll but talking to someone is great and you better get better or else,well there isnt an or else lol I just want you to feel better.

  14. William says:

    Good luck with everything. I won’t pretend to know exactly what you are going through, but that won’t stop me from rooting for you and being an ear if you need one to bend. Remember that there is a multitude of people just like me, anonymous but still your friend. If you need us, we are here.

  15. That was flooring!

    It’s good to read that you’ve been on a such a wild rollercoaster and you haven’t fallen off, but are here to strengthen yourself and us all with your experiences.

    I can not express the empathy I feel for your losses and your struggles thereafter, but it is just as touching to know you’re supported by two loving sons and a husband that want to see the best person you can be.

    The medicine is not always the answer in every case, and it’s empowering to see that you’re actively making the decision to make life changes to support being better. Many people are either unable or just unwilling to make that same step in their recovery, and in the day and age we live in, it’s hard to even consider relying on the strength of community and self rather than medication. So, kudos to you for understanding yourself and taking those steps.

    It’s such a cliche, and overly stated sentiment, but when you really, really think about it; time, and to go a step further, love, really can heal all wounds, no matter how deep, or how initially painful.

    With all your efforts to be better and stay better, for those around you, before you, and after you; you’re doing just that, and we on the outside looking in are proud of you for all that you’ve done and continue to do to stay strong!

    Don’t worry, pain and stress come in so many different ways, and it’s hard to recognize before it hits, but when the Good comes, when the feeling finally hits you, you’ll feel no pain.

    That other side isn’t far away, and soon you’ll be there, just stay committed to yourself and your family and you’ll surely make it through.

    Can’t wait to hear from you again! Until then, keep fighting the good fight, and every little thing will be alright!

  16. Anna says:

    This was really incredible to read. I’ll be honest, until today I really only knew of you from your work, yours is the only name I know. I saw a picture of you when you were pregnant with your second child and was so happy to see you become a mom I decided to learn about you a bit more, and so I wound up here. I’m not a mom myself, and I’m not sure if I will ever become one. I do know what it’s like to deal with mental illness. I attempted suicide young and was in and out of hospitals and intensive programs from 14-24, medication never worked for me, I tried a bunch and I’m sure I’ll never be completely done with therapy. I’ve dropped out of two colleges and spent a lot of time working shitty jobs and just scraping by. Sometimes I feel like I’m working my ass off and sometimes I feel like I’m waisting my life. I recently decided that with the help of the company I work for, I’m going to go back to school and get a business degree. All the things I used to believe were out of my reach don’t seem so impossible anymore, even if they don’t seem easy. I find myself also guilty of shouldering my burdens alone, not always opening up when I should, and I’ve yet to escape my own dark cloud, but I draw a lot of inspiration from your words, and I hope that one day all this pressure will mold me into a diamond.
    Thank you for these ever so relatable words, this glimpse into your life. I hope motherhood brings you all the joy you deserve, and I wish you nothing but the best 🙂

  17. Mark A says:

    My wife and I just got through a 3 month NICU journey of our own. I hope you’re still healing.

  18. Momo says:

    I am surprised, and grateful. Beautiful words. Thanks.

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