- Paperback: 280 pages
- Publisher: She Writes Press (November 3, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1631528041
- ISBN-13: 978-1631528040
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,113,085 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Mothering Through the Darkness: Women Open Up About the Postpartum Experience Paperback – November 3, 2015
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About the Author
Stephanie Sprenger is a freelance writer, editor, music therapist, and mother of two young girls. Her work has been featured in Brain, Child magazine, The Huffington Post, and Mamalode, among other publications. She was a member of the 2013 cast of Listen to Your Mother Denver and was named one of BlogHer’s 2014 Voices of the Year. She lives in Colorado with her family.
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But don't write off this book.
Because this book isn't just for mothers who have experienced or who may experience PPD. It's for husbands and close friends, parents and siblings, doctors and nurses, pastors and counselors. It's for all of those people who interact closely with women during the postpartum period.
Stephanie Sprenger and Jill Smock, editors of The HerStories Project: Women Explore the Joy, Pain, and Power of Female Friendship (2013) and My Other Ex: Women’s True Stores of Leaving and Losing Friends (2014), have selected and compiled a stunning collection of essays on the postpartum experience that is desperately needed and should be part of the pregnancy literature canon, if there is such a thing.
Mothering through the Darkness is not merely a collection of facts about what women experience during periods of postpartum depression. This is an articulate and engaging collective narrative of thirty-five essays that take the reader through a kaleidoscope of postpartum experiences, ranging from postpartum depression, anxiety, and mood disorders as well as the lesser known post-adoption depression. Some writers sought help while in their darkest hours; others struggled through without help and lived to regret it. But all of these stories succeed in connecting the reader with the foggy inner world of the postpartum period. It is this book's ability to take the reader inside the mind of the mother that makes it a great read for those who are close to postpartum women.
In the book's first essay, "Here Comes the Sun," poet Maggie Smith says, "...we all come into this world unfinished, still stitching ourselves together" (p. 13). The essays that follow uphold this same spirit of honorable incompleteness. The dignity of process and ongoingness. Each essay ends with an understanding that one is never complete, never perfect, never fully finished.
Nearly every essay in this book caught and carried my full attention. They explored themes like the conflict between expectations and reality, healthy and unhealthy coping strategies, antenatal depression, and the darkest thoughts of self-harm and harming others. Their courage to write and share their stories will not only help you to recognize depression, but also to rethink how you can help a new mother who is experiencing PPD.
The writers of these essays do not look away. They look directly at you. They make you see who they are.
They make you see the face of the postpartum experience.
And for that, I thank them.
This book is needed, for all those moms who are suffering everywhere. They need to know they are not alone, and this book will offer them hope in forging through ways to get help.
As I read through each woman’s story, I was captivated by the detailed descriptions they all shared so authentically. Many of them brought me to tears, as so much of it resonated with my own experience. I was surprised at my own personal response to this book. Although I was prepared to be deeply moved and saddened by the trials of so many precious mamas who went through such hardships, I was also comforted by them.
I'm so grateful for these authors, who took these courageous steps to share the most difficult experience with being a mom. Their honesty will surely bless other moms who are drowning in their own darkness. They offer hope, where it is needed most.
*Note: I received a free Advanced Reader Copy of this book.