Jane Honikman gave her first baby up for adoption because she felt pressure to “do things in order”. She later finished college, married the father and had additional babies with the same man who is now her husband. Jane described her experience of giving up her first baby as a trauma. Compounding that trauma was the feeling that her second baby, another girl, was severely jaundiced as a kind of karmic punishment for what she’d done with her first baby. The experience triggered tremendous grief and guilt. Jane was not able to recover from her traumas until decades later through therapy. She waited until she was in her fifties to get the help she needed, having felt waves of anxiety and depression throughout her life. Jane encourages women to seek out the help they need as soon as they are able, and not to postpone healing. In our latest episode, we share an outline to help address postpartum anxiety and depression issues. This is relevant for EVERYONE, not just people who are “depressed”.
Cultures around the world recognize and honor the precious first months a new mother has to heal after having a baby. Traditions include providing a new mother with food, warmth, a clean house, and emotional support. Basically, the idea is that new mom doesn’t have to do anything other than eat, feed her baby, sleep and recover.
Imagine that you’ve just had your baby, and you can’t sleep because you’re so excited. What do you do? Do you grab a pencil and paper and write down every last detail about the labor and birth experience?
That’s what Julia Aziz did. Three times, in fact: once for each baby.
Years later, Julia compiled her writing alongside learnings she gathered from 20+ years working with parents as a social worker and teacher. The result was a book of four-page chapters that each include a birth story, a lesson, and guidance on applying the lesson in daily life.