How I Managed Mental Illness — Postpartum Wellness Center / Boulder

Our Guest Post today is from jennifer Murdock, Founder of Wombpdx and Filmmaker (Peace on Earth- the Reality of Midwives). Thank you, Jennifer, for sharing your story with us!

I guess I should specify. The pain in the mind of my mother, my father, my son’s father and myself.

I don’t expect to supervise my son.

I can tell you the list of events that he experienced in his life to prove that he ‘suffered’. I can also tell you all the mistakes I’ve made that add to that list. I can also say that mom guilt has stuck with me for years. The sight of him lying on the ground in agony of being alive while he was in the other room, was almost too much to bear.

I see my response as suicidal ideation because I don’t know how to deal with my life, why should I expect it to be a magical change after giving birth?

Nope. I lay on my bedroom floor at night several times wondering why I wasn’t mothering this child enough to be the princess I knew her to be.

On second thought…what about everything I gave her? I wouldn’t even know my strength, I believe, if it wasn’t for my birth support team.

That time was absent from all I knew. It is liberating. I wasn’t told to conform to standards I didn’t want to conform to. Instead I was touched. I was brought I am alive.

How did my midwives do it? They ground my connection to this wonderful body that can create life. They grew stronger, and decided to use that power to keep quiet. They knew the tools they had, and they waited until the time was right to use them. They followed me, until I didn’t know where I was going. This is where I learned I could trust them. When I was told what to do, I knew it was an act of mercy. It’s not a command, it’s always respectful, and a peaceful knowing that comes from watching women give birth hundreds of times. I can do it. I am empowered.

My family lives 3000 miles away. I accept it as a gift. Because for me, it means I can reinvent my ideas about childbirth, and motherhood. I will never forget the day after giving birth. With my hot water heater not working, we went to check in with my birth team. My 25 year veteran Northern Californian midwife showered me, told me about the engorgement and upon hearing me complain about my stiff neck, told everyone to leave, pulled out her massage table and fixed it. Health care that gave me more energy to give to my baby girl and myself.

That ongoing care is what keeps my body feeling held and loved after moving to Portland, Oregon. After years of falling, I knew holding was what I needed. So I finally asked for help. And I know what to look for. Community.

I found it. I found compassion in being accepted from a community where I felt safe, and knew I had their best interests at heart. I felt the warmth that I could trust. I know it’s possible. I know what to look for. Not rules but a guide that I can work on my own timeline.

My daughter Maya turned 21 last Sunday. I had to swallow some pills that really hurt. But I knew I was worth it, so I stopped myself.

She is awesome obviously. We all are. We do our best to grow and find what makes us, us. I’m still learning this self care as they call it. I was able to reconnect with my own true power because I knew I owned it deep down, and with this knowledge, I totally killed it.

– Jennifer Murdock

For more information about Jennifer and her work visit

The Wombpdx website

The Wombpdx Instagram page

The Wombpdx Facebook Community

The Wombpdx Youtube channel

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