I’ve read about, heard and even seen tragic instances transpire right in front of my eyes-pausing to ask questions and then offering a prayer and thoughts to comfort involved parties.
Such was the case on February 24th. While checking the local weather I noticed a breaking story. The headline read: “Woman, hit-killed by semi after exiting car on local interstate.” I was naive in that moment-and I often wish I could go back there for this was no mere stranger, but someone I knew…someone I loved.
Postpartum Support International recently conducted a study from a sample of military spouses who had recently given birth. The findings, in summary, indicated that mothers who gave birth while their spouses were deployed were 2.3 times greater to experience perinatal mood disorders compared to that of civilians in the general public.
With regards to these results, an astounding 35% of the those women sampled were more likely to become so severely depressed that without treatment, they were at greater risk to succumb to self inflicted harm resulting in death.
Who was the woman in the news story? She was a mother, wife, sister, neighbor, mentor, and my friend. Emily Dyches- a gal with insane style, always wore a smile, and had an uncanny way of making you feel like you mattered even in a sea full of people. She was one of the individuals that genuinely cared about the well being of others. Emily was an above average mother. I remember all her Instagram posts describing how proud she was of each one of her kids and how much she loved watching them succeed.
I remember watching her at family events gather her chicks in a hen house full of wolves, ducks, geese- or in other words- chaos, in a gentle and loving way. She loved her husband, she bragged about him often. She was happy, genuinely happy- but mortal, as she too experienced the struggles of parenthood (who doesn’t…)
But even within the quiet and private corners of her home, free of outside viewing and influence – she was content.
During the birth of her fifth little boy, delivery did not go as planned for Emily. With the help of talented medical professionals, the situation left Emily and her new baby physically unscathed but mentally and emotionally wounded.
Upon Emily’s arrival home she felt unlike herself. She recognized behavior and emotions that were not consistent with her nature. She confided in her husband and together the sought professional help.
Emily was diagnosed with Postpartum Depression and Anxiety.