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"Show me how big your brave is."

-- Sara Bareilles

"Sharing my story and reading other women’s letters of light has helped me to feel connected and not so alone in my journey to find peace with the past and feel hope for the future. At times life seems overwhelming and lonely, but with every story I am uplifted and empowered to make it through the darkness and help others along the away."

-- Melissa …a “Letter of Light” sharer


Videos of Light

Visit our YouTube channel to watch the incredible stories of courageous moms who've chosen to record and share their stories with the world.


Letters of Light

  • amber
    Amber

    After my first child was born, I mostly felt good with being a new mom. I really didn’t know much about postpartum depression; it literally came out of nowhere. I don’t even remember how it happened or what caused it. It just happened. Breastfeeding wasn’t helping at all–I was resenting my newborn each and every […]

  • vanessa
    Vanessa

    I was watching the story about Eric and his family, and I began to cry. I thought about all the feelings and emotions I had been experiencing, and that is when it hit me that it was time to tell someone. After receiving an IUD after having my first daughter, I noticed my hormones were […]

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    After my child was born when I was 20, I had severe postpartum depression. I felt like I should have loved my baby more, and I didn’t feel like the mom I wanted to be. Additionally, I lost my job that I had worked so hard to get when I ran out of maternity leave. […]

  • lauren
    Lauren

    Before my first child was born, I was familiar with The Emily Effect foundation. After hearing about the foundation, I wanted to get it out there as much as I could. In 2016, I ran the St. George Marathon wearing an Emily Effect jersey. I was able to share with others what the foundation is […]

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    Almost 22 years ago, I experienced postpartum mania, which resulted in a neuropsychiatric hospitalization for 11 days. My resting heart rate was 185 beats per minute, I hadn’t slept more than an hour a night for almost a whole month, and without the rest and hospitalization, I could have died. If these experiences are the […]

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    My depression started while I was pregnant, but it went undiagnosed. I told myself that it was just pregnancy hormones that made me feel weepy, disappointed, and unsure. During the pregnancy, I planned for a natural birth. Instead, I was induced at 41 weeks and ended up with a C-Section. I felt like a failure; […]

  • janiza
    Janiza

    I had my first baby just over a year ago, and was concerned about postpartum depression because my mother had experienced it. Fortunately, my doctor was familiar with my mom’s history, so we discussed postpartum depression at my visits and he helped me get the information I needed to feel prepared before the baby was […]

  • malissa
    Malissa

    Disclaimer: The following article mentions the topic of suicide or other sensitive subjects, which may trigger negative thoughts and feelings for those currently suffering or still recovering from a mental or mood disorder. Reader discretion is advised. I had my first baby when I was only 19 and had been married for less than a […]

  • kylee
    Kylee

    After I had my second daughter, I developed severe postpartum depression. I was getting very little sleep at night, due not only to my newborn but to a toddler that didn’t sleep well. Additionally, I started getting massive headaches from the lack of sleep, which led to irritability and depression. I knew I needed help […]

  • jackie
    Jackie

    Disclaimer: The following article mentions the topic of suicide or other sensitive subjects, which may trigger negative thoughts and feelings for those currently suffering or still recovering from a mental or mood disorder. Reader discretion is advised. Upon learning I was pregnant, my husband and I were so excited. However, within a month our world […]

  • adrienne
    Adrienne

    Disclaimer: The following article mentions the topic of suicide or other sensitive subjects, which may trigger negative thoughts and feelings for those currently suffering or still recovering from a mental or mood disorder. Reader discretion is advised. I started on my journey of having children a little later in life, but we were thrilled when […]

  • randi
    Randi

    I suffered postpartum depression and anxiety after the birth of both of my children. I have been trying to find the best way to help people understand what it feels like. I am still struggling to get better, but I know I am getting close to being me again. I can smile, laugh, do housework, […]

  • theresa
    Theresa

    My son was born a few months after my 18th birthday. I was instantly in love with my little man. I had my husband, my friends, and my family all close by. I was around people all the time, but after a few weeks I started feeling very alone. My self-image also suffered. I thought […]

  • karen
    Karen

    I wish I had known beforehand how hard parenting would be, and I wish someone else had given me permission to struggle. I was terrified of labor for months, but in all honesty, my main thought after getting an epidural was that it was totally doable. But, I was unprepared for how overwhelmed I was […]

  • Michelle

    Earlier this year, my husband suddenly and unexpectedly passed away due to health complications, leaving me a widow of 2 young boys and 6-months pregnant with our baby girl. Anyone in their right mind would say I had every right to fall into some sort of depression. Surprisingly, this is not when my story with […]

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    What an incredible gift to know we aren’t alone in our struggles and that help is out there. When I got pregnant with my first child, I started struggling with anxiety. After my son was born I was very anxious and needed help, but I was too embarrassed and thought I just wasn’t a good […]

  • julia
    Julia

    Disclaimer: The following article mentions the topic of suicide or other sensitive subjects, which may trigger negative thoughts and feelings for those currently suffering or still recovering from a mental or mood disorder. Reader discretion is advised. If I could tell people two things I have learned the first would be that postpartum depression and […]

  • amy
    Amy

    When I heard Emily’s story, I sobbed uncontrollably. Anyone who has suffered from postpartum depression knows exactly what panic, anxiety, and hopelessness feel like. I knew I was supposed to love my kids, but I didn’t. I didn’t want to hurt my kids, but I just didn’t want to be around them. I felt like […]

  • carolyn
    Carolyn

    I remember the moment my sweet baby boy was placed in my arms for the first time. I had done this three times before, so I knew what a joy it was. However, this time I felt….different. I didn’t experience an overwhelming feeling of joy. I loved him, yes, but I felt off. Almost immediately, […]

  • jaimee
    Jaimee

    I am no stranger to postpartum depression. I just didn’t realize it until I recently came out of the fog of my most recent struggle. When I had my first daughter, I assumed my feelings of panic at taking her home were first-time mom jitters. I thought that the dark days of the first months […]

  • andrea
    Andrea

    When the doctors in the Emergency Room told me they needed to admit me to the psychiatric ward at the hospital, my first thought was “What is everyone going to think? I don’t want people to think that I’m crazy!” I was worried about how my friends and family would react. It was absolutely ridiculous, […]

  • marne
    Marné

    When my husband and I found out I was pregnant with our first child, I planned, read, and prepared not only for the baby, but for postpartum depression. I knew my genetics made postpartum depression likely, so I expected it. However, it took me by complete surprise by tricking me into thinking everything was okay. […]

  • abigail
    Abigail

    Disclaimer: The following article mentions the topic of suicide or other sensitive subjects, which may trigger negative thoughts and feelings for those currently suffering or still recovering from a mental or mood disorder. Reader discretion is advised. As I sat in my hospital bed preparing to give birth, I realized I had mixed feelings about […]

  • amanda-2
    Amanda

    I have a history of PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), which includes low progesterone levels and an increased risk of miscarriage. In spite of my history of miscarriage, I was finally 9 weeks pregnant with no obvious problems. Then, the bleeding started. After going to the hospital, I was told the baby had died at 6 […]

  • kendra
    Kendra

    Disclaimer: The following article mentions the topic of suicide or other sensitive subjects, which may trigger negative thoughts and feelings for those currently suffering or still recovering from a mental or mood disorder. Reader discretion is advised. At nearly 30 years old, I was finally blessed with the opportunity to become a mother, a dream […]

  • lara
    Lara

    Disclaimer: The following article mentions the topic of suicide or other sensitive subjects, which may trigger negative thoughts and feelings for those currently suffering or still recovering from a mental or mood disorder. Reader discretion is advised. I’ve had anxiety and depression my whole life, so I knew I was a likely candidate for postpartum […]

  • rachael-3
    Rachael

    When my first child was born, I immediately plummeted into postpartum depression. Depression and anxiety were things I had already been dealing with my entire life, so the fact I had postpartum depression was really not a surprise. I remember crying as I held my daughter, wondering if putting her up for adoption would make […]

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    I was ashamed to acknowledge I needed help, and when I finally did, I was admitted to a mental hospital. In my experience, the medical field was not accommodating to the needs of someone suffering from postpartum depression. They didn’t really know what to do with me. They essentially labeled me as “crazy”, bringing more […]

  • amanda
    Amanda

    I am currently experiencing something I have never heard women really talk about. These feelings are hard to deal with, but with a little research I came across these Letters of Light that have made my loneliness and fear feel not so big. Knowing I am not going through this alone has lifted a weight […]

  • jessianne
    Jessiane

    With the birth of my third child, I experienced postpartum depression that lasted for 3 years. During this time, I felt so much shame and guilt, which only propelled me further into the depressive state. I felt shame for not being happy with my position in life. I was fortunate enough to stay at home […]

  • katie-2
    Katie

      Disclaimer: The following article mentions the topic of suicide or other sensitive subjects, which may trigger negative thoughts and feelings for those currently suffering or still recovering from a mental or mood disorder. Reader discretion is advised. Although I didn’t recognize it at the time, I experienced postpartum depression with my first child. There […]

  • ashley-2
    Ashley

    I suffered from postpartum depression after the birth of each of my two beautiful children. It is soul sucking. It gets in the way of your most important job, the one you have longed for and want to be perfect at. Being a mother while experiencing depression is one of the worst things I can […]

  • kimberly
    Kimberly

    When you feel that first kick inside of you, you think that you will feel an instant bond with your child. I did not. When you see that new little bundle of joy and hold her for the first time in your arms, you think you will feel instant joy and love. I did not. […]

  • diedra
    Diedra

    Disclaimer: The following article mentions the topic of suicide or other sensitive subjects, which may trigger negative thoughts and feelings for those currently suffering or still recovering from a mental or mood disorder. Reader discretion is advised. During my pregnancy, I found out a very close family member had died. Within a week, I went […]

  • christina
    Christina

    Disclaimer: The following article mentions the topic of suicide or other sensitive subjects, which may trigger negative thoughts and feelings for those currently suffering or still recovering from a mental or mood disorder. Reader discretion is advised. I had never heard of postpartum depression before I experienced it. During my pregnancy, I was constantly warned […]

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    I recently had my second child. Both of my deliveries were very traumatic, but I think this second experience with trauma triggered something. I have not been myself and am suffering with postpartum depression and anxiety. I get panic attacks at night, and in the morning I cry as I feel like I can’t even […]

  • kellie
    Kellie

    Disclaimer: The following article mentions the topic of suicide or other sensitive subjects, which may trigger negative thoughts and feelings for those currently suffering or still recovering from a mental or mood disorder. Reader discretion is advised. My first experience with postpartum depression started with the birth of my daughter. I was so excited to […]

  • randie
    Randie

    My son was born with fluid in his lungs, a cracked collarbone, and a congenital cataract in his left eye. He was admitted to the NICU while I left the hospital, and being discharged and going home with an empty car seat was the hardest thing ever. It was then that I started to notice […]

  • wendi
    Wendi

    My daughter was born at 37 weeks, and I wanted so badly to have a natural birth. We did everything that most parents-to-be do, including creating a birth plan and taking multiple classes. However, in spite of my hope for a natural birth, due to preeclampsia I was attached to countless amounts of wires, tubing, […]

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    Two years ago, I gave birth to the most beautiful baby boy. It was something I had dreamt about for years. My husband and I decided to finish school before starting to have kids, but that didn’t lessen my desire. I wanted kids badly. Once we started trying, I got pregnant right away. I was […]

  • megan
    Megan

    There is always light, whether we see it or not. I first began experiencing postpartum depression 14 years ago with my first baby girl. I had a difficult time transitioning from teaching elementary school to staying home full time taking care of a newborn. I was able to manage this difficult transition by going to […]

  • lindsay-2
    Lindsay

    Disclaimer: The following article mentions the topic of suicide or other sensitive subjects, which may trigger negative thoughts and feelings for those currently suffering or still recovering from a mental or mood disorder. Reader discretion is advised. Looking back on my experience with postpartum depression, I had no idea it was even occurring when I […]

  • erin
    Erin

    I first experienced symptoms of depression after graduating high school, at which point I started medication and therapy. Little did I know what the road ahead would entail for my life, including the lives of my future family. After marrying, I soon began a family and gave birth to a baby boy. Shortly after taking […]

  • angela-2
    Angela

    I had my first child shortly after I turned 23. I was going to be a single mom, and I spent my pregnancy preparing for all the challenges and sacrifices that were to follow. What I wasn’t prepared for was how I felt immediately following coming home with my daughter. I was experiencing new feelings […]

  • molly
    Molly

    Disclaimer: The following article mentions the topic of suicide or other sensitive subjects, which may trigger negative thoughts and feelings for those currently suffering or still recovering from a mental or mood disorder. Reader discretion is advised. Have you ever had a really vivid dream where you pondered your dream long after you woke up? […]

  • robin
    Robin

    All I ever wanted to be was a mom, so when I found out that it was very likely that I would never have my own child, I started getting panic attacks. I sought help from a therapist and went on herbal supplements. The next year was challenging, and included a difficult surgery, failed IVF, […]

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    When I had my daughter 10 years ago, I knew there was a possibility I could experience postpartum depression or anxiety, but I didn’t believe it was likely to happen to me. However, my pregnancy and delivery were not normal or pleasant, and the weeks following my emergency C-Section were terrible. I was so sick […]

  • lesa
    Lesa

    This is about my daughter, who gave birth at the age of 19. She was excited about going to college to study business and was a very good artist. After the baby was born, it all changed. My daughter didn’t want to bond with the baby, she was always crying or sleeping, and she wanted […]

  • ashley
    Ashley

    Winter in Utah is hard, but it was even harder after I had my second child and felt trapped indoors with a newborn and a toddler. My second baby and I had a rough start. She was colicky and had reflux; she cried all the time and didn’t sleep well. Additionally, my toddler didn’t talk […]

  • nikki-2
    Nikki

    One of the most gut-wrenching times of my life is when I was a 20-year old new mother. My son was born after 28 hours of no epidural, pain relief, or drugs of any kind (not because I didn’t want them, but they simply did not work). I had to deal with the pain on […]