“How did we get here?” This question has subconsciously been asked repeatedly in our thoughts since February 24, 2016, yet in early May of this year it seemed to imitate a different tone as it echoed the halls of the United State Capitol building. Our goal was to approach the legislative workshops of our state representatives and ask them to stand with us and support our cause. One by one we sat in their offices and we relayed a story that has defined ours. We watched as each person in the room contemplated the inner workings of Emily’s story. The whys. The hows. The realizations, and then the powerful connection. Each person we talked with saw themselves in a part of Emily’s Story. Fathers in suits with flag pins expressed gratitude for their wives as mothers to their children. Others recounted how influential the role of all mothers in various capacities are to those whose lives they touch. As we stood outside the door of Representative Mia Love’s office, we knew that this meeting would be different. We would be talking to someone who looks in the mirror and sees what Emily saw, and what women across the globe see staring back at them every day, a mother.
As we sat in the Congresswoman’s office and relayed Emily’s story, the emotions in the room were powerful. After hearing about Emily’s experience, a tearful yet powerful woman looked at a room of her constituents and boldly proclaimed that we can do better for mothers. We listened as she relayed her own personal challenges of motherhood and how these challenges enabled her to connect with Emily’s story. We spent the remainder of our time brainstorming ways in which we can end the stigma surrounding maternal mental health disorders and create better outcomes for mothers in our state and nation.
We are confident that the conversation did not end in the Congresswoman’s office that day. We are grateful that Representative Mia Love took the time to raise awareness about perinatal mood disorders in a speech she presented on the House floor today. We proudly link arms with those who are seeking more intentional care for our Nation’s mothers. Thank you, Congresswoman, for standing with our nation’s mothers.