by Jessica Hunter Empowering Doula Care or Mama Mode Blog
With a glass of wine we take our seats. The lights dim and then go completely dark and Melissa Bangs is alone on the stage with her story. Her story enthralled me. Her story of an amazing birth, sleep deprivation, and full blown postpartum psychosis made me realize that although it is unique, it is not uncommon. Her story is one that needs to be heard. What she told us was hilarious, devastating, soft, and ethereal all wrapped into one. She was strong, determined, and certain while showing a vulnerability that shook me to my core. Her vulnerability wrenched every bit of my soul into a storm of empathy for what she went through and for what many women are going through in silence.
Every woman who has ever struggled with postpartum, every family who struggled with their birth story, anyone who has struggled with sleep deprivation in the uncertainties of parenthood; every one of these should feel safe in telling their story. As friends and family of new parents; new mamas, we should be encircling them with love and support and making sure they are taking care of themselves. As childbirth professionals we should be encouraging continued communication with our mamas and papas to guard against these situations going to the extreme. By the end of the show, I realized that Melissa Bangs really wasn’t alone there on the stage, playing monopoly with God. She was joined there with every woman and man listening who felt her pain, who felt her hurting, who felt her loneliness. She was joined in heart with every one of us who has dealt with our own postpartum stories and every one of us who wants to make a difference for families struggling in their postpartum experience. Melissa Bangs was not alone with her story on that stage as no one should be.