My Postpartum Story | Maternal Health Matters

If you've been following me for a while, you are probably no stranger to The Motherhood Collective. This local non-profit is changing lives and I am one of their biggest fans. :) This month (through Mother's Day, May 8th) they are running a campaign to help raise funds to continue the great work they are doing. 

Every day women around the world give of themselves to nurture and grow the next generation, yet statistics report as many as 1 in 8 women feel ISOLATED and ALONE in their journey from preconception to postpartum. By giving to our campaign, you will be investing in the very foundation of our community.
— Maternal Health Matters Campaign

I have set a goal to raise $500 through this campaign and I hope you will help me achieve my goal! Please read my story below about how TMC has personally helped me and deeply affected my life. If you feel led to give to this organization so that they can continue their impactful work, simply click here

My Postpartum Story

Because of The Motherhood Collective, I had a safe place. 

I had a place I could go and connect with other moms. In this safe place, I didn't carry the burden of worry about breastfeeding in public, or letting a few tears of solidarity fall while listening to another mother discuss her new-mama challenges. I could ask for advice and not fear a condescending response, but rather receive support and encouragement. This group was truly a treasured place for me. 

For years, I attended The Motherhood Collective Cafe and enjoyed camaraderie, asked and even answered questions, and didn't feel quite so alone. 

But my story really begins years later. 

Four and half years after I first attended the cafe, I gave birth to my second child. After a few weeks of pure bliss and enjoying every moment of my brand new babymoon... my happy hormones faded away. I found myself in a constant state of anger... lack of patience... using my "cranky" words, as my then three-year-old would say. Sure, I was exhausted. And no, I wasn't sad. Just... impossible. My family was walking on eggshells and my husband began to lean more into his hobbies than his family. I started to become scared for our future together. My family was struggling because I was struggling.

My years at TMC had prepared me for this. 

Their informational panels, small group discussions and even recent blog posts had left more than a few important facts in my arsenal. Because of TMC, I knew sadness wasn't the only symptom of Postpartum Depression. After more than a few weeks of my family doing everything they could to help cheer me up, something triggered a breakdown. On the third day of (almost) non-stop crying, I called my midwife's office. I was able to be seen the very next morning and my midwife confirmed my fears: I had Postpartum Depression. I promptly received the help I needed. 

More than offering me a safe place, The Motherhood Collective saved me. 

Quite frankly, it saved my marriage. The power of knowledge and the cherished friendships I gained from attending the cafe and playgroups are, for lack of a better word, priceless. 

Motherhood and those early days of the postpartum season is a passion of mine. As a birth photographer, I have a unique opportunity to connect with moms during this fragile and short season of life, and you better believe every single client of mine receives a direct invitation to attend the next TMC cafe on my calendar. :) 

My goal for this campaign is to raise at least $500. If my story touched you or if you found it relatable in any way, I would love it if you would spare a few extra dollars to help continue to support this incredible non-profit. 

The work The Motherhood Collective is doing is saving lives.

Liz Cook

Liz Cook is a wedding, birth, and motherhood photographer based in Central Virginia. Her intuition and creative perspective allow her to connect both professionally and personally with her subjects, and thus, her portfolio is saturated with authentic emotion. Whether she's sharing her story with fellow entrepreneurs or enjoying quality time with her husband and two daughters, Liz is both present and passionate about capturing and celebrating life. Her work has been featured by O "Oprah" Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Glitter Guide, Essence Magazine, domino, Rue Magazine, among others.