About Tilda (age: 36, mother of Livia (4) and baby Emmi)
As a child, I experienced how reassuring it is, when you have someone to talk to. Someone who is sincere and truly interested in what you have to say. In my childhood, that someone was my grandmother. She was not just my dear granny, but also functioned as my therapist. She listened to anything I had to say and made me feel welcomed and loved . Accompanied by a big pot of tea and her favorite cookies, “Frou Frou’s”, we talked about everything that was happening in my life. As time passed and I grew older, the topics of our conversations changed, but one thing always stayed the same: the safe and authentic feeling of acceptance that she gave me. That I am good, just the way I am.
When I was 22 weeks pregnant, my grandmother passed away. The loss of such an important person in my life, was an extremely difficult one. In my case, it contributed to the postpartum depression, I experienced after I gave birth to my first child.
Before I became a therapist, I worked at the Gynecology Department of my local Hospital, as a doctors’ assistant. I had the opportunity to speak to a lot of women and (new) mothers. The conversations turned into private therapy sessions and I loved that aspect about my job the most. After I gave birth to my daughter Livia, I didn’t feel well. I wasn’t happy, like all the moms I saw on social media. I felt guilty and ashamed that I couldn’t seem to enjoy motherhood. Why was I so anxious and worried all the time? The loss of my grandmother and the change in my life as a new mom, were very hard for me. I felt very alone and isolated and was eventually diagnosed with postpartum depression. Getting diagnosed with P.P.D. made me very sad, but it was also a relief to know there was a reason for my feelings. My therapist was someone who understood what I was going through. Sharing my emotions and thoughts with my therapist, was the first step towards recovery. When I started to feel better, I decided I wanted to help other moms, like I was helped during my P.P.D. I decided to retrain myself and become a therapist, specialized in postpartum depression. To honor my grandmother with the work that I do, I decided to name my practice Frou Frou Begeleiding, after her favorite cookies. I hope my clients also feel like they are in an authentic and safe environment, when they visit me. Just like I felt, when I talked to my grandmother.
I couldn’t find much information on the internet or in books, that connected with what I felt at the time, so I decided to start writing about my process. My thoughts were, that there would be more mothers like me; other new moms that were also feeling alone. Maybe I could help just one of them, by blogging about my experiences.
The first blog about my postpartum depression went viral. In addition to blogging about my experiences, I decided to become a therapist, and to specialize in postpartum depression, so that I could help other moms, as I had been helped. The road to becoming a therapist, was intense, but rewarding. I started my own practice and I wrote my book: “Toen kreeg ik weer lucht” (Now I can breathe again). The book was short. I didn’t want it to have hundreds of pages because nobody going through a depression, has the cognitive ability to focus on reading for long and new moms have precious little time to spend reading. I wanted my book to be easy to read, and down to earth, but including a sense of humor. Because if you are suffering with postpartum depression, you just have to laugh sometimes.
Dear mothers, I know what you are going through. I am an expert in postpartum depression and I know exactly how to help you. How to help you get through this difficult time in your life and how to help you feel optimistic again. I understand how lonely and desperate you feel and the guilt that comes on top of that. You don’t have to be ashamed of your feelings. You didn’t choose to go through all of this. I am here to help you. Because I went through it myself, I know exactly what to do, to help to get you out if this dark place.
I will help you to get you to that happy place again, where a future full of joy awaits and where you are able to cope with your worries and fears. Acceptance of what you are thinking and feeling is the key. I will give you suggestions and points to help you get started on your journey to recovery from PPD and together we will tap into the qualities of resilience and strength that are in you. Qualities I can help bring to the surface. The only thing you have to do is to reach out for help and call or e-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org.