POSTPARTUM MAMAS Support Group
"Wiregrass Wyoming/Alabama/Spokane Mamas ZOOM Group"
2nd Tuesday 5:30pm each month
Jackie Groth, Facilitator
I am a wife, a new mom of one, and dog mom of two. I am so blessed to be on this motherhood journey. A little bit about my motherhood journey and why Postpartum Mamas is so important to me:
Back in the fall of 2018 I found out I was pregnant. My husband and I were ecstatic. I went to my first prenatal appointment and found out our baby didn’t have a heartbeat. We were devastated. After about a month or so we started trying again and nothing was happening. Finally in March 2019; My doctor wanted to test me for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), I was waiting to go in for my second blood draw when I decided to take a pregnancy test...it was positive. I was in complete shock. Very over the moon happy but in complete shock, I didn’t think we were ever going to get pregnant. We were so excited for our rainbow baby, but every time I had a doctor’s appointment I got the worst anxiety. Another appointment meant we had to find and listen to the heart beat. Anytime the doctor put the Doppler on my stomach I stopped breathing, waiting for the bad news, it never came. Pregnancy after loss is so hard. I was waiting for bad news constantly. But in December our sweet baby girl came early. We are so blessed to have our miracle.
Postpartum Mamas is so important to me because it has given me a place to share my story. It’s a space that women can come together and relate to each other and express how they are feeling, their fears, their hopes and dreams and feel validated and heard. It’s a place where we can all support each other and know other women have/are experiencing similar things. It’s a place to be lifted up. I am so blessed and honored to get the opportunity to help women not feel so alone.
My name is Tammy Huguenin, and this is the story of my postpartum journey.
I was pregnant at the early age of 16 and gave birth to a beautiful baby girl at the age of 17. I was young, but I had the loving support of my boyfriend, my family, and his family. I knew I needed to learn everything but also knew from a very early age that all I wanted to be was a mom. You see I was just 9 years old when my mom was killed as a passenger of a drunk driver, all I wanted was to be like her. Throughout my years after losing her I went from an abusive situation to a foster home that was not meant for me, then into a loving foster family that truly is my family to this day. They taught me that I was worthy of love and treated me like their own. I was in a family that nurtured me through my pregnancy, helped me learn my baby, and guided me into my marriage after the birth of my baby.
My husband was there for the birth of our first baby and I felt loved and supported by him and our families. I lost my second baby at 20 weeks into my pregnancy. I was lost and devastated but felt loved and supported through it. Baby three, our first beautiful boy, arrived while my husband was in Basic Training, he had enlisted in the Army to be able to support our growing family. It was so hard giving birth without him there but my mom and sisters were there for me continually loving me through the hard. He met our son six weeks later. Then it was off to Texas for our first Duty Station where we were both far away from our parents and families for the first time.
A few months into our move I lost baby four at nine weeks into my pregnancy. I was alone and scared and my husband was gone a lot, I wanted my family, but knew they could not be there with me. I was alone. As the year went on, I found myself pregnant again, wondering if I would lose this baby as well. I did not, but again my husband was on a training mission when she was born. I was alone, in labor, and called on a friend who was graciously on standby to help and was there with me at the hospital for the birth of our second beautiful daughter. My husband arrived several hours after the birth and was home with me for about 10 days after leaving the hospital, then had to return to the training mission. I was alone again, depressed exhausted and so very emotional. Less than 4 months later I was pregnant again. Would I lose this one? If not, would I be alone again? I did not lose this one. With the promises from higher-ups that my husband would not miss the birth this time, he was off to another training mission. “We will make sure he gets home for this one,” they said. Well, that did not happen, again my very gracious friend was there for me. My husband got there several hours after the birth again and was home about 2 weeks before having to go back to the training mission, and neighbors checked in occasionally. Alone, again… and feeling the depression worse than before. My husband was always supportive and loving when he was there, but military life was filled with deployments. Much of my journey was situational and even at times unavoidable, but nonetheless very hard and very lonely at times.
In the 1980s there was a severe lack of postpartum support unless you had family close by. Gone were the days of a close family village. In came information overload, a book to answer every question, and families living all over. Pressure to be like this, or do that, or one size fits all remedies for every life situation. Most of which say “do it on your own”, “you are not doing it right”, or “you are not enough”. So here we are today, “I need to figure it out on my own”, “I don’t know what I am doing wrong”, and “I feel like I am failing”. We were not meant to raise children alone without a village, there is NO perfect way of parenting and you are enough!
I have been on my Postpartum Doula mission since 2014. I am very compassionate about the care of all new mothers and their families because I too suffered from loneliness, as well as Postpartum Anxiety and Depression. I would not be the mother, grandmother, or Postpartum Doula that I am today without having those experiences. I am an advocate for better care for all families in the first year after birth and for bringing awareness to and normalizing the conversation around Postpartum Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs). A couple of years ago I heard about Postpartum Mamas and I wanted to help. They graciously accepted me into their community and I have such love in my heart for these mamas!
Thank you for letting me share some of my postpartum journey with you.