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"When I was little, at being a mom, I tried to organize my baby into being able to do what I needed him to do. It didn't take long for me to realize that my baby was unorganizeable, absolutely unpredictable and here to totally rock my world. I recall a dear friend saying to me 'I can't wait till you have kids so you will get REAL!' And so I did. Real real real with all the accouterments to go with, like piles of undone work, stacks of unsorted photographs, socks that don't match, dishes piled in the sink, tears streaming down my face from exhaustion, and the constant understanding that this was harder than I ever planned, more uncontrollable then I ever envisioned and that I was repeating what so many millions of moms had done before me, learning to sacrifice personal cleanliness, personal time, and personal life for the life of a reckless hungry little 8 lb. infant who took all of me.

The story here is so common. Nothing is the same once the baby arrives. Not friendships, not love relationships, not schedule, not exercise, not work, not home, not your own mom and dad, not your clothes, not your nails, not your shoe size, not your hair, not your housekeeping, not your cooking... each of these things and every other facet of life is directly transformed by the presence of the babe. That little swaddled thing in the bassinet has convoluted everything. It's a dizzying story of freaky love, otherworldly love, that is mixed with so many other emotions: resentment, confusion, loneliness, perhaps a deep perplexion about how all this came to pass. It is the beginning of the journey into motherhood...."

—by Nanci Olesen
  from NOW YOU MOMbo: Newborn Shock

(click HERE for another excerpt from this essay)

Expecting Change, by Ellen Sue Stern
I read Ellen Sue Stern's book EXPECTING CHANGE when I was pregnant, and when my child was born I re-read and practically memorized the last two chapters: "Postpartum" and "Woman to Mother." She talks about how your key relationships change when you have a baby. She describes the unpredictable swings of mood and the slippery slope toward postpartum depression that every mother is near.

Depression after Childbirth, by Katharina Dalton and Wendy M. Holton, Oxford University Press.
This is a scientific analysis of the state of what's described by these British authors as Post NATAL depression. It is helpful to understand how to diagnose the situation for anyone who is around a mom who is struggling  to care for herself or her infant when her hormones are imbalanced and she's lost in the lonely world of depression.

Composing Myself, by Fiona Shaw, Steerforth Press, 1998
This is a very personal, detailed description of the author's journey through postpartum depression. It's really engaging, and, I have to say, slightly frightening.

MotherShock, by Andrea Buchanan, Seal Press, 2003
Mother Shock is a refreshing and down-to-earth look at the birth of a mother. In 30 essays, author Andrea Buchanan shares the insights she gains as she overcomes the culture shock of new motherhood, from the overwhelming feelings of first love for her baby to the disturbing and often hilarious darker side of mothering, to finally reaching a place where she not only speaks the language but understands the customs of this strange and wonderful world. My sister, mother of a four month old, loved this book. She followed our mom around the kitchen, reading sections out loud, and alternately laughing and crying....

Your Amazing Newborn, by Marshall and Phyllis Klaus, Perseus Books, 1998
This marvelous book shows photos and offers insight into the baby's experience. We learn what the BABY is doing and thinking and dealing with as she experiences HER first days outside of the womb. Who IS this little baby? We gain valuable insights to help unlock the secret messages communicated by newborn babies.

"Depression after Childbirth," from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
This is an easy to read brochure which describes the symptoms of postpartum depression and offers further reading and support.

"Beyond Baby Blues: Understanding and Coping With Postpartum Depression" by Melanie Lawrence, © Copyright 2001 by Parents' Press. Here's a first hand account of postpartum depression with a sidebar devoted to lots of resources.  

(remember to go to the BLOG to order a CD set for your sister-in-law!!)

6) introduction:  Nanci Olesen

7) interview with Faulkner Fox, author of Dispatches From A Not-So-Perfect Life
click HERE to listen to an excerpt of Nanci's conversation with Faulkner

8) "A Mother's Day Prayer" by Kim Lane, creator of Austin mama

9) Postpartum book recommendations: Nanci Olesen

10) "You're Not Alone" commentary by Linda Breitag. Linda is a writer, musician and mom. She plays the fiddle! She's a regular MOMbo contributor and a great musician.

11) Credits and parting words: Nanci Olesen

"...I'm trying to picture you out there, holding that little tiny baby with her little cloth hat on. You have somehow managed to listen all the way through to this moment. Good luck as you move from day to night to day with your brand new baby. Seek friendship in other moms. Thank your own mom for what she went through. Hold that baby tight, and as we always say on MOMbo,

Love your kids. Be good to yourself. Talk to you again soon..."

"Powderhorn Mambo" (MOMbo's THEME MUSIC!) by Steve Sabone Sandberg, performed by Your Community Band, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

"1 day, 2 day, 3 days old" (Woody Guthrie) performed by Elizabeth Mitchell http://www.youaremyflower.org

"So Glad I'm Here" (Bessie Smith) performed by Elizabeth Mitchell http://www.youaremyflower.org

"The Night is Young" by JB Mclain, from The Mystery "Home At Last" by Linda Breitag from  Feet to the Fire http://www.bfjmusic.com






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