After she experienced crushing post-partum depression, Wynnewood’s Rebecca Fox Starr opened up about it in her blog, Mommy Ever After. That led to the books Beyond the Baby Blues, Baby Ever After and now Mommy Ever After, a heartfelt new book that features exquisite illustrations in an inviting format and strives to normalize mental health issues from a family perspective.
MLT: Does Mommy Ever After have anything to do with the blog?
RFS: The focus is completely different. We all have negative feelings—and they always pass. I think I felt some guilt about having my son and then getting depressed. While they occurred at the same time, those two things are not related.
MLT: So it’s about resiliency?
RFS: That’s huge for me. I wanted to express to my kids that I may not always be happy, but I’m always your mommy. We have negative feelings. We have names for some of them and not for others. But there’s a light on the other side. Parents can learn to validate their kids’ emotions—to empower their kids.
MLT: How did you know you needed help?
RFS: I didn’t feel right during my pregnancy. I had a scare at six to seven weeks, then a migraine that landed me in the neurologist’s oﬃce at 33 weeks, crying and crying. He pointed out his concern that I was about to develop a walloping case of postpartum depression. At a week postpartum, my husband, Kenny, texted, “Are you OK? I see the light going out in your eyes.” I cried, because his text gave me permission to admit I wasn’t OK. I started therapy and medication, and slowly the color returned to life.
MLT: Would it have helped to know that you were susceptible to postpartum depression?
RFS: Absolutely. I could’ve proactively gone on safe medication, started therapy so I was prepared and set up a support system. There were lots of physical and lifestyle things I could’ve put in place. I could’ve taken control.