Postpartum Psychosis – Can you Forgive?


Nikki Love posted an update on the POST Life Movie website on the blog section titled The Mirror. It talked a lot about forgiveness and all the variables. Forgiving the person who became ill. Forgiving the people you asked for help, forgiving yourself. I believe it’s much easier to forgive others than to forgive myself.
This takes me back to remembering even when my mother committed suicide and people would ask me if I were angry with her. I find it difficult to be angry with someone who thought their only option left to deal with their pain was to die.
Put that into context for a moment. I have been there. I have felt so utterly

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hopeless, worthless, unworthy and remained in that place for so long that death seemed like the Only option to make it stop. It didn’t appear like that every day. But it came in waves of darkness. The darkness got darker and lasted longer, with that came those thoughts of suicide.

When I picture the last time I saw my mother alive, I know now she was thinking about ending her life. I couldn’t have seen it at the time. Even being just 14 years old didn’t matter. I have seen it now and I can recognize it, Sometimes. But only sometimes and that’s if the person is using their words to communicate to me in some way how desperate they are feeling.
Above-Drafted December 17th, 2015

I started that before Christmas, in the middle of the Holidays. Halfway between our Thanksgiving and the New Year. I was on a roll and wanted to continue my effort of not only supporting the POST Life Movie, but All Moms who struggle with Postpartum Mood Disorders.

On Christmas Day, we had another loss within the Postpartum community. This was not a woman I knew personally. But I will say her name anyway because she deserves to be honored for her struggle; Sasha Hettich. I will link you to her story on Postpartum Progress and that of her husband, Cody Hettich, who spoke of her in an effort to battle the stigma surrounding Mental Health.

Last August, we lost another woman and her name was Naomi Knoles. She also committed suicide after getting released from prison, having spent 10 years there. She wanted to share her story and make a difference as well. Unfortunately, the struggle became overwhelming and she took her own life.

Both of those women suffered from a Postpartum Mood Disorder. In 2003, Naomi  became ill with Postpartum Psychosis and took the life of her daughter, Anna, after a failed attempt at her own life. She completed that effort last August.
Sasha Hettich was suffering from Postpartum Depression from all known accounts that I have read and it culminated on Christmas morning when she ended her life.

We need to come together as a Postpartum Community. I know I sing this song often. There is a divide within the community between the Depression and the Psychosis community where there should not be. At any time, the depression can turn to psychosis.

You are All Moms that this could happen to. This is not to scare you, it’s to make you aware. Neither or those two moms thought this would happen to them.

In between the death of those two women, there have been countless other women I do not know the names of who have lost their battle. I for one do not want it to be in vain.
If I know of your battle, I will Always say your name. You will be remembered here.

I challenge other Postpartum Mood Disorder Blogs to do the same. Do not let there be a divide. Do not be a part of the problem. You say you want to erase the Stigma. Well Actions Speak Louder Than Words. You cannot claim to want to banish the Stigma surrounding Maternal Mental Health and be part of the problem. You have to be part of the solution.
Be part of the Solution.



~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~

Why Do I Write?

I Write for Maternal Mental Health and Postpartum Survivors

I write to ease the burden on my soul. I write to allow my words to carry some of the weight I feel so pronounced on my shoulders. I write hoping to find the exact phrase that might express exactly how this mixed bag of emotional turmoil I feel inside myself might glide from my fingertips and onto the keyboard someday. But, mostly; well mostly I write because –

I write because I remember how lonely I was. I remember that for over 13 years I would sit and try to connect with others about my experience and no one was talking publicly. The closest I came to speaking to someone was when I left a comment on Carol Blocker’s page for her daughter and was contacted by Theresa Twomey about the book she was writing. I considered that for quite

Postpartum psychosis, Teresa Twomey, Understanding Postpartum Psychosis, Natachia Barlow Ramsey, Maternal Mental Health

some time. But it still didn’t have me talking with other women who had lost their children to Postpartum Psychosis.

There was never one particular reason, there were several that got me started blogging. But after waiting for 13 years for someone else to start speaking publicly about losing a child to Postpartum Psychosis, I decided that perhaps I wasn’t the only one waiting. Maybe they were all waiting too and someone always has to go first right? I thought, I needed to take my voice back. I needed to take charge of what people read about me and I needed to take the first steps in letting other women know they were not alone. We may be in the minority, but we are here and we are hurting but we are not alone.

You are not alone.

Yes, that was me. I took the life of my son. I did not do it because he was unloved. I did not do it out of anger. I thought in those moments I was being a loving mother and I have no way to rationalize my thinking that day. My thinking made sense to me That day. My mind failed me. I believed no one wanted my son but me. His father did not believe that Hunter (our son) was his son. I had been depressed during my pregnancy and had pneumonia when my son was born.  I cried for my mother who had been dead for over 10 years my first day home from the hospital. Something I hadn’t done for years.
I can look back now and see all kinds of different signs but when you are in the midst of it you just can’t see it.

Other women who have been sick with a Postpartum Mood Disorder and have lost a child or have harmed a child need to know they’re not alone. I get numerous emails from women thanking me for talking. I feel grateful for that. This isn’t exactly something people want to talk about. But it’s something that has to be talked about.
No one wants to end up like me or any of the other mothers who have no one to talk to and don’t know or understand what is happening to them.

Don’t let silence or misunderstanding be the cause of this happening to one more woman and family. Every time you reach just one person with a kind word you are paying it forward whether you know it or not. #PostpartumUnity

*This was originally written in October 2014 and left unpublished. It is the first of many to come that have been sitting as drafts*


~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~

Just this side of Right

I practice everyday staying on the “right” side. I don’t want to confuse that with being right. I am wrong lots of times.

But you know when you go to the Emergency Room these days for something and they now have the mandatory questions asking you if you are safe at home, do you feel like hurting yourself or anyone else… and well, there’s always that person that’s been bugging you that pops into your head briefly that you’d like to sock in the nose. But you don’t pop them in the nose because you are staying on this side of right.

I’ve been practicing that for the better part of 16 years. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to pop any number of people in the nose, especially the knowingly ignorant. When I say Ignorant, it’s not meant to be taken as an insult. I am using that in its truest sense –



  • lacking knowledge or awareness in general; uneducated or unsophisticated.
  • lacking knowledge, information, or awareness about something in particular.


  • informal
         discourteous or rude.


synonyms:   without knowledge of, unaware of, unconscious of, oblivious to, incognizant of, unfamiliar with, unacquainted with, uninformed about, ill-informed about, unenlightened about, unconversant with, inexperienced in/with, naive about, green about

I say knowingly because the correct information is there. They choose to remain ignorant because it would mean destroying this bubble they have built around themselves with incorrect information. Their entire existence and this fairy tale they have woven would come crashing down around them.

When I think about all the things going on in my life I stop and think… how bored/boring must these people be with their own lives to obsess about mine? But honestly that’s about all I can muster for time or even thought on this. See! I am bored with this already. I can’t even imagine obsessing over it for days/weeks/months on end… Talk about a Yawn Fest

RE- POST – Postpartum Depression vs Postpartum Psychosis; 1, 2, 3, 4, – I declare… War?

Are We Battling for Our Place; Our Voice?

In my longstanding pursuit of wanting to not only have a voice myself, but to enable others to have a voice in similar circumstances as well, it seems we have (and by “we” I mean ‘me’) inadvertently stepped on some toes. It’s often difficult to be heard unless you shout in this busy world of everyone talking over everyone else. 

So generally I still start out by saying in an ever so low voice, “excuse me, would you be so kind”. Then I work up to “pardon me, I have something to say and I would appreciate some of your time”. (Now this may happen a couple times) To eventually “Excuse Me! I Have Something I Am Going To Say And I Will Be Heard”! *Sigh*

postpartum psychosis, maternal mental health, natachia barlow ramsey, postpartum depression, suicide
Stormy Outside My Home Today. Our First

Nor’Easter Of the Year.

Honestly, it never feels good to get to the point of the proverbial finger shaking (even in my own mind as I type). But what’s a gal to go? I mean these are important issues. 
Bridging the gap from the tragedies, to the happy endings of where we find ourselves at the mercy of Postpartum Mood Disorders. They strip us of our ability to function at the most basic level. They can take away our sense of reasoning and our ability to rationalize. It attacks our brain; what we rely on to tell us something isn’t right. If our brain is telling us  the water isn’t hot and we get in it and our brain doesn’t register it as pain, we get burned. 

So as I have stated previously, I have been wanting to narrow the gap between what I feel is all the women running blogs and speaking on websites about how they “survived” Postpartum Depression or Postpartum Psychosis or any Postpartum Affliction. I think it is more than wonderful that all those women are reaching out and talking. I want to hear from all the “other” women as well. Not only the women who committed infanticide or attempted suicide. But their families of suicide survivors. Also as one women on another site recently commented –

“Are we ready yet to talk about the abusive acts we have committed while suffering from postpartum depression and psychosis? I’m sure I am not alone in this. My kids and I have been through a lot of good therapy and healing. It was hell at the time. We worked very hard to heal. It was frightening and it continues to be scary to talk about; but I, for one, want to. Anyone else? Any why talk about it? Healing. Healing and forgiveness and moving on.”

I say yes to that. Yes! I want these women to come forward and to have a voice. Just as she said, because it’s healing. It’s about healing and forgiveness and moving on. 
This isn’t to “out” anyone who isn’t ready. My God is took me over 13 years to feel ready and that whole time I was looking for someone to start talking and asking, reaching out. Telling me they wanted to hear from me. Finally after a culmination of many, many things over the last year, (including but not limited to) my realizing I have no anonymity in this day and age. Not with technology and people making up whatever they want and claiming it’s the truth. So here I am, being my own voice and advocating for yours.
I love how far we have come so far in just recognizing Postpartum Mood Disorders. We can’t stop. I was chatting with Teresa Twomey the other day, specifically about this topic. I was referencing how the numbers for infanticide/suicide may be only at 5%, (and in the minority as someone pointed out) but that number gets much larger for the attempted suicides/infanticides or as the mother above pointed out “abusive acts”. These are not things any of us are proud of. But to pretend as though they didn’t happen does an injustice to all of us. How are we going to help all of those who have experienced this or will experience this if we don’t talk about it? 
I know I knew Nothing in 1999. Now I know so much more than I would have ever thought possible. I’m not going to be the person who doesn’t speak up because it’s uncomfortable to talk about and when tragedy strikes, know I could have said something. I don’t want that next mother, that next family saying; oh my god… we just didn’t know what could happen.

Do any of you want that? I certainly don’t.

Maternal Mental Health Symbol, Natachia Barlow Ramsey, Postpartum Psychosis, Suicide, Maternal Mental Health, Psychotic, Depression

Living a Life of Postpartum Psychosis

Help us, feel our pain

We are broken and we look around, waiting, begging, dying inside. We look for the arms to wrap around us and bring us to our feet. The Ocean we drive into is a Sea of Desperation. Hold out your arms, lift us up, hang on tight and guide us to the light. All we can do is keep breathing and trying. 

No more tears, we have wept a lifetime of sorrows for motherhood. The aches, the breaks and the tragedies to come. Help us, feel our pain. 
For every woman that the public and media is ready to tar and feather because there isn’t Universal Mental Health Screening for every pregnant and Postpartum Woman there are thousands that do receive effective treatment. Does that mean we should allow those woman to continue to slip through

the cracks? No. 

But there needs to be a better understanding for cases of Postpartum Psychosis and Women’s Mood

Disorders. The stories the public hears about are the Postpartum Stories that end in tragedy. Why? Well because it sells. 

postpartum psychosis, maternal mental health, natachia barlow ramsey, postpartum depression, suicideI mean I can’t blame the public. I read those stories too. I have said over and over that “we” in our own Postpartum Psychosis/Depression/Anxiety community, we do nothing to help ourselves if we perpetuate the ideas that “those” (myself included) moms are different than the moms who did successfully receive treatment. 
I can tell you I am shunned by many in the Postpartum Depression community and when I finally get the opportunity to speak with any of them the most I often get is “well I don’t know what to say”. As though I speak a different language. I find it to be highly hypocritical that these same people want to advocate and call to justice all those who did not do anything for these “poor” women in their time of need, yet those women are me. So if they are at a loss of words of what to say to me what exactly do they think they are or would say to that woman if given the chance?
I am Miriam Carey and I am standing before you all now. I am Ebony Wilkerson (Mini-van Mom), 15 years later. Speak to me now – say something.

There’s a class of women that I remember one very insightful lady blogging about and she got it right on the nose when she said… it was as though saying they had Postpartum Depression got them into some club or something. Without fully realizing the enormity of it. Like it was the new trendy thing to have. 
I remember thinking “Wow, she hit the nail on the head with that one”. I am disgusted by it. It diminishes the real and genuine struggle some women are going through and there are many variables with Postpartum Mood Disorders. Especially Postpartum Psychosis. Which is very real, very scary and can lead to real tragedies. It needs to be taken very seriously.
Postpartum Depression, especially left untreated can have unforeseen consequences and tragic outcomes. 

I do need to say this; that as disgusted by this new trendy era of PPD (that’s Postpartum Depression for you not in the know); I am even more disgusted by the general public and their “trolling”. All of you out there with your pseudonyms (let me save you a step – it means the fake name you use online to hide your true identity) scouring the headlines and just chomping at the bit to get to the comment section and say something oozing with ignorance and common fallacies. Just pouring hatred and judgement into this world as though there isn’t enough already.

I use my real name here; Natachia Barlow Ramsey. At least I have found the courage to do that. It’s not easy and I decided I will be the person who gets to decide what’s put out there about me. Not another “troll”. I get to tell my story.

If that means that someone reads this blog and finds inspiration from it, that is wonderful. If they are disgusted but they walk away with just a bit more knowledge and think.. Good lord I Never want to end up like her. Well more power to them and hopefully they will pass that along as well. 

This article was started on my son (Hunter’s) birthday. Yeah, it was Tuesday, March 11th; he would have been 15 years old. My mother’s birthday was Thursday, March 13th. I’ve been keenly aware of the dates this week because my appeal briefs were due on the 11th.

Hey, like me, love me, hate me. But I know every single one of you has or had a mother. There’s no truer truth than that. So sign the damn petition. 

Maternal Mental Health Symbol, Natachia Barlow Ramsey, Postpartum Psychosis, Suicide, Maternal Mental Health, Psychotic, Depression

~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~

Postpartum Psychosis

Is Postpartum Psychosis as Scary as is Seems…

Yes and No. While it is the scariest and most concerning of the PPMD’s(Postpartum Mood Disorders); there is only a 5% suicide/infanticide rate. So while that does seem like such a small percentage rate alongside an illness that only occurs on roughly 1-2 births out of 1,000. Does anyone want to raise their hand and volunteer to be in that 5% that end in tragedy?
Yeah, I didn’t think so… 

postpartum psychosis, maternal mental health, natachia barlow ramsey, postpartum depression, suicide

As I read the many stories (well let’s face it All the stories) about women coming forward to share their experience with Postpartum Psychosis; I read the same sentiments over and over. They were afraid to be labeled a baby killer or one of “those” women (and it’s usually Andrea Yates) who tried to harm their kids. 

Well, there’s a reason PPP is considered a medical emergency; and it is because of the risk to the mother and child. The reason women are afraid in part to talk about it for fear of being labeled? We do the labeling. The media grabs ahold of a tragic story to make headlines and we also share those stories. 
Do I agree? Yes, we should share. Change does not come with remaining silent. It’s also unfortunately not going to come from a group of moms who had Postpartum Depression and wear it as someone said “like a badge of honor”, as though they were part of special group now. 
I have noticed this trend of Postpartum Depression seeming to be the New Trendy thing to have had. I had actually been noticing it for a while now and made reference to it in a blog I wrote titled Postpartum Depression vs Postpartum Psychosis; 1, 2, 3, 4, – I declare… War?. It feels like a clique from high school where you had to pay your dues to get in but if you went too far… well you just weren’t allowed to sit at the same lunch table anymore. Yet those same women will ride your coattails and all those who follow by saying “Look at this! See what can happen to any of us if not enough attention is paid” “We could have become one of Those women!”
It’s not just the media. We perpetuate this. We turn on one another in conversation. We use the term Baby Killer. That is an awful, derogatory, insensitive term. I cannot tell you how often I hear people use a qualifier of sorts when talking about their illness. “But I would never hurt my children” or “I never hurt my kids”
I for one can say I could have gone my entire life without wanting to be in this “Club”. Now that I am though, I do not want to remain ignorant to any aspect of it. I feel as though it is my job to educate myself to the best of my ability and those around me.  
PPP is most likely within the first four weeks after delivery. But it can occur at anytime and the onset can be rapid. Moms’ can also have periods of lucidity. Looking back now, I was also ill with Pneumonia so I attributed a lot of feeling “off” to that. But now I can see I was depressed and that should have been a red flag. Honestly my history should have been a big red flag along with my family history etc… but this was Maine in 1999. You practically had babies in a Potato field and kept right on picking Potatoes.
The Action on Postpartum Psychosis has a lot of useful information and a great resource tool as well as Postpartum Support International

Postpartum Psychosis is an Illness related to hormonal imbalances. Often the mom has subtle thoughts and feelings that can become more and more exaggerated if left untreated. These thoughts range from delusions to hallucinations. A new mom may appear overly anxious or paranoid. Close family and friends need to help recognize the symptoms. This time and this illness can be difficult and stressful on everyone. Remember the mom is not doing anything on purpose and does not want to be ill. Likely she may not even be aware of how irrational she may be. The most important thing is keeping mom and baby safe. 

My son, Hunter, would be 15 this coming March. I called him my little fellow. Whatever mementos I had left of his (which weren’t much) a small blanket, the little blue card they write the baby’s name on at the hospital, an ultrasound photo and a few pictures… Those were lost in the fire in my home on January 17th. Just typing that sentence took me 20 minutes and I had to sit with it. 
People make sweeping assumptions when they hear you are responsible for the death of one of your children. (This is where the name calling (baby killer etc…) comes into play) Also, the Moms who had Postpartum __________ Something want to make sure you know they would Never hurt their children (just so you know they must be a better mother than you, but let them in the club because they too have suffered).
Well for those of us who were not so fortunate to have had “your” experience (and perhaps some extra support around to recognize we needed help) and we lost a child or harmed ourselves or our child(ren). (We all jump on the Andrea Yates bandwagon when it suits us) 
I want to say, I loved my son. My particular illness wasn’t not hallucinations. I had delusional thinking. My husband (now ex) did not believe Hunter was his son. We had been separated when he was conceived (although he would still come over for… yes Sex). So after a series of events leading up to the birth of my son, (which you can read here) I became ill and thought I needed to die. I also believed no one would take care of my son, so he needed to be with me in Heaven. I did not want to leave him behind on earth. 
I did not think he was evil. He was not unwanted. I was not angry. I was delusional, because I was ill and I thought I was doing something out of love. 
I used to ask my Psychiatrist every day… How could my brain fail me like that? How could my thinking be so backwards? It did not make sense to me and for years I would revisit that question over and over. There is no definitive, black and white answer. I spent years in therapy and had to ask my therapist for permission to grieve my own son. I did not feel as though I had a right because I had been responsible for his death. 

I am coming upon 15 years now and I have seen progress. I am also keenly aware of all the areas that we still need to improve upon. We have a lot of many talented and incredible women dedicated to making changes. For that I am infinitely grateful. Teresa Twomey; Author of – Understanding Postpartum Psychosis;, Wendy Newhouse Davis; PSI Program Director;, Walker Karraa; Program Co-chair at APA Division 56 – Trauma Psychology (What doesn’t Walker do?);, Jennifer Hentz Moyer; Mental Health Advocate and Writer;, Elaine Hanzak; Motivational, Inspirational Speaker and Author….. these are just a smidge of the women who work so hard to make changes. They are a part of what I am grateful for.

Natachia Barlow Ramsey; Postpartum Psychosis Survivor and Loser

Maternal Mental Health Symbol, Natachia Barlow Ramsey, Postpartum Psychosis, Suicide, Maternal Mental Health, Psychotic, Depression
~Be Loud, Be Purposeful, Be Strong, Be Courageous, Be Creative, Be Something~

Who is at Stake? Andrea Yates, CNN and the Call for Revolution

Walker Karraa wrote this amazing article and it was published on Postpartum Progress.

I am terribly frustrated that I cannot seem to locate the blog to blog share button so I am manually adding the link in here. It’s a wonderful read and takes a look at what we should all be aware of. How people like Andrea, myself and so many, many women out there who have suffered an ill fated hand are schlepped in with people who are in their right mind and are placed under the code of “criminal”.
Why? Because sensation sells; and I thought they outlawed taking advantage of the people who had a mental disability by putting them on display at the circus. Yet, here we are with our “Media Circus” and we pat ourselves on the back because we just watch from afar now instead of standing in line with everyone else.
Kudos Walker…

Who is at Stake? Andrea Yates, CNN and the Call for Revolution

Maternal Mental Health: Pre-Existing Risk Factors for PTSD and Childbirth — Giving Birth with Confidence

Below is a link to an article I got from +Walker Karraa, citing risk factors for women who may have had trauma before getting pregnant and why they’re at a greater risk for developing Postpartum Mental Health Disorders…

Maternal Mental Health: Pre-Existing Risk Factors for PTSD and Childbirth — Giving Birth with Confidence

Why was Postpartum Psychosis not considered a medical condition?

Why was Postpartum Psychosis not Considered a medical condition?

One Night in Bangkok…

Reminding myself this isn’t exactly Thailand


I have times when I want to do something almost to prove to myself I am alive. Like jumping off a bridge into the ocean. I know it’s not actually necessary, but on occasion I have that urge. It’s probably similar to the urge I describe below about screaming Fuck You and wanting to Punch People in the Face. Those last two don’t sound very ladylike…

Some days I just want to scream Fuck You to the world. There are days when I want to punch people in the face. There are times when I have wondered if this is my reincarnated life as punishment of a past life and I was something truly awful.

natachia barlow ramsey, postpartum psychosis story, not guilty by reason of insanity, not criminally responsible, postpartum depression
Pouring in Chapel Hill Waiting for Lanah

I don’t have those moments very often. But on occasion when it feels like everything is just bearing it’s weight down on me. I am perhaps just one kind voice away from shedding a bucket full of tears (cue the tears now as I type). I have those thoughts.

I have times when I think I just want to go and find some peace and solace. Other times when I just want the company of the unknown stranger who knows nothing about me and to find comfort in their arms. I know it’s short lived. So, I have basically sworn off real dating for now. I’m actually supposed to have a date (I have signed up for those dating websites, all the free ones anyway). I usually get as far as a few email responses and I’ll either stop communicating or never follow through with the date.
The idea of introducing someone to my past is exhausting. [Oh that date is supposed to be on this Friday]

It’s difficult finding that happy medium of someone that knows about your history and doesn’t want to date you Because of it and someone who doesn’t know anything about your history and then you end up having to tell them about it. Let me just say there are not dating sites out there that specialize in this.

Oh, the punching people in the face thing? I’m not advocating violence in any way. I was speaking

more to my aggrevation with random people in life you encounter that you just look at and think WTF? Some of them to the point where they leave you –
1.) Scratching you head
2.) Taking a deep breath and shake your head or
3.) Seriously thinking about poking them in the mouth, but you instead grit your teeth and quickly walk away/count to ten.

Is life justified or fair in anyway? No. I come back to that whenever I start to feel bad for myself. I try to find an okay balance between saying it’s okay to mourn my losses but not feel as though I have it any worse than anyone else. I’m not some child in Thailand being sold into prostitution who’s only existense will be a sex slave, absolute poverty and dying of AIDS.
Balance is good. Knowing when to ask for help. Knowing when your breaking point is approaching. Knowing it’s okay to have an evening of grieving for those you have loved and lost. Sometimes it takes more than a night.

I often feel like I toe the line because of my past. I’ve encountered some truly rotten people in my lifetime and taken some truly rotten shit from them. I think about the liberties they feel they are justified in taking with me while I just stand there and feel as though I have to put up with their hatefulness. Now, if I weren’t me and I saw them doing those same things to someone else I would have no problem stepping in and putting a stop to whatever bullying was going on. I have a much harder time advocating for myself.

Perhaps everyone should be assigned a personal advocate, sort of like a guardian angel, to be their ‘big stick’.

But when it comes down to it, I just remind myself of something that I mentioned earlier. I am not in Bangkok, Thailand. I am not a young child there being sold into sex slavery and that will be the only existence I know. Living and dying in absolute poverty with AIDS.

I am certain any one of them would trade existences with me any day. Postpartum Psychosis and all.