I signed up to do this walk last year in my gorgeous hometown of Santa Barbara on the beautiful beach with a great group of women whom I still adore and hope to see (and live near) again. However, the devastating loss of my second child in my 2nd trimester, residual depression lingering from losing my father during my first pregnancy, getting pregnant AGAIN so quickly, married, moving, etc all blew up at once and took me down for the count. Getting out of bed became a chore. Showering felt unnecessary. Cooking and cleaning was not even a thought. The toll it took on my marriage was indescribable. This is not just sadness. This is a disease. And its very real, and I thank God every day that it did not leave my little boy without a mother, because there were many days I thought he would be better off without me. I sought enough therapists to fill a phonebook. That didn’t help much. In time, the fog lifted. I will not call myself a survivor yet because it’s still there and its still a daily struggle. Yes, women lose their loved ones every day, and every day they lose their babies before they get to meet them, and they get really, really sad, but PPD is much more serious than sadness and sometimes a bottle of Zoloft doesn’t always do the trick. And many don't realize it until its too late. THAT is why I am getting out of bed this year and walking. I am not ashamed of how badly I suffered. My body was pregnant. My mind and emotions and hormones were pregnant. PPD exists whether you have your healthy baby or you lose it. Your body goes through the same motions. Sure, you expect to leave the hospital holding your child, rather than walking out alone and not knowing what the hell just happened. But talking about it has been the best healer for me. Hearing and sharing stories has been my savior. Seeing groups of women from all over the world has been such a guiding light for me. If we can show one woman that this is normal, natural, and can be managed, it’s worth the walk.