We’ve long talked about how tattoos can be an incredible way to document our story, overcome circumstances and even touch other people’s lives. To some, it’s just ink in an arm, but to others, it marks a time that made them stronger, or reminds them of what they’ve pushed through to get to where they are today. It’s a reminder that they survived.
This #WarriorMom is no different.
Lucy McEwen is a mother of two who suffered a dark period following the birth of her first child. She sought help from a national nonprofit blog called Postpartum Progress, which offers information and support for pregnant women and new mothers who have postpartum depression (PPD) and other mental illnesses related to pregnancy and childbirth.
The organization recently shared Lucy’s heartfelt letter on their Facebook Page, and it’s serving as an inspiration to mothers everywhere.
“When I had my first child, I struggled with postpartum depression. It is so easy to sum up in a quick blurb—”I struggled with postpartum depression”—but in reality, it was more than what can be put into words. I hardly fed myself, showered, got dressed or went out of the house. There were nights I sat up in bed, tears streaming down my cheeks. My daughter would wake to eat throughout the night, as newborns do, and I’d cry throughout the diaper change, the breastfeeding, the swaddling. My husband is half deaf and often would not wake from the sounds of our daughter’s newborn cries, but occasionally, he would roll over to my own cries and ask me what was wrong. My answer was always the same: ‘I don’t know. I’m just tired.’”
Lucy quickly learned that she had postpartum depression. Her diagnosis started her road to recovery, which led her to Postpartum Progress.
“Fast forward to today, I am a mother of two, a Warrior Mom Ambassador, leading my fifth Climb Out of the Darkness event, certified in Mental Health First Aid, and working on my certification through CAPPA as a postpartum doula. It is no exaggeration that my experience has significantly shaped my life as a mother, and Postpartum Progress has played a large role.”
Postpartum Progress’ Warrior Mom logo “depicts a strong woman who does the best she can to care for herself and her baby, protecting them both by fighting her illness with treatment and support from others.” Knowing that a warrior mom is exactly what she is, Lucy headed to the tattoo parlor with two of her closest girlfriends to ink the logo on her permanently.
“I look at my wrist at my Warrior Mom (who I’ve since learned is upside-down in tattoo world, but is right-side up to me!) and think, That’s me. That’s me, and that little baby represents my children. And that shield is everything I have chosen to do to protect myself. Every hard day I survived, every time I went through the drive-thru because it was better than not eating at all. Every time I cried in the bathroom so my kids wouldn’t see and think they had done something wrong. Every chicken nugget I popped in the oven, every hour of television I let them watch. It’s me, surviving. It’s me, powering through. It’s me doing everything it takes to stay here, day after day, and push through the bad days for the sake of the good moments. And I will never stop fighting.”