Hope in the Dark Design Inspiration

Our newest exclusive, Hope in the Dark, was designed by a mama that shares her personal experience through her design. We were so touched when we read her design inspiration and admire her so much for stepping out and sharing her story with others!

Her story.......

"I try to be open and honest and upfront about my journey through postpartum depression. When I was diagnosed I just kept thinking I was broken, that this didn't happen to "people like me". I am a university grad, with a post graduate degree and mother to three. I attend church and am active in my community. Nice people don't get depressed...until they do.

My wrap design is a visual depiction of this. My favorite colour is red so it begins that way. Like every colouring book rainbow the edge of the wrap is typical, normal, everyday, rainbow starting red. It is a happy colour. It slowly makes the transition through the colours of the rainbow and this symbolizes a much hoped for pregnancy. At the end of the rainbow, where there should be light and joy at the birth of a child, there is only darkness.

If you have never had a journey through the darkness let me share some of my struggle. It is as if life has become a black and white picture. All the joy and happiness gets sucked out of life and everything turns shades of grey. You get up every morning and go through the motions, existing, surviving, but not living. Some days it feels as if the air is made of pudding. You spend your day struggling through the smallest things and end up so very exhausted. There are days all you want to do is sleep, but know that lying in bed will just cause your thoughts to churn and sleep to slip through your grasp. The voices in your head whisper terrible, awful things and eventually you start to believe them. You're a bad mother, you're un-loveable, you can't even keep the house clean, you're a burden to your husband... and then the visions. Violent, vicious daydreams that come unbidden, like short horror films you're being forced to watch. In the darkest moments the voices taunt me and whisper that the struggle could go away. That really my children would be better off...

Luckily my family and doctor recognized my struggle and saw through the fake smile I pasted on every day. It took over a year but I got help. I fought against medication fearing it would fix things too much, like when someone turns the saturation up too high on a picture. I didn't want to live my life on an artificial high knowing the emotions I was feeling weren't genuine. When I finally relented it was more like someone put training wheels on my life. I still wobbled and fell every so often but it wasn't a daily cycle of wiping out and trying to pick myself back up and try to keep living.

Slowly the darkness has faded and my life is returning to what it was before. Like in the wrap the black becomes lighter and lighter and eventually a shade of pink. It isn't quite the normal of before but I am getting close. Things will never be the same because the experience has changed me. My wrap is called "Hope in the Dark". After almost 3 years (and another baby) I am on the mend. For the first time in almost 3 years, I feel like myself...most of the time. Thank you for allowing me to share my story. As mothers and women we need to bring this issue to the forefront. The more we talk the smaller the stigma gets. It can hit anyone, anytime, anywhere. And the hardest thing in the world is to ask for help...

-Jen Parliament