Mothering Through the Darkness: An Anthology


Mothering Through the Darkness


By Estelle Erasmus

In this big, wide world of writing and blogging and writing again, there are a lot of people trying new roles on.

Sure, I can create and edit an anthology, says one person.

Sure, I can build a team of writers and edit them beautifully, says another.

Of course, I’m an influencer, so I know how to execute a project, says another.

The truth is, it’s difficult to put together a credible, reputable and successful  anthology.

Cooking up an anthology is a fine mix, of skill and craft and a blend of the right people with the right message and the right amount of pathos, humor and solid information. Mixed all together and stirred with fine-tuned editing, the result can be magic.

That magic is the gift of Stephanie Sprenger and Jessica Smock, the talented duo behind The HerStories Project. I had the pleasure of being a contributor to their last anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends, and it was such a fantastic experience that I couldn’t wait to submit to the juicy, tome, Mothering Through the Darkness: Women Open Up About the Postpartum Experience, which covers postpartum and other pregnancy related depression stories and will be published by SheWrites Press later this year.

Stephanie and Jessica had the truly Herculean task of sorting through 220 essays to cull them down to the 35 that are being published in the book.

I’m so honored that my essay was selected as one of them. I’m thrilled  to be in the company of so many fabulous writers (please read their amazing bios).

My story, “The Savage Sound of My Birthright Blues” covers the antepartum depression I faced; mostly when I had prepared for postpartum depression as my genetic destiny.

As I say on the Contributor Page for the book.

 “My essay is about antepartum depression, which strikes between 14 to 23 percent of women during their pregnancy, mainly in the third trimester of pregnancy. Because my mother had suffered from postpartum depression, I was prepared for that, but was caught unaware by the antepartum depression, which appeared out of the blue, in the midst of my difficult pregnancy, and which took all of my resources to fight once I realized what it was.

Antepartum depression can come on suddenly, and with no warning … despite your best efforts you are powerless in the face of it and can not fight it alone–it literally takes a village– it did in my case. I wanted women to realize that birthright is not destiny.

I had the help of a doula to provide healing feminine energy; she steered me in the right direction on my diet and exercise (which all affects mental health) and I was eventually able to speak to my partner to get the emotional support I needed.”

I hope that through reading my story and the stories of the other contributors, women entering the new (or well-traveled) terrain of motherhood will feel that they are not alone; that they can build the  village that will support them when they need it most.

We are all in this crazy world of motherhood together. Let’s keep the conversation going.

For more info, visit HerStoriesProject 


9 thoughts on “Mothering Through the Darkness: An Anthology”

  1. wow how exciting for you to be published! Many congrats to you!! I’m looking forward to reading it. I know someone who suffered from postpartum and it was hell for her. You must feel so honored to be able to help those in similar situations.

  2. I had never heard of this before but it sounds exactly like what my daughter went through when she was pregnant with her twins. I wish I had been more aware of what she was going through I thought it only happened after pregnancy!

  3. Congratulations on another very valuable anthology for women. I never heard of this and I have been pregnant six times and have three daughters that have been each pregnant three times. I am guessing at least two of my daughters had antepartum depression and we just had no name for it.

  4. Congratulations on having your essay published. I’m sure it was both difficult and cathartic to recount your painful experiences. Can’t wait to read it – the entire anthology sounds wonderful!

    1. Thanks so much Sheryl. It was very cathartic to write it (theme of this year, I think). I can’t wait to read all the other stories. Thanks so much for your support.

  5. I did not realize there is such a thing as antepartum depression, and I’m sure I am not alone in that. This is certainly needed, to let women know there is a name for it. It is real. Glad you were included in the anthology.

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