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Meet our Family

Surprisingly Surviving MJ Self-Care Essentials was birthed from a very difficult struggle with postpartum depression. My husband and I married young at just 21 and were so excited when we found out we were enlarging our family 2 years later. What we didn't expect was a very high risk pregnancy that would take a toll on my health, our finances and our lives.

​​What should have been one of the most joyous times of our life was filled with fear, pain, and depression. During my pregnancy, I suffered from hyperemesis which resulted in 32 pounds of weight loss, severe dehydration, hospitalization, severe constipation, a catheter insert and an at home nurse. It also meant that for the first time in our marriage, we only had one income. 

​I'd hoped that things would change when our little MJ (Marshall Jr.) came home but things actually got worse. I struggled to cope with becoming a new mom, wondering if I was doing everything right and having thoughts that made me feel like an unfit mother and a terrible human being.

Fearful of sharing my feeling with others, I spent many days and nights crying and praying. While mentally and spiritually I was struggling, financially our little family was falling apart. Hospitalizations, bills, and MJ's birth meant we were behind on the mortgage, had maxed out credit cards, and little to no money in the bank. 

So one day I decided to start making candles out of baby food jars. And that was the beginning of Surviving MJ Self-Care Essentials.

While depression and financial struggles still reigned most days, I found small pockets of hope when I sold a candle. It meant I was doing something right, I was a good mother, I was innovative and determined and those reminders were sometimes all I could hold on to. I am grateful that now I can look back and see that that pain birthed something so beautiful in my life.

My mission is to encourage other women. To help them prioritize themselves so that can get to the beauty on the other side of their darkness. And everyday I feel fortunate to be able to use my story as a light for other women.

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