Meet The Maker

In my natural habitat, in my basement, in a nursing tank, hair in a bun, absolutely no make-up, sporting the worst chapped lips, wearing my leopard print apple watch.

Hi, my name is Joanna. For the sake of getting to know me, my middle name is Marie and my last name is Livingston. I’ve been married to my “college sweetheart” for 5 years this October. I am, mostly, a stay at home mother to our beautiful babies, William 2.5 years, and Lillyanna 5.5 months. I say mostly because I am still working PRN hours as an RN at a hospital here, in Kansas City. I work postpartum and have cared for countless mother/baby couplets over the last 3.5 years. I graduated Nursing School in 2013 and practiced in Nephrology and Oncology prior to making the switch to Mother/Baby. I have loved (most of) it. What I enjoy the least is leaving my babies behind. Being diagnosed with postpartum depression and anxiety was the turning point in my life that lit a fire under my a$$ to make SERIOUS changes for not only myself and my mental health but for the health of our family. My children deserve the best version of me and I was not capable of being who they needed when I was suffering and depriving myself of who I truly am.

Just a few months ago I was suffering from postpartum depression and anxiety for the second time only it was the very first time I actually spoke up about it, got help, and started seeing a therapist and psychiatrist regularly. I wasn’t able to eat, suffering from extreme anorexia, a symptom of postpartum depression and anxiety, not the eating disorder known as anorexia nervosa. Along with not eating I was, I was experiencing irrational fears. Unable to sleep because the thought of waking up to either one of my babies not breathing haunted my mind. I constantly worried my son would be struck by a car or would choke while he was eating. My physical body was vibrating with angst. I NEVER CRIED! Please, if you hear nothing else, please here this. Depression and anxiety are different for everyone.

I’ve been on an antidepressant since the diagnoses and I have never been happier in my entire life. I have no shame in needing extra assistance. (I know I won’t be everyone’s cup of tea and those of you who believe I could have remedied myself with placental capsules or essential oils can check your attitude at the door. I am a firm believer in modern medicine and I really don’t want to have that debate here.) I write about it now in hopes that I can help even one mother out there who will read my story and in this moment she is in she will realize that her rock bottom is only the beginning of her journey to the top. I recently wrote on Instagram about how it is important to take the rest and relax when you need it instead of pushing hard to feel something you aren’t feeling right now. It is okay to not feel creative. It is okay to feel sad. Whatever it is you’re feeling just FEEL it. Keep yourself present by feeling whatever it is and just know that no, it won’t last forever and yes, it sucks now but it won’t later. That is the attitude that helped turn my fears and dread into fulfilling my dreams.

I have a lot to offer and I am ready for everything that is ahead. I am an experienced resin artist, Cricut Maker crafter, content creator, and above all a STUDENT of arts and crafts. It is my pleasure to open myself up to you, learn with you, and guide you on your crafting journey. Thank you for being a part of my community of crafters. We are so much stronger together than we ever could be apart. Community over competition is the very motto that rung in my ear for the weeks leading up to me publishing this first blog post. Thank you for joining me on this adventure.