GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - A Belmont couple is in the middle of a 50-mile swim across Lake Michigan to raise awareness of postpartum depression.
Sarah and Jeff Tow departed from Two Rivers, Wisconsin Tuesday morning.
Postpartum depression is a condition millions of people suffer from every year. For Nathan and Lesley Jaruzel of Grand Rapids, the battle began in 2004. Lesley says she wasn't feeling right.
"When I was standing over the sink, I burst out into tears and couldn't stop crying. For me, that was my biggest symptom."
It was three months after the birth of their first son. He had been in the neonatal unit and Lesley was obsessed with his health. "So, when we brought him home, I was constantly worried. Was he breathing? Was he OK? So, I wasn't sleeping."
Lesley was prescribed medication and sought help from a postpartum support group.
"I realized that going to that group, that they weren't my thoughts, it was the postpartum depression and chemical imbalance in my brain."
As she was learning about her condition, she met Sarah Tow. Sarah and her husband Jeff both suffered from postpartum depression, a condition that can affect men.
"So, it can be stressful for a dad. Add onto that, lack of sleep, and it affects marriage. It's hard to redefine those lines too."
The Tows are spreading the word about female and male postpartum depression. They formed an organization called "Through the Blue". They're swimming across Lake Michigan.
"We want to show people that you can get through it. There's land in sight. You can get on shore and get back to you're normal self," says Jeff.
They hope to arrive in Ludington Wednesday afternoon or evening.
You can track the couple's progress and learn more about postpartum depression on their website. You can read more by clicking on the website throughtheblue.org.