OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — For Jamie Spence, moments with family are truly precious because there was a time when she didn’t think she would see them.

In 2017, life seemed picture perfect. She and her husband Kevin were expecting two bundles of joy.

“My babies and I were healthy the entire way through,” she said.

Spence gave birth to fraternal twin boys, Eli and Ellison.

“When I heard my babies cry that was the most joyful sound that I had ever heard, and then after that, everything went downhill,” Spence said.

Spence said she had difficulty staying awake and breastfeeding.

“I just noticed I would start crying at nothing,” she said. “Anything would set me off. It would often be a commercial, silence.”

But her symptoms got worse, and postpartum depression took Spence to a dark world.

“It’s like being in the eye of a storm or something. I don’t know how to describe that I just know how painful it was,” she said.

Nearly four months after giving birth, Spence said she suffered long enough. She reached out to her doctor for help. He put her in contact with someone to start counseling.

Today, life is good with her boys. She found a light.

Since that pregnancy and the resulting postpartum depression, Spence has been using what she calls an unintentional platform to inspire a movement.

She’s a mom ambassador through 2020 Mom, a national advocacy group with a mission to close gaps in maternal health care.

“I do it out of love,” Spence said. “I want for as many people to know as possible that there is treatment for this, and it’s going to be OK. It’s OK.”

She’s currently the lead counselor through the National Maternal Mental Health Hotline. This hotline, which Spence helped create, launched in early 2022, and it’s the first of its kind, providing free and confidential maternal mental health support and resources.

“Everyone deserves mental wellness. It’s not a luxury,” Spence said.

This year, Spence has started her new journey to become a maternal health nurse practitioner with the dream of expanding maternal mental health care in Missouri.

“I’m just one person, but I really hope that my practice is centered around the perinatal health and concerns,” she said.

She’s just a hard-working mom, trying to help other moms, but her story and her mission resonates with so many.

“I feel like a needle in a haystack and, for a lack of a better analogy, I know that there’s lot of other needles out there,” she said.

And for that, Jamie Spence is a remarkable woman.