About

The Coconut Girl is Whitney Morrill, an architect, writer, and mother of two. I have a special interest in mothers with new babies, whom I feel are an under-supported demographic in our culture. This blog aims to offer them, and all readers, equal doses of understanding, humor and utility as bent through the prism of my wack creative offerings.

My writing has appeared in Slate, Inform, The Courier Journal, and Streetlight. I’ve written and illustrated a fictional book about architecture, and am currently working on a novel entitled But if She Knew, She Forgot. An excerpt from the novel, “Teardrop Opening,” won a short fiction award from the Charlottesville Writing Center and was broadcast on WMRA, the regional affiliate of National Public Radio. TheCoconutGirl.com was the Blog of the Week on WCAV-CBS 19, and was featured in C-ville Weekly.

Coconut Girl, n. A mom with a new baby.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Katherine Stone September 23, 2009 at 5:51 pm

Welcome to the club! Glad you’re here! Can’t wait to read more!

the Coconut Girl September 23, 2009 at 7:04 pm

Thanks, Katherine, for this and for all you do.

Wendy September 23, 2009 at 11:02 pm

Thank you for this great writing and for a completely perfect video that i will be sharing with many women. I made up so many songs, singing my way through the long days and nights of postpartum depression. The melodies were sweet, the words could be whatever i needed….My son, now 15, really is very musical and has a gift for catching tunes. Maybe all that singing….

Ashley Nelson September 24, 2009 at 5:36 am

LOVE this and LOVE you!

Ellie September 25, 2009 at 4:02 am

Hey Whitney,
Lovely site! Erin forwarded it to me. So glad you’re doing this. The funny thing is, I took this fantasy literally–but instead of the Coconut Girl, I became the Golden Papaya.
And life with a babe is still no vacation, although at least this time around, I haven’t had any symptoms of PPD.
Will definitely be following, though.
Hope things are going well with you!

helen September 25, 2009 at 4:50 am

welcome! i too am a mom (of two), gracefully overcoming severe PPD, and i am also an architect.!

Leah September 25, 2009 at 9:11 am

Whitney,
I, too, shared in the unexpected event of PPD, however, as I learned later, this affects every woman differently. I was too scared to sleep, put my child down, take a shower without the baby sitting on the bathroom floor, shower door open, and only taking enough time to wash those parts that tend to offend after a while. I couldn’t sleep, eat, bathe or go grocery shopping with my child. I was too afraid to drive, thinking all the time that I would run off the road into a lake (I live near no lakes) and I would be unable to get my child out of the car and have to live with the knowledge that I had let my child drown. When the situation got so bad that I started having hallucinations I called the doctor and told her what I was experiencing. I was in denial that there was anything wrong other than just caring so deeply for my child that I was having a mild case of anxiety (I lost 15 lbs. in 4 days) and that was it. If someone had mentioned PPD I would never have spoken to them again and they would have found themselves on the wrong end of a speech about all the sacrifice I was making for a child.
The baby got colicky then she got whooping cough then a yeast infection….I knew I was doing something wrong. I honestly cannot remember what finally got me through it…I think once I went back to work (a day that started, continued and ended in continous sobbing) things started to settle down. The baby finally fell into a schedule, as did I. I wouldn’t consider myself a coconut girl, looking back. More like an eggplant. Thank you for sharing your story. Moms out there should know that new motherhood can be very challenging and scary as hell. I know, however, that today I am a stronger woman and care more for my children than anyone else. I look back to that time as my trial in fire….I came out not unscathed, but burnt and still stinging. The sting fades after a while, but the gray hairs and the crows feet don’t; the knowledge that you have survived and can one day pass that knowledge on to your daughter (whom you love more than anything) is your reward. Good luck and thank you for sharing your story.

amy September 28, 2009 at 10:50 am

Thank you so much for sharing……..you give me hope :)

cassidy October 1, 2009 at 12:48 pm

These are the reasons my friend and I created our service helping moms out. Not only do we want to help with daily tasks but also be there for emotional support and presence. Since we both went through the ups and downs of new mamahood we knew that a key ingredient to getting through is the presence of other supportive moms…

Carol October 6, 2009 at 3:28 pm

Thanks so much for starting this web site. I had my first child without local support, and I wish I’d had a resource like this at the time. (Madison mothers: Cassidy’s service has helped our family in great ways.)

Tammy Lurding Maddrey December 19, 2009 at 3:46 pm

Whitney, it was very touching to read your story and I am so glad you received the love and support you so needed. Susan and I were just emailing yesterday that we have reached the age of divorce for many of our friends and it is so nice to see that you and your marriage survived this very difficult time. It is so hard to give to others when your cup is so desperately empty. I’m so glad you were able to fill it up again! Lots of love,
Tammy

Kerri May 2, 2010 at 11:53 pm

How about that? I’m a Coconut Girl again at 41! That is so cool! I am really enjoying your writing. Your words paint vivid pictures in my mind, reminding me of places I’ve been and introducing me to places I’ve yet to see. Thanks for sharing your gift!

the Coconut Girl May 4, 2010 at 8:07 am

I’m so grateful to you all for your comments and support.

bratfree June 30, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Postpartum depression is buyer’s remorse, you breeder pig-cow.

the Coconut Girl July 1, 2013 at 4:46 am

Dear Bratfree,
I can’t speak for breeder-pig-cows, but if their PPD is like that of human beings, it’s not so much remorse as it is temporary transition adjustment and physiological tumult. The Mayo Clinic’s brief is helpful: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/postpartum-depression/DS00546/DSECTION=causes

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