My Story: I was in bliss those first few days, and then the storm came.

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I didn't think I had postpartum depression until my sister noticed it. It hit me out of nowhere. My pregnancy was pretty uneventful. I passed all my tests and my baby was doing so well. I had pretty bad morning sickness and my feet swelled up like a balloon but I figured it was all normal. I thought my delivery would be pretty uneventful too.

Boy, was I wrong. 

I completed my non-stress test where the nurse determined there was no fluid surrounding my baby. They sent me straight to labor and delivery. I didn't even have my hospital bag with me. My partner was at work, so my sister stayed with me. On top of all this, my mom was in a coma on the floor right above me. "This is nuts" I remember thinking. The surrealism of it all was amazing.

After ten hours of excruciating but non-active labor, my doctors deemed my cervix unfavorable. Not to be outdone, my baby's heart rate dipped dangerously low more than once because his neck would be pushed against the umbilical cord after each contraction....emergency c-section it was.

I remember being extremely scared.

Aside from my tonsillectomy when I was 5, I never had any major surgery like this. 10 minutes after the curtain went up, my beautiful baby was born. I was afraid to hold him since I was shaking due to nerves, but eventually I calmed down and I nursed him and cuddled him for what felt like forever. He was so perfect. He hardly cried. He just stared and stared at me and looked all over the room. He had extraordinary neck control for being a few hours old.

I was in bliss those first few days...and then the storm came. 

I was in pain, and my baby was having latch issues so some frustration brewed from that. However, the icing on the cake was when my partner went back to work a couple days after I came home from the hospital. I don't know why, but I felt totally and completely abandoned and helpless.

This was my first child. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I needed help, but felt like I wasn't getting any from my partner. A couple weeks after my baby was born, I felt unattached. I would look at him and think he was a cute baby, but the connection of mother and son wasn't quite made yet. My partner and I were viciously fighting. My mother lost her battle with breast cancer. I was an emotional wreck.

I remember nursing my baby while sobbing. It was not the happy time I had envisioned for myself. My chest became heavy, like something was sitting on me. I didn't care about anything. I felt like a robot, just going through the motions. I was pushing away my partner, and I had no idea why, because lord knows I needed him.

After I confessed my feelings to my sister, she mentioned postpartum depression. After that, everything clicked. It's been three months since I brought my baby home. I still get frustrated from time to time, and I still have nagging doubts lingering in my mind about my abilities as a mother. But I now realize that what I'm feeling is very real and honest.

So I let myself have my moments, then go right back into being a mom to a beautiful baby boy. Motherhood has been the hardest journey of my life. But I've learned to seek help when I need it, even if it's just asking my partner to take the baby for an hour so I can sneak in a nap. You cannot take care of a baby if you do not take care of yourself too. I'm much happier now that I've started being honest with people and telling others how I feel, which in turn helps me be a better mother to my child. I love my baby. I wouldn't trade in this crazy life of mine for anything.

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