When you’re pregnant you’re warned about postpartum depression and the baby blues. You’re told to seek help and talk to your doctor and partner about it. No one explains what it actually feels like though. You go through the whirlwind of giving birth, or in my case, surviving an emergency cesarean section. We were in the hospital for five days for me to recover. I blame most of my postpartum depression on my c-section. I don’t feel like I gave birth to my son, I feel like someone just handed me a baby. I didn’t see him when he first came out, the curtain was too high. I was the third family member to hold him. I didn’t see him get weighed or see his cord cut. I wasn’t the first person to look into his eyes and absorb the person that he was. By the time I got to do skin to skin and attempt breastfeeding I was in so much pain I couldn’t even enjoy the moments uninterrupted that I did have. Once I got medication I was scared to hold him because I felt drugged and didn’t want to drop him. I didn’t feel an instant connection or overwhelming love. We didn’t bond immediately like everyone talks about. It took months for me to fall in love with James-Madison. I think it was when he could purposefully smile at me, my heart finally exploded with joy and appreciation for him. I have spent almost six months as a stay at home exclusively breastfeeding mother. It is exhausting. I’m in a constant tired state of being. I feel as though I’ve lost who I am as a person within who I am as a mother. Some days I feel myself sinking deeper and deeper into depression. I close myself off, stay introverted, I just want to lay in bed and cry all day. But I can’t. My mood affects my son’s mood and it’s not fair to him to have a mother that stays in bed all day, so I fight myself every morning and I get up and greet the morning. I open all of the curtains and shades and let the sunshine in. We sing and dance in the kitchen for breakfast, we laugh and play as much as possible. I cry to my spouse about how I’m losing control of my life. He doesn’t understand, how could he? He still has freedom to go and hang out with whomever. He goes to work for 12 hours a day. He goes shopping by himself. He plays video games for countless hours. He takes showers and baths without the constant worry of a crying baby. He sleeps peacefully every night through all of the fussing, crying, feedings, and diaper changes. Not much has really changed for him. He didn’t carry our son for 39 weeks. His entire body didn’t grow and stretch for a new life. He didn’t get cut in half to birth our son. He didn’t have 9 weeks of recovery just so he could sit up on his own. He isn’t breastfeeding and pumping and eating lactation cookies and drinking gallons of water to make milk for our son. He’s not home all day for every mood swing, tantrum, upset stomach, diaper explosion. He’s not up at night crying because the baby is crying and he doesn’t know why and he’s so tired but he can’t sleep. I can’t fault my husband for something that he’s not experiencing first hand. Through all of this I have dealt with many different things on my own. We’ve had significant amounts of family drama since our son was born. People have been removed from James-Madisons life before he was even old enough to realize they existed. I’ve learned to love my body fiercely. Thank God for that. I love everything about my postpartum body because honestly it’s the only thing that makes motherhood seem real to me. All of the stretch marks are reminders that I did carry my son and he is mine. I just can’t seem to get out of my funk of crying and dark days. I’m taking medication and it’s helped a lot but really I think I just need other women to relate to. Real women that will express and share the not so glamorous side of postpartum. It’s not all rainbows and baby giggles. Society makes us think that it is, but it isn’t. I’m finally at a point where I love being a mom. I don’t know who I am if I’m not a mother. I just wish that people were more open about the darker side of postpartum.