It was like a storm front in the distance, rumbling and dark, coming this way unstoppably, and my stomach sank to the floor with fear. It was only after that moment that I began to look upon my first year as a parent with 20/20 hindsight: Without a doubt, I’d had postpartum depression and anxiety. I just hadn’t realized it.
Here’s what I’ve learned: Having a baby is like getting a tattoo on your face, because there’s no reversing it, and there’s no way you can really know what living with it will be like. I certainly didn’t want this to be true; I, like many expectant families, attempted to prepare myself by reading a mountain of baby books and parenting manuals. Yet despite my best efforts, I found I was still surprised when a few eventualities came my way during those first months as a Mom. This is what I wish I could’ve told myself when I was suddenly, shockingly, responsible for a new little person.