No matter how much help you have from your mother, or your nanny, or your sister, you are the only one sitting in adult diaper with a baby in your arms. You are the only one with nipples that feel like razor blades.
What’s worse than these feelings themselves is the guilt we, as mothers, are made to feel for feeling them in the first place. There is seemly no middle ground: women are either bubbly new mothers who are nothing short of obsessed with their bundle of joy, or they are suffering from postpartum depression.
These two types of responses to new motherhood are real.
But there are a whole lot of us who are living somewhere in the middle, longing for the safe space and words to express these complicated feelings. It is not depression. It is reaction.
I was too embarrassed to tell a single soul that I wasn’t the over the moon, picture perfect new mother I was supposed to be.
But that is the problem.
We have to start talking about the in-between moments. We need those Instagram posts to reflect the whole picture, because looking at those feeds full of “perfection” can be tough.
But these platforms also have the power to bring us together. When we tell our stories — the full, unfiltered versions — more people hear them. They learn they are not alone.
With the help of March of Dimes, an organization working to improve the health of mothers and babies, I shared my #UnspokenStory.
Now it’s your turn.
NBC News BETTER wants you to share your #UnspokenStories. We’ll be highlighting selected responses on our social channels without sharing your name.