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It only took three days after my daughter was born for me to realize something was very wrong—not with her, but with me.

I'd find myself going about my day to then be consumed with anxiety, fear, and stress. I feared never being enough for my husband and my daughter.  I stressed nothing would ever get better.  I wanted to be the perfect mom - have life in order. I wanted things to run smoothly. I wanted to be able to count on something. But when you're raising kids, you can have the best-laid plans and they might all go awry. I learned to stop trying to get parenting right and be more in the moment, to accept that things go wrong and that the only thing stopping me from being that perfect mom to her was me.  Her looking up at me and smiling I realized she didn't care about this loose skin, extra pounds, or stretch marks.

Without the struggle and the darkness, I don’t think I could ever appreciate the fullness of the love I am experiencing now. I wouldn’t understand how beautiful and blessed an average day can be. Without my postpartum depression, I don’t think I would be as good of a parent as I am now. It has made me strive to be better, as if making up for lost time.

I can’t undo the past. I will never get those first months of my daughter’s life back. But I wouldn’t change my story for anyone else’s. I have come to realize that my relationship with my daughter is not diminished by my battle with postpartum depression. Ours is simply a love story with a rocky start. Aren’t those are always the best love stories anyway?