Vanessa Lachey has written about her struggle with post-partum depression after the birth of her first son, Camden. In a blog post on her website, Lachey details her experience in order to "let you New Moms know you're not the only ones" dealing with the disorder.
After the birth of Camden, Lachey wanted to be the "perfect 'natural' mother" but quickly realized that that ideal was impossible. It was the beginning of a breakdown for the new mother and a struggle to find the balance between the "ideal" and reality.
"Tears were rolling down my cheeks. My hopes and dreams of being the perfect 'natural' mother were shattered. I know this sounds so dramatic, but that's how you think in these moments. Everything is so heightened," Lachey wrote less than 24 hours after Camden was born.
Lachey recognized that the "baby blues" had set in two weeks later after feeding her son. Even though Lachey was surrounded by friends and family, there was one person missing: her own mother.
"I never thought a mother who hasn't been there for me over the last 13 years would come back haunting me when I was at my lowest moment. I think it's just fear… The fear of not knowing what I'm doing. The fear of 'messing up' this little boy. No matter how many books you read, NOTHING prepares you better than the real thing. I felt lost, unloved, alone and at my wits end," Lachey wrote.
Eventually Lachey realized that she needed to take a step back from motherhood and simply accept things they way that they were. She learned to accept that they would never be perfect but would be manageable and could be enjoyable.
"We need to know that it's okay if we don't have that perfect post-pregnancy glow and the body to go with it that we thought we'd have. It's okay if we can't do it ALL because… we have already done so much! I needed to remember that hormones have a mind of their own, and I couldn't allow that to anchor in my thoughts," she noted.
"I hope you realize it's important to take time for you, and never lose track of yourself. YOU are what makes this life beautiful and unique. Don't lose the ME in life," Lachey concluded.