Dana Schwartz is a writer living in New Hope, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children. She has published short stories in several literary journals and was a contributor to The HerStories Project on female friendship. Her essays appear regularly online and she writes about the creative process and motherhood on her blog, Writing at the Table. She is currently working on a novel.
“‘Afterbirth‘” is my belated realization that the emotional pain and depression I struggled with after my daughter’s birth was not normal. I suffered in silence for years because I thought my pain wasn’t bad enough to warrant help. So I joined every mother’s group I could except for the one I really needed. This essay is an acknowledgment and apology to myself, and to other women who have gone through this painful journey alone.”
“I almost didn’t write about this experience. I still believed the lie, which was that my problems were not worthy of help or complaint. Then a few days before the deadline I decided to reread the guidelines, and the title struck a nerve. Mothering through the darkness was exactly how I felt during those dark, difficult years of new motherhood. I cried while I wrote because telling my story also helped me heal.”