Sadie Robertson’s postpartum journey hasn’t been easy. On the latest episode of her WHOA That’s Good podcast, the 24-year-old reality star opened up about how she’s felt since giving birth. Robertson and her husband, Christian Huff, welcomed their daughter, Honey, on May 11.
Bringing Honey into the world “didn’t all go quite as planned,” as there were complications during her delivery. While Robertson didn’t realize how those complications affected her body in the hospital, something she referred to as “false confidence” due to both pain medication and helpful nurses, that all changed when she got home.
“I was in more pain than I’d ever been in, honestly, in my whole life. For real,” she said. “… I just laid on the couch and I started crying so hard… I could not stop crying.”
Robertson noted that it took a month until she stopped being “in really, really bad” physical pain. At the same time, though, she was dealing with emotional troubles, including fear and anxiety.
While Robertson has dealt with anxiety for years, it became even worse postpartum.
“I’m constantly trying to fight fear in my life,” she said. “… Postpartum, it was so many emotions happening that I couldn’t really fight the fear like I normally do. All of the sudden I was in a state of anxiety. I didn’t even realize that it was creeping up as much as it was.”
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Due to the complications at the hospital, Robertson said she began asking herself questions that led her down a dark path.
“My mind kept going into the, ‘What if this would’ve happened? What if it did last one more minute and she didn’t make it? What if… neither one of us made it? What if I lost too much blood? What if when they pushed on my stomach they actually severely damaged something internally and I don’t even know I’m bleeding? What if the oxygen actually did get cut off for too long and she has brain damage?’ All of these what ifs,” she explained.
Those questions led her to even more concerns, as she began asking herself, “Is she really OK? Did she really make it through that? Did I really make it through that? Is there something wrong with me? Is there something wrong with her?'”
Robertson said that all of the thoughts swirling around her head became “such a toxic brain spiral” that led to “extreme anxiety.”
“I didn’t even realize that those thoughts throughout the day were making me jittery, were making me have all the feelings of anxiety, were making my chest feel super tight and like I couldn’t breathe,” she said.
Amid her struggles, Robertson didn’t tell anybody about what she she was going through.
“The reason I didn’t is because I was so happy that I was her mom. I was so joyful. I was so blown away by the miracles. I didn’t understand how I could be so happy and so joyful, but also experience so much fear,” she explained. “You don’t have to just choose one of those feelings. You don’t have to just choose fear and trade out all the joy. You don’t have to just choose joy and trade out all the fear. They actually kind of go hand-in-hand.”
“The reason why I was so fearful is because I loved her so much. The reason that I even cared if something happened is because I loved her so much and I was so happy to get to be her mom,” Robertson continued. “However, just because it makes rational sense that I had some fear, doesn’t mean that’s something I needed to live with or I needed to soak on.”
Everything came to a head one night, when Robertson was watching a movie with her husband, daughter, mom, and in-laws, and felt the sudden urge to cry.
“I told them all I had to go to the bathroom and I went and I just started crying in my closet,” she recalled. “Christian came in and he was like, ‘What are you doing?’ And I just said, ‘I’m so scared.’ He said, ‘Why?’ And I said, ‘I’m just so scared. I’m scared something’s going to happen to her… I’m so scared she’s not really OK. What if whenever she got stuck the oxygen actually cut off too long? I’m scared that something happened to me and I’m not going to get to be the mom that I want to be to her.'”
It was in that moment that she found that Huff, 23, had been struggling too.
“What was crazy was I didn’t even know he was experiencing fear. He opened up to me and he said, ‘Actually, me too. It’s been hard for me. Watching you be in pain has been hard. When you were in labor it was so hard seeing [that]. That moment was so scary… I was so scared,'” she recalled. “… We both needed to open up about it. We just didn’t want to because we didn’t want to seem like we were ungrateful, but actually it wasn’t that at all. It was that we were so grateful that we didn’t know what to do with these huge emotions.”
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After she began letting people in, Robertson turned to therapy, journaling and her faith to help her through her anxieties.
“Fear was really stealing from the sweetness of the moment at that time, those first two weeks of that miracle I had,” she said. “… I came to this moment with my story where I was like, ‘I can live in fear, yeah. I can sit here and say what if, and what could’ve and what should’ve happened, or I can live like a miracle happened… I can’t explain why I’m OK and why she’s OK, but we both are and I just need to have gratitude and thank God.'”
Robertson noted that “that gratitude that I have in my heart… it just began to shift the fear in my life.”
Now, about two months postpartum, Robertson considers motherhood to be “the greatest honor in my life.”
“It is the greatest joy. It has not been easy by any means. It’s hard, right? But what would be even comparable to the greatest thing ever, the greatest responsibility, and not be hard? It’s supposed to be,” she said. “It’s been the most beautiful journey.”
“I love being Honey James’ mom. I love doing it with Christian. We are a team in it all. I wouldn’t trade it for the world,” Robertson continued. “I can’t wait to see the times to come. I’m thankful for where we’ve been, but I’m very excited for where we’re going and what we’ve learned along the journey.”
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