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Sadie Robertson is sharing her experience with postpartum anxiety after giving birth to her first baby.
The Duck Dynasty alum, 24, welcomed daughter Honey James with husband Christian Huff on May 11. In a new episode of her Whoa That's Good podcast, Robertson opens up about her mental health journey since becoming a new mom. She says directly after giving birth, she was "honestly on cloud nine" and "didn't even really know that I was about to enter this really big healing process to come."
After recalling intense pain she felt for about a month after giving birth, Robertson spoke about how her faith carried her through. She then addressed the postpartum anxiety she has struggled with.
"What it kinda looked like for me was, honestly I have struggled with anxiety for years ... I'm constantly trying to fight fear in my life," she says. "But whenever I have hurt and I was going through that postpartum, it was so many emotions happening that I couldn't really fight the fear like I normally do. All of a sudden I was just in a state of anxiety. I didn't even realize it was creeping up as much as it was."
Robertson says because of the labor she and her newborn went through — she recently described it as "very scary and really dangerous" — her "mind kept going into the 'what if this would have happened? What if it did last one more minute and she didn't make it?' "
"All these what-ifs," she said, adding that she was concerned something would be "wrong" with herself or her baby girl. "That is such a toxic brain spiral to go through that it will manifest itself in some way. And for me, that was extreme anxiety."
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Robertson says she would get jittery, sometimes feeling chest tightness and difficulty breathing because of the anxiety, and she says she "didn't tell anybody I was going through that."
"I didn't understand how I could be so happy and so joyful [to have a baby] but also experience so much fear," she explains, adding that she realized the two feelings can exist "hand in hand" together.
"The reason I was so fearful is because I loved her so much," adds Robertson. "... I was so happy to get to be her mom. However, just because it makes rational sense that I had some fear doesn't mean that that's something I needed to live with."
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When her husband found her crying one day, she told him she was "so scared something's gonna happen to her," Robertson recalls in the podcast video, getting emotional over the thought. "It was so real," she says.
Robertson eventually called a doctor she'd gone to in the past to work through anxiety, who told her to stop thinking in what-ifs and instead remind herself that those things did not happen: "Override that fear with gratitude." She found out that Huff was going through similar stress as a new parent.
"We both needed to open up about it," she says, adding that it was good to "talk it out."
Robertson announced the arrival of Honey a day after her baby was born by sharing photos from the hospital. "We saw a million little miracles yesterday - the best one being this girl right here... Honey 💛," Robertson captioned the photos on Instagram. "The pure goodness of God. story to come, but I'm way too occupied right now by cuteness."
If you or someone you know needs mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.