When Alanis Morissette gave birth to her third child Winter Mercy Morissette-Treadway on 8 August she shared her excitement with fans, but she also spoke of being prepared for things to take a difficult turn.
Baby number three
Chatting to Self magazine earlier this year (then pregnant with Winter) she explained that she was on high alert for PND this time around and that she would not waste a moment getting help if she found herself suffering.
“This time I’m going to wait four minutes [to seek treatment],” she told Self.
“I have said to my friends, ‘I want you to not necessarily go by the words I’m saying and as best as I can, I’ll try to be honest, but I can’t personally rely on the degree of honesty if I reference the last two experiences.’”
“I have been here before”
This time, it turns out, the same symptoms have descended, as with her previous babies. The now mum-of-three has gone into lots of detail about what she’s battling on her personal blog.
“Sleep deprivation, fogginess, physical pain, isolation, anxiety, cortisol,” she wrote in an almost stream of consciousness post about what she’s going through right now.
“I wasn’t sure if I would have postpartum depression/anxiety this time around. Or, as I like to call it: postpartum activity. Or also: postpartum tar-drenched trenches.”
“There are so many tentacles to this experience. I will break them down in time, I have answers and protocols and solutions … to be sure. I’ll share more specifics once I have my wits back about me.”
“I have been here before,” Alanis writes. “I know there is another side. And the other side is greater than my PPD-riddled-temporarily-adjusted-brain could have ever imagined: as a mom. As an artist, as a wife, as a friend, as a collaborator, as a leader, as a boss, as an activist.”
“I saw how things got richer after I came through it the last two times. I have my eye on that prize again …even as I drag my ass through the molasses.”
“A sneaky monkey with a machete”
Her best-laid plans are paying off, but seeking support has mostly just softened the blow, rather than eliminated it.
“There is so much more support this time,” Alanis explains. “I knew better so I set it up to win as much as I could beforehand.”
“Support, food, friends, sun, bio-identical hormones and SSRI’s at the ready. Some parts of the care-prep has been a godsend, and well-planned. but for all of this preparation – PPD is still a sneaky monkey with a machete – working its way through my psyche and body and days and thoughts and blood work levels.”
Writing a little more about how vital it is to honour and care for mothers and new parents in general, Alanis signed off with a message for parents who are feeling out of their depth.
“I won’t remember typing this. And I am finally realising that that is entirely ok. So much more to write, soon. I love you. I am here. with you. We’re not alone.”
If you – or someone you know – are expecting a baby or have recently become a parent, and are finding things super-tough, please get in touch with PANDA. They’re on standby, ready to support mums and dads through difficult times.