Singer Alanis Morissette is as real as celebs come in Hollywood. You wouldn't expect anything less from the singer who brought the Jagged Little Pill album into our lives. So when the Grammy award winner sat down in an interview with Self magazine to discuss being pregnant at 45, unsurprisingly, she didn't hold back.
The third mom-to-be talked about all things related to pregnancy, including her struggles to conceive and postpartum depression. Here's what we learned.
How She Found Grace After Miscarriages
The singer opened up that she and her husband, Mario "Souleye" Treadway, had experienced miscarriages along their journey to becoming parents (They are now parents to daughter Onyx Solace, 3, and son Ever Imre, 8½.)
"Between Ever and Onyx there were some false starts,” Morissette tells the magazine. “I always wanted to have three kids, and then I’ve had some challenges and some miscarriages so I just didn’t think it was possible.”
According to Mayo Clinic, about 10 to 20 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage. However, because many miscarriages occur so early in pregnancy that a woman doesn't realize she's pregnant, that number is likely higher.
Age is also a factor. Women above the age of 35 have a higher risk of miscarriage than do younger women. At age 35, you have about a 20 percent risk. At age 40, the risk is about 40 percent. And at age 45, Morissette's age, it's about 80 percent.
“I chased and prayed for pregnancy and learned so much about my body and biochemistry and immunity and gynecology through the process," the star shared, adding she felt "so much grief and fear" about expanding her family. "It was a torturous learning and loss-filled and persevering process.”
How She Coped With Postpartum Depression
The star revealed that she experienced postpartum depression after giving birth to both of her children.
“I would just wake up and feel like I was covered in tar and it wasn’t the first time I’d experienced depression so I just thought, ‘Oh, well, this feels familiar, I’m depressed, I think,’ ” she recalled of her first experience. “And then simultaneously, my personal history of depression where it was so normalized for me to be in the quicksand, as I call it, or in the tar. It does feel like tar, like everything feels heavy.”
While she's prepared to to endure it again, she shared that she will do it differently this time -- by asking for more support, sooner.
The "Ironic" singer admitted she waited 16 months after her son was born to ask for help, and four months after she gave birth to her daughter. Now, she says, she will wait "four minutes."
Morissette shared that she's told her 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.”
This time around, in addition to her friends, Morissette will rely on the help of her doctor and midwife.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), mothers with postpartum depression experience feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion, which is the result of hormonal changes, emotional, and physical changes that occur after childbirth.
For treatment, the NIMH recommends therapy and counselling, and advises friends and family who might recognize symptoms to offer emotional support, suggest seeing a professional, and assist with daily tasks such as caring for the baby or the home.
How She Restores Herself as a Highly Sensitive Person
For Morissette, who calls herself a "highly sensitive person," alone time is crucial despite being a wife and mother, and, of course, global star.
"Extroverts restore, in theory, with people, and introverts restore alone—so for me, one of the biggest questions with me having two or three kids, was where is that solitude? How and where?”
For Morissette that means getting "creative" finding solace in a hotel room or a bathroom stall. "Whatever I need to do to create this. It’s not anyone else’s job to be responsible for my temperament," she said. "Maybe pin-drop silence right now is the key. Or it might be hey, being pure presence with my daughter right now is the key. Or right now crying is the key. Fucking binge-watching a TV show is key.”
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