Former Bachelor contestant Jade Roper has opened up about the postpartum PTSD she suffered after her traumatic at-home labor with her second child.
In 2019, Jade and her Bachelor in Paradise co-star Tanner Tolbert welcomed their second child, a baby boy named Brooks — but their birth story didn’t go as planned, with Jade going into early labor and delivering their son in her bedroom closet.
Now the 34-year-old has confessed to Today that the experience left her suffering for months afterward, explaining: ‘From the second I went into labor until pretty much until I got pregnant with my (second) son Reed, I was dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Candid: Former Bachelor contestant Jade Roper has opened up about the postpartum PTSD she suffered after her traumatic at-home labor with her second child
Surprise! In 2019, she unexpectedly gave birth to her son Brooks in her bedroom closet
‘I thought that he was going to die. I thought I was going to die,’ Jade said, calling it ‘one of the scariest moments of my life’
Jade and her husband, Tanner, married in 2016 and soon welcomed their first child, Emerson. Jade describes it as a ‘great birth’ and says she felt ‘instantly connected.’
So her more dramatic experience delivering her second child, Brooks, on July 29, 2019 ‘really rocked me.
Jade went into labor unexpectedly at 36 weeks, a whole month before her due date — and things progressed so quickly that she ended up giving birth on the floor of the closet in her bedroom.
Video taken by Tanner shows a crying Jade cradling Brooks, clearly overwhelmed as she asks if her son is OK and first responders move around her.
‘When I was giving birth, I had such a precipitous labor I thought something wrong was happening,’ she told Today this week. ‘I thought that he was going to die. I thought I was going to die.’
Writing on Instagram at the time, she added: ‘It was one of the scariest moments of my life because I felt so out of control.
‘And so after that experience, I would have flashbacks,’ she said of giving birth to Brooks (pictured)
A difference: Jade describes her labor with her daughter Emerson as a ‘great birth’ and says she felt ‘instantly connected’
TV fam: She is married to Tanner Talbot, whom she met on Bachelor in Paradise
‘And so after that experience, I would have flashbacks. That we were … not safe. And I would get bouts of dizziness out of nowhere, where it was almost like vertigo. I would have intrusive thoughts that weren’t healthy. It was really intense for me.’
She considered that she might be suffering from postpartum depression or even postpartum psychosis, but had a hunch it was something else.
As it turns out, it was PTSD, which affects nine per cent of of women after childbirth, according to Postpartum Support International.
Most who are diagnosed experience trauma during childbirth, like an unplanned C-section, the use of vacuum extractor or forceps to deliver the baby, feelings of powerlessness during the delivery. Some have babies that end up in the NICU.
Sufferers can experience similar symptoms to depression, as well ‘intrusive re-experiencing of a past traumatic event’ and flashbacks or nightmares. —
They may also be hyper-alert, irritable, anxious, detached, and may avoid stimuli associated with the birth — including the baby itself.
She said: ‘I kept telling myself, “I’m just going to get through it,”‘ she said. ‘”Just one more week and I’ll be better”
‘I felt like he didn’t want me, which was the hardest part,’ she said
Jade admits she didn’t feel immediately connected to her new son.
‘I felt like he didn’t want me, which was the hardest part,’ she said. ‘I felt like I would look at him and I felt so disconnected and he didn’t know I was his mom or he didn’t want me as his mom.’
‘I kept telling myself, “I’m just going to get through it,”‘ she said. ‘”Just one more week and I’ll be better.”
Though she felt terrible, she was afraid to go to the doctor and thought her feelings wouldn’t be validated — and that she’d be told she was making a big deal out of nothing.
She wasn’t taking good care of herself, either. She would skip showers, not get dressed, and sometimes go three days without brushing her teeth
Finally, she realized she was ‘going down a really dark path’ and had a ‘breakdown’ and told her husband.
She began treatment with hypnotherapy, and then, five and a half months after Brooks was born, she found herself pregnant again — and says the hormonal changes helped her mood.
As planned: Jade had more of a planned home birth with her third child, Reed, in November
‘Right now we are soaking in all these beautiful, new moments,’ she said at the time
She started giving herself a break too, and would ask for more help when she needed it — even if that just meant making sure he watched their the kids for 20 minutes so she could shower and ‘check in with myself.’
Now, the mother-of-three is hoping that sharing her story will help other mothers.
Jade had more of a planned home birth with her third child, Reed, in November.
The couple opted for an at-home water birth in a kiddie pool with birthing expert and midwife Lindsey Meehleis.
In intimate images shared on Instagram, Jade can be seen smiling in the inflatable pool while Tanner holds their baby.
‘Right now we are soaking in all these beautiful, new moments,’ she said at the time. ‘Thank you for all the love and support and for holding space for our little family in your hearts. I’m one grateful mama.’