InStyle Interview: The Intense Anxiety of New Motherhood
I’ve always loved a thrill. I thrive on challenges like driving a motorcycle, playing in the World Series of Poker, and jumping off a cliff just because I see a cool video of someone doing it. I once agreed to hike up Mount Kilimanjaro on two weeks’ notice even though I’d never so much as hiked to the Hollywood sign when I lived in L.A. I got terrible altitude sickness, but I made it.
I used to pride myself on doing these crazy, stressful things, but nothing could have prepared me for the ride that is motherhood. When I had my daughter, Ella, in 2017, I was completely incapable of dealing with the level of anxiety that came into my life. Just the thought of taking her out of our house gave me a panic attack. For a new mom, it’s usually a godsend when your baby is sleeping. But I was so scared she’d stop breathing in the middle of the night that I’d risk waking her up just to know she was still alive. I was traumatized by the thought of what could happen, and I was grinding my teeth so much that I broke a tooth in half while I slept. My need to protect this baby was debilitating.