Sadie Robertson is opening up about her struggles after giving birth.
The new mom, 24, welcomed a daughter, Honey, in May and revealed earlier this month that there were complications with the birth that should have left her daughter with injuries – though remarkably no one was hurt.
Now, she has revealed postpartum struggles on the latest episode of her "WHOA that's good" podcast.
The "Duck Dynasty" alum admitted that welcoming her daughter "didn't all go quite as planned" due to the complications, but because of helpful medical staff and pain medication, she had a "false confidence" that wore off when she arrived home.
"I was in more pain than I'd ever been in, honestly, in my whole life. For real," she said, per "Entertainment Tonight." "... I just laid on the couch and I started crying so hard. ... I could not stop crying."
The "really, really bad" physical pain didn't stop for a month, she revealed. At the same time, she was battling mental health struggles as well.
"I'm constantly trying to fight fear in my life," Robertson admitted. "... Postpartum, it was so many emotions happening that I couldn't really fight the fear like I normally do. All of the sudden I was in a state of anxiety. I didn't even realize that it was creeping up as much as it was."
Her scary experience giving birth stuck with her and put her in a dark place.
"My mind kept going into the, 'What if this would've happened? What if it did last one more minute and she didn't make it? What if... neither one of us made it? What if I lost too much blood? What if when they pushed on my stomach they actually severely damaged something internally and I don't even know I'm bleeding? What if the oxygen actually did get cut off for too long and she has brain damage?' All of these what-ifs," she shared.
Robertson then found herself asking whether she and Honey were "really" OK and whether they truly made it through the ordeal unscathed.
Such thoughts sent the young author on "such a toxic brain spiral" that led to "extreme anxiety."
"I didn't even realize that those thoughts throughout the day were making me jittery, were making me have all the feelings of anxiety, were making my chest feel super tight and like I couldn't breathe," the star recalled, adding that she didn't share her struggles with anyone.
"The reason I didn't is because I was so happy that I was her mom. I was so joyful. I was so blown away by the miracles. I didn't understand how I could be so happy and so joyful, but also experience so much fear," Robertson explained. "You don't have to just choose one of those feelings. You don't have to just choose fear and trade out all the joy. You don't have to just choose joy and trade out all the fear. They actually kind of go hand-in-hand."
The star reached a breaking point during a family movie night.
"I told them all I had to go to the bathroom and I went and I just started crying in my closet," she recalled. "Christian came in and he was like, 'What are you doing?' And I just said, 'I'm so scared.' He said, 'Why?' And I said, 'I'm just so scared. I'm scared something's going to happen to her... I'm so scared she's not really OK. What if whenever she got stuck the oxygen actually cut off too long? I'm scared that something happened to me and I'm not going to get to be the mom that I want to be to her.'"
After that moment, Robertson found reassurance and support through therapy, journaling, and her strong Christian faith: "I can sit here and say what if, and what could've and what should've happened, or I can live like a miracle happened.' I can't explain why I'm okay and why she's okay, but we both are and I just need to have gratitude and thank God."
It was then revealed that her husband Christian Huff, 23, was struggling in his own ways too.
"What was crazy was I didn't even know he was experiencing fear. He opened up to me and he said, 'Actually, me too. It's been hard for me. Watching you be in pain has been hard. When you were in labor it was so hard seeing [that]. That moment was so scary... I was so scared,'" the author recalled. "... We both needed to open up about it. We just didn't want to because we didn't want to seem like we were ungrateful, but actually it wasn't that at all. It was that we were so grateful that we didn't know what to do with these huge emotions."
Things eventually began to shift when she opened up more about her struggles, saw a therapist and began journaling. She said that "that gratitude that I have in my heart... it just began to shift the fear in my life."