Every mother’s postpartum experience is different, and mothers can have different postpartum experiences with each baby, as Jamie Otis has discovered in the months after having son Hendrix. The Married at First Sight alum and her husband, Doug Hehner, just revealed on their podcast that at four months postpartum, they still haven’t had sex, People reports. This is totally unlike after the birth of daughter Gracie, and Otis has two very good explanations.
First of all, when Otis was pregnant, doctors discovered she had HPV, and after giving birth she had to have a procedure to remove abnormal cells from her cervix that could otherwise turn into cancer. Those procedures put off sex for 10 weeks postpartum.
But after that, there has been something else blocking her: “I don’t feel like having sex, because I’m frickin’ depressed!” Otis told listeners of Hot Marriage, Cool Parents. “I don’t feel sexy. I don’t feel hot. I’m anxious. I’m insecure.”
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🤰🏼Before & After 🤱🏻 I remember sitting on the floor rubbing my round belly as I felt the pitter patter of your little feet inside me.🤰🏼 I wondered what you’d look like & who you would become? I couldn’t wait to hold you in my arms.🤱🏻 Now that I’ve met you I know you are the most lovable, smiley, playful, chunky, SWEET soul.🙏🏻 You have the cutest red hair and the brightest blue eyes.👶🏼💙 The way you look up at me & stare lovingly into my eyes while I nurse you melts🥺my🥺heart🥺 @hendrix_hehner you are the best addition to our little family. You’ve made big sissy, mommy & daddy fall head over heels in love with you! We’re so excited to watch you grow.🥰 #rainbowbaby #fourmonthsold #twomonthsold #9monthspregnant #37weekspregnant #pregnant #newborn
This is every bit as important to talk about as her pre-cancer scare, and Otis has done her best to share what she’s going through, even though it’s been difficult.
“I’m super comfortable being transparent about most things, but this one I’ve been terrified to admit out loud,” the nurse wrote on Instagram in July. “When I heard the doc speak the words ‘post-partum depression,’ I instantly felt like I wasn’t good enough or strong enough to fight the hormones. (The nurse in me *knows* that’s not the case — and I’m working on fighting this feeling.)”
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I was diagnosed with post-partum depression at my 6 wk check up😶..I’m super comfortable being transparent about most things, but this one I’ve been terrified to admit out loud. I’m scared of looking weak. I feel like there’s such a stigma associated with mental illness. When I heard the doc speak the words “post-partum depression” I instantly felt like I wasn’t good enough or strong enough to fight the hormones. (The nurse in me *knows* that’s not the case – and I’m working on fighting this feeling.) I’ve struggled with depression for forever so this isn’t entirely new to me. I don’t talk about it much bc I’ve always felt “less than” bc of it — or like I’m diseased — which is kinda funny bc I have no shame in sharing about my HPV diagnosis 🤦🏼♀️🤣 When I think of the person I want to be it isn’t a depressed Debbie-downer. I want to be the happy one always encouraging others and making them smile. When I think of the kind of MOM I want to be, I want to be the attentive one who never tires of getting down and playing with my kiddos. I think that’s what scares me most-my mom has tried fighting mental illness for years & I’ve watched it take her over at times. I’m petrified it will take over me too.😬 I guess I thought if I didn’t say it out loud maybe it’d just go away. But, it doesn’t work like that.🙃 So here I am admitting my truth. I’m saying it out loud. I *will not* let it take me over. My mom tried her absolute best, but she never had support, took medication, or went to therapy — these are things I am so fortunate to have access to. I am committed to coming out of this funk stronger, happier, & a better mom. I’m also vowing to be more open about my struggles with depression & anxiety bc it affects far too many of us. I’m a true believer in speaking our truths & sharing them bc it takes a heavy weight off our shoulders. Life can be tough but none of us have to go through these struggles alone. If you’re silently struggling too, I’m here for you.🙏💗 #ppd #postpartumdepression #mentalhealthawareness #fourthtrimester #rawmotherhood #motherhood
Having grown up with a mother with mental health issues, Otis has been making an effort to seek help through therapy and exercise. The awful nature of our health-care system has provided an extra hurdle, as her regular therapist stopped accepting insurance, and she is having trouble searching for another one who’s a good fit.
Meanwhile, her husband is just going to have to be patient and not expect her to do anything sexual before she’s ready.
“I’m shy and scared,” she said on her podcast. “I also didn’t have postpartum depression after Gracie. I can’t explain it, the way I feel. It’s not okay, and I’m trying to figure it out.”
We hope everyone reads this story right after reading about Nikki Bella having sex five weeks after giving birth. Both experiences are valid examples of women listening to their bodies, and that’s not going to mean the same thing for everyone.