Jade Roper Tolbert is reflecting on a "dark" period after welcoming her second child.
The 34-year-old Bachelor in Paradise alum — who shares three children with husband Tanner Tolbert, daughter Emerson "Emmy" Avery, 3, and sons Brooks Easton, 17 months, and Reed Harrison, 9 weeks — opened up on Instagram Monday about remaining true to her experiences welcoming each of her babies.
Roper Tolbert says she battled a "dark depression" for six months after Brooks' sudden birth at home, which she previously recounted as traumatic.
"Some days I really struggle with what content to share on here. Someone messaged me yesterday saying that they were going to unfollow me because of all my complaining about motherhood since Reed was born, and that I need to be the person I was when it was just Emmy and Brooks," writes Roper Tolbert, sharing a pic of herself smiling next to baby Reed and Emmy.
"Fact is, I was fighting a dark depression for the first 6 month after Brooks was born and no one would have known it," she continues. "And fact is, I'm not that perceived person they spoke of anymore. Each birth also births a new mother, a new born version of ourselves we are getting to know as well."
"I'm fumbling through, learning as I go and leaning in as I get to know my baby and the new versions of my children and husband as they evolve and adapt and grow as well," the mom adds. "I guess I share the imperfect moments in hopes of reaching across a social platform and sparking a human connection."
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Roper Tolbert explains she keeps candid on social media to help connect with others going through the same.
"For anyone out there hanging on by a thread, needing to know they are loved and not failing; and, honestly for myself when I'm needing to hear a kind voice speak my truths to me," she says. "To remind me on the days where I can't find the light, that it's still there."
"I want people to know you can carry both joy and grief together. That we can feel madly in love with our children, but also like we are carrying broken pieces of ourselves around," continues Roper Tolbert. "That you can wake up at 7 am with gratitude in your heart and still be crying by 8 am. I want people to know some days it's okay to not be okay. That it's enough if all you did today for yourself was to simply get out of bed and nourish your body."
The reality star says she'll continue to show her true-to-life experiences on Instagram, sharing photos that can display the "little bit of sadness behind the eyse" since "none of us have it all together all the time, especially during this pandemic."
"I can't be a highlight reel," she says. "Pretty days, awful days and days in between simply exist. If you continue to follow me, I hope it gives you a big deep breath of air, one that exhales all the way out of your chest. That breath that speaks permission you are okay to be here, just the way you are in this moment, no judgment, just simply being."
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In a recent Instagram Story Q&A session, Roper Tolbert shared how she bonded with each of her newborns, each in a unique way. "Emmy was instantaneously," she said. "I felt a disconnect with Brooks (I think because of my birth trauma with him. I also think the way he came into the world affected him as well.), and the bond with him took time."
"The bond with Reed was instant as well, but I had to give myself permission to feel it and not be afraid of it, if that makes sense," continues Roper Tolbert. "My bond now with each of them is so special and I treasure each unique relationship and love them beyond anything else."
She previously opened up about the unplanned and scary way she gave birth to her second child, with the delivery happening at home in a closet. "It was one of the scariest moments of my life because I felt so out of control, but Tanner, Tanner's mom, my mom and the medics and firefighters kept me going when I felt like the world was caving in on me and my unborn baby," she wrote on Instagram at the time.
If you or someone you know need mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.
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