"The Twilight Saga's Eclipse" star Bryce Dallas Howard cringes whenever she watches her first interview following her long battle with post-partum depression - because she didn't come close to explaining how she felt during the lowest period of her life. The "Spider-Man 3" actress fears she was of no help to new mums struggling with the condition - and she should have just stared at the camera blankly in an effort to explain how she felt.
Opening up on pal Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle and wellbeing website GOOP.com as part of an article about post-partum depression, Howard writes, "I recently saw an interview I did on TV while promoting a film. In it, I was asked about my experience with post-partum depression and, as I watched, I cringed." She adds, "I said things like, 'It was a nightmare,' or, 'I felt like I was in a black hole'. But I couldn't even begin to express my true feelings... As I watched, it dawned on me if I had been able to truthfully convey my ordeal with post-partum depression under the glare of those lights, I most likely would have said no words at all. I simply would have stared at the interviewer with an expression of deep, deep loss."
Now, three years removed from the height of her severe low, the actress admits she feared she and her son would die. She explains that the first night she was left alone with her baby, when her actor husband Seth Gabel flew off to shoot a film, she tried to breastfeed her son - but the stitches from delivery made the whole process increasingly more painful and she felt incompetent and helpless.
She remembers, "It was less than a week after the birth, and I still refused to take even Aleve (mild painkiller) for fear of how it might affect my milk. Theo woke up next to me, and I knew I needed to begin breastfeeding." Howard further states, "Because of the stitches, moving even an inch sent daggers of pain tearing through my body. I tried to sit, but finally gave up and lay still as my tiny son cried. I thought, 'I'm going to die here, lying next to my newborn son. I am literally going to die tonight'."