In this compelling memoir, Brooke Shields talks candidly about her experience with postpartum depression after the birth of her daughter, and provides millions of women with an inspiring example of recovery.
When Brooke Shields welcomed her newborn daughter, Rowan Francis, into the world, something unexpected followed ' a crippling depression. Now, for the first time ever, in Down Came the Rain, Brooke talks about the trials, tribulations, and finally the triumphs that occurred before, during, and after the birth of her daughter.
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May 03, 2005
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Excerpt from Down Came The Rain by Brooke Shields
THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD
AFTER ALL OF THE TIME I've spent in the public eye, you might think that finding out I was going to have a miscarriage moments before stepping onstage wouldn't shake me up, but it did. . . .
December 2001. I'm standing in the wings of the Palace Theatre in Hollywood, California, for MuppetFest, which is a tribute to Jim Henson as well as a fund-raiser for Save the Children. I'm wearing a sleeveless black sequined dress and am in full hair and makeup. There is a great deal of excitement and energy in the air, and the audience, a full house, is having difficulty staying quiet. From where I'm standing, I can see lots of grown-ups and kids milling around their seats, eating popcorn and talking.
In order not to be seen by the audience before my cue, I have to move farther backstage, to where Mr. Snuffleupagus is also waiting for his entrance. However, because he is such an oversize creature, he is too big to make room for me. I end up having to wedge myself under his chin and between his front legs. Little bits of brown fur are flying everywhere, including up my nose. It takes all my effort not to sneeze.
It won't be long before the stage will be filled with color and sound and lots and lots of fur. So here I am, wearing a pink feather boa and long purple gloves and a huge fake diamond ring that keeps getting caught on the boa. And though it's not yet evident, I'm pregnant. But it's not that simple. Yesterday, after some basic blood work, I was told that for some reason, something wasn't right with the pregnancy, and additional testing was needed. I was reassured that it was a routine precaution. So, early this morning, before coming to the theater, I went back to the clinic to have more blood drawn. And while I was rehearsing, trying not to think about it, the technicians were analyzing my blood.
Now, while I'm waiting for my cue, my cell phone rings. The news is not good. My doctor says, "I'm sorry, but the pregnancy is no longer viable." I start to get very warm, and a huge lump forms in my throat. My doctor delicately explains that it is "nature's way" of saying the baby isn't strong enough to survive, and it's better to have it happen sooner rather than later. There is a pause, and then she carefully adds that I am going to have to wait for my body to naturally expel the pregnancy or reabsorb it.
"What!" I can hardly grasp what I am hearing, and my vision begins to narrow. Just then another call comes through. It's my husband, Chris, wanting to know if I have heard any news. Almost mechanically, I relay the information. I want to throw the phone across the stage and run out sobbing, but I am surrounded by hairy creatures and can't leave.
At this moment I need to go onstage, decked out in a crazy costume, complete with a pig nose, a la Miss Piggy. Did I mention I am pretending to be Miss Piggy and I'm singing a duet with Kermit the Frog As I move away from Snuffy's legs and look up at him, he is sympathetically blinking his huge eyelashes at me. The stage manager can tell that something is wrong as I wipe tears from my face, but he has no choice other than to cue the Muppet rock band to file onto the stage and then point at me for my entrance. As they say, the show must go on.