When sitcom star Brooke Shields gave birth to her daughter, Rowan Francis, in May 2003, she didn't think that the arrival of her adorable infant would mark the onset of a crippling depression. Soon after the delivery, the famed actress found herself overwhelmed by waves of panic and quiet devastation. At first unable to identify her problem, she struggled to cope with motherhood and marriage while experiencing feelings of abject despair and fear. This disarmingly candid memoir follows Shields as she learns to battle her postpartum depression and describes how she eased this debilitating condition with talk therapy, medication, and reading. This is an informed, personal view of a serious illness affecting 10 to 20 percent of new mothers.
"With an utter lack of vanity and a surfeit of clinical detail, Down Came the Rain is a personal story told with candor and grace."
Sometime model and actress Shields takes on the role of author here, wielding her celebrity status to convey a crucial message: that postpartum depression is a serious but treatable condition that can strike any mother. Shields tells her own story to emphasize this point, relating her struggle to become pregnant and her excitement at the prospect of her baby's birth. What happens afterward, though, is entirely unexpected-instead of feeling exhilaration like most other mothers, Shields becomes depressed. With the encouragement of her husband, family, and friends, she eventually seeks professional treatment that enables her to experience the full joys of motherhood. Her afterword is replete with helpful resources, including books, web sites, and hotline numbers. Highly recommended for all public libraries, alongside titles like Natasha S. Mauthner's The Darkest Days of My Life: Stories of Postpartum Depression. Confirmed appearances on Oprah and Today will guarantee heavy demand. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Unsparing account of the actress's experience with acute postpartum anxiety disorder following the birth of her daughter in 2003. Shields also shares details about the pressures and frustrations of her struggle to get pregnant, her joy at finally conceiving, her uneventful pregnancy and the long labor that ended with a C-section. But the central story begins in the operating room, where the sight of her husband holding newborn Rowan filled her with "jealousy, fear, and rage." Recovering in the hospital, she assumed that her feelings of misery and alienation would change, but when her baby was brought to her to nurse, she felt no bond with the infant, whom she regarded as "a complete stranger." At home, physical exhaustion was accompanied by panic, dread and enormous sadness. Shields pulls no punches in describing her profound detachment from her child. She had no desire to pick up or care for Rowan, she admits; what she wanted was to run away. In the weeks following the birth, it became clear that Shields was suffering from a condition much more serious than "the baby blues." The antidepressant Paxil helped some, but her decision to go off it cold turkey was a serious mistake. Trying to reconcile motherhood and an acting career added to the pressure. (Shields's awareness of herself as a celebrity gives this memoir special interest.) She finally pulled out of her unnervingly severe postpartum depression with the help of psychotherapy in combination with other antidepressants. Educating herself about the condition and reading about other women's experiences also helped, as did the simple passage of time. In addition to her personal story, the author has included solid information aboutpostpartum depression; an afterword lists helpful books, Web sites and hot lines. Shields's forthright admission of feelings that many similarly afflicted new mothers deny could well spark valuable discussions about "this large white elephant sitting in the room that no one was supposed to talk about." First serial to Good Housekeeping; full hour on Oprah on pub date; three-parter on the Today Show