The former 'Bachelorette' star Emily Maynard Johnson opens up about her struggle with postpartum depression as a teen mom: "I never really saw the joy in it."
Emily Maynard Johnson just became the latest celebrity to open up about her experience with postpartum depression.
The former Bachelorette became a mother at just 19. She raised her daughter in the wake of her fiance's untimely death—Ricky Hendrick passed away in a plane crash just days before she learned she was pregnant. Needless to say, she dealt with many, many hardships along the way and postpartum depression was one of them.
"I didn't know if I was coming or going," Maynard Johnson told PEOPLE. "At the time, I didn't know it was postpartum. I had never heard of that."
The reality star also mentioned that she sought out information on what she was feeling. "I read online that [intense emotions] can hurt the baby, so I was suppressing those feelings. I tried to just look to the future and my due date," she said of her tough pregnancy.
But Emily's depression didn't lift after she gave birth. "Then after [my daughter, Ricki] was born, it was immediate. I was like, 'Ricky's not here.' I knew something was missing from that moment. Holding [my daughter] I thought, this is the closest I'm going to get to him in this lifetime and it brought all these emotions I never thought I would feel. It opened up this whole bag," she said.
Now, the jewelry designer and mom understands that what she went through was postpartum depression. "I definitely went through depression, where I didn't want to get out of bed," she said. "I always joke that I've seen every therapist in Charlotte. But nothing they could tell me was going to make me feel better. The only thing that was going to make me feel better was if Ricky walked through that door."
Fortunately, Emily has turned a corner. She and partner Tyler Johnson welcomed Jennings Tyler last summer and the experience was completely different for The Bachelor and Bachelorette star.
"I had postpartum high with Jennings!" she said. "That's such a testament to where I was in my life. I love Ricki so much, but I was young and I didn't know what I was doing. With Ricki, I never really saw the joy in it. I was getting up at night and all of those things, but I never took a minute to breathe her in and appreciate those moments. Now, I want to remember everything more. Because it goes by so fast."
You can read more about Emily's experience in her book, I Said Yes, which is set for a March 1 release.