Today, Jaime King is a parent to two beautiful sons, 2-year-old Leo and 3-year-old James, but her journey to becoming a mom wasn’t easy. In a recent essay for Galore, the 38-year-old actress opened up about her battle with a slew of issues related to childbirth, including multiple miscarriages, fertility struggles, and postpartum depression.
King’s fertility challenges began years ago when she was diagnosed with endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome, two disorders that negatively impact a woman’s ability to become pregnant. King took the news heavily, in no small part because of the expectations our culture places on women to have children.
“I thought that because my womb didn’t work the way I was taught it should work, I was broken,” King wrote. “We are told as women that our great value is to be able to carry life, to carry a child. If we’re fertile and abundant, we’re a worthy goddess. But for some reason, those parts don’t function for some of us.”
GALORE COVER ESSAY ON THIS IMAGE ✨✨✨ I have a natural tendency to isolate. I’ve always been a loner. When I was a kid, all I wanted to do was read books and go to the library and play with my imaginary friends. My mom said I was never sad and never had any pain until I reached the age where I felt like I had to be accepted by others." That’s when I started getting bullied and not knowing how I’d make it through the day. I was terrified of school. It was even bad outside of school — kids would throw bricks of fireworks through my window onto my bed. They’d go to a party and call me to tease me. Horrors. But I’m grateful that it happened. It taught me the importance of standing up for myself. It taught me I was a misfit, I was different, and I was going to have to find something outside the norm. I had severe postpartum depression. I isolated myself. I was anxious all the time, I felt like I was unlovable. I couldn’t even think straight. I had to live through an entire pregnancy where I didn’t know if my child was going to live or die. I couldn’t even process the trauma because I was too busy trying to keep him and myself alive. The judgment of yourself as a mother is consistent. So I’m really trying to find my identity of who I am as a mom. I’m trying to realize it’s okay to go to lunch for an hour with a girlfriend. If we’re not nurturing our souls and the things we love, it’s easy to get lost and lonely. Vulnerability is our greatest strength. When you’re able to really speak and share from the heart, that’s when you truly connect with other people, which heals everything. None of this outside stuff matters if we’re with the people we love. "Vulnerability is our greatest strength" ✨ @galore cover interview ✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨
In her efforts to become a mother, King revealed that she suffered “countless miscarriages” and almost lost her children to medical problems during her pregnancy, something she initially felt shame about until realizing that fertility issues are nothing to be ashamed of.
“When I was told I couldn’t carry a child, it crushed me in a way that was so much deeper than I could explain,” King said. “I felt ashamed that I was suffering every day. I would wake up in pools of blood, and feel ashamed. And then I said, fuck this. I’m not going to be ashamed.”
"We need to talk about these things. We grow up with a mentality that menstruation is not supposed to be painful, and if it is, you deal with it yourself and don't complain. We need to talk about this and spread as much awareness as we can. Girls as young as 12 get diagnosed with endometriosis and PCOS. When you're living with it, it can be constant agony." @jaime_king
Things didn’t get easier when King had her first child. Because of how much trouble she had during conception and childbirth, the “Hart of Dixie” actress felt “unlovable” and suffered from severe postpartum depression.
“I had severe postpartum depression. I isolated myself. I was anxious all the time, I felt like I was unlovable,” King said. “I couldn’t even think straight. I had to live through an entire pregnancy where I didn’t know if my child was going to live or die. I couldn’t even process the trauma because I was too busy trying to keep him and myself alive.”
And while King has come a long way, she admits that expectations of motherhood—especially for parents in the public eye—is a constant struggle.
“The judgment of yourself as a mother is consistent. So I’m really trying to find my identity of who I am as a mom,” she wrote. “Vulnerability is our greatest strength. When you’re able to really speak and share from the heart, that’s when you truly connect with other people, which heals everything.”