If you follow Chrissy Teigen on social media, it would be easy to assume that she’s got it made. On Twitter, the 31-year-old supermodel and bestselling cookbook author skewers everyone from Fox News to Donald Trump, firing off witty one-liners we wish we’d thought of ourselves. Her Instagram, meanwhile, is filled with photos of her unfeasibly beautiful life with her husband of 10 years, singer John Legend, and their beautiful baby daughter Luna.
But Teigen and Legend, like one in seven couples in the UK, struggled to conceive. When she gave birth to Luna in April 2016, after trying to fall pregnant for nine years, Teigen then experienced a devastating bout of postnatal depression and anxiety that left her virtually unable to leave the house.
Teigen and Legend (real name John Stephens) have both been open about the fact that they used IVF treatment to conceive, and Teigen has written frankly about her battle with depression.
Now, in a new interview, she says that she would consider adopting or fostering to expand her family.
“I would definitely adopt or have foster children,” she tells Marie Claire. “But I loved being pregnant.
“Maybe I should be scared [of having postnatal depression again], but I don’t know. It couldn’t be any worse than it was – could it?”
Teigen described the life-altering impact of postnatal depression in an essay for US Glamour in March. Despite having a “wonderful [and] energetic” pregnancy, she said that she soon found herself experiencing uncharacteristic feelings of “stress”, “detachment” and “sadness”.
Everyday interactions were enough to reduce her to tears, Teigen said. When she went back to work as a presenter on the TV show Lip Sync Battle, she found herself becoming unusually “short” with people. “I would be in my dressing room, sitting in a robe, getting hair and makeup done, and… my eyes would well up and I would burst into tears.”
Aside from work commitments, Teigen says she “never” left the house. “I mean, never. Not even a tiptoe outside.” She spent almost every day and night “on the exact same spot on the couch”, rarely sleeping in her own bed. “There was,” she writes, “a lot of spontaneous crying.”
Teigen’s postnatal depression also manifested in physical symptoms, including chronic back, wrist and shoulder pain. She said that she lost her appetite and would throw up when she tried to eat, sometimes not touching food for days.
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Eventually, Teigen’s GP diagnosed her with postnatal depression and anxiety, and prescribed her antidepressants.
“I remember being so exhausted but happy to know that we could finally get on the path of getting better,” she said, adding: “I don’t want people who have [postnatal depression] to feel embarrassed or to feel alone.”
Teigen has said that if she was to have another baby via IVF, she knows what gender it would be. “Our next baby would be a boy because that is the embryo we have left,” she wrote on Twitter in January. “A boy.”
She has also criticised those who question other women’s choices surrounding pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood. “I don't think any of us should assume all women’s goals are to have kids,” she said in April. “It's a choice!”
Images: Rex Features, instagram.com/chrissyteigen