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Alanis Morissette opens up about miscarriages, postpartum depression and perseverance

By Zach Harper

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Alanis Morissette has lived and learned about a lot in her 45 years. The Canadian superstar produced one of the best-selling albums of all time in 1995’s Jagged Little Pill, and she became the youngest artist ever to win a Grammy for Album of the Year. She’s released four follow-up albums since then, gotten married to rapper Souleye, and has had two kids: Ever Imre, now 8, and Onyx Solace, 3.

In March, she announced she was pregnant with her third child and she just revealed to SELF that becoming a parent has been a difficult journey for her. She’s had multiple miscarriages and says she felt “so much grief and fear” while trying to get pregnant.

“Between Ever and Onyx there were some false starts,” she told the magazine. “I always wanted to have three kids, and then I’ve had some challenges and some miscarriages, so I just didn’t think it was possible.”

“I chased and prayed for pregnancy and learned so much about my body and biochemistry and immunity and gynecology through the process,” she continued. “It was a torturous learning and loss-filled and persevering process.”

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Alanis has been open about the postpartum depression (PPD) she’s suffered after both her children’s births. In 2017, she told People that while she loves Ever and Onyx, she has had good days and bad days since becoming a mom. She said her bouts of PPD often left her “debilitated to the point where I can barely move” and felt “very isolating.”

Speaking to SELF, she said she waited 16 months before she got help during her last bout, which happened after giving birth to Onyx. Alanis told the magazine she had even convinced herself she didn’t need any help because she was so used to having experienced depression in the past. She said she won’t make that mistake this time around, and will “wait four minutes” before letting those around her know there’s a problem.

MORE: Alanis Morissette shares first sweet photo after welcoming baby girl

“It wasn’t the first time I’d experienced depression, so I just thought, ‘Oh, well, this feels familiar, I’m depressed, I think,’” she said, pointing out that when she turned to her music to help her cope – as she had in the past – it didn’t alleviate the feelings that time. “And the simultaneously, my personal history of depression where it was so normalized for me to be in the quicksand, as I call it, or in the tar. It does feel like tar, like everything feels heavy.”

Nowadays, Morissette says she’s enjoying parenting and teaching her children about clear boundaries. She says she uses four when solving conflicts between them. They include not telling another person what they’re thinking, not telling another person what they’re feeling, not touching another person’s body and not touching their stuff.

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“If ever there’s a little moment between Onyx and Ever, I’ll just go, ‘Which of the four was it? You can’t slap her, you can’t grab his things,’” she told SELF.

Alanis’s fans have a lot to be excited about these days. Not only is the the seven-time Grammy Award-winner and 12-time Juno Award-winner expecting a new member of her family, but she went into the studio this month to record a new album, which will likely come out early next year. Last October, she said she’d written 23 new songs. The new LP doesn’t have a release date just yet.

A musical based on Jagged Little Pill , written by Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody, is set to premiere on Broadway this fall. Alanis also wrote two new songs for the production.

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