Hallmark Star Bravely Shares Postpartum Experience: ‘Terrified, Helpless & Alone’

A woman feeling sad

Heavy Silhouette of a woman feeling sad

Nearly five months after giving birth to her second child, Hallmark Channel and Broadway star Patti Murin has revealed in a vulnerable social media post that her postpartum journey has not been as sweet and easy as Instagram may make it seem.

During the November 2022 premiere of her latest Hallmark holiday movie, “In Merry Measure,” Murin tweeted that she learned she was pregnant while filming, sharing that her director and co-stars were among the first people to know. A few months later, in April, she and her husband, fellow actor Colin Donnell, welcomed Lorelai Grace into the world. And while she had much to celebrate, Murin has now admitted that becoming a mom again has also been emotionally challenging.

On August 24, 2023, Murin posted two side-by-side photos of herself from April 2, the day Lorelai was born. In one photo, Murin looked gleeful snuggling her new baby, which is the image she said she “showed the world.” But the second, dimly-lit photo of Murin in bed looking upset “is what I was feeling inside,” she wrote, describing her emotions that night as “terrified, helpless, and alone.”

“I took the picture because I knew I was going to want to remember that moment, at 3 AM in a dark hospital, when the reality of what was to come washed over me and overwhelmed me,” Murin wrote.

Also a parent to daughter Cecily, who turned three in July, Murin proceeded in her post to share the ups and downs of her mental health since becoming a mom.

“Parenthood is hard,” she wrote. “Everyone knows this. I anticipated it being logistically hard, but I never realized how mentally and emotionally impossible it would feel at times. This is the first thing I’ve ever done in my entire life where I’ve had the thoughts, ‘Maybe I can’t do this. Maybe they would be happier with a different mother. Maybe I’m going to fail.'”

Murin’s honest post about mental health and the hardships of parenthood has struck a nerve, already generating nearly 12,000 likes and hundreds of comments from grateful friends and fans.

Patti Murin Admits Some Days Feel ‘Utterly Insurmountable’

In her post, Murin called her daughters “beautiful, dynamic, funny, smart girls.” She also acknowledged her husband and how much help they’ve received from others, thanks to supportive family and friends, plus access to childcare options.

“And STILL it feels utterly insurmountable at times,” she admitted. “People have been giving birth and raising children since the actual dawn of humanity, and I think it gives a false sense of parenthood being less complicated than it actually is.”

“So if you feel the same way,” Murin continued, “I want you to know that I see you, and I believe you when you say it’s hard.”

Murin then declared, “I’m going to say it out loud: It is okay to say that raising children is incredibly difficult. It doesn’t mean you love them any less. It doesn’t mean you are a bad parent. It doesn’t mean you are weak or incapable or lazy. If anything, you are stronger for realizing this.”

Friends and fans loved Murin’s raw and authentic reflections, with many thanking her for saying what they, too, have felt.

Jennifer Robertson, who played Murin’s sister in “In Merry Measure,” commented, “Oh Patti, what a beautifully honest post. I love that you are sharing ALL the emotions that come with parenting, not just the happy happy joy joy. AND showing our kids that it’s okay to feel all the feels is so important. I luv ya and I’m proud of ya ❤️”

Broadway actress Caissie Levy wrote, “Amen. Perfectly said. Love you so.”

Actor and author Andrew Rannells wrote, “Perfectly said. I love you, Patti. ❤️”

Stephanie J. Block, another fellow Broadway actress, commented, “I see you. I recognize myself in you. It. Is. Hard. ❤️”

Among the fans who found Murin’s post particularly touching, one referenced her iconic role as Anna in the Broadway version of Disney’s “Frozen” and thanked her for normalizing the discussion of conditions like Postpartum Psychosis (PPP) and Postpartum Mood Disorders (PPMD).

“I lost my cousin this summer after she had her twins to PPP,” she wrote. “I also struggle with PMDD monthly and it is hell. Thank you for you vulnerable post and making it not a taboo. You are channeling your Princess Anna bravery. 💛💛”

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, 85 percent of new moms experience postpartum blues, but some women develop more serious mental health challenges that can linger unless women receive help. One study, it said, showed 25 percent participants were still experiencing depression three years after the birth of their babies.

Patti Murin’s Plans for Starting a Family Did Not Go the Way She Expected

Despite the hardship of parenting, Murin has also expressed how grateful she is to have two healthy daughters after experiencing multiple hurdles as she and Donnell tried to start a family.

In late 2016, Murin suffered a miscarriage when she was eight weeks pregnant, according to the New York Times, after she’d advanced through multiple auditions for a lead role in Disney’s Broadway adaptation of “Frozen.” Too devastated to do one more audition, she refused Disney’s request to see her again.

“My plan was to let ‘Frozen’ do what it was going to do, and we were going to try to have a baby again,” she told the paper.

When Disney went ahead and offered her the role of Anna, Murin had to make an excruciating choice between taking the role of a lifetime or starting a family. After talking with other Broadway actresses who had been through similar circumstances, she told the Times, she decided to trust that she would get pregnant if and when the time was right — after playing Anna on Broadway.

According to Theater Mania, she appeared in most of the show’s 799 performances over the next two years, ending her run as Anna in February 2020. Her daughter Cecily was born that July.

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