The first time Sunny Sweeney put her new song “Bottle by My Bed” into her set list, a pregnant woman came up to her after the show and said, “I know you hate me right now because I’m pregnant. I have spent my last couple of years mad at everyone that was pregnant.”
The song paints a heartbreaking picture of Sweeney’s struggle to have a baby: the empty room at the top of the stairs, pining for a high chair instead of high heels, and hoping for a bottle — a baby bottle — by her bed.
A recent miscarriage left Sweeney in a state of complete depression.
“I drank a lot of wine to drown the pain and spent countless nights sitting on my couch with the music up as loud as I could, staring into space, beating myself up about what I could have done differently,” Sweeney told People.
Sweeney and her husband Jeff Hellmer had been through rounds of shots, creams, hormones, medications and IVF. Nothing worked.
“My heart was absolutely broken,” she said. “We had ’the talk.’ It was putting too much stress on us. We were done trying.”
And after all that, she did get pregnant. But soon after, that’s when she miscarried. Now she just hopes that by being brutally honest it will be somewhat therapeutic for her and her fans.
The song was written at a session with Lori McKenna, when Sweeney said she wanted to let people know that she wasn’t childless by choice.
“I feel like our friends and family just assume that because of my job and being on the road so much, that we must not want any kids,” she said.
“Some topics are just better left alone. This is one that has always been hard for me to wiggle my way through. So basically, before this song was written, I had no reason to tell anyone anything. I let people think what they wanted to think.
“It was still a tough decision to sing this song live after we wrote it. I initially looked at it like a cathartic, ’OK, that felt good to get it off my chest’ song. I am so happy I was able to allow myself to go there that first time.”