New-mum speaks out about her postpartum body in raw Instagram post

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    How training for the London Marathon destroyed my relationship

    And just two weeks ago, she spoke out about her postpartum body in a touching Instagram post.

    Throughout her entire pregnancy, Ruth had been expecting to have a natural birth.

    She was healthy, young, had stayed active throughout the entirety of her pregnancy, took pre-natal classes, went to the gym, used ‘every kind of stretch mark prevention’ possible and ‘read every book under the sun’ to study natural childbirth.

    However, when her time to give birth came around, it couldn’t have been more different to what she had expected.

    She ended up suffering from a ‘traumatic’ labour and was given a cesarian section, which resulted in a lot of scars and stretch marks that she hadn’t planned for, plus the ordeal rendered her unable to breastfeed long-term.

    Alongside getting her head around the above, Ruth also had to come to terms with her new body.

    In her Instagram post, she admits that she’d seen pregnancies all over Instagram.

    She wrote: ‘I followed SO many pregnant models during my pregnancy. And when they photographed themselves pool-side 5 minutes postpartum, I thought, “wow! I hope that happens to me!”‘

    But when Ruth snapped a photo of her own post-pregnancy body, she was incredibly upset.

    Finally gaining the courage to post it online more than four months after her birth, Ruth said: ‘I took this picture a few days after I gave birth, when my PPD really first reared its head into my life.

    I’m posting this tonight with tears in my eyes. I can’t help it. The pregnancy and birth of my little girl was the most amazing thing I’ve ever been a part of. Some people don’t want kids, and I respect that. Really, I do. But for me, You see, I always have. When it finally happened though, it was so hard to fully comprehend. Pregnancy and babies, I mean that’s common. It’s everywhere. But when it’s YOUR body and YOUR baby, it’s so different. You literally feel like it’s a miracle. Because, when it happens to you, it is. What brings me to Instagram tonight, is the post-baby. I followed SO many pregnant models during my pregnancy. And when they photographed themselves pool-side 5 minutes postpartum, I thought, “wow! I hope that happens to me!” I was 25 when I gave birth. I was healthy. I was young. I stayed active during my pregnancy. I took the best prenatals, went to the gym, used every kind of stretch mark prevention you could think of. I took hours of birthing classes, read every book under the sun, and studied natural childbirth my whole pregnancy. I STILL ended up with a traumatic labor, cesarean section, scars, stretch marks, and unfortunately the inability to breastfeed long term. I took this picture a few days after I gave birth, when my PPD really first reared its head into my life. I took this and actually was horrified. I couldn’t believe it was me. I’m sharing it because I know in my heart that there are people out there that struggle with inadequacy. That might think they are not beautiful, that they might be ruined, less worthy, or not good enough. Yours might not actually be physical scars, but maybe, a failed relationship, a difficulty in your career, a mental struggle, money issues, or just feeling lost in life. Be kind to yourself. And know that you are not alone. Comparison is the thief of joy. Don’t let social media taint your view of what is beautiful, what is REAL. And above all, know that if you are struggling, I am here. I have an open inbox or (if you actually know me) an open door. #stopcensoringmotherhood #nofilter

    A post shared by Ruth Lee (@baybayruth) on

    As well as documenting her recovery, Ruth wants others to know they are not alone if they don’t bounce back straight away after birth. And she really wants other women to understand that’s okay.

    She continued: ‘I’m sharing it because I know in my heart that there are people out there that struggle with inadequacy.

    ‘That might think they are not beautiful, that they might be ruined, less worthy, or not good enough.

    ‘Yours might not actually be physical scars, but maybe, a failed relationship, a difficulty in your career, a mental struggle, money issues, or just feeling lost in life.

    ‘Be kind to yourself. And know that you are not alone. Comparison is the thief of joy. Don’t let social media taint your view of what is beautiful, what is REAL. And above all, know that if you are struggling, I am here.’

    Ruth is continuing to shed light on body positivity after childbirth, by sharing a series of side-by-side shots of her both at her earlier and later stages of recovery.

    You guys must be thinking I’m crazy to post these, ammmmmiright? Society will look at the first picture (2 days Postpartum) and be offended. Cankles. Messy hair. No make up. A DIAPER, for goodness sake. (We ogle and thrive off of the images of women looking like beautiful unicorn fairy models after birthing humans. 🙄 whyyyyyy.) Not my usual look. But guess what? I made my husband take that picture because it was REAL. I felt victorious. I was probably in my weakest condition ever ever ever, yet I felt so strong. Society will look at the second picture (8 weeks Postpartum) and be offended. Omg stretch marks are you serious?! How embarrassing. 😑 (zoom in, I dare you!) I am so sick of people acting like stretch marks don’t happen. Yes, some of you amazing ladies have been kissed by the angel of luck and managed to birth a watermelon without so much as a whisper of an imperfection, but I am not one of you. And most women aren’t. Yet, it’s so rare to see evidence that stretch marks exist. It’s so rare, in fact, that we are forced to view them as ugly or uncommon. 😩Let’s change that. I find them so bad ass and beautiful. Pregnancy and motherhood are no joke. We earned these. ⚡️ I’m grateful, so so so grateful for this body of mine, saggy skin and stretchmarks included. I can’t wait for Presley to get older and for me to show those stripes off to her. (& tell her that I have them from growing her beautiful little soul inside me.) 🐯🐯🐯🐯🐯 I LOVE MY MOM BOD! #takingbackpostpartum #8weekspostpartum #fourthtrimester #babymomma #tigerstripes

    A post shared by Ruth Lee (@baybayruth) on

    In one inspiring post, Ruth noted that what she was sharing was ‘real’. She said: ‘I felt victorious. I was probably in my weakest condition ever ever ever, yet I felt so strong.

    ‘I am so sick of people acting like stretch marks don’t happen. Yes, some of you amazing ladies have been kissed by the angel of luck and managed to birth a watermelon without so much as a whisper of an imperfection, but I am not one of you.

    ‘And most women aren’t. Yet, it’s so rare to see evidence that stretch marks exist. It’s so rare, in fact, that we are forced to view them as ugly or uncommon. Let’s change that.

    ‘I find them so bad ass and beautiful. Pregnancy and motherhood are no joke. We earned these.’

    And in a final post, Ruth explained how little her feelings about her body were compared to her fears for her baby – and that she was just grateful that her daughter was okay throughout the procedure.

    #takingbackpostpartum Two days PP on the left, One Month PP on the right. YES, I had ALREADY given birth in the picture on the left. 😳 My body was still so swollen from the anesthetics and large amounts of IV fluids. I could barely stand up. I was heavily bleeding (Presley wasn’t the only one in diapers!). I had a fresh incision- my insides cut open and my baby ripped away from me… a labor & delivery that my months of reading and research never prepared me for. I was in more physical and mental pain than I had ever been in my life. Yet, I remember taking that picture and thinking, I am a bad ass!!! Really. 😅 I was so utterly grateful that Presley ended up being OK. I had my healthy, chunky babe. Truly, that was the only thing that mattered. And in labor, she was my entire focus. I was able to face all the scary parts without fear for myself, and do what had to be done. I didn’t look aesthetically pleasing that day, and I still am no where near “pre-baby” bod. But that’s ok. I have stretch marks that I like more & more each day. As weird as that sounds. To me, they remind me of how strong I really am. As Amy Adams said, “Being pregnant finally helped me understand what my true relationship was with my body – meaning that it wasn’t put on this earth to look good in a swimsuit.” ✌🏼✌🏼️✌🏼️ #fourthtrimester #postpartum #postbaby #momlife #csection #onemonthpostpartum #strongwomen #4thtrimester

    A post shared by Ruth Lee (@baybayruth) on

    Ruth said: ‘I had my healthy, chunky babe. Truly, that was the only thing that mattered. And in labour, she was my entire focus. I was able to face all the scary parts without fear for myself, and do what had to be done.

    ‘I didn’t look aesthetically pleasing that day, and I still am no where near “pre-baby” bod. But that’s ok. I have stretch marks that I like more & more each day.

    ‘As weird as that sounds. To me, they remind me of how strong I really am.’

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