Adene Sanchez/iStock(NEW YORK) — Those first few photos after the birth of a child are usually beautiful: Mom and baby’s first meeting, a shot with dad and baby’s siblings.
But the story behind the smiling photos is sometimes not so picture perfect. One mom’s Instagram post about the pain she experienced postpartum is as real as it gets.
“It hurts to use the restroom,” Luci Wormell, a mom of three from San Tan Valley, Arizona, wrote. “It hurts to walk less than a few feet away. It hurts because of the contractions that are still there even after your baby is out. It hurts and it’s so painful. And sometimes you feel like you have to hide all of that hurt so people don’t misunderstand and think you’re ungrateful.”
Wormell told ABC’s Good Morning America that the picture was taken the day she was to be discharged from the hospital. And that, that even though the photo wasn’t “pretty,” she thought to herself: “I want to document this.”
“After I took a shower that morning, I looked at myself in the mirror and almost didn’t recognize myself. I looked beat-up,” said Wormell.
She is grateful for her three-week-old baby, Emmett and her two other children Owen, 3 and Chloe, 2. But Emmet’s delivery was hard, she told GMA, harder than the other two.
“Everything about the pregnancy was different,” she said. “The minutes and hours after I delivered felt different. I was in a lot of physical pain compared to my other two births. People kept telling me, ‘the more kids you have the worst it gets,’ and oh boy, it is so true. The contractions while breastfeeding was the absolute worst.”
Wormell posted the photo to Instagram, she said, to let other moms know “they are not alone. Those first few days are hard. And there’s going to be a lot of unexplained tears, that’s okay. Let them all out. Take all the time you need to heal and take it easy. Ask for help, don’t let your pride get in the way of asking for help and being vulnerable.”
The comments on the post were full of gratitude.
“I felt honored that people felt safe and comforted in reaching out to me who is a random stranger on the internet,” she said. “It’s been three weeks since that post and I still receive messages daily. I know not everyone’s birth experience and postpartum recovery will be the same but I believe a majority of women can raise their hand and say, ‘I am so grateful for my child but it wasn’t easy.”’
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