You scroll through your Facebook feed and it’s all smiles, good times, and bright perfectly edited moments. Social media has provided people with a platform to showcase their lives and tell their story in any way they’d like. Some people thrive off exploiting the doom and gloom of their life, while most are eager to convince you that their lives are all white clouds and lullabies. I, myself am guilty of only sharing the most perfect parts of my life and since becoming a new mom I made it a mission of mine share the beautifully raw reality of motherhood.
It all started with my son’s birth announcement. I had this image in my head about what the first picture I shared to Facebook of my son and I was going to look like.
In my head, I somehow looked stunning in a hospital johnny, like much better than all of those other women. I was sitting in my hospital bed radiating with the beauty of a new mom and somehow my hair still had curls in it from the night before. My make up was done enough to give me that ethereal look and make people wonder how in the world I looked so good after delivering a baby. I was looking down at my son delicately with this maternal glow. I was torn between doing a black and white picture or using the Valencia filter.
Well, that moment in time that was so perfectly cultivated in my head, rendered a completely different image when the time came.
I had not showered in three days. Before I was put on pitocin, the nurse told me that I could take a shower, but I declined because I just finished touching up my hair with the curling iron and my eye lashes were perfect. I figured the labor was only going to last a few hours anyway and after I got my glamor shot with my son, I would take a shower and wash all the makeup off.
24 hours later, I’m laying on all fours in my hospital bed. I definitely pooped at least once and there aren’t many other ways to describe how I was feeling, other than that I wanted to crawl out of my skin. If taking off the hospital gown was an option, I would have torn that thing off like the hulk. By this time, I had surrendered the notion that my hair was going to be down and I had tried about two different braids before finally just throwing it up in a bun. My makeup had slowly been running all over my face due to tears and the cold washcloth that Brandon kept putting on my forehead. Luckily, I brought make up wipes in my hospital bag which is definitely something all moms should bring with them.
So after 36 hours of labor, I ended up with a c-section. It felt like I had ran to the final mile of a marathon and then just gave up and turned around. I felt defeated, but what choice did I have.
Before entering the operating room they put a cap over my head which was such a relief to me seeing as though there was no hope for my hair. After Beau was finally born, they pumped so many fluids into my body, that I swore I looked bigger after giving birth than I did at 9 months pregnant.
I had to lie flat in my hospital bed for at least 2 hours after delivery, I believe. And the initial picture that I had gotten with Beau in the operating room wasn’t one that I was going to use as a birth announcement because truthfully I was still feeling defeated that I had a c section. I wasn’t ready to answer everyone’s questions or provide them with all the details just yet.
So while I laid in recovery, I had Brandon bring me my compact mirror so I could evaluate my situation. It literally looked like I had freckles all over my face. I pushed so hard that I had broken a bunch of blood vessels in my cheeks and forehead. I even had a broken blood vessel in my eye. In that moment, I became angry with myself for being so upset about the c-section. I clearly did everything I could to get that baby out the natural way before resorting to surgery. Brandon said that I kind of looked cute with “freckles” all over my face.
Still lying flat and clenching on to my vanity for dear life, I had Brandon pass me my brush and dry shampoo…the dry shampoo being the only thing available to me that would have mercy on my hair…besides a hat maybe! After fussing with my hair and most likely making it more tangly and dirty, I finally surrendered and just threw it up in a bun.
I came to terms with the fact that a perfectly poised picture was not going to accurately convey the trials and triumph of the last 36 hours. Not to mention what could possibly mean more than getting to hold my baby in my arms for the first time.
Beau wasn’t exactly camera ready either. During my labor I had spiked a fever and being precautious, they treated me for an infection. I had to be on antibiotics for 48 hours as did Beau when he was born. That being said, he had an IV in his arm which was wrapped in a small cast. I couldn’t put any of my cute new outfits on him because nothing would fit over his arm properly. This was just one more thing that you don’t see in a new mom’s hospital pictures with her newborn. Nothing could’ve prepared me for any of this because I had never seen it. And just because I had never seen it doesn’t mean it wasn’t happening.
This is when I made a promise to myself that I was going to be open and honest about my motherhood journey. I proudly posted my birth announcement photo, in all of its imperfect glory. I don’t even think I used a filter.
Yes I know sometimes I try way too hard to get the perfect picture, but please know that in each of my meticulously staged pictures, I probably just changed a shitty diaper or had to bribe the dog with the rest of my sandwich to get him to stay still. There’s nothing wrong with sharing your best moments with the world just don’t forget how perfect the imperfect moments truly are.